UFC 101 is in the books, so let’s focus on the next PPV event – UFC 102! There are several fights that should prove for good betting action. Below are my expert predictions (all of which I am betting as well, you got to put your money where your mouth is!)Randy Couture -200 vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira +160
Two legends battle it out in this main event. The 46-year old Randy Couture faces the oldest looking 33-year old in the world. This could very well be the last fight in each man’s career.
Randy is the favorite because he’s extremely popular and is clutch under pressure. However, each man is coming off brutal losses. Nogueira’s loss is a bigger deal since he was man-handled by Frank Mir, not particularly known for his striking. That loss was the first knockout of Nogueira’s career. Couture, on the other hand, is coming off a pummeling from Lesnar but that’s no big surprise.
Both guys are past their prime and I don’t see anyone finishing the other guy. Expect a three-round razor thin decision. If it really is a coin flip fight, let the odds work in your favor.
Pick: Nogueira over Couture (3rd round split decision)
Keith Jardine -175 vs Thiago Silva +145
Keith Jardine is an enigma. He can go in and decisively beat greats like Chuck Liddell or Forrest Griffin. And turn around and get demolished by Houston Alexander or rape-choked by Wanderlei Silva. He his very herky-jerky and unorthodox which just enhances his unpredictability.
But Thiago Silva is a gifted BJJ fighter who has a solid stand-up and a convincing ground and pound. I’m actually at a loss for why Jardine is the favorite in the fight. This has do to more with popularity than fighter skill. Yes, Silva got destroyed by Lyoto Machida in his last fight. But you can’t fault a guy for losing to top-tier talent. Jardine is not top-tier and he will be exposed as such during this fight. This is my lock of the night.
Pick: Silva over Jardine (1st round TKO)
Nate Marquardt -145 vs. Demian Maia +115
Submission expert Demian Maia squares off against a man on a hot streak, Nate Marquardt. I think this bout deserves to be a number one contender fight as either guy would be an interesting matchup for Anderson Silva (yes, Silva beat Marquardt a while back, but Marquardt has stepped up his game since then).
Maia may have the best ju-jitsu in all of MMA, winning each of his five UFC fights by submission. His undefeated record will be put to the test against Marquardt though. Hungry and well-rounded, Marquardt has a laser focus on a rematch with Anderson Silva. I’m most excited for this fight because, as the saying goes, styles make fights and it will be very entertaining to see how each fighters’ clash in styles influences the bout. I’m rooting for Maia to pull out another awesome submission, but I think Nate “The Great” is too determined and strong to lose this fight.
Pick: Marquardt over Maia (2nd round Ref Stoppage)
That’s all the predictions this time. I will be posting UFC 103 predictions in the coming weeks. Good luck making some easy money!!