Jon Jones vs Shogun Rua Betting Odds and Analysis for UFC 128

By Paul Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Jon Jones (-205) finds himself living the dream after being offered a title fight just two years into his UFC career. The current champion, Shogun Rua (+165), is likely to make this a nightmare for Jones.  Many were surprised when Jones was posted as a significant favorite the day this fight was announced. Some of this is based on Jones' popularity with bettors, some on Rua's untested knee and odds makers also believe Jones is a bad match up for Rua.

Currently 63% of the public money is on Jon Jones, this doesn't offer a strong "against the public" play.  Bettors are taking a long hard look at this fight and the experiences of each fighter are swaying more and more to favor Rua.

Shogun started in a position much like the one Jones finds himself in now. A very young fighter mowing through his competition and quickly fighting for a title. If Shogun is in great shape we'll see the form of a true champion. Shogun has shown the ability to defeat a wide variety of styles and do it in dominating fashion. The biggest question about Rua revolves around his conditioning after recovering from knee surgery, especially after his performances against Coleman and Griffin.

In terms of the fight match up reach, height and footwork could well be the deciding factor. The difference in height will take away some of the power in Shogun's knees as well as set him up for Jon's Grecko style takedowns. The reach difference will require Rua to wade through jabs and kicks to get into boxing range. Although Rua is not known for his takedowns he make look to surprise Jones early, looking to turn the tables and put him on his back.

We've yet to see someone put Jones on his back or have him in any serious danger. It would be a big mistake to think that Shogun won't do just that. Jones' chin and ability to fight from his back have yet to be tested and I think there's a good chance we'll get to see both. This fight promises to be aggression on aggression and finding out who bends will be amazing.

Both fighters have the tools to win and in my opinion the odds should be close to even in this fight. In betting terms that means there's a lot of value in a bet on Shogun, the questions is can you pull the trigger.  Sure, but only for a small risk.

Pick: Shogun Rua via TKO
Bet: $100 to win $165 at Bodog Sportsbook

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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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