Saturday, August 27, 2011

UFC 134 Thoughts

A couple of articles going into UFC 134:

Some would argue that the origins of MMA are in Brazil. Dave Meltzer has the history of Vale Tudo and the Gracie family in this article.

For a fascinating look at the UFC's first card that they ran in Brazil, see this Todd Martin article.

The card in Brazil has the chance to be historic. Dave Meltzer makes the argument that a victory by Anderson Silva could make him the greatest of all time.
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Thus far, I'm 61-35-2 for the year for my predictions (including an 8-3 record for UFC 133) and I have a profit of $69.80 (after losing $10 on UFC 133). My predictions for UFC 134:

Preliminaries:

Yves Jabouin over Ian Loveland

Wager: $10 on Jabouin at 2.4 odds to win $24

Yuri Alcantara over Felipe Arantes
Erick Silva over Luis Ramos
Raphael Assuncao over Johnny Eduardo
Paulo Thiago over David Mitchell

Spike Prelims:

Rousimar Palhares over Dan Miller
Thiago Tavares over Spencer Fisher

Main Card:

Luiz Cane over Sanislav Nedkov
Edson Barboza over Ross Pierson

Brendan Schaub over Antonio Rodrigio Nogueira

Schaub is on a hot streak, and has looked great recently, while Big Nog was last seen getting destroyed by Cain Velasquez. Maybe Nog's 18 month layoff has helped him recover from the effects of fighting for a long period of time. But Schaub has shown a remarkable improvement over his last few fights, and his youth will carry him to an easy victory over Nogueira.

Forrest Griffin over Mauricio Shogun Rua

This is by far the most difficult fight to pick on the main card. Griffin has a win over Rua, but that was well before Rua's comeback run of the past year or two. Rua has looked better over the last couple of years, though he did look poor against Jon Jones; Griffin had a great fight with Rich Franklin in February, but had a 14 month layoff after two poor performances.

I am going with Griffin here on the basis of recent performance over top fighters. But I would not be surprised with a Rua victory.

Wager: $10 on Griffin at 2.7 odds to win $27

Anderson Silva over Yushin Okami

Okami knows the way to beat Silva; Chael Sonnen has demonstrated it. Use wrestling to take Silva down, and have no hesitation in doing this. Take the attack to Silva; do not look for your spot. The question is whether Okami can do this. I have serious doubts that he can, as Okami tends to look for his spot and attack from there. If he does that, Silva will knock his head off.

(As a side note, I did make a wager on Yushin Okami to win this fight; the odds that Okami is at - 4.60 on Party Bets, for example - are way too high. I didn't put any significant sum of cash on it, but I am putting it out there to show this is closer than people think.)

Theoretical Wagers:

$10 on Jabouin at 2.4 odds to win $24
$10 on Griffin at 2.7 odds to win $27

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