UFC 111 Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 3/26/2010
The 111th UFC event takes place on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and it's the best card that they have had in months. For the first time in a while they have a main even t that actually deserves to be a main event - one that is both thrilling and important. Here's a look at how the main card plays out (all odds are from Bodog) with my UFC 111 predictions :
Main Event - Georges St. Pierre (-625) vs. Dan Hardy (+425) - I'll say right from the start that St. Pierre is the better fighter - probably the best in the world in my eyes - and he'll win this fight, but it is far more interesting than the price indicates.
Dan Hardy is one strange looking dude - bad hair and unfortunate ink - but he's also a heck of a fighter. He's riding a seven-match winning streak, including all four of his UFC fights. He not only beat Mike Swick last time out, but was able to completely shut out everything that Swick is normally so good at. If he could do that again here then he would have a chance to shock the world and take the title.
Unfortunately, Swick is no St. Pierre. The champ is so incredibly fast on the takedown that he's almost impossible to stop. Once second he's standing in front of you looking harmless, and the next second you are on your back trying to figure out what happened. Hardy's biggest weakness is takedown defense, so that leaves him vulnerable t o St. Pierre, and the champ will have an edge once it gets to the ground as well.
To stand a chance Hardy needs to find a way to keep it on the feet and turn it into a kickboxing contest. That's a fight he could win. The problem is that I just don't see how he'll do that. St. Pierre is just too good, and will be eager to get back into action after an extended delay since his last fight because of injury. Hardy definitely belongs in this spot, and he won't embarrass himself by any means, but St. Pierre just operates on a totally different level right now.
Pick: Georges St. Pierre.
Frank Mir (-155) vs. Shane Carwin (+125) - I don't understand why the UFC insists on doing this - they have made this an interim heavyweight title fight when really all it is is a No. 1 contender fight with the winner getting the first shot at Brock Lesnar when he returns this summer. It's just a transparent attempt to add gravity to a fight.
There is one stat about Carwin that is absolutely amazing - in 11 career fights - all wins - he has never fought longer than two minutes and 11 seconds. We have no idea how he would do in a second round because he's never seen one.
Carwin punches as well as anyone in the sport, and if he catches Mir - standing or on the ground - it will be another short fight. The problem, though, is that Carwin is young and inexperienced, and has never had to face a guy capable of the submission moves that Mir has in his arsenal. We don't know how Carwin will handle that, and it's tough to accept that Mir will go to sleep as fast as Carwin's other opponents have.
This is a tremendously intriguing fight - the best heavyweight contest the UFC has put together in a long time. It isn't going to last long, and either guy could win it. Though I think Carwin has more ahead of him, Mir just has so much more experience and a broader set of skills, and that should be enough here.
Pick: Frank Mir.
Jim Miller (-500) vs. Mark Bocek (+350) - After two tremendously compelling matches we get one that is less so. Bocek is a very solid fighter who I am happy to see on the main card, but he just doesn't have the game to match Miller. Simply put, everything that Bocek isn't good at is exactly what Miller does well.
Bocek needs to get to the ground, get on top and use his jiu-jitsu. If he can do that then he's as good as anyone. Miller, unfortunately, is a far better striker, a good defender, and a superior wrestler, so there is little chance that Bocek will be able to do what he wants or needs. I don't give this much chance of ending early, but Miller will win a very decisive decision.
Pick: Jim Miller.
Kurt Pellegrino (-250) vs. Fabricio Camoes (+190) - Pellegrino has his eye on a shot at the lightweight title - something he probably deserves - and he'll be looking to run over Camoes to prove that. I like his chances.
This is just the second UFC fight for Camoes. His debut ended in a draw thanks to a bone-headed mistake - he had a second round point deducted for an illegal kick. This is a big step up in class, and it's not a very kind spot for the UFC to stick Camoes. He's a promising fighter, but at this point Pellegrino is just plain better, and he needs a win here much more.
Pick: Kurt Pellegrino.
Jon Fitch (-450) vs. Ben Saunders (+300) - Saunders stepped into this fight late after his teammate Thiago Alves was forced to scratch because of a "brain irregularity". Shocking that a MMA fighter would have a brain problem, isn't it?
You have to give Saunders credit for stepping up, but he's just not ready for the challenge. Saunders is the better striker by a solid margin here, but he won't be able to defend Fitch on the takedown, and he's in real trouble when it hits the ground. Saunders has a future, but it isn't now. I hate taking favorites in every fight, but I just can't help it on this card.
Pick: Jon Fitch.
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