According to the UFC website, it's "the fight the entire mixed martial arts world is talking about." But the truth is, Bread's just not ready to take on Rich 'Ace' Franklin.
I knew the day would come when I had to face Rich Franklin again. Saturday night’s UFC 103 will finally make this moment happen. I have been dreading it ever since June when he beat Wanderlei Silva to kill my biggest bet of the year. I lost a lot of money and a bit of my dignity that day.
The truth is I’m still not ready to face this guy yet. For the first time ever, I’m not writing about the headlining fight between Franklin and Vitor Belfort. I’m sure I’ll end up making a small play on it, but to be honest, I just don’t care enough to spend time thinking about it. I do have four fights that I like, and it looks like Bread is chock full of chalk. But winners are winners, and I am a winner-pusher right now, lurking the schoolyards. Just tell me how much you want, kids.
Junior Dos Santos -135
Mirko Cro Cop +115
| Dos Santos is a Beast!
All respectable serial killers come equipped with three names, and these two certainly fit the description. But unlike John Wayne Gacy and Henry Lee Lucas, these triple threats have made careers of destroying opposing fighters.
OK, maybe “Cro Cop” is only a nickname, but that was still fun. Mirko Filipovic (25-6-2, 1 NC) has still been mowing them down for a long time. Recognized for possessing devastating kicks, Cro Cop has but together an impressive career. The problem he faces comes in the form of Dos Santos (8-1-0) who is an up and coming serial killer, while Mirko is on the way down.
Filipovic had lost to two consecutive UFC contenders (Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo) before gaining a controversial win over Mostapha Al Turk. That fight was marred by an inadvertent eye poke that probably left Mirko with some of Al Turk’s cerebellum under his fingernails. He sprinkled in a few fights in between those events, but nothing of major significance.
Enter Junior Dos Santos, who is 10 years younger (25), two inches taller (6’4”) and just an all-around bigger bad ass. The man is a beast. Think Hank McCoy minus the blue fur (that one was for all my comic book nerds out there!)
Dos Santos has completely dismantled Fabricio Werdum and Stefan Struve in the first round. He has been steamrolling guys. And just in case he gets himself in some trouble, he lists his favorite grappling technique as being on his back. So he’s got some tricks in store for the rare occasion that he gets taken down as well.
To find Junior Dos Santos at these odds is to die for. Won’t you join me?
Josh Koscheck -365
Frank Trigg +305
This is Koscheck’s (14-4-0) first fight since a devastating, huge KO upset at the hands of Paulo Thiago. I fully expect him to regain his winning ways as he makes a stop on the UFC Old Balls Tour. Once known as a pure wrestler, Kos has been smacking guys in the mouth as of late. His double KO against Yoshiyuki Yoshida was one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen, proving that his game is constantly improving.
Frank Trigg (19-6-0) makes his return to the UFC. He has been around forever, and just like Mark Coleman, has the beaten, leathered skin to show for it. Now I’m not betting against Trigg because his losses have come against big name players like Matt Hughes (twice), GSP, Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler (soon to add Koscheck to the list). I’m not betting against him because he actually called Koscheck “a good, young, faster version of me.”
No, I am betting against Frank Trigg because his nickname is Twinkle Toes. Game, set, match.
|R.Kelly says, "Bet on Griffin!"
Tyson Griffin -275
Hermes Franca +235
“So I told shorty I be producing,
I be making those bets
Be making those hits, ya know”
Even R. Kelly is a fan of the little guys. And Griffin (13-2-0) and Franca (20-7-0) are certainly shorties, as both fighters stroll in at a diminutive 5’6”. I may have changed the word “beats” to “bets” for my own amusement, but I think that R. Kelly would understand. As long as he doesn’t pee on me.
I am a Tyson Griffin fan. I find his fights exciting and he has taken out a who’s who of notable lightweights. Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Tibau Gleison and Marcus Aurelio have all suffered defeats to Tiny Tyson.
Franca is fighting for the first time in almost a year. His nickname is “The Unreal” and it might be my favorite moniker of them all. But that’s not going to be enough. Do not be afraid of Griffin’s large odds.
Efrain Escudero -160
Cole Miller +140
Oh man I am in a pickle with this fight. But I learned at a young age that it’s better to be in a pickle than to have a pickle in me. This can be overcome.
I don’t get Cole Miller (15-3-0). I remember his goofy butt on TUF Season 5 and he was a bit of a joke. I can’t seem to relinquish that memory, but when I look at his fight record, it demands more attention than I’ve been giving.
| Efrain Escudero
Miller beat Andy Wang straight out the box. No biggie there, as Wang couldn’t beat up Terry Schiavo with her hands tied behind her back. He then took a decision from respected veteran Leonard Garcia. That was a bit weird. That was followed up by a TKO loss to hard-hitting Jeremy Stephens. All was right with my original opinion. But then, he earned consecutive choke-out victories against the very exciting Jorge Gurgel and UFC pariah Junie Browning. Now I’m just lost!
This is one of two fights that will air for free on SpikeTV right before the pay-per-view. This pleases me because I’m excited to see how this one plays out. Cole Miller has been using his lankiness to perfection, and his four inch height advantage over undefeated Escudero (12-0-0) could present a problem. But once again, I just can’t see it happening.
I’m going to be on Escudero, who won me good money on the TUF finale when he out-wrestled favorite Phillipe Nover. I’m a little leery, but can Miller, who is just a goofier version of Peyton Manning, really continue to take out relevant guys like Efrain? I’m banking on “No!”
Don’t forget to enter the free SBR UFC 103 Capping Contest here.