UFC 82: Cheick Kongo vs Heath Herring Betting Odds

By Paul Monday, February 18, 2008
Cheick Kongo (-155 BetUS) and Heath Herring (+145 Bodog) are set to lock horns in a fight that will determine the direction of both of their careers.

Kongo has been training with Juanito Ibarra which is great for working his overall game, attitude and standup, but I sure hope he has some serious BJJ training as well. Kongo's five UFC fights have shown both his strength on his feet as well as his weakness on the ground. In his last fight with Cro Cop he looked more comfortable on the ground, but that could just be him feeling Mirko was not a threat there.

Cheick still only has two ways to beat Herring, outwork or knockout .

Herring is definitely a vertran with 40 fights behind him in nearly eleven years. Recently he's struggled in the UFC facing some very tough match ups. Of course, we all remember his last fight where he dropped his biggest potential win yet to Noguira. Herring is able to withstand a great deal of punishment and his power makes him dangerous at any time. His biggest flaws have been fading after the half way point of a fight and not sticking to his game plans.

Herring has stated he has new management and feels his training and mind set are refocused and he will be the agressive bastard of old. A solid game plan and an iron will are what Heath is going to need to pull out a win in this match up. Cheick's stand up is plain and simple superior to Herring's, Heath knows this and should be focusing on the weakness we've all seen in Kongo. The game plan for Herring will be to engage on the feet, drive to the clinch, take down and control. Heath's submissions aren't great but if he keeps Kongo's legs in mind, there will be opportunities for a submission.

The question is can Heath get past just engaging in a standup battle? If Herring chooses to stay on his feet the odds of him coming out on the winning side are very poor. I'm betting that his training has focused on taking advantage of Congo's appearent weakness on the ground. Whether or not it is still a weakness and if Herring will test it will be seen next Saturday.

The betting line for this fight is fairly tight and only slightly off of the "real" odds. There is slight value in a bet on Herring at +140 or better. Myself I can't quite give Heath the call. I think he's got a real shot, but in the end I'm afraid he'll revert to his standup and get out worked.
Prediction: Cheick Congo via Decision.

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!

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