UFC 123 Betting Odds and Predictions With Recommended Wagers
by Trevor Whenham - 11/19/2010
You certainly can’t complain about a shortage of UFC events lately. Just a week after UFC 122 came to us on free TV from Germany, we get UFC 123 on pay-per-view from the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. The card last weekend was a bit short on big-name excitement, but the same can’t be said here - though there is no title fight on the card, all four guys in the final two fights of the night have held a title at least once. Here’s how the main card breaks down (all UFC 123 odds are from Bodog) with some UFC 123 predictions for the fight card:
(To help with your UFC betting we are going to use a $500 bankroll and give our picks on which fighters to back at the end of this article.)
Lyoto Machida (-280) vs. Quinton Jackson (+220) - This is a showdown between the second- and fourth-ranked fighters in the light heavyweight division, so there’s a good chance that the winner of this one will see a title fight in their future - likely against the winner of the Mauricio Rua - Rashad Evans match at UFC 128 in March.
This fight features a real clash in styles. With each fight Jackson has become more and more of a striker, and he doesn’t seem to enjoy or feel comfortable in any other kind of fighting. He just looks to land the big shot.
Machida is a far more diverse fighter, with a wide range of tools on his feet, more speed and quickness, and an advantage on the ground - especially when on top. Rampage could land a knockout shot, but I think it’s more likely that Machida will pick away until he finds his spot and then exploits it.
Pick: Lyoto Machida.
B.J. Penn (-175) vs. Matt Hughes (+145) - This is a rubber match - Penn won the first time these legends met at UFC 46, and Hughes answered with a win at UFC 63. Four years later they are here to settle the score.
The match would be more interesting if the guys were in better form, though - Hughes is 37 and starting to look like it, while Penn is coming off two inexplicable losses to Frankie Edgar in a row.
Penn is jumping up in weight class for this one. Beyond those losses, there are concerns about his stamina. Can he stay fresh if this fight goes long? I don’t think so. Penn is as good as it gets at defense, and his jab is impressive.
Hughes has looked very good in his last three, though, and has an evolving set of skills that match up well with Penn. The fight will be close, but I think the old man can hold on for a decision.
Pick: Matt Hughes.
George Sotiropoulos (-260) vs. Joe Lauzon (+200) - These guys have similar jiu-jitsu styles, but Sotiropoulos is deserving of his favoritism in this one. He’s a bigger and stronger fighter, and he should be able to get top position on the ground and score some points. Sotiropoulos will have to be sure to avoid Lauzon’s superior striking, but if he can do that then he’ll come out on top in a decision.
Pick: George Sotiropoulos.
Gerald Harris (-265) vs. Maiquel Jose Falcao (+205) - The underdog has an impressive 25-3 record, but he is making his UFC debut and is taking a massive step up in class.
I don’t like taking debut fighters unless there is a really good reason, and I don’t see one here.
Harris has three UFC wins since breaking out on “The Ultimate Fighter 7”. Falcao could win early on with a knockout, but if Harris can avoid that - and we know he can - then he’ll wear down the underdog and take the win.
Pick: Gerald Harris.
Phil Davis (-650) vs. Tim Boetsch (+450) - The odds suggest that this is a mismatch. It is.
Boetsch has promise, but Davis is a former national champion from Penn State that has the potential to be a star, and he is being groomed to be one. This matchup was tailor made to play to his strengths and move him further up the ladder.
I wouldn’t think of betting on any fighter at this kind of price, but the outcome will only be a surprise in this one if Davis does something stupid.
Pick: Phil Davis.
Recommended Bets for UFC 123
With each UFC card we’ll take a $500 bankroll, put it to work, and see how it turns out.
$250 on Matt Hughes (+145)
$250 on Jackson and Machida ‘over’ 2.5 rounds (+105)
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