UFC 146 was very kind to us — my recommended bet was a parlay that paid off handsomely. Here’s hoping we can carry the momentum forward onto this card.
The problem with UFC 147, which takes place on Saturday, June 23, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, is that it just isn’t very interesting. It was supposed to be, but there have been so many changes to the lineup that there just isn’t too much left to get excited about.
Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen were due to fight here, but that has been pushed back to July 7. Jose Aldo was briefly on this card, but was pushed back to UFC 149. Vitor Belfort was due to headline against Wanderlei Silva, but Belfort was hurt in training and Rich Franklin had to step in.
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There are two fights from “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil,” but injury has impacted one of them as well. The problems have been so numerous and so significant that, for the first time ever, the UFC has offered a full refund to any ticket holders who no longer wish to attend.
Despite that there are still posted UFC 147 odds, and that means we can still bet on it so it is still worthy of our attention. Here’s how the main card plays out (all odds are from Bovada):
Rich Franklin (-175) vs. Wanderlei Silva (+145)
Rematches are really only compelling if anyone wants to see them. I’m not sure anyone was clamoring for this one, though their match three years ago at UFC 99 was a good one.
Silva is 35 and has lost three of his last five, so his days as one of the most feared, impressive fighters in the sport are in the rearview mirror, and they are so far behind him that they are getting hard to see. Franklin is two years older and has dropped three of five as well, so he’s not exactly in the prime of his career, either.
As Silva has gotten older he has gotten wilder. That works right into Franklin’s hands. He’s the much smarter fighter, and he’s much more patient as well. He’ll be able to sit back here and wait for his opportunity, and then he has the tools to capitalize on that opportunity. Franklin is also well positioned to take any abuse that Silva can dish out.
Both guys have slowed down since they last met, but it seems like Franklin has slowed down less. He should come out on top.
The one compelling reason to at least consider Silva, though, is the weight. This fight is at 190-pound catch weight. That’s a reasonable weight for Silva now, but he is fighting smaller than he used to. The last fight, at 195, was his first attempt to cut from his 205 typical level, and he struggled with it. He reportedly lost 12 pounds in a day just before the fight to weigh in successfully. His stamina was a factor in that fight, and the weight just has to be why. Now that shouldn’t be as much of an issue here.
I don’t think that’s enough to overcome Franklin’s strategic edge, but it makes it more interesting.
Pick: Rich Franklin
Fabricio Werdum (-500) vs. Mike Russow (+350)
The oddsmakers seem to think that Werdum has a big edge. They are right.
I don’t find it very interesting to bet on heavy favorites like this, though, so for once I’m going to take a chance on a big underdog.
Russow is taking a huge step up in class, but he has won 11 straight, including four in a row in the UFC since making his debut. He’s a fighter with upside, and a win here could really move him forward.
Werdum is getting older and has taken a lot of abuse, so at some point he’s going to come back to earth like all fighters do. At these odds I’m not going to bet on him, so I may as well bet against him.
Pick: Mike Russow
Rony Mariano Bezerra (-310) vs. Godofredo Castro (+240)
This is the final of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” featherweight tournament. Bezerra has looked better to this point and, as the odds suggest, has a good edge here. The price is fair.
Pick: Rony Mariano Bezerra
Cezar Ferreira (-285) vs. Sergio Moraes (+225)
Daniel Sarafian was supposed to fight Ferreira in this, the final of the TUF: Brazil middleweight tournament. He was hurt late in his training, though, so Moraes, who lost to Sarafian in the semifinals, gets the shot here.
He was due to fight on the undercard, though, so he has been training for the fight. Both fighters are of similar styles, but Ferreira should have the edge.
Pick: Cezar Ferreira
$150 on Mike Russow — Potential profit of $525
$350 parlay of Franklin, Werdum, Bezerra and Ferreira — potential profit of $829
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