UFC 140: A Bettor’s Guide

 

Written by: AJ Hoffman

 

UFC 140 marks the next light heavyweight title defense for Jon Jones, as he takes on Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. The matchup offers some interesting value. The top-heavy card also includes the Nogueira brothers, Frank Mir, Tito Ortiz and Mark Hominick. The entire card is handicapped below.

PRELIMINARIES

John Cholish
(-350)
VS Mitch Clarke
(+250)

This is a tough one to call, as both of these guys have spent most of their careers on the local level, Clarke in the Canadian circuit. Cholish is an Ivy League educated wrestler, and will likely try to bully Clarke, who should be the smaller fighter. Clarke has good submissions from the little I have found on him. There are two trains of thought here. Go with the favorite who has seen better competition, or roll the dice on a big underdog when neither is a known commodity. I will be doing the latter. CLARKE DEF. CHOLISH BY SUBMISSION (RD 2)

Rich Attonito
(-240)
VS Jake Hecht
(+190)
 

Hecht has had a little more big card experience than the other debuting guys. He has fought in the UK and Jordan. Rich Attonito is a different level of fighter. Especially since he moved to 170, he is going to be tough for Hecht to handle. I see him controlling the fight with his grappling and grinding out a decision.  ATTONITO DEF. HECHT BY DECISION

Mark Bocek
(-155)
VS Nik Lentz
(+125)

I see this as being one of the nice value plays of the night. Both guys are very solid grapplers, but for Lentz to have a 15 fight unbeaten streak and be an underdog is pretty appealing. Bocek has lost two of his last three, albeit to Ben Henderson and Jim Miller, and this is an important fight for him. I think Lentz lays and prays and pulls off the upset.  LENTZ DEF. BOCEK BY DECISION

Yves Jabouin
(-190)
VS Walel Watson
(+155)

Watson looked great in his UFC debut, getting a TKO win in just over a minute. He is more of a submission guy, and I can’t picture him standing for too long with Jabouin, who has nasty power for the weight class. Look for Jabouin to use his takedown defense and punish Watson at every attempt. Unless he gets caught with something silly, this should be a stoppage win for Jabouin. JABOUIN DEF. WATSON BY DECISION

John Makdessi
(-165)
VS Dennis Hallman
(+135)
 

Makdessi puts his unbeaten record on the line against Dennis Hallman, who has 67 fights but is probably best known for his left nut falling out of his man-thong at UFC 133. This is the most experienced and probably the best fighter Makdessi has faced. Again, a fight I could see going either way, but you know I am a value man, and the value here is on Hallman. HALLMAN DEF. MAKDESSI BY DECISION

  Jared Hamman
(-230)
VS Constantinos Phillipou
(+180)

This is going down as one of my safest bets of the night, so buyer beware. That has been a curse lately. Hamman is just better. Phillipou won a split decision last time out, and his first shot in the UFC he was unimpressive. Hamman, at worst, always puts on a show, having won two fight of the night bonuses in his four UFC fights. Hamman will keep it standing and use his heavy hands to finish this fight. HAMMAN DEF. PHILLIPOU BY KO (RD 2)

Krzysztof Soszynski
(-280)
VS Igor Pokrajac
(+210)
 

Soszynski has won 3 of 4, and his one loss was an insane comeback win for Stephan Bonnar. Pokrajac is a pretty complete fighter, but has been really inconsistent since coming to the UFC. Soszynski is on a mission, and he can’t afford to lose to a guy like Pokrajac at this point in his career. SOSZYNSKI DEF. POKRAJAC BY TKO (RD 2)

MAIN CARD

Mark Hominick
(-450)
VS Chan Sung Jung
(+325)
 

The Korean Zombie is literally as tough as they come. He is tough to finish, and always puts on a show. Mark Hominick is just a lot better fighter. Hominick should have the FAR superior striking. Look for him to pick Jung apart, eventually forcing Jung to make sloppy takedown attempts, only to take more damage. Jung might last til the last bell, but I doubt it.  HOMINICK DEF. JUNG BY TKO (RD 3)

Brian Ebersole
(-130)
VS Claude Patrick
(+100)
 

This is the closest fight according to the oddsmaker, and I can see why. Both are very solid. Patrick has won 11 straight fights. Ebersole has won 8 straight fights. Ebersole is really well rounded. He is a division 1 wrestler, trains Muay Thai in Phuket, and has NASTY ground and pound. Patrick is very exciting submission fighter. Ebersole has too many tools in the shed though, and will beat Patrick in front of his home fans, pinning his first loss on Patrick since 2002. EBERSOLE DEF. PATRICK BY TKO (RD 2)

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
(-200)
VS Tito Ortiz
(+160)
 

OK. So I know I was wrong about Tito never winning a fight again when he fought Bader. But not after he lost to Rashad, I am on a new streak. Tito Ortiz will never win another fight. Little Nog has looked rough in his last 3 fights. Two of them were losses to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader, the other a controversial decision win over Jason Brilz. He will still find a way to be better than Ortiz. NOGUEIRA DEF. ORTIZ BY DECISION

  Frank Mir
(-240)
VS Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
(+190)

This was a dominant win for Mir the first time, as he used his size and strength advantage to bully Nogueira around the cage before becoming the first guy to ever finish “Big Nog”. Nogueira wasn’t himself in that fight, and Mir is inconsistent enough that at this price I will play Nogueira and hope he keeps his hands up. NOGUEIRA DEF. MIR BY SUBMISSION (RD 2)

MAIN EVENT

Jon Jones
(-450)
VS Lyoto Machida
(+325)

Lyoto Machida is going to be an awkward matchup for anyone. He is an unorthodox striker and is great at punishing overly aggressive strikers. This may be a spot for Jones to showcase his wrestling. He is obviously not a cupcake matchup himself. Machida will have to show he has fixed the holes in his game that Shogun Rua exposed in their two fights. Machida will definitely make this a fight, but Bones Jones will be too much to finish. It is tempting if the number gets up around +375 to +400, which it very well could by fight time. JONES DEF. MACHIDA BY TKO (RD 4)

SAFEST PICKS ROGERIO NOGUEIRA, HAMMAN
RISKIEST PICKS RODRIGO NOGUEIRA, HALLMAN
CONSERVATIVE PARLAY ROGERIO, HOMINICK, SOSZYNSKI, JABOUIN- PAYS 3/1
MODERATE PARLAY ROGERIO, JABOUIN, LENTZ, HAMMAN- PAYS 13/2
AGGRESSIVE PARLAY RODRIGO, EBERSOLE, HAMMAN, CLARKE- PAYS 25/1
LOTTERY TICKET PARLAY ALL 12 FIGHTS- PAYS 810/1

(all head shots used courtesy of UFC.com)