July looks to be a very interesting month in the UFC with the combo of UFC 86 and the Ultimate Fight Night with Anderson Silva taking a little trip up to 205. UFC 86 has some very interesting matchups and of course the two class clowns get to throw down for the 205 lb Championship of the World!

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (-260) vs Forest Griffin (+220)

Rampage has set himself apart in the last two years beating Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Beastman, and Matt Lindland. Jackson has found that the "green" is a hellofa motivator for training. His last fight with Henderson showed his unbelievable improvement in conditioning. His striking and gorilla pounding are still as impressive as before, but now with a set of lungs he's able to last with fast technical figthers on the feet or on the ground.

His weakness is still on his back and to some extent aggressive technical strikers can give him problems. weakness is a bit of a misnomer though. Jackson is looking very solid these days and this match up works well for him.

Forrest only has two likely ways to pull out a victory in this fight grind out a decision or catch Quinton in a submission during a scramble. Forrest just doesn't knock people out, especially block heads like Rampage. He has excellent ground skills, but is self admittedly lacking in the area of takedowns. He will have the gas tank to go full speed with Jackson for five rounds and after seeing both of their last fights it's a very likely outcome.

Unfortunately for Forrest Quinton is likely to be the aggressor for more of the fight and in the in I think he'll pull out another decision to defend his title.

Prediction: Quinton Jackson via Decision
Bet: 1 unit to win .385

Patrick Cote (+115) vs Ricardo Almeida (-130)

****update*** there's been a decent trun around on odds in this fight with Cote now coming in as the Dog. If you want a sure bet and you put money on Almeida, you can now play both sides getting Cote as a dog as well.****

Oh Ya, this is a sweet match up. Almeida made slid back into action in UFC with a powerful submission 1:08 into round 1. It didn't provide much a chance to measure his condition of see how the whole fight package looked. in the brief time he was standing he looked comfortable with good movement and sharpness on his striking, but what's one minute going to tell you?? What's not in question is his BJJ skills, the guy is a killa! Cote will want absolutely nothing to do with Ricky on the ground in any position.

Cote has been a roll as of late winning his last four fights, three of which were TKO's. Of course the only person in that group with any ground skills was Kendall Grove, the last time he face a solid submission grappler, was Lutter who made easy work of him. Cote is going to have to get on his bike and stay out of the clinch. He's got a shot if he can stay upright and test Almeida's chin otherwise he's tapping out of this one.

Almeida is one of the most skilled fighters in the division and will be a true force to reckon with. This fight will be a big wake up call that he's back and part of the mix. The odds look nice here with the fight set basically as even. there's a chance that the odds for Ricardo will improve by the day before the fight when commoner money starts flowing in.

Prediction: Almeida via submission
Bet: 1 unit to win 1.05

Josh Koscheck (-315) vs Chris Lytle (+260)

This matchup has a lot in common with Chris's fight with Matt Hughes, he'll be outmatched in terms of strength and wrestling and will likely spend a decent amount of time on his back. Lytle has excellent ground skill, but basically used them to neutralize Hughes' sub attempts, instead Matt was simply able to lay and pray for three rounds.

The big difference in this fight is that when things go to the ground with Kos on top he'll be looking to lay leather on Lytle not submissions. This is good for both fighters, Kos will have his best chance at ending the fight, but in doing so he will have to give up some control providing opening for Chris to work submissions.

Every round starts standing and Kos seems to have something to prove to himself in the standup game. He's got some great power shots but they're still pretty predictable and I think Lytle will have an overall advantage in striking. This fight really depends on Kos using a solid game plan and maintaining a tight defense while laying the leather on Lytle.

The odds should be a lot tighter here, in the end I think Koscheck wins, but there's no way he should be a 3 to 1 favorite. It's tempting to drop a small bet on Lytle just because of the odds, but I'm not liking the looks it. I'll stay away from this one, but that doesn't mean you have to.

Prediction: Koscheck via TKO
Bet: None

Joe Stevenson (-205) vs Gleison Tibau (+180)

Looks like a tough match up for Gleison, this is very similar to his fight with Tyson Griffin, where he found it exceedingly difficult to control the better wrestler after a takedown. I will say that Stevenson's striking is not as good as Tyson's but it's still good enough to keep Gleison from controlling each round. I doubt Joe will will be able to sink his favorite Guillotine on the very skilled Tibau but I do think he will control him both standing and on the ground. Don't look for either guy being able to finish, I foresee a couple of turtles humping and then circling and then more humping.....Oh well.

Prediction: Stevenson via decision
Bet: Hell No

Tyson Griffin (-260) vs Marcus Arelio (+260)

Man Arelio looked fantastic in his last fight, of course it was against a very inexperienced Ryan Roberts. Arelio has a great pedigree, but he's going in against one of the top lightweights in the world and realistically all of his skills are trumped or stifled by Griffin's abilities and conditioning. No need for depth here Tyson can only beat himself in this fight.

Prediction: Griffin via TKO (he'll finally get what he's been looking for)
Bet: 0.5 units to win 0.14

Jorge Gurgel (+115) vs Cole Miller (-130)

This is an interesting fight and a hard one to call. Gurgel has made a great name for himself as an instructor and trainer, but he's really struggled to find his own in the UFC. With a UFC record of 3-2 and all of his fights going to decision fans seem to be losing some patience for him. He's standup is respectable but it's not putting anyone away. He has yet to really focus on his ground game in any of his so lets hope he puts all those great ground sills to use in this one. because he's never going to touch Cole Miller's chin standing up.

