Welcome to the biggest card of 2010. Two title contender fights and one title fight which has taken all the lime light.  Chael Sonnen has talked his way into the fight of his life which is just what he wanted. He may be mentally challenged but he has the style and ability to take this fight to Anderson and truly test his grit. The rest of the main card fights are closer than the odds may suggest and that includes Big Country’s test against Dos Santos. Roy said he thinks Junior is the best heavyweight in the UFC and I agree. Lets just see if he can those rocket powered bricks Dos Santos throws and control this one on the ground.
Desert Dog's Picks for UFC 117:

Main card picks:

Anderson Silva -400 (Bet 400 win 100) BetUS
Jon Fitch –110 (Bet 210 win 200) BetUS
Junior Dos Santos -295  (Bet 295 win 100)  Bodog 
Ricardo Almeida -160 (Bet 160 win 100) Sportsbook
Clay Guida -100 (Bet 100 win 100)  5Dimes

Undercard Picks:  

Ben Saunders (-220) BetUS 
Phil Davis (-700) hahaha
Johnny Hendricks (-360) 5Dimes 
Dustin Hazelett (-115) BetUS 
Christian Morecraft (+165) Bodog 
Tim Boetsch (-400) Bodog

For the main card I like all the favorites and for the two fights with no odds-on-favorite... you can see my picks. I do think this card offers some good parlay potential. Silva, Dos Santos, and Almeida strung together brings you odds of (+165 ) and if you tack on Ben Saunders make it about (+285). The two most exciting matchups on the main card are Thiago Silva and Fitch and Guida and Dos Anjos, the odds on these two fights show just how up in the air they are. Fitch is probably going to be my anchor bet for this event but I might put a little extra change on Almeida too.

Anderson Silva (-400 BetUS) vs. Chael Sonnen (+355 BetUS)
The number one fighter in the world vs another challenger. Of course Anderson is beatable and Sonnen has the type of style that is most difficult for Silva, but he’s dealt with it before and hasn’t shown any reason for me to believe he won’t be able to keep Chael at bay and then put him away.

Prediction: Silva via Submission, Bet 400 to win 100

Jon Fitch (-110 BetUS) vs. Thiago Alves (-110 Bodog)
Jon Fitch (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) is a supreme wrestler and grappler. He holds a black belt in jiu jitsu under Dave Camarillo, and has only been beaten by Georges St-Pierre ( His only fight listed as an underdog too). fitch has NEVER lost as a favorite and proves time and again to be as close to a lock as you will find.

The past is the past, but I can’t ignore Fitch’s win over Alves in 2006. Alves may be more poised now, but both fighters have improved in the last 4 years and Fitch still has the reach and control advantage he had in ‘06.

Two units on this bad-ass title contender fight, cause Fitch has made me money every time he’s fought.

***ALVES MISSED WEIGHT AND MUST FORFIET 20% OF HIS SHOW MONEY TO FITCH****

Prediction: Fitch via submission, Bet 220 to win 200.

Junior Dos Santos (-340 Bodog) vs. Roy Nelson (+180 Bodog)
Roy has a BJJ black belt, heavy hands and the hands down best mullet in MMA. Unfortunately even Big Country can’t handle the heat that Junior will bring. Roy’s been KO’d before and this will just add one more to his resume.

Junior will hold the belt by the end of the year and Roy will be able to say that he lost the best without hesitation.

Prediction: Dos Santos by TKO,  Bet 340 win 100

Ricardo Almeida (-160 Sportsbook) vs. Matt Hughes (+170 5Dimes)
Lot’s of team intrigue in this fight with Hughes beating the flickering shells of two Gracies. However, in simple terms, Hughes is not a dominate fighter any more and this is now just a pay check.  Against a real opponent, that doesn’t cut it.

Almeida on the other hand is hungry, stronger, has better reach and movement, and has more ways to finish this fight. In the end I think he will get very close to finishing Hughes, but the veteran will be just good enough to survive.

Prediction: Almeida by Decision,  Bet 100 to win 180

Rafael Dos Anjos (-100 5Dimes) vs. Clay Guida (-100 Sportsbook)
This is a fantastic match up for Guida. Dos Anjos will pose a huge threat on the ground, but the relentless style of Guida will wear Rafael down.  As long as Guida is quick to start (never a problem) and is able to control the first round...the fight is his to win.

The odds are basically even on this one and I think a bet on Guida has value. This should be a typical mad man fight that is always so fun to watch. 

Prediction Guida via Decision, Bet 100 to win 100

Preliminary card:

Stefan Struve (-185 Bodog) vs. Christian MoreCraft (+165 5Dimes)

Stefan Struve (19-4 MMA, 2-2 UFC) has been on the wrong side of two brick walls and barely one his fight against Beuntello. He has a crazy good ground game but, he can’t handle the strikes and lacks the raw power to force a fight to the ground

Morecraft is a total unknown for most but he does hold a record of 6-0 with finishes in every fight. I’ve seen just a little bit of him and he hits hard, that’s not good news for ‘ol skyballs.

Prediction: Morecraft via TKO, Bet...none unless it gets to +200

Tim Boetsch (-400 5Dimes) vs. Todd Brown (+300 Bodog)
Boetsch has been away for three fights sharpening his resume and should be the favorite against a short notice replacement. Still, Brown is too much of an unknown to risk any bread on this one... No Bet

Dennis Hallman (+220 5Dimes) vs. Ben Saunders (-220 BetUS)
Ben Saunders has been on a terror as of late and his size and style should make short work of Hallman’s last UFC fight. I say that because I think Hallman will be out on his butt after losing two straight in the UFC.
Easy pick and a bet with strong value, but not quite strong enough for two units...just the one for me please.

Prediction: Saunders via TKO, Bet 220 to win 100

Dustin Hazelett (-115 BetUS) vs. Rick Story (-115 BetUS)
Skill ability vs heart and adrenaline appearently equals an even match up. Personally I like Rick Story, but I don't think he's has any of the tools to take out Hazelett. Look for Dustin to find some redemption.

Prediction: Hazelett via near TKO turned into a Submission, Bet 115 to win 100

Johny Hendricks (-360 5Dimes) vs. Charlie Brenneman (+325 BetUS)
Meeehh....the odds are ridiculous on this fight, but I don’t care at all about Brenneman. Very unlikely to see this one on the PPV, so lets just pretend it doesn’t even exist.

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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