UFC 164 Odds and Betting Predictions
by Trevor Whenham - 8/29/2013
The UFC heads to unfamiliar territory for UFC 164 on Saturday night when they hit the home of the Milwaukee Bucks. Bucks fans haven’t had a lot to cheer for on the court lately, but they should be treated to a very solid card here. There’s a title fight, a long-anticipated heavyweight showdown, and some other intriguing matchups.
As we have come to expect lately, though, the card has been changed quite significantly by injuries. There was just one injury on the main card, but it was a big one. It was supposed to be T.J. Grant and not Anthony Pettis fighting Benson Henderson for the lightweight title, but an injury dragged Grant out of the picture. If anything, though, the injury has created a more intriguing matchup.
Here’s how the main card sets up (all odds are from Bovada):
Lightweight championship - Benson Henderson (-130) vs. Anthony Pettis (+100)
Benson Henderson has won his last seven fights, and he recorded impressive wins over Frankie Edgar (twice), Nate Diaz and Gilbert Melendez most recently. The last time he lost, though, is particularly significant here — on Dec. 16, 2010, he lost his WEC lightweight title to Pettis in a unanimous decision. That fight was an epic — it was not just fight of the night, but fight of the year. Pettis has fought just four times since then, losing his UFC debut then winning his last three. The last two fights have been by first-round knockouts, so he has fought less than two rounds since October of 2011. This one isn’t likely to end early, so the biggest question here is how rusty Pettis will be. Henderson has gone the distance in each of his seven wins, so he certainly has the edge in terms of proven stamina.
We know Pettis is capable of winning here since he has done it before. Handicapping this, then, is all about Henderson. He has come a long way since his last fight with Pettis. Because of the range of opponents he has faced, he has developed his skills and creativity significantly. Combine that with his hunger to avenge that past loss — and his unwillingness to lose a title to Pettis twice — and you have a favorite who will be tough. Tough enough to win a decision.
Pick: Benson Henderson
Heavyweight - Josh Barnett (-190) vs. Frank Mir (+155)
This is a very interesting fight. As is too often the case in the UFC, though, it’s a fight that would have been far more compelling five years ago than it is now. Barnett has not been in the UFC for more than a decade, though, so it just couldn’t happen. Mir has lost two in a row and four of his last eight, so he is here at least as much for his crowd appeal as for what he brings to the Octagon. Barnett is coming in off a win in his final Strikeforce fight, but it was against such a ridiculously outclassed opponent that it barely counted. Before that he lost to Daniel Cormier — who was also the last man Mir lost to.
I could break down the fight in some detail, but I just don’t feel like I need to. As much as I respect Mir for the career he has had, I just don’t think he has much left in the tank. Barnett isn’t exactly in his prime, either, but he has a lot more to give and should come out on top.
Pick: Josh Barnett
Featherweight - Chad Mendes (-450) vs. Clay Guida (+325)
I could go into detail here, but it just isn’t worth it. Mendes is a fighter that the UFC is invested in — they want him to succeed. Guida will be a good win for him — a reputation builder — but he isn’t a major challenge if Mendes has his best day. I just can’t justify taking the underdog here — even at this price.
Pick: Chad Mendes
Heavyweight - Brandon Vera (-140) vs. Ben Rothwell (+110)
Vera has one win in his last five matches. Rothwell has dropped two of his last three. My biggest challenge with this match is trying to figure out why it is on the main card. I don’t trust either fighter at this point in their fading careers, so there is only one thing to do here.
Featherweight - Erik Koch (-150) vs. Dustin Poirier (+120)
Both fighters are coming off a loss in their last outing. The difference is, though, that Koch was the victim of circumstances as much as anything in his loss to Ricardo Lamas — he got caught by an elbow against a good fighter. Poirier, on the other hand, lost to Cub Swanson when he was outclassed in a decision. On that alone, I have to take Koch at this price.
Pick: Erik Koch
For each card, I make a $500 bet — typically a parlay. This time around we will again be parlaying three fighters. Having a main event as close as this one — at least according to the odds — has allowed us to get a nicer potential payoff than we have seen lately.
$500 parlay — Take Henderson, Barnett and Mendes. Potential profit of $1150.25.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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