UFC 79: George St. Pierre vs Matt Hughes Betting Odds and Analysis

By Paul Friday, December 21, 2007
Best Odds: Hughes (+190 BetUS) St. Pierre (-200 Bodog). When was the last time Matt Hughes was a 2 to 1 underdog....never. The question is have the books picked this one right and are just using odds to tempt the public money, or will the corn picker return to glory?

Matt Hughes is self admittedly nearing the end of his career and looking to this as his big redemption fight, which in his mind will lead to him retiring in a blaze of glory. Nine months out from his last fight with Chris Lytle, Matt has had a very long build up toward his next fight. Up until a month ago he thought he was training for Serra in what he viewed as an easily winnable fight.

Now he finds himself facing his Nemasis, the man who dealt him possibly the biggest loss of his career. No matter how mature Hughes is as a fighter that always plays a roll in the mental battle of this game. Hughes has stated what he sees as his advantages in this fight; the shortened training time for St. Pierre, his strength, and his dominance on the ground. Looking from the outside I only see Pierre's training time as a real factor in this fight.

Hughes' game plan will be straight forward, it has to be. His strengths are simple, relentless takedowns, tremendous strength, and the ability to take advantage of the smallest error when the fight is on the mat...especially if he has dominant position. So without a real standup game (yes...his jab is better, but he's still a stubby arm puncher) Matt will have to put himself in the pocket repeatedly to secure solid takedowns. The pocket is a dangerous place to be with GSP.

George is pushing into the prime of his career and knows that a loss here derails everything. With the knowledge that Hughes is coming to this fight with a more basic plan of attack he and his trainers have an interesting choice for the game plan. Without Hughes staying on the outside absorbing leg kicks and superman punches, he will be forced to concentrate on his grappling and ground game.

St. Pierres takedown defense is top notch and already proven to be tough for Hughes to get through, but a great defense doesn't win fights. So, I'm interested to see if he deploys the same logic he did with Kosheck and try to beat Hughes to the punch by putting him where he's going to be least comfortable, on his back. Although Hughes thinks he is a BJJ black belt, his guard is no where near as dangerous as his mount. GSP has successfully used this tactic with BJ and Koscheck and I think he'd be well advised to follow suit here too.

Much like Jon Fitch and Randy Couture, I never bet against GSP and I'm not starting here. Bodog's odds of -200 are the best available right now and have enough value for me to lay down the cabbage. I'm betting GSP will attack Hughes, repeatedly putting him on his back. By the thrid round Matt's frustration will lead to him thinking he's a boxer again, which of course ends with Hughes waking up with that goofy dazed look we've all seen before. GSP via late TKO.

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!

5 comments to ''UFC 79: George St. Pierre vs Matt Hughes Betting Odds and Analysis"

  1. Anonymous4:41 PM

    Hughes does not have a BJJ black belt.

  2. Ha ha, my typos are precious gems somethimes.

    My original copy says "Although Hughes thinks he is a BJJ black belt his guard is no where near as dangerous as his mount."

    Thanks for catching my incredible editing abilities.

  3. Anonymous11:42 AM

    sorry you are going to lose money. Look for side control from hughes early finished up by a kimura in the second.

  4. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Lets all go back to the people that went bankrupt when they picked gsp over that oompa loompa serra . Remember when serra handed his ass to him ? apparently noone remembers that.

  5. Anonymous10:11 PM

    well if you didn't notice Matt Serra's punch to the back of GSP's head, (an illegal move) you can't say matt serra handed his ass to him, Matt Serra doesnt want to fight GSP again hmmmmmm i wonder why???? he would rather take on the old man Matt Hughes instead of fighting GSP again. you can be sure it will be a diffrent fight!!!! GSP tko late 2nd round over Matt Hughes