The UFC travels to Seattle where flyweight king Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will defend his title against John Moraga. Let’s see where the best value lies for our UFC picks in this event.
Demetrious Johnson (17-2, 3 KO’s, 6
Subs) vs. John Moraga (13-1, 2 KO’s, 6 Subs)
indications are that the champ Demetrious Johnson will be installed as a 3-1
favorite in the UFC odds when books begin to deal the line. There is
speculation that the line will climb even higher as the fight approaches. If
that’s the case, the best value for your UFC picks could lie in backing the large underdog.
Moraga is in
the midst of a seven-fight win streak and his entry into the UFC has been
explosive. His debut was a first round KO of Ulysses Gomez back in August at
UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera and he followed that up with a third round
submission over Chris Cariaso at UFC 155 in December.
has an outstanding wrestling background and should be able to handle Johnson’s
takedowns and ground attack. The question is whether or not Moraga has the
chops to counter Johnson’s blazing speed. I believe his three inch height
advantage should allow him to effectively stand and trade until he spots an
opening to take Johnson to the canvas. From there the fight will be a chess
match but, when given significant odds on a fight that should be razor close,
I’ll be happy grabbing the vig instead of laying it.
+260 at Bet365.com
Rory MacDonald (14-1, 6 KO’s, 6 Subs)
vs. Jake Ellenberger (29-6, 18 KO’s, 5 Subs)
Rory MacDonald is coming into the fight against seasoned veteran Jake
Ellenberger with a lot of buzz. Many are looking at the 23-year-old as the
future king of the division but his opponent at UFC on Fox 8 doesn’t seem to be
“I'm not really sold on him. In my
opinion the only top-10 guy in our division he's fought he's lost to, and
that's Carlos Condit. I think he's definitely a young up-and-comer, but nothing
special. ... It's still surprising to me, for some reason some people in
this industry think he's a top-five guy, which I don't even think he's a top-10
Ellenberger may be on to something it’s hard to ignore MacDonald’s last four
fights since his loss to Condit. He has thrown down with some serious
competition in the form of Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle, Che Mills and the fading
legend BJ Penn, defeating each and every one.
be the fight of the night but it could also be an early night for MacDonald if
he gets caught napping with his hands down. Ellenberger’s strikes are lethal
and it would be wise for MacDonald to take this fight to the mat where he lives
and breathes. MacDonald may find Ellenberger a tough guy to finish but don’t be
surprised if he dominates all three rounds. For the second of my free picks, I feel comfortable predicting an
eighth straight victory for young MacDonald.
MacDonald -170 at Bet365.com
Robbie Lawler (20-9, 17 KO’s, 1 Sub)
vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (21-5, 11 KO’s, 6
In the last
of our UFC picks we turn to a fight where newcomer Siyar Bahadurzada replaces
Tarec Saffiedine to fight veteran Robbie Lawler. Lawler dropped down to
middleweight after a string of losses in the middleweight division. His return
was successful as he punished the once potent Josh Koscheck with a first round
you can find odds on this one, Bahadurzada should be a fairly significant
underdog simply due to his lack of exposure in the big leagues of MMA. I
believe he can give Lawler a good run for his money as he has serious punching
power and a more skilled ground game.
Bahadurzada at Bet365.com