UFC 150 Predictions and Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 8/8/2012
UFC 149, which unfortunately took place in my hometown of Calgary, was perhaps the worst card ever held by the organization. It was a mess — both to watch and to bet on. It’s a much better card this time around for UFC 150, which comes to us from the Pepsi Center in Denver on Saturday night.
There have been injuries on this card as well — both Luiz Cane and Rousimar Palhares had to bow out of a fight with Yushin Okami — but nothing compared to what hit the last card.
Here’s how the five fights on the main card break down (all odds are from Bovada):
Lightweight Championship — Benson Henderson (-200) vs. Frankie Edgar (+160)
It seems as if Edgar only agrees to fights so that he can set up rematches. He won his rematch with B.J. Penn. He overcame Gray Maynard. The difference in this case, of course, is that the last two times time he was defending his title, while this time he is trying to get it back.
Henderson won a five-round decision in February, and he wants this to be the first defense of a long title reign.
Edgar, meanwhile, lost for the first time in eight fights, and needs to get back on the winning track while he is still relevant. He wasn’t the most popular champion ever, so it would be easy for him to fade from consciousness as quickly as he emerged.
We could break the fight down 100 different ways, but it’s actually quite simple. Henderson is the better all-around fighter, and if he is allowed to assert himself like he did last time then he’ll win. Edgar was too passive last time, and he was far too choosy with his spots. While he was waiting for the right opportunity, Henderson marched right in and had his way.
Edgar needs to throw far more punches to keep Henderson back on his heels so he can dictate the pace and flow of the fight. If he does that he will win. Unfortunately, I don’t have faith he will.
Pick: Benson Henderson
Donald Cerrone (-315) vs. Melvin Guillard (+245)
Cerrone is from Colorado, so he should have the crowd on his side here. He probably doesn’t need it, though, to come out victorious.
He lost a tough fight to Nick Diaz two fights back, and then he bounced back from intestinal issues that put him in the hospital to beat up on Jeremy Stephens at less than full strength. Now he’s healthy and hungry.
He’s by far the more talented fighter here, and he has an added edge since the two have trained together in the past. Therefore, Guillard has lost the element of surprise.
Guillard will take big risks because he has to, but Cerrone will capitalize on the opportunities.
Pick: Donald Cerrone
Jake Shields (-200) vs. Ed Herman (+160)
Shields is back at middleweight for the first time in three years. It’s probably the right place for him, though he won’t have any more luck with beating Anderson Silva than he did with Georges St. Pierre.
Herman has won three straight, but this is a step up in class for him and I’m not sure he’s ready for it.
The biggest knock against Shields has been his lack of conditioning compared to opponents. Fighting at a heavier weight that should be a bit less of a concern, though — and Herman’s style should give Shields chances to save energy.
It won’t be an easy win for Shields, but it will be a win.
Pick: Jake Shields
Yushin Okami (-600) vs. Buddy Roberts (+400)
Roberts is a late fill-in here, and not one of the caliber of Okami. After all the uncertainty here it’s as if the UFC gave Okami a gift — a fight that is likely to give him some much-needed confidence going forward as he tries to launch one last charge to the top of the middleweight ranks.
Okami will only lose this one if his career is well and truly over, but I don’t believe it is just yet.
Pick: Yushin Okami
Justin Lawrence (-120) vs. Max Holloway (-110)
These featherweights are young — Holloway is the youngest guy on the UFC roster — and still trying to prove themselves and find their way in the UFC. Both have skills, but they both have a long way to go.
It’s a coward’s way out perhaps, but I’m not interested in picking either guy. I’d pick Holloway if I had to, but there is no value in either at this point. So instead of guessing, I’ll watch the fight and be ready to deal with the two of them in their next fights.
On each card I bet $500 — typically on a parlay or two. Things did not go well on the last, ridiculous card so we have some ground to make up this week.
$500 parlay — Take Cerrone, Shields and Okami. Potential profit of $653.
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