Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida will not be the only two guys worth watching on December 10th. The UFC has gone ahead and stacked the entire fight card. Lets go over the opening preliminary fights and decide if they hold any UFC betting value.
Jabouin vs. Walel Watson
To the delight
of striking enthusiast throughout the sport, Canadian kickboxer Yves Jabouin
will meet the wiry frame of Walel Watson.
Jabouin’s recent opponent Pablo Garza, Watson appears to have both a
significant reach advantage along with the stronger submission attack.
how active I’ve seen Walel keep his guard, I’d say his grappling presents just
as much of a threat as Garza’s. He’s constantly looking to either attack his
opponent’s leg from the bottom or secure some type of reversal. The anaconda choke he
locked in against Ismael Leon
was just further proof of his aggressive submission attack.
grappling, however, is mostly centered around getting back to his fight. The
fight with Ian Loveland showed some great insight into his scramble ability as
well as what he’ capable off his back. At one point in the second round he
masterfully executed a high crotch reversal to regain favorable top position.
only has a physical strength advantage in the clinch, but also shows the better
defensive posture behind a more diverse striking attack. He should prove to a
tad faster while maintaining the aggressor roll for most of the fight. I’d say
Walel is a smart option to add to your UFC picks at +145 but make Jabouin your UFC betting choice at anything less than that.
Pick: Yves Jabouin SU
John Cholish vs. Mitch Clarke
Renzo Gracie’s academy appears to have another
touted prospect on their hands. Through 8 fights John Cholish has finished 6 of
his opponents by either submission or knockout, the latest victory coming against
a game Mark Stephens.
wrestling pedigrees appears to have translated remarkably well into MMA.
Looking back at the Stephens fight he was constantly rolling for kneebars and
leg-locks before he finally securing one in the second round. The transition he
used to catch the submission is considered as one of the slickest kneebar
attempts of the year.
His opponent, Mitch Clarke, happens to also be
former collegiate wrestler out of the University of
Saskatchewan. In his past fights he’s shown some strong grappling from
top position; most notably seeking out his opponent’s neck in scrambles.
I think of the two Cholish has shown to be the
better athlete. That should be the defining difference anytime they’re in a
clinch situation. Not only that but his striking looks a bit crisper
behind a lot more fluidity in his combinations and footwork.
Free UFC Pick: John Cholish SU
Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz
The self professed “Best grappler in the
lightweight division” faces off with the miraculously unbeaten Nik "The
Carny" Lentz. Somehow through 7 fights, most of which ended in a
controversial decision, Lentz has kept his undefeated UFC record intact.
Lentz can be easily described as a good MMA
wrestler with above average grappling ability for the division. Unfortunately,
his greatest assets happen to play right into some of Mark Bock’s primary
Simply put, Bocek has shown the ability to
stifle better wrestlers and submit better grapplers. He fought former number
one contender Jim Miller to a split decision and gave the current number one
contender, Ben Henderson, his toughest fight
since entering the UFC.
However, the stall factor is always a concern
when betting against Lentz. Battling the scorecards will be a huge problem for
Bocek if we see the fight go to a decision. With that kind of variance
surrounding this fight I would avoid both fighters at anything less than +135 in the UFC odds, although I do think Bocek should edge out a close fight where his grappling
controls the tempo.
MY UFC Pick: Mark Bocek SU
Jake Hecht vs. Rich Attonito
UFC newcomer Jake Hecht will make his
promotional debut in UFC 140 against former Ultimate fighter contestant, Rich Attonito.
Hecht, currently training out of Cork, Ireland, has put together a 10-1 record since
losing his first fight back in 2006. For the most part he’s a submission based
fighter who prefers to attack with either a north-south choke, or a triangle
from his guard.
Attonito, meanwhile, appears to have a clear
striking advantage and possibly even the stronger base. His wrestling pedigree
along with the power in his hands makes him a tough first fight for anyone. Add
in the first time octagon jitters and this may be asking too much out of Hecht.
Look for Rich to control both the grappling and
striking exchanges in this fight. I think he takes a dominant lead in the first
two rounds before ultimately finishing the newcomer sometime in the final
Free UFC pick:
Attonito by knockout