On Dec 29th, UFC 155 will head back to Las Vegas, Nevada as they close the year out with one of their strongest and most well rounded fight cards.
Headlining the card will be the much anticipated rematch between heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and former champ Cain Velasquez. Junior recently made his first successful title defense in a knockout over Frank Mir while Velasquez enters having TKO’ Antonio Silva back in May. The sudden knockout Cain suffered at the hands of Santos in their first meeting has caused the original line between these two to completely flip. Instead of Cain coming in as a small -120 betting favorite- as was the case in their first meeting- it’s now Junior who finds himself priced as high as -145 for the rematch. Considering how quickly the first fight ended, the short betting line on Junior in the rematch came as an initial surprise to most MMA bettors, however, the reality is; prior to losing the belt, Cain had become one of the most beloved and profitable fighters for gamblers in the UFC. That same base of supporters will almost surely be returning to back him in the rematch, eagerly citing his knee injury and poor game plan for the reason he lost. Knowing that Cain’s legion of loyal backers can easily balance out most of the sharp action on Dos Santos, my opinion is that the books have clearly set the line on Junior a bit lower than it should be. Personally, I’d say the truth about how that first fight played out has way more to do with Junior being the better athlete and Cain simply being too hittable against a far superior puncher. Injuries aside, Cain simply ran into a stylistic nightmare on that night. Once Cain realizes that he can’t take Junior down in the rematch, the subsequent panic and fear of being forced to exchange punches should force him into another early defensive mistake on the feet–getting him clipped with big shots that eventually force another early stoppage within the first two rounds.
UFC Pick: Junior Dos Santos -140 @ Betdsi.com
Featured Main Card Attractions
Filling in for the recently promoted Chael Sonnen, Phil Davis has been scheduled to take on former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin on the main card at UFC 155.
Given Forrest’s notoriously bad takedown defense, this would appear to be an ideal mismatch favoring the former Penn State wrestler, who’s repeatedly displayed the type of suffocating top-control capable of grinding out a 3 round decision over the former champion. Despite Griffin’s recent inactivity over the last two years, his gas tank still looked inexcusably pathetic in his last fight in a rematch with Tito Ortiz. Against Tito, he was hurt by weak punches and barely managed to squeak out a close decision over a fighter who by all accounts had already retired prior to the match. I say anything under -390 on Phil has to be playable here. As UFC bettors, our best hope is Forrest’s superior name in this match-up giving us a slightly better price on Davis—though at this stage, Griffin’s name means very little to even the most casual of MMA bettors. Rounding off the card, UFC fans will be treated to a high paced lightweight scrap between Gray Maynard and the UFC’s number one bonus collector, Joe Lauzon- who pocketed an extra 100k by locking up both the submission of the night and fight of the night awards with his 3rd round submission victory over Jamie Varner back in August. As both the clearly superior boxer and wrester in this match-up, Gray Maynard opened as a solid -295 betting favorite over Lauzon.
If anything, I’d say that price is fairly accurate which leaves very little room for value either way. Normally, I’d consider a play on Maynard in this spot, but given his age in conjunction with the dwindling reaction time he displayed at times in his last fight against Guida, I have to pass altogether here.