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The Betting Corner: UFC 135 Jones vs. Rampage

| September 18, 2011 | Reply

Say what you will about UFC 135, but this card has me excited, not just as a bettor, but as a hardcore fan. The entire main card is worth the price of admission, with a theme of the night being grizzled veterans and new generation fighters. One such bout is the title fight, and while it isn’t the bout we should have had, former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will look to take out rising superstar Jon Jones in his first defense of the belt. The real question is, how can we cash in on these fights?

Let’s take a look at my comparison betting odds as well as the best props for this night of fights, and see if we can’t get a few dozen units added to the bank roll. Now, onto the fights!

Jon Jones -240

Quinton Jackson +180

Props: Jones Inside Distance, Fight Ends Inside Distance/Under

The UFC has put a lot of its chips on Jon Jones as a future superstar, inside and outside the sport, and will give him his first title defense against a former champion. While Rashad Evans reasonably should have been given this fight, this is a still a solid test for Jones, who will have to deal with a power puncher with ridiculous physical power in Jackson. When it really comes down to it though, Jackson is one of the easiest fighters to prepare for and defeat with his glaring defensive holes, predictable offense, and with Greg Jackson already having created a game plan around him for Evans. When you break this fight down, Jackson needs to get inside to win and moving inside creates the momentum Jones needs to rag doll Jackson with his incredible throws and trips. For this fight, I’d recommend heavy money on Jones Inside, as I can’t see Jackson surviving on the mat with so little bottom offense. Follow that wager up with betting the Under (provided it’s at least 3.5 rounds) and you’ve got a recipe for big money.

Josh Koscheck -300

Matt Hughes +220

Props: Koscheck Inside Distance

A former Champion who has settled for being a casual fighter in the UFC, Matt Hughes will once again dust off the gloves, taking on late replacement Josh Koscheck. While I thought Hughes had an outside chance to upset Sanchez, even on short notice, I can’t realistically see Koscheck losing this fight. While Hughes is the stronger of the two, I think the actual wrestling may be a wash here, resulting in a striking match that Hughes is ill-equipped for. While you might be fishing for odds on a Koscheck KO, the best bet here is actually Koscheck Inside Distance. Hughes tends to turtle when injured, and Koscheck has shown in the past that he’s not above locking on a choke if given the opportunity, making a submission a not so unreasonable outcome

NateDiaz 300x239 The Betting Corner: UFC 135 Jones vs. Rampage

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz -140

Takanori Gomi +110

Props: Diaz by Decision, Gomi by KO

A fight that could turn out to be the best on the card, Nate Diaz returns to the Lightweight division, taking on the quickly sinking Takanori Gomi. This is an interesting fight from many angles, as Diaz body will be taxed like never before dropping back to Lightweight, while Gomi has to take on the brother of the man who embarrassed him in the Pride ring. What I see here is a fight much like Diaz vs. Marcus Davis, where Diaz will want to put up a wall of punches to cut Gomi to ribbons, all while keeping himself out of counter punching range. This worked wonders on Davis, but not without hiccups in the 1st round of that bout, and the massive weight cut will sap those limbs of strength late in the fight. Like the above bout, I recommend the prop combination of Diaz by Decision and Gomi by KO to cover the best two angles here.

Travis Browne -300

Rob Broughton +220

Props: Fight Ends Inside Distance, Browne by KO, Broughton by Decision

A throwback fighter if there ever was one, Rob Broughton will cross the Atlantic, taking on American Heavyweight Travis Browne. It’s kind of funny to think that if you could combine these two guys, you’d have an outstanding fighter, as Broughton’s lack of size and Browne’s lack of heart and conditioning are qualities the other has in spades. While Browne looked awful in his last bout, Broughton is one of the most ill-equipped fighters in the Heavyweight division, being a full head shorter than the average fighter, and two heads shorter than Browne. Browne doesn’t appear to have any staying power in the cage, but a few clinch knees and power punches should be enough to hurt the British brawler early.  Betting wise, there is an opportunity here for a flyer decision though, as Broughton doesn’t have an ounce of quit in him. If Browne gasses out in the first round, Broughton could clinch, get a takedown and control Browne for the rest of the fight, and walk away with a handy decision win. My string of props above will pay out well, and Broughton by Decision can cover your wagers if Browne falls apart.

Ben Rothwell -130

Mark Hunt EV

Props: Hunt by KO

There aren’t too many fighters I could care less about than Mark Hunt and Ben Rothwell, and yet here they are squaring off. Rothwell isn’t even close to UFC level and with a long layoff will find himself even more irrelevant than before. Hunt, for all his hard work in the gym, is still a Middleweight in a Heavyweight fight and will have to contend with a larger man trying to impose his will. This bout is a total crapshoot, as Rothwell has been known to abandon all sense and game plans in his fights, while Hunt doesn’t have the tools of an MMA fighter. Depending on odds, the one wager that makes sense is a small play on a Hunt KO, as this slopfest can go in any direction.

