UFC 168 Picks: Main Card

Swinging Johnson

Monday, November 25, 2013 4:20 PM UTC

Monday, Nov. 25, 2013 4:20 PM UTC

While Silva vs. Weidman is getting all the press there is a UFC Women's Bantamweight championship on the line and a heavyweight bout with title implications. Let's see where the betting value lies in both these matches.

Miesha Tate (13-4, 3 KO's, 6 Subs) vs. Ronda Rousey (7-0. 0 KO's, 7 Subs)

First off, Miesha Tate shouldn't even be fighting for the title. She lost in a title eliminator to Cat Zingano last April but Zingano's camp announced in late May that she would require surgery after suffering a knee injury. This opened the door to Tate's appearance as the opposing coach to Ronda Rousey in The Ultimate Fighter 18 and a shot at the title.

The fact is that unless Tate can launch against Rousey, it's all over. The Women's Bantamweight champ has won all seven fights via armbar in the first round. That's just flat out freakin' crazy and Tate has already had one bite at this apple. In March of 2012 she lost the Strikeforce title to Rousey in the same devastating fashion as all the others before her and after. That's right, Rousey locked on an armbar that caused Tate to tap the mat and that was that.

Is there any reason to believe that Tate is going to suddenly find the answer to the riddle that is Ronda Rousey? I don't see that much game in her game nor do I see anyone in the women's division at any weight who can pose a substantial threat to Rousey. She's a 4th dan judo black belt and is simply devastating when the fight hits the mat. Unfortunately betting on her straight up is prohibitive but if you want an extra leg on your parlay, she looks like a can't miss in this event. Parlay her at -1000 UFC odds at WilliamHill.com.



Josh Barnett (33-6, 10 KO's, 18 Subs) vs. Travis Browne (15-1-1, 11 KO's, 2 Subs)

Oh my, this one is gonna' be a dandy when it comes down to making our UFC picks! Both fighters are capable of turning the lights out before the other guy even knows his finger is on the switch. Both men have bone crushing power and neither is shy about standing and trading. Barnett has oodles of experience while Browne has but one blemish on his otherwise pristine record. In his fight with Antonio Silva, Browne tore a ligament in his knee and was then stalked by Bigfoot like the wounded buck in a herd of deer. Bigfoot eventually unloaded on Browne and the result was a first round TKO. 

This will be an intriguing match particularly if Barnett uses his wrestling chops and gets Browne to the canvas. Browne has a little BJJ in his background but nothing that will strike fear into a fighter like Barnett who has made his bones on the mat. That would probably be the end for Browne but something tells me that Barnett will want to prove he can still bang with the best.

Both fighters are coming off victories with Barnett scoring a TKO over a fading Frank Mir via a crushing knee to the solar plexus while Browne has consecutive KO's over Gabriel Gonzaga and most recently Alistair Overeem. I highly doubt Barnett is going to get in as tight against Browne as he was able to gain access against Frank Mir. Browne owns a nasty brand of Muay Thai and those stinging leg whips are a nasty price to pay if you want to get up close and personal with Hapa. 

This one might be better off just enjoyed rather than wager on (did I just say that?), but Browne might give us decent value if he is a sizeable underdog when the sportsbooks lay the odds and lines (there are no lines being dealt on this fight as of this writing). However, Barnett's prodigious ground game and experience makes him the clear choice in this fight. 

Keep watching for UFC odds updates on this fight at Bet365.com or WilliamHill.com.


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