MMA Betting: UFC 173 Value Picks

Swinging Johnson

Friday, May 23, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

Underdogs recently ruled the day at UFC Fight Night 38 and after perusing the UFC odds we are committed to nailing a few more big prices at UFC 173.

Henderson (30-11, 14 KO’s, 2 Subs) vs. Cormier (14-0, 8 KO’s, 1 Sub)
My esteemed colleague Jason Lake and I have already written on this match, providing free UFC picks, advancing a case for the aging (or should I say, aged) veteran and future Hall-of-Famer Dan Henderson +645 in UFC odds over Daniel Cormier.

Now, before you beg, borrow and steal every last cent to get down on Hendo, let’s not forget what DC brings to the table. Cormier is a world class grappler, and has dynamite in his fists. He’s considerably younger than Henderson, and is dropping down from an undefeated tenure at the heavyweight division and thus far has dominated at 205. 

However, as Mr. Lake wrote in an earlier column espousing the five reasons why Henderson will defeat Cormier, I am not quite as zealous in my advocacy of a Henderson victory. I simply believe that getting back +645 at offshore shops like Bet365.com is enticing enough for me to plunk a few bucks down on a fighter who can turn the lights out with one punch, as Shogun Rua found out just two months ago. 

This is an all or nothing fight for Henderson. If he gets KO’ed, his career in the UFC is over, and a cushy job as a commentator awaits. However, if he is able to muster up the ability to exploit an opening and rock Cormier, then anything can happen. I say the UFC odds of +645 are long enough to convince me that he can do just that.


James Krause (32-6, 8 KO’s, 22 Subs) vs. Jamie Varner (21-9, 7 KO’s, 11 Subs)
Jamie Varner is on the precipice of the tacit three strikes and you’re out rule that Dana White routinely imposes on his fighters. However, the manner in which Varner, the former WEC lightweight champion, lost those fights may exonerate him from such a fate if defeated in the same manner in which his other two fights were lost. Varner dropped a split decision to Gliesen Tibau, and was then KO’ed by Abel Trujillo in what proved to be a Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night match back in February. 

James Krause had reeled off eight consecutive victories including his UFC debut against Sam Stout, before dropping his last fight to Strikeforce refugee Bobby Green via a thunderous body kick to the kidney, that left Krause crumbling to the canvas in agony. 

This will be a stern test for the 27-year-old Krause who doesn’t have the pedigree, or martial arts background of most of his contemporaries. He wasn’t raised breaking boards in karate classes as a kid, and proved to be an average (at best) wrestler in high school. There was no Brazilian Jiu-jitsu sensei who cultivated a raw talent, and turned him into a lethal fighting machine. He was simply a teenager with little direction who morphed effortlessly into a dangerous hybrid fighter which is, after all, what MMA is and what all combatants must ultimately become to be successful.

So, how do we make a case for Krause who is facing a high level talent in Jamie Varner and one who has fought at an elite championship level?  Well, The James Krause (as he is known) will be a tall order for Varner if the fight hits the mat. Krause has honed his BJJ skills, and at 6’2” will be a hard target for Varner to reach. I believe that Krause can keep the more accomplished Varner at bay when the fight is standing, and control the mat when the fight ultimately falls to the canvas.

Free UFC Pick: Bet Krause +140 as one of your UFC picks at WilliamHill.com

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