UFC 110 Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 2/18/2010
UFC 110 marks an attempt to conquer new land by the Ultimate Fighting Championship - for the first time they are holding an event in Australia. The event will be taking place on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 21 in Sydney, which means that it will be on at the normal 10 p.m, EST time in North America. The card doesn't have the very biggest names on it, but I think it's actually the most interesting card we have been offered in a while. Here's a look at how the main card breaks down, with odds from Bodog:
Cain Velasquez (-130) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (even) - This is a great heavyweight battle - a battle of generations worthy of being a main event. Velasquez is a young fighter in UFC terms - 27. He's undefeated in seven fights, and is clearly on the rise. This is his biggest opportunity to date, and if he keeps on his current path he'll have a title shot in no time. This is a step up in competition for him, but that has been the case every time he's fought, and he has handled it well so far. Nogueira, on the other hand, is a grizzled veteran. He has 32 wins in 38 fights, and has beaten on and been beaten on by most of the big names in the sport. He has been a heavyweight champion in two organizations, and has won four of his last five - a second round loss to Frank Mir is the only blemish.
To handicap this fight you really have to decide just one thing in your mind - is Velasquez ready for the big time? We know what to expect from Nogueira, and we know that he's still nasty because he handled Randy Couture convincingly last time out. He's a solid boxer, the best there is at the guard, and very good at drawing a submission. Velasquez, though, is big, strong, and athletic. On a pure athletic basis Velasquez would win this fight, but if you have watched any UFC at all you know that the more athletic fighter doesn't have the edge unless he's smart enough to back it up.
This is going to be a tough, tough fight, and I don't expect it to end early. I'm going to go with the youngster because he has two distinct edges in my eyes - he's the better wrestler by far so he has a better chance of dictating the tone, and he's very dangerous inside when the fight is on the feet and I like his chances of getting there.
Pick: Cain Velasquez
Wanderlei Silva (-155) vs. Michael Bisping (+125) - This might be a fight for Silva's career. He was once one of the best fighters in the world, but he has just one win in his last six fights, and he hasn't looked like a top fighter since 2006. Someone in the UFC likes him, though, because they have clearly put him in a position to succeed here. Silva will be fighting with desperation and intensity, and Bisping just doesn't have the tools to match up to what Silva has to offer. Silva is dangerous on his feet, and Bisping can't match that. He's a submission machine on the ground, Bisping will struggle to defend that. The best defense Bisping will have is to take Silva down first, but I don't like his chances of doing that, either.
Pick: Wanderlei Silva
Joe Stevenson (-250) vs. George Sotiropoulos (+190) - Sotiropoulos is far from a household name, but he was a virtual lock for this card because the lightweight is from Australia. He's 12-2 in his career, and has won all four of his UFC fights, but this is by far the best opponent he has seen. I respect what the Aussie has done so far, and I think he'll continue to have some reasonable success, but the clear fact is that he's only on the main card because of where the event is, and he really has no business being there. Stevenson is a seasoned veteran, and he's just plain better than Stevenson in almost every aspect of the game. The crowd will help their native son, but not enough.
Pick: Joe Stevenson
Ryan Bader (-165) vs. Keith Jardine (+135) - We've seen a recurring theme on this card - promising guys being tested by big jumps up in class. That's the case here again. Bader won season eight of “The Ultimate Fighter” at the end of 2008, and has won twice since then. Now he jumps up to Jardine - a guy who has fought in a main event within the last year. The creation of this fight clearly signals that the UFC has high hopes for Bader. If Jardine can keep the fight on the feet then he has a very good chance of teaching the youngster a hard lesson. The problem, though, is that Bader is exceptionally good at taking guys down, and he'll be the better fighter when he gets there.
Pick: Ryan Bader
Mirko Filipovic (-160) vs. Ben Rothwell (+130) - Filipovic is another older guy on this card who needs a win to prove that he can still be relevant. The good thing for him is that he is up against a guy who just isn't that impressive. Rothwell has just one UFC fight, and he was demolished by Velasquez in that one. There is no reason to believe that he is good enough to match up with Cro Cop - even if Filipovic is far from his best. I hate picking five favorites on one card, but I can't find a way out of it.
Pick: Mirko Filipovic
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