UFC 120 Odds with Betting Picks and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 10/16/2010
The latest offering from the UFC - UFC 120 - comes to us from O2 Arena in London on Saturday. This is the fourth time that the UFC has been in that arena, and like some times before it this event will be shown on tape delay on Spike TV instead of on pay-per-view. The tape delay creates an extra profit opportunity for you if you have stupid friends. If you don’t then you’ll have to make your money through betting on the fights. Here’s how I see them turning out with some UFC 120 odds and predictions:
Michael Bisping (-200) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (+160) - I’m not convinced that this should be a headline fight, but it should be a good one. The stakes for this one are reasonably high - probably. The winner isn’t guaranteed a title fight with Anderson Silva, but they will be in good position to get one soon - especially if the win is impressive.
Bisping has one obvious advantage here - he’s an Englishman fighting in England. He also throws punches by the dozen, and he knows how to land them. He can move his feet and work the defense as well, and he is significantly taller than his opponent. He’s a deserving favorite.
The question, then, is if these odds accurately reflect that favoritism. Akiyama can match fighters well punch-for-punch, and he can take a punch better than most. His ability to take a punch combined with Bisping’s general inability to throw a knockout blow means that the Japanese fighter can chase his opponent without fear in an attempt to keep his opponent off guard and find an edge.
Akiyama also has an edge if he can keep the fight on the ground. There are a couple of problems, though - Bisping is as good as it gets at getting back on his feet once he leaves them, and his endurance and stamina are dramatically better.
Akiyama would need to win this one early, and I don’t see how he can do that.
Pick: Michael Bisping
Dan Hardy (-170) vs. Carlos Condit (+140) - These fighters are fairly well matched. On first glance, then, Condit should be the value pick based on the prices alone. That said, I actually think that Hardy is the better pick here.
The fighters are a fair match in style, strengths, and weaknesses. They can punch with similar effectiveness, and they are both equally solid on the ground. The fight will likely turn on any advantage a fighter can gain, and I think Hardy can gain an edge in the clinch.
Clinch fighting will be a big part of this one, and I think Hardy is better suited to create advantages and capitalize on them. He’s also another English fighter who will get a big crowd boost.
Pick: Dan Hardy
John Hathaway (-550) vs. Mike Pyle (+350) - When a fight is as lopsided as the odds suggest in this one all you can do is look at the underdog to see if he stands a chance of an upset - a reasonable chance.
As much as I respect Pyle I just don’t think he has a real chance.
Hathaway is a guy who is targeted as one of the next big stars, and as a British fighter he is being put in a place to succeed and to build up his reputation here. Pyle has a lot going for him, but he has been outclassed by lesser fighters than Hathaway so he is in deep. Hathaway won’t end this one early, but he will end it.
Pick: John Hathaway
Cheick Kongo (-185) vs. Travis Browne (+155) - The fighters are in very different places in their careers, but they both need this fight badly.
Kongo is in the process of trying to salvage his career after two high profile losses. Browne is a young fighter facing the biggest test of his career and trying to prove that he has a real future.
I hate backing all the favorites, but I have to take another one here. Kongo has more dimensions to his fighting - he can match Browne on his feet, and he is much better, or at least much more proven, on the ground.
There are also questions about Browne’s ability to go deep, while no such questions exist about Kongo. Kongo is just plain better, and the odds aren’t such that we can take a gamble that looks past that.
Pick: Cheick Kongo
Claude Patrick (-165) vs. James Wilks (+135) - Wilks is yet another Brit on this card, but unlike the ones before him I think he is in trouble. Patrick is a fighter on the rise, and he has a good matchup here. He is a much better wrestler, and he is very good at choke holds. Wilks is going to leave his neck exposed at some point, and that will be the end of things.
Pick: Claude Patrick
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