UFC 130 Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 5/26/2011
The UFC returns to the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, May 28, for UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill. The card was supposed to feature a more interesting main event -- the third meeting between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, and their second for the UFC Lightweight title -- but injuries to both fighters has delayed that event. This new main event was supposed to be different as well. Jackson was originally facing Thiago Silva, but Silva was injured. Rashad Evans was the rumored replacement before Hamill stepped in. Despite the changes, it’s still a decent card -- or at least it has the potential to be. We’ve been ridiculously hot picking winners on these cards lately, so let’s hope it continues. (all UFC 130 odds are from Sports Interaction):
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson (-333) vs. Matt Hamill (+220) - Here’s what you need to know about Hamill. In my eyes, his most impressive win is against Tito Ortiz. That would be impressive if it was several years ago, but since it was only at UFC 121 he benefited from facing an Ortiz who was a shell of himself. He’s a solid fighter here, but a win here would be as much of an upset as the price would suggest. Jackson is a little crazy and a little inconsistent, but his big vulnerability is the same from fight to fight -- he can easily become outmatched by a cerebral fighter. Luckily for him, Hamill is a long way from a cerebral fighter. This won’t be an easy fight for Rampage, and there are ways it could go wrong for him, but ultimately this fight is his to lose, and if he is mentally engaged in this fight then he won’t lose it.
Pick: Rampage Jackson
Frank Mir (-139) vs. Roy Nelson (+100) - I think they have the wrong favorite in this fight. Nelson hasn’t fought since UFC 117 when he was beaten convincingly by Junior Dos Santos. Dos Santos is an exceptional fighter, though, and Nelson stood up to a whole lot of punishment in that fight without going down or even looking particularly wobbly. He’s tough, and Mir won’t be able to knock him out early on. That takes away a good bit of Mir’s advantage. Nelson has much better stamina and better athleticism. He’ll have to look out for Mir early in the fight or he could get in trouble, but if he survives that then I look for him to get stronger as things go along, and there is a good chance this one doesn’t go to a decision.
Pick: Roy Nelson
Thiago Alves (-263) vs. Rick Story (+180) - The UFC must be hoping for a spectacular winner in this welterweight fight because at this point they have to be desperate for a legitimate contender for Georges St. Pierre. This is a question of whether hard work and intensity can overcome a serious skill deficit. Alves is far and away the more talented fighter, but Story isn’t going to give up, he can absorb a punch, and he is very dangerous if you take him lightly. Still, Alves is just so much more technically sound -- and tough in his own right - that he is going to be tough for Story to exploit.
Pick: Thiago Alves
Travis Browne (-152) vs. Stefan Struve (+110) - These guys aren’t just heavyweights, but massive, ridiculously tall heavyweights. It’ll be like watching basketball players brawl. Both guys have some impressive highlights on their short careers in the UFC, and both show real potential. A win here could be a big boost up the ladder for either fighter. Struve is the better technical fighter, but Browne is able to use his massive size to his advantage, and he is remarkably coordinated for a guy who is almost seven feet tall. This is a very close fight.
Pick: Stefan Struve. Barely.
Brian Stann (-152) vs. Jorge Santiago (+110) - Both of these guys are looking to establish their position in the UFC after big changes. Stann dropped to middleweight and looked very good in his first two fights at the new weight. Now he needs to prove he is a contender, and not just a card filler. Santiago left the UFC in 2006 after an underwhelming time in the organization, but he’s back and hungry. These guys are going to look to stand up and kick the crap out of each other. It should be fun to watch. I like how Stann is fighting, but Santiago is dangerous, and the favorite isn’t nearly dominant enough to justify this price.
Pick: Jorge Santiago
As always we will bet a mythical $500 bankroll on this event.
$300 parlay Jackson and Alves -- potential profit of $238.20
$200 parlay Jackson, Alves, Nelson -- potential profit of $518
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