UFC Picks: UFC 157 Main Card Betting Odds

Brian Mendez

Thursday, January 31, 2013 9:03 PM GMT

In a race for the next title shot against UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, will it be the patient counters of Lyoto Machida or the numbing power of Dan Henderson that prevails on the night?

UFC 157: Main-Card Betting Odds

Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida

With the next potential title shot at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones on the line, former champ Loyoto Machida will be taking on Dan Henderson in the co-main event at UFC 157.

At an opening price of -220, it would appear as though the combination of Machida’s superior speed, timing and endurance have all been accurately quantified into the line. However, when you also factor in the unknown severity of Henderson’s knee injury that forced him to withdraw from UFC 151- as well as his year long layoff from the sport- there’s a much stronger argument to be made for the value being on Machida at his current betting odds.

As always, though, the power and overall efficiency behind Henderson’s right hand could very well prove to be the great equalizer against the much sharper, accurate counters of Machida.

If anything, he’s only further refined and harnessed the deceptive accuracy behind his right handed punches over the last few years, knocking out the likes of Rafael Cavalcante and Fedor Emelianenko before primarily utilizing it to pick up perhaps his most impressive victory to date—a unanimous decision over Mauricio Rua at UFC 139.

In all three of those fights he showed significant value at the sportsbooks, closing at +241 against Fedor, -127 over Rafael Cavalcante- a fight he was heavily steamed against- and most recently closing as a +141 underdog to Mauricio Rua.

[gameodds]26/218955/43/us[/gameodds]

Machida’s last 3 years inside the UFC mostly consist of alternating wins and losses and recently becoming the first UFC fighter to knock out Ryan Bader inside the octagon. Perhaps his greatest feat in the last few years, however, is being the only fighter with a small argument for having nearly won the first round against current champion Jon Jones, who was cleanly tagged by a few of Machida’s sharp counters in the first round.

At end of the day, I expect the much slower Henderson to be just a step behind Machida for most of the bout. Routinely getting inside on Machida- where he can land his heavy right hands- is just simply asking too much at this stage of the 42 year old Henderson’s career and is a bit to risky of a UFC pick for my taste.

UFC Play: Lyoto Machida -220 at betdsi.com

Bantamweight Showdown: Ivan Menjivar vs. Urijah Faber

After a disappointing title loss against Renan Pegado at UFC 149, Urijah Faber looks to reenter the bantamweight title picture with a victory over Salvadoran mixed martial artist, Ivan Menjivar.

While it’s quite clear that Faber has an edge over Menjivar in almost every facet of the game, I’m not so sure that it’s to the degree that the current -450 UFC odds suggests.

Sure he’s the better striker and all around wrestler, but Menjivar’s superior kicks and comparable grappling could very well give Faber more fits than many are probably expecting. In fact, the last time these two met back in 2006 at TKO 24: Eruption, Menjivar had a moment where he was able to take Faber’s back and nearly suplex him on his head.

So, our only really question is does Faber really take this fight 80% of the time- as the current betting line implies.

[gameodds]26/218956/43/us[/gameodds]

Personally, I don’t think he does; especially considering the only legitimate loss on Menjivar’s record over the last 6 years was to current top ten bantamweight of the world, Brad Pickett. The two decisions he dropped against Mike Easton & Bart Palaszewsk, meanwhile, could have very gone the other way with a separate set of judges in those fights.

In all likelihood, the majority of the action will continue to pour in on Faber until after the weigh-ins, so my suggestion is to wait until then to  see if we can snag Ivan at +350 or higher. At those odds I like his chances of stealing a close, disputable decision on the scorecards.

UFC Picks: Ivan Menjivar once he climbs above +340