Desert Dog's picks and bets for UFC 109:

Main Card
Randy Couture via TKO, No Bet
Mike Swick via decision, Bet 400 to win 200 at Bodog
Marquardt via Submission, Bet 750 win 200 at 5Dimes
Miller via split decision, Bet 50 to win  162.5 at Bodog
Serra via submission, Bet 132 to win 100 at 5Dimes

Preliminary Fights
Mac Danzig via ?, No Bet
Guillard via KO, No Bet
Hague via submission, Bet 50 to win 95 at Bodog
Nover via Decision, No Bet
Davis via TKO, No Bet
Gracie via Submission, No Bet

Randy Couture (-400 BetUS) vs. Mark Coleman (+350 Bodog
Randy "The Natural" Couture (17-10 MMA, 14-7 UFC) and Mark "The Hammer" Coleman (16-9 MMA, 7-4 UFC) have faced off before at the 1989 Olympic Wrestling Festival. Coleman defeated Couture by a single point in a close match. The two were also scheduled to face off for UFC 17; however, Couture pulled out of the fight to rest a rib injury before a national wrestling tournament.

Despite similarities, this fight will be dictated by two differences. First, Coleman's  skill set has not changed, he uses strength and wrestling to take opponents down and ground and pound them into submission. Couture is, by contrast, extremely well rounded and can work effectively from his feet and in the clinch.

Secondly, Couture likely has a huge advantage in cardio. Coleman has never been known for elite cardio. Couture's cardio is legendary, and will have an advantage the longer the fight goes.

The current betting line gives Couture an 80 percent chance to win the fight. But don’t be fooled this fight will be very competitive. Coleman's strength and wrestling should make for an interesting first round.  Beyond the first, I expect Couture's edges in striking and cardio to eventually lead to a late-fight TKO stoppage.
Unfortunately I don’t see any value on either side of the bet in this fight.

Prediction: Couture via TKO, Bet none 

Nate Marquardt  (-375 5Dimes) vs. Chael Sonnen (+350 BetUS).
Chael Sonnen (23-10-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is an excellent veteran wrestler training with Team Quest. He’s on a two-fight win streak with victories over Yushin Okami at UFC 104 and Dan Miller at UFC 98.

Sonnen's size, strength and wrestling ability are what he has to offer, always looking for top control to grind out decisions. Sonnen is not a finisher...In 10 fights in the UFC and WEC, Sonnen is 6-4, with all six wins by decision and all four losses by submission.

Nate "The Great" Marquardt (29-8-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC) has been finished only three times in 39 fights...not a good start for Sonnen. Marquardt is exceptionally strong, extremely well rounded, a good striker and a great wrestler in his own. Training under Greg Jackson, Marquardt has access to training against some fantastic wrestlers, including Rashad Evans and Georges St-Pierre. Training with these two gives Marquardt the perfect opponents to prepare for Sonnen's wrestling skills and probable gameplan.

This fight opened with Marquardt as low as -250 on some sites, and I loved this line at that price. The value is thinner at this point but Marquardt is still better than 80% to win in my books.

Prediction: Marquardt via Submission, Bet 750 win 200 at 5Dimes

Mike Swick (-200 Bodog) vs. Paulo Thiago (+188 5Dimes)
Paulo Thiago (12-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is a jiu-jitsu black belt and grappler but after his KO of Koscheck he seems to believe he’s a striker. I think his following loss to John Fitch and unimpressive win over Jacob Volkmann should remind him and us that he’s an undersized slick Jitz guy...and that’s about it.

This fight was originally scheduled as a rematch for Thiago against Koscheck. Unfortunately a training injury in late December killed that but offered Mike "Quick" Swick (14-3 MMA, 9-2 UFC), a teammate of Koscheck's at American Kickboxing Academy, the chance to exact some revenge.

Speed kills and Swick is plain and simple fast. He has solid wrestling skills and very strong takedown defense. His striking is very technical and uses space and angles very well. Thiago tends to drop his hands and leave himself open when he throws. Swick's technical punching and hand speed should be able to capitalize on Thiago's below-average striking defense. Swick's solid takedown defense should prevent Thiago from getting the fight to the ground. Like Marquart, Swick works out with a couple of the top wrestlers in the UFC; combining that experience with the in-ring experience of both Fitch and Koscheck having fought Thiago, well he can’t be much more well prepared.

Swick should win this fight more than 70% of the time and therefore I see a bet at the current line as having strong value.

Prediction: Mike Swick via decision, Bet 400 to win 200 at Bodog

Demian Maia (-355 5Dimes) vs. Dan Miller (+325 Bodog)
On paper this looks like a terrible fight for Dan Miller. Miller (11-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is moderately well rounded with some Muay Thai skills, but he is primarily a wrestler and a grappler...he only has one TKO victory in his career, and that was a corner stoppage.

