UFC 150 goes down in Denver, Colorado this Saturday night. The quality card is headlined by the two of the best lightweights in Ben “Bendo” Henderson and Frankie “The Answer” Edgar who rematch for the belt. One thing betters should take into consideration is the location of the show; to more preciously the altitude. Denver is located a mile (1.6 km) above sea level and its thin air has played tricks on fighters before. Based on the previous UFC shows in Denver, the heavier and more muscular guys suffer more from this than the lighter fighters.
Ben Henderson vs Frank Edgar:
After a close first fight between the two UFC decided to put up an immediate rematch and let Frankie Edgar try to win back the belt from Henderson. In the first round Frankie Edgar started off with a good pace and seemed to have the upperhand in grappling landing three out of three takedowns attempts. In the second round Henderson turned the tables with a huge upkick that dropped Edgar and broke his nose. Edgar came back and took the third round but then momentum shifted more to physically stronger Henderson’s favour. All in all it was a competitive fight where both guys had their moments.
For the rematch both have been obviously working on their weaknesses and learning new tricks but MMA Viking believes that the basic setting is still the same. Edgar has the advantage in boxing and wrestling while Henderson is bigger, stronger and also holds the advantage in the kicking section. At the moment Henderson is a surprisingly big favourite over Edgar, who despite beating such greats as BJ Penn, Sean Sherk and Gray Maynard, has been underestimated throughout his career. MMA Viking believes the lines should be closer to even. If you agree, a bet on Edgar is in order.
Donald Cerrone vs Melvin Guillard:
Former teammates are on a collision course in this super exciting lightweight match up. Name of the game is Cerrone’s slick submission game and granite chin versus Guillard’s power striking and explosive athletic abilities. Guillard’s career has been a series of ups and downs mainly due personal problems outside of the cage. It seems that he is going through another “ups” phase at the moment which means Cerrone will have to bring his A-game to Denver. Even though Guillard showed improved submission defense in his latest fight, his ground game is still his weak spot and Cerrone is definitely looking to take advantage of that. Cerrone’s weakness has been his slow starts in fights. He needs to get hit properly before he can get into the fight. Sometimes this can backfire like in the fight with Nate Diaz where Diaz tagged Cerrone right from the start with stiff shots and never allowed Cerrone to regroup.
For Guillard to win he needs to land that big power shot early on before Cerrone gets into the rhythm. For Cerrone to win he needs to be sharp straight from the bell, stay away from punching distance, mix kicks with takedown attempts and get the fight to the floor. Cerrone is a bit too heavy favourite for our taste. When Guillard is on, he blasts away guys like Evan Dunham and Denis Siver with ease.
Jake Shields vs Ed Herman:
Jake Shields makes a comeback to middleweight after a run at the welterweight where he fought for the belt against GSP. Shields looked drained at 170 and the performances were neither his best so bulking back up to 185 was a good choice. Veteran Shields is still pretty much a clear cut specialist with an excellent wrestling game and suffocating jiu-jitsu skills on the ground. His striking ain’t pretty but it gets the job done and he has one of the best chins in the best. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman bounced into the UFC from the Ultimate Fighter and had a nice streak going on before he suffered a terrible knee injury that required several surgeries. Now Herman is back in the mix and riding a three fight win streak. Those three wins are over guys who do not fight in the UFC anymore and that tells something about the level of competition Herman has faced recently. Shields is a huge step up in competition for Herman. In the end all comes down to the point that Jake Shields is a top level middleweight who doesn’t lose to middle level brawlers like Herman. MMA Viking feels that Shields is the lock on this card.
Justin Lawrence vs Max Holloway:
TUFer Justin Lawrence meets Hawaii’s Max Holloway in the exciting match up between two featherweight strikers. Black House’s Lawrence was the early favourite to win the TUF 15 after couple of brutal knock outs but in quarter final he lost to eventual winner Michael Chiesa by TKO in the sudden death round. Lawrence bounced back in his UFC debut by knocking out John Cofer with a beautiful head kick. Holloway is a long limbed technical striker from the island of Hawaii. He got submitted by Dustin Poirier in his UFC debut but looked good on the feet early on and even managed to hurt Poirier. In his second UFC showing Holloway sprawl n brawled his way to unanimous decision over Pat Schilling. The two match up well on the feet but Lawrence holds the edge in wrestling. There’s an old MMA betting wisdom : when everything else is even, bet on the better wrestler. That rule applies in this fight too.
Yushin Okami vs Buddy Roberts:
Top tier middleweight Yushin Okami takes on with Team Jackson’s Buddy Roberts in a weird match up. Okami has lost his last two fights: first to Anderson Silva in the title fight and then to top contender Tim Boetsch in a fight that Okami was dominating. The feeling we get from this match up is that this is a gimme fight for Okami so that the Japanese fighter can get back on track. Roberts is a solid allrounder with good reach and solid striking but against a powerful grappler like Okami, Roberts offensive skills seem a bit weak. Okami should cruise through Roberts with his trademark takedowns from the clinch and strikes from the top.
|Ben Henderson – Frank Edgar|
|Donald Cerrone – Melvin Guillard|
|Jake Shields – Ed Herman|
|Justin Lawrence – Max Holloway|
|Yushin Okami – Buddy Roberts|
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