UFC Undercard Picks
Ben Rothwell (32-9, 18 KO's, 11 Subs) vs. Brandon Vera (12-6, 7 KO's, 1 Sub)
Vera has won only once is in his last five appearances inside the Octagon and is now ballooning up to the heavyweight ranks to fight a killer in Ben Rothwell. If Vera decides his takedowns are not working and chooses to bang with Big Ben then he will find himself taking a nap in front of thousands of strangers.
Vera's ground game is being too highly respected in this one and Rothwell's three-inch reach advantage coupled with his devastating power is being overlooked. The oddsmakers have the wrong favorite and we will happily take advantage of their mistake in our sport picks.
Play Rothwell +110 at Pinncalesports.
Frank Mir (16-7, 3 KO's, 9 Subs) vs. Josh Barnett (32-6, 8 KO's, 19 Subs)
For those of you who have been watching the UFC for over a decade, this match is for you. Both heavyweights have had storied careers in MMA and were on a collision course to fight until Barnett's tenure with the organization was derailed after winning the championship in '02 but getting stripped of the title after he tested positive for banned substances.
Frank Mir subsequently ascended to the throne after defeating Tim Sylvia in 2004 to capture the UFC Heavyweight crown but a motorcycle accident took him out of the Octagon and into a hospital bed. It was almost two years of recovery and rehabilitation until he stepped back inside the cage but the loss to Marco Cruz demonstrated he hadn't made it all the way back.
So, here we are. Both fighters now in their mid-thirties and looking to make one final push to get back into the championship conversation and ultimately a match with whomever holds the title. Both men are superior mat technicians with Mir holding a black belt in BJJ while Barnett has mastered a hybrid of grappling, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, judo and a mixed assortment of ground based styles. Put all that in a blender and it's called catch wrestling, as in catch-all.
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This should be a classic battle with both possessing enough power to make it a short evening if an opening presents itself. But these fighters have made their bones on the mat and that is where this battle will ultimately end up. Mir has lost his last two fights to Junior dos Santos (TKO) and Frank Cormier (unanimous decision) while Barnett had his eight-fight win streak snapped by Frank Cormier as well and in the same fashion (unanimous decision). But Barnett rebounded in his last appearance in the Strikeforce organization as he choked out Nandor Guelmino in the first round.
Height and reach will not play a factor here as both come equipped with virtually the same dimensions. However, these two are a coin flip in my estimation and if we're going to close our eyes and throw a dart I'd prefer to get the vig rather than pay it.
Play Frank Mir +160at WilliamHill.com for your UFC picks.
Chad Mendes 14-1, 5 KO's, 2 Subs) vs. Clay Guida (30-13, 5 KO's, 15 Subs)
Chad "Money" Mendes may have the edge but is he really worth being a 4-1 favorite in UFC odds over a guy like Clay Guida who has been a top tier lightweight forever and now dropping down to the feathers? I'm not going to lay close to 4-1 on anyone in a fight with Guida and particularly one where he may find the going a little easier in the lighter category.
Play Guida +345 at Pinncalesports.com for your UFC picks.