These boys better put on a show or the Philly fans will eat them for suppa. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed. There’s potential for lots of highlight footage in this show. In terms of bets I’m running primarily with chalk bets except for one shocker…I hope. Be sure to check out the lines being offered by 5 Dimes Sportsbook, they offer not only some of the best lines available, but some very intriguing prop bets. For example Forrest finishes the fight in round 3 +1540. There are over/unders, odds to finish in the distance (Penn in the distance –130). They are definitely worth a look ,I’ve been betting with them for a few months now and I’m very happy with the lines as well as the service .
Main card picks:
Forrest Griffin +300 (Bet $100 to win $300) BetUS
BJ Penn –230 (Bet $270 to win $100) BetUS
Amir Sadollah –115 (bet $115 to win $100) Bodog
Ricardo Almeida No bet unless odds hit -130
Josh Neer –200 (Bet $200 to win $1000) BetUS
Tamdan McCrory –180 No Bet
Thales Leites –345 No Bet
Aaron Riley –160 No Bet
Matt Riddle -185 (bet $185 to win $100) BetUS
George Sotiropoulos –380 No bet
Danillo Vellefort –180 No Bet
Nobody seems to be giving Forrest much of a chance. Yes he's had his shit conked by Jardine and Evans, but he's also stepped up and beat Rampage and Rua...That's huge, really. Anderson of course could put him away or possibly submit him. But Forrest is a machine and if he stays outside, works the leg kicks, and then shows off his new wrestling skills with some takedowns, he could hammer his way to a decision, or TKO…really!
Griffin’s size advantage in this fight should not be overlooked, he walks around at 240 and 6’3”. Silva’s walking weight is about 225. This fits right into the formula for a fighter to beat Silva. The other key ingredient is The ability to deal with an elite counter striker, Forrest has demonstrated this. The fight should be bad ass and the fact that Griffin has a real chance to topple the spider makes it even more exciting.
My first look at this fight I gave Griffin a 20-25% chance, but after looking closer at both of their training camps and looking closer at how these two match up in each aspect; I think Griffin wins 35-40% of the time. So yes, Silva should win, but Griffin wins often enough that at +300 there is a huge betting edge and it’s a bet I’m making.
Prediction: Griffin via TKO, Bet 1 unit to win 3 via BetUS
Technique or power, ground or striking? Typical questions for any match up, but in this one it's a bit cloudy. BJ's prowess on the ground is well know, but his finishes on the ground typically are initiated with strikes. Penn has greatly improved his cardio and has very smooth technical boxing with the fortunate addition of heavy hands. On top of all that, at light weight he's surprisingly strong and was not at a strength disadvantage with even the likes of Sherk. In the 155 division, no one has had enough power to control Penn on the ground, clinch, or feet. Does Florian?
Kenny, has continued to grow as a fighter as well as physically. He's put on a good amount of muscle over the last two years and now is able to comfortably grapple with any lightweight without having to rely solely on technique. His Muy Thai is also very impressive, especially his use of kicks to maintain a reach advantage and create space against grapplers.
In my eyes, Kenny is still at a disadvantage in most aspects of this fight. His striking is good but, it takes overwhelming power to control BJ so you can pummel that rock of a head endlessly (St. Pierre). He's a BJJ black belt, but he's not submitting the Hawaiian gumby. His best chance is the not so exciting prospect of out working BJ for 5 rounds. The last one is a real probability and if Florian can avoid getting lit up in the first two rounds he'll have a real chance of picking away at BJ in the final 3 rounds to pull out a huge decision.
My pick is BJ Penn to hand Kenny his first TKO loss since Diego lit him up in 2005. But if you think he can weather the storm and don't trust BJ's conditioning there's value in a Florian bet at +200.
Prediction: Penn via TKO, Bet 2.3 units to win 1 via BetUS
Amir Sadollah is 1-0 in professional MMA, defeating C.B. Dollaway by armbar in the series finale. Sadollah is holds a black belt in Sambo. Amir trains with Xtrme Couture and is coming off a nearly 14 month hiatus due to a broken clavicle and staph infection.
Johny Hendricks (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) fought in the WEC before the welterweight division became part of the UFC. He’s a four-time All-American and two-time national champion from Oklahoma State. Hendricks trains at Team Takedown…which is a separate and very interesting story all it’s own…(Team Takedown sponsors the fighters offering seven-year contracts that include: salaries plus expenses, including houses, training, medical coverage and cars in exchange for half of their earnings).
Right, on to the fight. Amir’s advantage is in the ground game even from the bottom, while Hendricks holds an advantage in takedowns and GNP. In the end, even if Amir is being taken down he’ll be set up to finish the fight via submission. I still have questions about Sadollah’s year off but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and back him in this fight.
Prediction: Sadollah via submission, Bet 1.15 units to win 1
Kendall Grove (+150 5Dimes) vs. Ricardo Almeida (-165 BetUS)
Ricardo Almeida (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) submission guru with not so great wrestling vs Kendall Grove (10-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) loooong Muy Thai striker who sometimes forgets he’s 6’6”. Each of these fighters haven’t quite lived up to everyone's hopes or expectations but they both have the tools to put the other away.
Grove must use his reach in this fight and avoid his favorite position the clinch. Almeida needs the fight to hit the ground and his shot sucks, but if Grove moves inside and starts throwing knees, it will be all to easy to get Grove down and detach one of those long limbs. As the fight wears on I think it will be apparent that Kendall is not going to get a KO and eventually Ricardo will wade in get Grove to the ground and quickly submit him.
I don’t completely like the odds on Almeida, I’ll wait to see if it gets closer to –130 or –125.
Prediction: Almeida via submission, Bet none until –130.
Josh Neer (-200 BetUS) vs. Kurt Pellegrino (+190 Bodog)
Look for an exciting fight between these two well-rounded lightweights. Josh Neer (25-7-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC) trains with Pat Miletich in Iowa. This will be Neer’s 4th fight as a UFC light weight and he really seems to be enjoying the fruits of being big for the division. Kurt Pellegrino (13-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is a multiple time NAGA and Grapplers Quest winner and holding a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
This on is pretty simple If Neer can keep this fight standing, he should knock out Pellegrino. If Pellegrino gets the fight to the ground, he has the skills to finish Neer, but Neer's size and strength will make him tough to submit. Pelligrino’s striking isn’t that bad he’ll just be out gunned and facing a serious reach gap.
Prediction: Neer via TKO, Bet 2 units to win 1 via BetUS