UFC 129 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 4/29/2011
After years of lobbying by the UFC, MMA is now legal in the province of Ontario. So this weekend the UFC invades Canada’s biggest city for the first time on Saturday night when they bring UFC 129 to Toronto. Not only is it their first time there, but it will be in front of the largest crowd ever for one of their events — it takes place in the sold out home of the Blue Jays, the Rogers Centre. That’s a hideous barn of a building, but with 55,000 screaming fans in it there should be lots of life and atmosphere. The Canuck crowd will be treated to a very interesting card as well, headlined by one of the biggest names in Canadian sports right now — GSP. Here’s a look at how the main card breaks down (all UFC 129 odds are from Sports Interaction):
Welterweight Championship — Georges St. Pierre (-500) vs. Jake Shields (+300)
It’s very tough to get a good price when you are betting on the best fighter in the UFC, and this fight is no exception. GSP is wildly popular and he’ll be fighting in front of an adoring crowd, so he’s obviously the heavy favorite. You can’t take Shields lightly, though — and this price does.
Shield hasn’t lost in 15 fights, and as a newcomer to the UFC he’ll be looking to establish himself on the biggest stage by making a statement here. He has trained well and seems ready.
GSP has had to deal with some issues leading up to this fight — most notably the firing of his manager. He’s the consummate pro, but those could still be a distraction.
As much respect as I have for Shields, though, I ultimately can’t pick him. GSP is perhaps the most well-rounded, multi-dimensional fighter on the planet. He doesn’t have a real weakness, and he can adjust and respond as he needs to.
Shields is far less diverse. He needs to take someone down and then deal with them on the ground. St. Pierre is very hard to take down, and tough to deal with once you get there.
Shields is going to surprise some people here, and he certainly will look like he belongs, but the champ will still be champ when the dust settles.
As Shields is the last big hurdle in the welterweight class here’s hoping this is GSP’s swan song at this weight before moving up to give us the fight we all want against Silva.
Pick: Georges St. Pierre.
Featherweight Championship — Jose Aldo (-588) vs. Mark Hominick (+350)
This is the first ever defense of the featherweight title in the UFC, and all I can say is that it’s about time. These guys are thrilling to watch — especially Aldo.
Hominick is a very nice fighter who has the potential to knock out fighter into next week if he lands his shot.
Unfortunately, though, he’s up against a superhero in Aldo, and he’ll have to get very lucky to land his shot. Aldo controls and dominates his opponent, and has a style that counters Hominick almost perfectly.
This fight is going to be explosive and exciting — the leading contender for Fight of the Night — but if Aldo loses it’s because he wasn’t at his best.
Pick: Jose Aldo.
Lyoto Machida (-370) vs. Randy Couture (+245)
This is a fight that should have happened a couple of years ago in the sense that it is Couture’s last fight before retirement. He was a great champion and a legendary fighter, but he has been a shadow of himself recently, and he needs to go. He fights the same style that he always has, but he’s not quite physically able to handle it.
The crowd will be fully on his side, but he has drawn a tough opponent here that offers real matchup issues. Machida will be hungry for a win after two straight losses, and he knows he can get one if he is on his game. He will be.
Pick: Lyoto Machida.
Ben Henderson (-139) vs. Mark Bocek (+100)
Henderson is making his UFC debut, but he is no rookie — he established himself nicely in the WEC. Now he fights a UFC journeyman who will have all his fellow Canadians in the crowd on his side.
Bocek is a nice fighter, but Henderson is too fast, and too relentlessly aggressive for Bocek to handle. One of Bocek’s strengths is his submissions, but Henderson is a very hard guy to submit.
Pick: Ben Henderson.
Vladimir Matyushenko (-118) vs. Jason Brilz (-118)
As this price suggests, these fighters are well matched. They are both primarily wrestlers.
Matyushenko has essentially become a punching bag for champions recently, and he’s not getting any younger — he’s 40. Brilz is a bit younger and has taken fewer beatings recently. I expect him to have more in the tank.
Pick: Jason Brilz.
Each card I take a mythical $500 bankroll and invest it wisely. Things have been on a roll the last few cards, so let’s hope for more of the same.
$300 parlay on St. Pierre, Machida, and Aldo — potential profit of $535.
$200 parlay on St. Pierre, Machida, Aldo, and Henderson — potential profit of $413.
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