UFC Picks: Dos Santos Expected To Put A Beating On Rothwell

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 7:44 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2016 7:44 PM GMT

A heavyweight clash of top contenders with title implications is set for April 10th with the preliminaries beginning at 12:00 PM ET on FS1 so set your clocks. Let’s peruse the UFC odds. 

Ben Rothwell (36-9, 20 KO’s, 13 Subs)
It is hard to argue with success and though you may believe, as many do, that Ben Rothwell more closely resembles a barroom brawler than a highly skilled MMA fighter the results speak for themselves. Big Ben has rolled over his last four opponents with TKO wins over Brandon Vera and Alistair Overeem while choking out Matt Mitrione and Josh Barnett. While knocking people silly is Rothwell’s calling card, beating a world class submission artist at his own game is nothing short of stunning. In his last fight, that is exactly what Ben Rothwell did and his victim was none other than the veteran Josh Barnett who, up to that point, had never been tapped out in his 19 year MMA career.

Rothwell’s star is certainly on the rise and his sudden mastery of the gogo choke, which was responsible for his finishes of Mitrione and Barnett, has people scratching their heads. The casual observer would note that Rothwell has 13 submissions on his resume which would qualify him as a bona fide tap out artist. However, upon further scrutiny, the majority of those submissions came via “no mas” taps. Yes, seven of those submissions were by opponents who were either injured and couldn’t go on or quit during the round. Thus, prior to submitting a completely unaware Matt Mitrione, not known for his adroitness on the mat, and the stunning choke of Barnett who could not wriggle free due to the cage at his back, Rothwell had submitted only four opponents by choke or armbar.

 

Junior dos Santos (17-4, 12 KO’s, 2 Subs)
The former UFC heavyweight champion was installed as a -360 favorite by the UFC odds makers when he met Alistair Overeem in his last match. But those who backed the 3-1 underdog in their UFC picks were pleasantly surprised when the Demolition Man TKO’ed dos Santos in the second round of their December 19th meeting inside the Octagon.

Witnessing dos Santos lose as a decided favorite was the single most stunning loss of his career. Other than an early defeat to the immortal Joaquim Ferreira his two previous defeats came at the hands of a world champion in Cain Velasquez. It was a soul crushing loss for dos Santos particularly after he rebounded from his second loss to Velasquez with a convincing win over one of the toughest men in the division, Stipe Miocic in December of ’14. It appears that dos Santos has vowed to get busier and instead of waiting another year before climbing back inside the cage, he made clear his intentions to UFC matchmaker Joe Silva that he, unlike his record, escaped the Overeem fight unscathed and wanted a fight as quickly as possible. On April 10th he will get his wish.

 

Betting Analysis
If you believe Rothwell will pull off another brilliant gogo choke on dos Santos then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you. The choke Big Ben pulled on Mitrione was an example of a one-dimensional fighter that just got sloppy. The finish over Barnett was helped immensely by the fact that Barnett was up against the cage and had no wear to roll, pinned between steel and a hulking Rothwell. It sounds like I am discrediting Rothwell but his cage savvy and opportunistic approach is to be applauded. Those were expertly locked in chokes and nobody did it but him.

However (you saw this coming), dos Santos will not succumb to Rothwell’s “surprise” choke. It is no longer a surprise and a highly accomplished fighter like dos Santos, in the prime of his career as opposed to the twilight like Barnett, will not allow it. This will be decided standing up and though Rothwell is a big bear with brutal power, dos Santos is a better overall striker with speed and agility as opposed to just raw power. Junior wins this one by a knockout.

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Free Boxing Pick: Junior dos Santos -107
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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