Let's take a look at two of the Main Card matchups and see if they're worth adding to your UFC picks.
Frank Mir (16-7, 3 KO's, 9 Subs) vs. Josh Barnett (32-6, 8 KO's, 19 Subs)
It's actually pretty amazing these two MMA veterans have not squared up in their storied careers until now. Of course, Frank Mir has been a UFC staple while Barnett has toiled primarily in the Pride and Strikeforce organizations with a brief stint in the early aughts as a member of the UFC. But that will all change as these talented heavyweights will finally do battle in the Octagon.
Frank Mir has dropped his last two matches with a third defeat a real possibility against a very dangerous Josh Barnett. Normally three consecutive losses sends UFC fighters to the unemployment line but Mir has clearly earned his stripes and will no doubt continue to rumble under the UFC banner.
Both men recently lost by unanimous decision to the unbeaten and current number one contender Daniel Cormier. As I peruse the UFC odds I find it curious that Barnett is currently sitting as a -200 favorite at William Hill and north of 2 to 1 in many offshore books. Both combatants are accomplished mat tacticians and are capable of turning the lights out if given the opportunity. At 35-years-old, Barnett is four years Mir's senior and has more than double the fights of the veteran Mir.
And let's not forget Barnett's opponent is the same guy who both submitted and TKO'ed Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira and is the former UFC Heavyweight champion. The question remains, has Mir really looked that bad in defeat to former champ Junior dos Santos and top contender Daniel Cormier that he should be relegated to this much of an underdog? I don't think so and +160 looks pretty fine to me in my sports picks.
Chad Mendes (14-1, 5 KO's, 2 Subs) vs. Clay Guida (30-13, 5 KO's, 15 Subs)
It seems it's never easy when you back Clay Guida in a fight. He has seven split decisions since battling in the big leagues of MMA which would include the UFC and the now defunct WEC and Strikeforce organizations. His last foray into the Octagon was, you guessed it, a split decision victory over Shooto legend Hatsu Hioki which was preceded by a split decision loss to Gray Maynard. Guida is one of those guys who is half a click away from being a UFC world champion but can't quite climb that formidable mountain.
Chad Mendes' only loss came to featherweight king Jose Aldo when he was knocked cold by the champ in the first round with a murderous knee to the head. After that brutal dose of reality, the 28-year-old has been on a tear in the featherweight category. Mendes has scored three successive knockouts all in the first round. His most recent victim was top-tier contender Darren Elkins whom he put on queer street (thanks to former Boston bad boy Billy the Bull for that reference) in the opening round.
Here again in our UFC picks we have to think long and hard about the pros and cons of a value bet. Do we think Mendes has the edge? I know I do but should he really be -333 at William Hill in their UFC odds? Isn't a veteran gatekeeper like Clay Guida, who has a win over lightweight top contender Anthony Pettis on his resume, worth a few bucks as a +250 underdog? That's up to you to decide.
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