UFC on Fox 2 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 1/27/2012
The inaugural “UFC on Fox” event in November, which saw Junior dos Santos claim the Heavyweight title, was a ratings and critical success, so they are trying it again. Last time there was only one fight televised, so this event should be three times as fun — we’ll see a light heavyweight main event and two strong middleweight fights.
There are no titles on the line this time around, but the winners of the last two fights could see themselves battling for hardware next time out. It all goes down at Derrick Rose’s house — the United Center in Chicago — with the good times starting to roll at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday night.
Here’s how the main card breaks down (all UFC on Fox odds are from Bovada). If these three fights aren’t enough for you then there are six more fights to be shown on Fuel TV and one on Facebook before the main card:
Rashad Evans (-200) vs. Phil Davis (+160)
The stakes are high for this one. If Evans wins he has been guaranteed a shot at Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title next. Davis hasn’t been made the same promise, but if he were to win and do so in impressive fashion he’d be hard to ignore as well.
This fight, which features fighters with just one loss between them in 18 starts, was supposed to happen back at UFC 133, but Davis was hurt. That meant we had to see a totally useless fight between Evans and Tito Ortiz — a totally easy win for the favorite here.
Davis hasn’t seen action since March. Before that fight he was seen as a fast-rising star that was on the fast track to a title fight. He’s still totally relevant, but his progress slowed somewhat given how much he had to struggle to get past Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
This fight is especially important for him, then. A win can get him right back on track, but a loss would be a very significant blow to his career. Unfortunately, his 9-0 career has been without a whole lot of adversity to this point, so it’s hard to know how he will fare. That’s a major concern in this one.
This fight boils down to where the bulk of the action is. Davis is a former NCAA wrestling champion, so he is very good on the ground, and will win if the fight stays there. Evans is much better on his feet, and he is pretty adept at getting back up when he does get down.
The fighter that can set the tone of the fight and control the tempo is going to come out on top. Which fighter will be able to do that isn’t immediately obvious — it could go either way. In the end, though, I have to go back to the fact that Davis hasn’t faced adversity while Evans knows this is the best chance he will get for the title shot.
Pick: Rashad Evans
Chael Sonnen (-450) vs. Michael Bisping (+325)
The winner here will take on Anderson Silva for his hardware next time out, so the stakes couldn’t be higher. No matter which fighter wins people will be upset because these two guys are as controversial as it gets in the UFC. Sonnen was supposed to be fighting Mark Munoz, but an injury opened up the opportunity for Bisping.
Sonnen hadn’t fought for more than a year before a dominating win at UFC 136, but he’s clearly hungry and ready to go. He’s also proven that his mouth isn’t rusty despite the break. Bisping’s last fight wasn’t nearly as impressive — he got in trouble early against Jim Miller, but survived that and came out on top when Miller faded down the stretch. That fight was only at the beginning of December, so he’s on short rest, too.
The odds suggest that this is a one-sided contest. The odds are right. Bisping is taking a big step up in class against a very talented fighter hungry for a title shot. If Sonnen loses he’ll only have himself to blame.
Pick: Chael Sonnen
Chris Weldman (-150) vs. Demian Maia (+120)
This is a major test for Weldman. The former three time all-American wrestler has won all seven of his career fights, including three in the UFC. He has a chance to be a serious factor in the middleweight realm, but he needs to keep proving himself.
Meia is a very solid veteran — a 9-3 career record in the UFC is proof — and just the type of guy that Weldman needs to be able to beat if he wants to be elite. It’s a big step up in class, and a win here will really get Weldman some serious attention.
With a wrestling background and not a lot of MMA experience it is no surprise that Weldman is most comfortable on the ground. He’s going to go for the takedown early and often. Maia isn’t at his best on his feet, but he is aggressive. That aggression represents his best chance of gaining the edge and coming out on top.
The veteran deserves a lot of respect in this one, but he is 3-3 in his last six fights, and isn’t on the ascent anymore. Weldman certainly is, and I’m going to believe in him until he gives us a reason not to.
Pick: Chris Weldman
Normally I pick a parlay, but there isn’t one that stands out here thanks to the small number of fights. Instead, I’ll look to the props for this one. The price is +200 that Sonnen will win in less than three rounds. The same price is available if Weldman wins by decision. I’ll take my mythical $500 and divide it evenly between those two bets.
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