UFC 113 Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 5/7/2010
The UFC returns to the hometown of its best fighter on Saturday when they visit the Bell Centre in Montreal for UFC 113. This is a card that features a little bit of everything for fight fans. Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua meet in a light heavyweight title fight that is a rematch of their controversial meeting at UFC 104. Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley meet in a welterweight contest with the winner getting the dubious honor of getting to, or having to, fight Georges St. Pierre next time out. The fight with the greatest chance of being a train wreck features Kimbo Slice trying again to prove that he's more than just a Youtube brawler. Here's a look at how the main card could play out (all odds are from Bodog):
Light Heavyweight Championship - Lyoto Machida (-200) vs. Mauricio Rua (+160) - Machida is undefeated and the champion, but he's also the one with more to prove in this fight. He won the title over Rua in October in a unanimous decision, but you'd have a hard time finding too many people who agree with the decision. It sure looked to me like Rua had done enough to at least win a judge or two.
Controversy aside, the first fight was brilliant. It never went to the ground, and the two guys just put on a tactical, punishing clinic. Rua showed much more of a technical, intellectual approach than he ever had before, and that forced Machida out of his comfort zone.
Rua will likely take the same approach here, so the fight will boil down to just one thing - can Machida come up with a way to counter the tactics more effectively this time? Machida typically controls the tone of the fight, and he'll have to do the same here if he wants to win. What makes this fight so intriguing is that it's the closest title fight we have seen in a long time. You could make a sound case that either of these guys can win this one, and either one would have a chance of holding the title through several defenses. This is the kind of fight that Dana White aims to set, even if it isn't necessarily the biggest seller. Because the fight could go either way, and because the fighters are well matched, and also because Rua will be motivated to right a perceived wrong, I have to take Rua here just based on the value of the price.
Pick: Mauricio Rua
Josh Koscheck (-250) vs. Paul Daley (+190) - Either these guys don't like each other, or they are trying out for the WWE, because they have been talking trash like we rarely see in the UFC.
Daley in particular has been creative in expressing his contempt for his opponent. The issue, though, is whether Daley can cash the checks that his mouth has been writing. I have my doubts.
Koscheck has been trying to get a title fight for a long time, and this is as close as he has gotten. He has also fought St. Pierre in the past, and probably believes that he stands a chance against him. That means that Koscheck is going to be hungry here. Add that hunger - deeper than Daley can feel at this point in his career - with superior wrestling skills, and developing boxing skills that can certainly catch a guy off guard, and you have a fight that should end well before the final bell.
Pick: Josh Koscheck
Sam Stout (-215) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+175) - Stephens is a muay thai fighter who doesn't believe in subtlety. He'll use leg kicks to soften up his opponent and open up opportunities to do damage in one of two ways - his deadly knee, or his crippling right hand. If the opponent is vulnerable to that approach then he's hard to beat.
I'm just not sure that Stout is vulnerable. Stout is a little crazy, and the Canadian is extremely good at taking punches without letting himself get rattled. In this one he's going to be able to take, or avoid, the abuse that Stephens dishes out while he patently waits for a spot to inflict some damage of his own.
There is a lot wider range to Stout's skills than to Stephens', so that gives him the edge. The UFC seems to like setting up fights in which fighters can shine in front of home crowds, and that seems to be the case here.
Pick: Sam Stout
Kimbo Slice (-105) vs. Matt Mitrione (-125) - Training has made Kimbo Slice a much better technical fighter, but also a much more boring one. In this one he faces a fellow “Ultimate Fighter” product. Mitrione is a brawler with little range or grace. Slice put us all to sleep with his decision win last time out in his UFC debut. I expect him to win here again - his range of skills should be wider and better - but I don't expect it to be much more interesting. I'm surprised that Mitrione is favored.
Pick: Kimbo Slice
Alan Belcher (-130) vs. Patrick Cote (even) - The final fight on the main card features the second Canadian to thrill the Montreal fans. Cote is a francophone from Quebec, so the crowd will definitely be in his corer providing him a massive boost. The problem, though, is that we don't know if he's going to be up to the challenge of fighting.
This is his return to action from a knee injury he suffered against Anderson Silva in October of 2008. If both fighters were at their best I would take Cote every time, but the rust and knee issues give us reasons for real concerns.
I still think that Cote is worthy of support here, though. His specialty is getting inside on guys and tying them up, while Belcher likes to operate from a distance - more surgical strikes. If Cote can control the tone and pace of the fight then it won't be interesting to watch, but it will be a Canadian win.
Pick: Patrick Cote
Most Recent UFC Predictions
- Karol Rosa vs Vanessa Melo Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Amanda Ribas vs Paige VanZant Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Jessica Andrade vs Rose Namajunas Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Martin Day vs Davey Grant Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Makwan Amirkhani vs Danny Henry Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs Muslim Salikhov Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Petr Yan vs Jose Aldo Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal Predictions, Picks, UFC 251 Odds
- Jordan Griffin vs Youssef Zalal Predictions, Picks, UFC Vegas 4 Odds