UFC 131 Odds and Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 6/9/2011
The UFC has lousy timing. They are bringing their road show to Vancouver this Saturday, June 11 for UFC 131, but they are going to be a long way from the most important thing going on in town on the weekend.
The city’s beloved Canucks are in the midst of a brutal Stanley Cup final, and tensions are high after a rough trip to Boston. Still, the show must go on, and the rest of the world that doesn’t really care about hockey will be focused on what is shaping up to be a solid UFC 131 card. The main event is a heavyweight challenge that was supposed to feature Brock Lesnar, but is actually better without him.
Here’s a look at the main UFC 131 card (all odds are from SportsInteraction, except Cerrone-Rocha, which comes from Bodog):
Junior Dos Santos (-182) vs. Shane Carwin (+130)
Carwin steps into this fight because of Lesnar’s illness, and the winner will likely get a title shot. I actually think Carwin is a tougher matchup for Dos Santos than the former WWE star would have been. Carwin isn’t as athletic as Lesnar, but he is much more impressive as a striker. Lesnar wasn’t going to scare Dos Santos when the fighters were on their feet, but Carwin certainly can. Dos Santos has a deadly uppercut himself, so this fight has the potential to be incredibly explosive if the fighters decide to mix it up. Carwin is known for his fists, but he is far from a one-trick pony. He’s a very adequate wrestler as well, and he is very capable of turning a fight ugly if that’s what it takes to win. If it sounds like I like the underdog here that’s because I do. Carwin is very tough, he’s 25 pounds heavier, and he’s scrappier. He’s going to win this one, and it won’t go the distance.
Pick: Shane Carwin
Kenny Florian (-370) vs. Diego Nunes (+245)
Florian clearly likes losing weight. When he was on the opening season of The Ultimate Fighter he weighed in at 181 pounds. Now he is fighting in his fourth weight class, and weighing in at the featherweight requirement of 145 pounds for the first time. He’s clearly the better fighter here - and it’s not even close. The issue, then, is whether he can handle losing that much weight. That’s a big cut, but he’s used to doing it so I have reasonable faith he can handle it.
Pick: Kenny Florian
Dave Herman (-238) vs. Jon Olav Einemo (+167)
If you have read these previews for a while you know I have a strict policy of betting against guys making their UFC debut. That doesn’t help here, though - both of these heavyweights are first-timers. Herman is a big man with the clever nickname of Pee-Wee, and he has an impressive 20-2 career record. Einemo is the big underdog here for a couple of big reasons - his 6-1 record is far less impressive, and he hasn’t fought since November of 2006. That layoff is scary, but Einemo is a submission specialist who is dramatically better on the ground, and I expect him to be able to get the fight there. It’s time for another underdog.
Pick: Jon Olav Einemo
Mark Munoz (-125) vs. Demian Maia (-111)
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this fight because I have absolutely no idea how it is going to turn out. Munoz is a rapidly improving fighter who the UFC seems invested in. Maia is a talented fighter with a strong guard. They both have strengths that match up well against their opponent, and weaknesses that could be exploited. I lean towards Munoz, but only slightly - just like the odds suggest.
Pick: Mark Munoz
Donald Cerrone (-500) vs. Vagner Rocha (+300)
Rocha is a very strong jiu-jitsu technician. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a whole lot else to offer. Cerrone was a star of the WEC, and he is going to be a star of the UFC. He’s a much more diverse fighter, and he is going to come out on top of this one with relative ease.
Pick: Donald Cerrone
UFC 130 was the first event in a long while that the $500 recommended bets were not profitable. Here’s hoping we get back on track here.
$300 parlay - Cerrone, Florian, Carwin - potential profit of $751.78
$200 parlay - Cerrone, Florian, Einemo - potential profit of $613.99
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