Demian Maia (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is an top-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter holds a second-degree black belt, and trains with Wanderlei Silva's Wand Fight Team. His grappling and BJJ credentials seem endless. So we all expect that Miller is likely out of his league on the ground against Maia. But Maia in my books is the same as Paulo Thiago except he doesn’t even have the 1-in-a-1000 shot at getting a TKO. I know Demian has only lost once by TKO but it quickly showed both the weakness of his chin, his terrible standup, and his lack of power in this weight class.

Miller obvious gameplan is to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing. Maia’s takedowns are limited to pulling guard and trips from the clinch...effective as counters but much harder when put to use against a wrestler. Miller’s grappling is top notch and should be sufficient to defend a lot of submission attempts. Jason MacDonald proved that point for most of three rounds before finally succumbing.

This fight is going to the judges and how it will be scored will probably be a coin flip and I prefer to get +325 on my coin flips...small dog play on Miller

Prediction Miller via split decision, Bet 50 to win  162.5 at Bodog

Matt Serra (-132 5Dimes) vs. Frank Trigg (+130 Bodog
Well if it wasn’t for the main card we’d be talking about the age of 37-year-old Frank Trigg (19-7 MMA, 2-4 UFC) against 35-year-old Matt Serra (9-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC). It’s you’re basic wrestler vs submission specialist, except that little Matty Serra has some very heavy hands, having dropped Hughes, St. Pierre, and Parisyan..of course they all ended up beating him.

The odds and the betting public have this one close and but polling the MMA pro’s on the web, major web sites, and fighters that are posting picks, they favor Serra by 86%. Personally this fight makes me a bit nervous because I don’t have a good feel for Trigg these days, but I’m making a one unit play based on the opinions of people with more direct experience with these two.

Prediction Serra via submission, Bet 132 to win 100 at 5Dimes


Mac Danzig (-365 Sportsbook) vs. Justin Buchholz (+325 Bodog)
Justin Buchholz (8-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) has all the weaknesses that will benefit the style of Mac Danzig (18-7-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC). Danzig has dropped three straight fights, but should have little trouble here. Of course, three straight losses should make anyone nervous and likely has Mac questioning a lot about his fight career. I really like the match-up but I don’t like the situation.

Prediction: Mac Danzig by default, Bet None

Melvin Guillard (-105 Bodog ) vs. Ronys Torres (+105 BetUS)
Brazilian Ronys Torres (14-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes his UFC debut against Melvin Guillard (22-8-2 MMA, 5-4 UFC). Again the UFC is handing Guillard a great submission fighter which is his kyrptonite. He was absolutely killing Diaz with his power and speed...right up until he hung himself in a guillotine. Torres hasn’t seen this level of fighter or this bright of lights yet. But Guillard vs BJJ makes me nervous.

Prediction: Guillard via KO, Bet none

Phillipe Nover  (+105 BetUS) vs. Rob Emerson (-125 Bodog)
Both Phillipe Nover (5-2-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) and Rob Emerson (8-8 MMA, 2-2 UFC) are coming off consecutive losses: Nover to Efrain Escudero and Kyle Bradley, Emerson to Kurt Pellegrino and Rafael dos Anjos.

Who cares...Nover by decision, no bet

Brian Stann (+235 Bodog) vs. Phil Davis (-235 5Dimes)

Polling the MMA pro’s on the web, major web sites, and fighters that are posting picks on this one, show that just over 70% of these folks back Phil Davis winning his UFC debut. That equates to a betting edge of... ahhh... ZERO.

Prediction: Phil Davis via TKO, Bet none

Joey Beltran  (+375 Bodog) vs. Rolles Gracie (-520 5Dimes)
Rolles Gracie (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) was supposed to face off against Mostapha Al Turk here but instead faces Joey Beltran (8-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who takes the fight on basically a week's notice and with just three weeks since his previous fight.

The betting world and MMA pro’s agree Gracie should win this fight 90% of the time. Still at –520 I feel money is better spent on other fights.

Prediction: Gracie via submission, Bet none

Tim Hague (+190 Bodog) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (-190 5Dimes
Chris Tuchscherner trains at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy under Greg Nelson and holds a 17-2 MMA (0-1 UFC) record and guess what...he’s a wrestler. Nothing more, well he’s also a little fat and out of shape, are those skills. I give him no credit. He was controlled  by a much smaller Travis Wiuff in early 2008 and then totally destroyed by Gabriel Gonzaga in 2009.

Tim Hague (10-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is a damn big SOB, who can take a hell of a punch and has solid standup and can slap on some quick submissions. His two fight in the UFC have been against very heavy strikers, one took him out (Duffee) and the other (Pat Berry) took a nap.

I’m a bit surprised that Hague is the dog here. The betting public seems to prefer Chris’s hair I guess.  Polling MMA pro’s on the web, major web sites, and fighters that are posting picks returns Tuchschererrrrerrnk as a 70+% favorite as well. I’m going against the grain on this one with a small dog bet.

Prediction Hague via submission, Bet 50 to win 95 at Bodog
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!

1 comment to ''UFC 109 Betting Odds and Analysis"

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