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The Betting Corner: UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem

| December 20, 2011 | Reply

It’s not often we have a main event that hinges on a cup of urine. Drug testing fiascos aside those, we have a solid main event fight with an exciting undercard ahead of us at UFC 141. There are a few spots to make some cash here, so let’s put on our thinking caps and using my comparison betting odds and props to find the value.

Now, onto the fights!

Brock Lesnar -160

Alistair Overeem +130

Props: Fight Doesn’t Start Round 3

Billed as the “Largest Heavyweight Fight Ever”, this is a betting gold mine and an exciting bout just the same. Lesnar comes into this fight post-surgery, but having made a full recovery, will work towards a number one contender spot. Overeem is himself undefeated in many years of competition and makes his long-awaited debut here, bringing his tremendous striking power to the table on the global stage.  This is an interesting bout for sure, but one aspect of sports has been forgotten by many fans, that being a fighter’s frame. Frank Mir vs. Shane Carwin was the perfect example of what happens when a 230lb man puts on 35lbs of muscle, and faces a 300lb man who cuts to make the HW cap. While Overeem is certainly huge, he’s a former LHW who bulked up, and will always be at a disadvantage against true heavyweights. Not only is Overeem using the heart and lungs of a smaller man to move his oversized body, he’ll need to attempt to arrest Lesnar’s movement as well in grappling exchanges. Overeem simply doesn’t have the gas tank to ever fight 5 rounds and unless he flattens Lesnar in the opening round, I don’t see him ever winning this fight. Betting that this fight doesn’t go to decision is easy money, and would suggest the best value being that it doesn’t make it into the 3rd round.

Donald Cerrone -185

Nate Diaz +145

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over, Fight Of The Night

In what will be a guaranteed bloodbath, Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz will fight towards a potential title shot. This is going to be a tough match-up for both men, as Cerrone’s leg kicks and Diaz length and volume punches will work to unhinge each other. With both men being bottom game specialists and neither having much wrestling, we’re in store for a striking bout that could easily see the duration.  While I like Cerrone here due to his cutting leg kicks and overall more complete striking, Diaz is someone who can get your timing down and keep you at bay the entire fight. The Over strikes me as the best wager for the night, as neither man is likely to finish the other, and FOTN is always a smart wager with these two involved.

Jon Fitch -300

Johny Hendricks +220

Props: Fitch by Decision

Coming off of a questionable draw against BJ Penn and a lengthy recovery period for shoulder injuries, Jon Fitch returns. His opponent makes for a decent tune-up fight, as Hendricks brings top-level wrestling, but simply can’t hold a candle to Fitch’s incredible ground game. This isn’t a fight I see playing out in too many different directions, as Fitch can master Hendricks on the mat and leave little room for anything else. While the straight odds on Fitch won’t be too impressive, just put the money on a Fitch decision, as Hendricks is smart about protecting his neck and can defend Fitch’s offense for the entire fight.

Alexander Gustafsson -200

Vladimir Matyushenko +160

Props: Gustafsson Inside Distance

Alexander Gustafsson has been creeping under the radar for a little while now, but rabid fight fans know what to expect when the Swede steps into the cage. His opponent is one of the old guard of MMA, but Vladimir Matyushenko’s high-level wrestling and thumping punches have seen him remain afloat in the UFC thus far. Gustafsson uses his reach and takedown defense well, but this will be his toughest test since Phil Davis, and could end badly if he lets Matyushenko inside on him. Overall, I see Gustafsson landing the sharper punches and staying on his bicycle here to frustrate Matyushenko, before putting it together and finishing this bout in the second round. Betting wise, I’m not sure if there will be value here, as Gustafsson handled Matt Hamill last time out. Grab up a small play on Gustafsson Inside Distance if it’s at a positive, but otherwise I’d leave this one be.

Jimy Hettes -130

Nam Phan EV

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over

One of the best pure grapplers in the FW division, Jimy Hettes steps into the cage against well-travelled veteran Nam Phan. Hettes had a spectacular debut against Alex Cacares, showing an uncanny ability to scramble and look for submission opportunities from any angle. Phan himself is a well-rounded fighter and will make this a close fight with his superior striking, but will likely get sucked into a ground battle he might not be prepared for. I couldn’t guess where the line will be for this fight, but I feel Hettes edges this with superior positioning and more threats on the mat. A wager on the value fighter and a bet on the Over should work well as an arb at worst, and a decent pay-day if you’re fighter hits.

