UFC 136 Predictions and Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 10/7/2011
The UFC travelling road show heads to Houston, as UFC 136 takes place at the Toyota Center on Saturday night. In what is shaping up to be an epic month for the UFC, full of title fights and thrilling bouts, this is a very strong card featuring two title fights that have a chance to be classics. Here’s how the main card shapes up (all odds are from Bodog):
Lightweight Championship - Frankie Edgar (-140) vs. Gray Maynard (+110)
This is the third time these two fighters have met. Their last meeting — on New Year’s Day — has a very good chance of being named the best fight of the year — even though it ended in a draw. It was truly epic. Maynard laid an incredible beating on Edgar early in the fight, but the champ found the will to survive and come back.
When Edgar first won this title it seemed like he had just gotten lucky and was a placeholder, but the longer he has stayed on top, the more respect he has earned.
There are strengths and weaknesses for both fighters, and you could find an edge for one or the other depending on how you look at it. It really comes down to the fact that these two are clearly the best lightweights in the UFC right now, and they have a brilliant history.
I could see it going either way. In the end, though, I have to lean towards the champ for one big reason. Maynard should have won that last fight — there are only a very few fighters in the world who could have lived through an opening round like that. The fact that Edgar not only survived it but managed to come back like he did has to give him a mental edge in this one. That’s the kind of thing that can get into the head of an opponent, and that gives Edgar a psychological edge here. With two very talented and well matched fighters that could be the difference.
Pick: Frankie Edgar
Featherweight Championship — Jose Aldo (-450) vs. Kenny Florian (+300)
The first championship on the card should be a tight fight. This one likely won’t be.
There’s a big reason for that — Aldo is an extremely good fighter. This is one of those cases where Aldo will win unless he beats himself. He has a big edge in a lot of aspects of this fight and at least some edge in most.
Florian is no slouch, though, and he can take a beating. If Aldo gets complacent and doesn’t exert his advantages then Florian will be able to come out on top.
I have faith in Aldo, though, so this one should be reasonably straightforward. Not unexciting, just straightforward.
Pick: Jose Aldo
Chael Sonnen (-280) vs. Brian Stann (+220)
The stakes here are fairly high — the winner is likely to get a shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva. In Sonnen’s case that would be a rematch. And Sonnen has come as close as anyone to upsetting the seemingly eternal champ.
I think he’ll get that rematch. Sonnen has one huge weakness — he is very vulnerable to submissions. He has lost 11 matches in his long career, and eight of those losses have been by submission. Stann’s problem, though, is that he is far from a submission specialist. The favorite is very deserving of his role.
Pick: Chael Sonnen
Melvin Guillard (-450) vs. Joe Lauzon (+300)
It’s fitting that this fight is on the same card as the Edgar title defense because Guillard is a lightweight with a very real chance to be in a title fight soon.
Lauzon is a solid fighter, so Guillard will have every chance to shine with this one. His skills have never been questioned, but he needed to grow mentally. In his last couple of fights he done that, and he has the potential to be an all-round star.
I don’t want to make light of Lauzon and his capabilities, but this fight has been set up for Guillard to shine, and he will.
Pick: Melvin Guillard
Nam Phan (-225) vs. Leonard Garcia (+175)
This is a rematch of “The Ultimate Fighter 12” finale, though it is only happening because both fighters are filling in for other injured fighters. Garcia won that fight, a very entertaining three-rounder, in a split decision that wasn’t popular. For the sake of both fighters, hopefully we’ll get a more definitive outcome here.
A lot of people felt like Phan was cheated last time, so the crowd should be on his side. That should be motivation enough, and he seems to have the superior skill set anyway.
Pick: Nam Phan
For each UFC card I make $500 in recommended bets. At UFC 135 we hit a nice parlay, and the plan will be to hit another one here.
$500 parlay — Aldo, Sonnen, Guillard. Potential profit of $514.
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