Miller's striking and reach advantage should be just enough to carry him through this fight. His ground skill may not be as acclaimed as Gurgel's but they are very well applied. His last fight showed a weakness in dealing with a powerful ground and pound game, but he won't to worry about that on this night. I see the American Top Team trained Miller being able to maintain control in every aspect of this fight.

It's unfortunate for Gurgel, but I think he's headed for another decision and it's one he'll likely lose.

Prediction: Miller via decision
Bet: None

Corey Hill (-215) vs Justin Buchholz (+205)

The oddly tall (6’4”) lightweight contestant from season five of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) made his UFC debut six months ago against Joe Veres, winning via technical knockout in the second round. The Miletich-trained fighter will look to make it two in a row against the Alaskan Buchholz. Corey’s training with the Miletich camp should contiue to round out his skill set and of course he’ll always have one thing that can’t be taught size and reach. The reach advantage won’t be too pronounced in this with Justin being a tall lightweight as well at 6’. Corey’s striking looked to be very improved in his debut as well as some nice take down defense.

Buchholz who started with the Alaska Fight Championships and Icon Sports has held the lightweight title in both of these smaller shows. Making his Octagon debut at UFC Fight Night 12 he ran into a determined Matt Wiman and was choked early in the first round. Buchholz has show that his strength is striking and typically his reach advantage – not this time around though. Justin will still hold an advantage in striking experience and likey on the ground as well, but honestly where Hill’s ground game stands is still unknown.

Joe Silva has put together a solid challenge for both of these fighters to determine who belongs in the UFC. Because Buchholz lost his debut he’ll likely come in as a moderately dog. As long as Corey’s odds are -175 or better I think he’s worth a half size bet, otherwise stay away.

Prediction: Hill via TKO
Bet: 0.5 units if odds are -175 or better

Melvin Guillard (-200) vs Dennis Siver (+175)

The Russian born Dennis Siver is riding the line with a UFC record of 1-2. He’s compact fighter who reminds me a bit of Sherk. He’s a demon in the clinch and has built a solid submission game around his grappling skills. His striking has very good power but poor technique, the majority of his strikes are wide hooks and overhand baseball pitches. That type of striking can easily be picked apart by a very fast fighter like Guillard. Siver’s best bet in this fight is to clinch, throw and work.

Guillard has been a bit of an enigma in the UFC; his conditioning, power, and speed are absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, so is his propensity to make mistakes in fights. Melvin’s been in the fight game for six years now and quickly piled up 30 pro MMA fights; now he finally seems to be more realistic about where he fits into the MMA scene. He’s recently said he wants to be a champion, but knows that he’s not in the same league as BJ Penn and would likely have to look to the WEC for a realistic shot at a title.

In this fight he has the wrestling skill to stuff Siver’s takedowns and pick him apart with speed and footwork. If Melvin gets put on his back he’s got to keep it together, Siver is not as skilled as Stevenson or Clementi and if he believes he can stay out of trouble on the ground and get things back up he’ll work Siver over within two rounds.

Prediction: Guillard via TKO
Bet: 0.5 units if odds are -200 or better

Gabriel Gonzaga (-475) vs Justin McCulley (+400)

I vote this fight “least likely undercard to be televised”. This one has all the makings of an absolute snoozefest. McCulley, long time training partner of Ortiz, was in one of the most mind numbing lay and pray fights EVER during his UFC debut over a year ago. McCulley has had more of a chance to train for this fight but I’m not holding my breath. His one skill appears to be prolonged takedowns followed by even more prolonged blanketing.

Gonzaga raged into the upper ranks of the heavyweights with his crazy upset over Cro Cop only to show his sluggish side in back to back TKO losses to Couture and Werdum. Gonzaga has a huge edge in this fight in terms of skill, ability to finish, and most likely conditioning. My only hope is that Napao doesn’t take him down and then trade dry humping moves for three rounds.

On the upside Gonzaga knows he needs an impressive win to turn things around. The level of competition that Justin offers won’t be impressive but who knows maybe a flying armbar by a heavyweight would turn some heads!

Gabriel should win this fight nearly ninety percent of the time and it’s very likely the odds will come out showing that. I really doubt that there will be any money to be made on this fight unless you plug it into a parlay bet with a few other solid favorites.

Prediction: Gonzaga via Submission
Bet: None

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!

3 comments to ''UFC 86 Betting Odds and Analysis"

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  1. Humungus3:01 PM

    Koscheck by TKO is a bold prediction, unless you are expecting another cut. He has never been finished by anyone in over 40 fights.

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  2. humungus... I agree with you that a TKO finish seems pretty out of sorts for this fight and honestly on paper I would normally predict a lay n pray style decision win for Kos... But for some reason, and really it's random I get the feeling that Lytle my lose his will to be in the fight game any more in this one, I don't think Lytle actually goes out I think he just gets mounted and the ref stops the action...I'm not so sure as to put money on it, I just don't like Lytle's motivation right now. Really I hope he proves me wrong and picks Koscheck apart....It's just one of those gut calls that is keeping me away from betting it.

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