The odds are out from most of the books so I’m releasing my picks and bets. A good number of close fights on this card and couple of the main card fights I’m really looking forward to, especially Arlovski vs Werdum. Personally It’s hard for me to root against either of these two I have great respect for both of their games and hope to see them shaking things up in the heavyweight division. Arlovski may have received a little more incentive for this fight with Dana’s statements that he could gain another title shot with a win over Werdum.

Picks and Bets for UFC 70:

Mirko Cro Cop -475: 4.75 points to win 1…………....BookMaker
Andrei Arlovski -105: 1.05 points to win 1………..…BookMaker
Ryoto Machida -330: 3.3 points to win 1…………......Sportbet
Bisping/Cro Cop/Ryoto -125: 1.25 points to win 1...BetUS Parlay
Chieck Congo +215: 1 point to win 2.15………….........BookMaker

Preliminary Card Picks (Few bets)
Dennis Siver -160: No action
Allesio Sakara -180: No action
Matt Grice +135: 0.5 points to win 0.675…………......Bodog
Junior Assuncao -200: No Action
Edilberto Crocota -220: 1.1 point to win 0.5………….....Bodog

As always, if you are going to bet only play with what you are willing to lose. The best values on this card are Cro Cop at or below -500 and Chieck Kongo at +170 or better. I also like to 3 fight parlay through BetUS. The odds have been moving a lot at all of the sportsbooks due to influxes of bets from folks across the pond. The lines on Arlovski and Werdum have actually flipped several times as well as a couple of the undercard fights. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had this many close fights on one card. I hope the fights live up to the odds.

Mirko Cro Cop (-475) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (+395)
There’s not much need for me to rehash Mirko’s record or even his fighting style. Plain and simple, he’s the one of the best heavyweights in the world. So the question is, will this fight go any differently than the Cro Cop/Sanchez fight? Well – yes and no – Gonzaga is not crazy enough to believe he’ll walk in there and knock out Mirko, but he will push the action trying to get into an advantageous position on the ground. Things will change drastically when he feels a couple of those cannon balls Mirko has hiding under his gloves, after that point I think you will see a defensive Gonzaga grasping at straws and hoping to survive much like Sanchez did. The only man to submit Mirko was “Big Nog” back in 2003 and I don’t think any of us would consider Gabriel that class of fighter.

This one is only a matter of time, Cro Cop by decapitation. I’d give Mirko a 90% chance to win this fight, so as long as the odds stay at or below -500 there is enough value for a straight bet.

Andrei Arlovski (-120) vs. Fabricio Werdum (-110)
In my opinion this will be the best fight on the UFC 70 card; two proven top level fighters with distinctive differences in style. The odds say it all - this one could go either way.

Fabricio Werdum is a past training partner of Mirko Cro Cop and has fought primarily in Pride. His strength is BJJ but his standup is no joke. The well rounded Werdum has an impressive list of victims. The two fights that relate best to this matchup are his recent wins over Aleksander Emilianeko and Alistair Overeem, both are excellent "Sambo/kickboxing" style strikers with solid ground games. His two losses were both decisions, one against "Big Nog" and one against Sergei Kharitonov. Both the losses were from excellent ground defenses and slightly better stand up games.

Andrei Arlovski is of course a former UFC heavy weight champ and considered by many one of the best strikers out there. His power and speed are frightening; unfortunately recent memories of AA are marred by those fights against Tim Sylvia. His last fight against Marcio Cruz was a reminder of his athleticism and power. Andrei has never been submitted, all his losses have come by way of TKO or decision. He would prefer every fight to be spent in the middle of the ring. He rarely looks for the takedown and typically if he's on the ground it's to finish off someone he's knocked down. This will be his most well rounded opponent to date and definitely the best he’s seen on the ground.