Ross Pearson -240

Junior Assuncao +190

Props: Pearson by KO

Having done fairly well for himself at LW, Ross Pearson makes the move to 145lbs, taking on UFC vet Junior Assuncao. Pearson has one of the best boxing games at the lighter weights, and combined with his overall grappling skills and conditioning, should make this fight his own. Assuncao has some BJJ skills and heavy hands, but Pearson’s striking acumen will be too much for Assuncao to overcome here.  Look for a fairly quick finish as Pearson gets his range and starts firing off combinations, getting the KO early in the second round.

Danny Castillo -185

Anthony Njokuani +145

Props: Fight Ends Inside Distance

Team Alpha Male member Danny Castillo makes a quick return to the cage, taking on expert striker Anthony Njokuani. Njokuani’s kryptonite has always been his lack of a ground game, but with Castillo’s gung-ho fighting style; it only takes one counter shot to end this. While I think Castillo takes this with his smothering top game, betting ITD is sure money, as neither can survive long in the other’s world.

Dong Hyun Kim -200

Sean Pierson +160

Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over

Having suffered his first professional loss at the hands of Carlos Condit, Dong Hyun Kim looks to return to form, taking on Canadian wrestler Sean Pierson. Pierson is definitely a threat to the lower level of the division with his ferocious wrestling and heavy hands, but Kim is one of the elite in this division and demands respect here. Though Pierson has a real power striking edge, Kim’s ability to control range and shut down Pierson’s wrestling game should make all the difference here. This is a fight to bet straight, although an Over prop could pay out fairly well if it’s at a positive number.

Jacob Volkmann -160

Efrain Escudero +130

Props: Fight Ends Inside Distance

Making his long-awaited return to the UFC, Efrain Escudero will step into the cage against sub grappling specialist Jacob Volkmann. Escudero has been working on the independent circuit ever since his expulsion from the UFC due to repeated weight issues, and has had mixed results in this time.  Volkmann is one of the best grapplers in the division and I seriously question Escudero’s desire to fight at this point in his career. Look for a quick start to this fight as Escudero hunts for a KO, but winds up defending Volkmann’s top game assault. I’d like to see Volkmann come in as a dog and hope he’s flown under the radar here, as Escudero doesn’t bring the skill set necessary to defeat him. Bet Volkmann straight, and look at ITD if it comes in at a positive number, as Volkmann can catch the short-notice fighter in a submission late in the fight.

Manny Gamburyan -130

Diego Nunes EV

Props: Nunes by KO

One of the more exciting fights on the card, Manny Gamburyan will face long-time menace to the division Diego Nunes. Gamburyan has fought injury upon injury and comes into this fight with a very questionable bill of health, but has a style that should cause Nunes trouble to no end. With Nunes looking to stay on his bicycle and work outside striking, Gamburyan’s willingness to rush in and clinch should give him the edge in taking a decision here based on control. With that in mind, I think the best value for this fight, and perhaps this card, is Nunes by KO. The reason is two-fold, as Gamburyan will be open to a quick KO shot by rushing forward, whether from a fast knee or fade-away hook. The other being that Gamburyan has is a history of shoulder dislocations, with one famously costing him the TUF contract. These dislocations are more likely to occur when shooting doubles on a retreating opponent, which is exactly what Nunes will look to present. While I slightly favor Manny to take this fight, I can’t ignore his glaring fault and injury-prone status, which makes a Nunes by KO play a must.

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Tags: Alexander Gustafsson, Alistair Overeem, Anthony Njokuani, Brock Lesnar, Danny Castillo, Diego Nunes, Donald Cerrone, Dong Hyum Kim, Efrain Escudero, Jacob Volkman, Jimy Hettes, Johny Hendricks, Jon Fitch, Junior Assuncao, Manny Gamburyan, Mixed Martial Arts, MMA, MMA Betting, Nam Phan, Nate Diaz, Ross Pearson, Sean Pierson, UFC, UFC 141, UFC 141 odds, Vladimir Matyushenko

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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