Tony Ferguson -150

Aaron Riley +120

Props: Ferguson by KO, Fight Goes Distance/Over

One of the only cast members to impress on TUF 13; Tony Ferguson will have the same post-TUF Finale test as Ross Pearson, taking on veteran Aaron Riley. While we did get to see plenty of Ferguson on TUF, there are still some questions about him concerning his ground game and takedown defense. While I don’t think Riley can hang with Ferguson’s formidable strikes, he’s still an all-around solid fighter and may hunt for takedowns against the unproven grappler. TUF champs tend to blossom off the set of the show, and I’d expect Ferguson to have a lot of issues ironed out by the time this fight takes place.  Never the less, I feel the two props above do the most to cover you here, as Ferguson can finish Riley in this one, kickbox him to a decision, or lose a grappling match.

Tim Boetsch -140

Nick Ring +110

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over

The technically undefeated Nick Ring will be pitted against Middleweight newcomer Tim Boetsch in one of the better undercard fights of the night. Ring impressed me greatly in his last two fights, showing his sharp muay thai and overall sound grappling ability, taking two decision wins against Riki Fukuda and James Head. Boetsch went in a different direction with his win over Kendall Grove, opting for a pure top control game, and showing he can shut down a difficult opponent with size and strength. Ring’s real issue here is that while his striking is technically sound, he doesn’t hit nearly hard enough to hurt someone like Boetsch. This leaves the door open for Boetsch to work on the feet and use safe takedowns to shut Ring down over and over again. Betting the Over here at -150 or better is your best play for this card as these guys may be headed towards an uncertain decision.

James Te Huna -140

Ricardo Romero +110

Props: None

Two Light Heavyweight bruisers will go toe-to-toe, as James Te-Huna and Ricardo Romero fight for their careers. To me, this is a contest between an underrated fighter in Te-Huna and an overrated Romero, allowing for solid betting potential. Te-Huna is an incredibly strong fighter with solid offensive skills, and Romero has tended to wilt under extreme offense in the UFC thus far. I wouldn’t go crazy betting on this one as neither man have unbreakable cardio, and a fight at altitude can change everything.

Takeya Mizugaki -185

Cole Escovedo +145

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over, Escovedo by KO

In a crossroads fight for both men, Takeya Mizugaki will look to put some wins together, taking on veteran fighter Cole Escovedo. Both men are talented fighters in their own right, but haven’t gotten the matchmaking that would allow them to stay afloat in this division, which makes handicapping this fight a difficult task. Mizugaki has used a style similar to Yushin Okami throughout his career, using suffocating top control and measured striking to fluster and outwork opponents. Escovedo is nearly a polar opposite though, with a style using almost entirely power strikes and a willingness to work off his back. While Escovedo is more likely to finish this fight, Mizugaki has all the tools to shut Escovedo down and take a decision here based on top control. Betting wise, this fight is likely to end by decision, but there can be some value in Escovedo landing a KO shot on Mizugaki.

Eddie Yagin -240

Junior Assuncao +180

Props: None

Two veteran fighters will make their way into the UFC, as Eddie Yagin takes on former UFC fighter Junior Assuncao. Yagin comes into this fight with a wealth of experience, yet has somehow flown under the radar in his career until his recent demolishing of Bellator’s Joe Soto. He meets a lackluster opponent in Junior Assuncao, who was never UFC level in the first place, but finds himself back in the fold with a six-fight win streak. Yagin is an almost eerie shadow of BJ Penn, using sharp boxing combinations, sure submissions and the same ridiculous takedown defense that the former champion has always displayed.  While Assuncao isn’t a bad fighter, he simply doesn’t stack up to the current UFC roster, and will have a very tough time dealing with the talented Yagin. While the finish is up in the air, a straight bet on Yagin should pay out well with little worry.

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Tags: Aaron Riley, Ben Rothwell, Betting, Cole Escovedo, Eddie Yagin, James Te Huna, Jon Jones, Josh Koscheck, Junior Assuncao, Light Heavyweight, Mark Hunt, Matt Hughes, MMA, MMA Betting, Nate Diaz, Nick Ring, Props, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Ricardo Romero, Rob Broughton, Takanori Gomi, Takeya Mizugaki, Tim Boetsch, Tony Ferguson, Travis Browne, UFC, UFC 135

Category: Betting, Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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