Both fighters are 6'4" and 240ish and I don't see any edge for either in strength. In the standup Andrei will eventually find an opening and finish and on the ground Werdum will eventually find an opening and finish. If it goes to a decision, standup fighters tend to have an edge. I'm going with Arlovski to escape a few close calls and then finish it off with a late 2nd round KO.

Ryoto Machida(-350) vs. David Heath (+275)
Ryoto’s original opponent was Forrest Griffin, that fight I really wanted to see, this one not so much. I am happy to see Ryoto on the main stage though. The unbeaten Machida is best know for having knocked out Rich Franklin, but he’s also beaten Stephan Bonnar, and BJ Penn in K-1 competition. His most recent win over Sam Hoger at UFC 67 didn’t set off any bells and whistles, but if you’ve seen any of his other fights the skill and power are quickly evident. His sometimes forgotten kicks will be the key in this fight

David Heath comes in with a run of the mill unbeaten record…seems like no ones ever lost around here. Heath is a powerful fireplug who said he loves to just hit people, but I did see him pull a flying armbar in a little highlight reel. That ain’t going to fly against Machida. His submission wins over Sean Salmon and Cory Walmsley showed that he actually has a very respectable ground game. His ground game will be his best chance for success even if that chance is slim.

In this fight, Ryoto is simply going to have too much for Heath. Both these guys can take a shot and have enough heart to make this an entertaining battle. Ryoto wants to move higher in the 205 ranks and I see him ending this one late but emphatically. The odds here are good enough for a straight bet.

Michael Bisping (-500) vs. Elvis Sinosic (+450)
This bout is seen by most as an opportunity for the very popular Bisping to put on a great show and get a solid win in front of his home crowd. His opponent, Elvis Sinosic (8-9-2) obviously has a losing record, but his list of opponents is impressive, including Frank Shamrock, Jeremy Horn, Tito Ortiz, Evan Tanner, Renato Sobral, Forrest Griffin, and Sakara. The only problem with the list of big name opponents is that Elvis has a big "L" next to all but one of them. Elvis is a well rounded fighter, grounded in Jiu-jitsu; but he's just plain beat down. Unless the odds hit +800 to +1000, I would avoid betting on him.

Michael "the Count" Bisping (13-0) has obvious talent in both the stand-up and on the ground (videos). He has not faced a high level UFC fighter yet, but his popularity on TUF as well as his recent performance at UFC66 has folks holding him with high expectations. In this particular match up, I see Bisping having an edge in all positions especially on the feet. I'd give Bisping an 80% chance to win, but with his odds sitting around -525 (84% probability) he’s overpriced for a straight bet. Bisping by TKO but no bet unless his odds hit -350. I opted to use this pick as part of a 3-fight parlay to get some action out of this fight.

Assuerio Silva (-265) vs. Cheick Kongo (+215)
I like this fight, their last showings in the UFC were not so stellar performances, but they are both bad asses.

Assuerio is a true Vale Tudo fighter, with a wide array of weapons. His wins are spread between TKO’s and Submission. His weakness is his patience, with losses coming in fights where he stalked his opponent without enough aggression to control the bout. One exception was his quick loss to Brandon Vera, his aggression resulted in a mistake and guillotine in that one. Silva’s best option in this fight will be superior ground control, with GnP until he can find submission.

Kongo reminds me of a filled out version of Anderson Silva, well minus the black belt in BJJ. Kongo is a sick striker, with speed and power that should strike fear into any adversary. He’s 9-3 in MMA, but tack on 19-1 in Muay Thia fighting with 18 KO’s, for a true measure of how dangerous he is. His most recent loss in the UFC was a split decision to Carmelo Marrero. Although I think he dominated in that fight, it showed that there are still questions about how he’ll handle truely proficient ground fighters.

I think the oddsmakers have this one wrong. The lines here should be even and I think Kongo is going to win this one outright. Assuerio will put up another great effort but he’s going to get caught standing. This is my dog pick for the main card and a great value bet all the way down to +170.

Preliminary Bouts:
Dennis Siver (-160)vs. Jess Liaudin (+130)
Both fighters are dynamic in their standup and have solid ground games. Siver’s Judo will provide a slight edge in the clinch and with takedowns. Once this hits the ground Liaudin is looking sub all the way, but in this fight he’s evenly matched on the ground. In the standup Liaudin will throw in a few of his favorite spinning backfists to keep the fight exciting, but Siver should be able to out work Jess and battle his way to the decision.

Alessio Sakara (-180) vs. Victor Valimaki (+150)
Sakara’s last 2 performances exposed a couple of weaknesses that a top level fighter can take advantage of. He can’t hang with world class BJJ and even though he out boxed McFedries, he can be taken out by powerful counter punching. Victor does not have the tools to take advantage of Sakara’s weak spots. Instead he will be physically dominated by the faster, larger and more polished Alessio. My pick is Sakara by TKO.

Terry Etim (-140) vs. Matt Grice (+110)
Grice is yet another fighter sporting an unbeaten record (9-0) in small promotions. His competitive background was founded as an Oklahoma wrestler, but that path was blocked years ago due to a major accident requiring more surgeries than anyone should have to endure. He has since recovered and is realizing his dream as an up and coming MMA fighter. His game is pretty well rounded, but his strength is definitely takedowns and control.

Terry Etim has – guess what – an unbeaten record too (7-0). All but one of his wins has come by way of submission. They say styles make fights and this is a classic example; Aggressive wrestler vs patient submission specialist. Often the wrestler’s aggression will play right into the hands of a proficient BJJ practitioner. Etim has a slight edge in this fight with his submission skills, but I see this battle going to the judges and without a finish Grice’s aggression and takedowns will earn him enough points for the win.

Junior Assuncao (-200) vs. David Lee (+160)
A couple of lightweights who love to battle. Junior’s favorite fight moment was having Dustin Hazelton break his cheek and then his arm and in return for the favor he knocked Dustin out for the win. David Lee’s favorite moment is apparently his near miss flying knee and near miss left hook against Tyson Griffin at UFC 63, Lee later went to sleep via RNC.

The unassuming Lee is looking to follow Pelligrino’s example and submit Junior. Lee will be physically out matched in this fight, but then again, he always is. Lee simply finds a way to wade through the aggression of others, stifling their attacks and finding his own openings. This one is too close for me to call, but I don’t see it going to the judges.

Paul Taylor (+160) vs. Edilberto Crocota (-200)
Edilberto “Crocota” Oliveira, a native of Bahia, is another rising student from the famed Brazilian Nogueira brothers. Edilberto and his boxing coach is Luiz Dorea believe it’s training that makes fighters great. The “Alligators” unbeaten record may be proof that he’s on the right track, enough so that the UFC has given him a 3-fight contract. Although he’s seen as a BJJ fighter he’s finished his fights with an even mix of T(KO)’s and submissions. We probably won’t see this fight on the airwaves, but I think we’ll see him in the near future.

Taylor is a decent fighter with a well rounded record and only one loss. He has beaten Jess Laudin (also on this card) but he’s yet to face an opponent with the strength and talent of Crocota. Edilberto will look to finish this fight standing but if he feels he’s not getting the job done, he will take it to the ground where he will have an even bigger advantage. Crocota by submission.

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

2 comments to ''UFC 70 Betting Odds and Picks"

  1. Patrick4:45 PM

    Cro cop definitely by decapitation... You kind of heard the same talk from sanchez until he got hit... I like the congo bet too, that'll will be interesting... The one im going against is arlovski... Werdum has fought too good of competition and I see werdum taking this one in a good fight by decision... Good picks though in my opinion... And i felt bad for you at 69... Truly a night of surprises

  2. Werdum could definitely take arlovski. He's proven against fighters of AA's caliber, it's just a gut call.

    I felt bad for GSP at 69, I lost a few bucks, he lost his dream.