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UFC 95 odds - gut check time for Daddy and Nightmare

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 4/25/2012 10:17:40 AM

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UFC 95 odds: Stevenson, Sanchez meet in a battle of grapplers

  • WHO: Joe”Daddy” Stevenson vs Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez
  • WHAT: UFC 95 betting
  • WHEN: Saturday, February 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET on Spike
  • WHERE: O2 Arena in London, England
  • PICK: Sanchez

Junior Dos Santos -300
Stefan Struve +240

Paul Kelly -400
Troy Mandaloniz +300

Josh Koscheck -550
Paulo Thiago +375

Dan Hardy -115
Rory Markman -115

Demian Maia -280
Chael Sonnen +220

Nathan Marquardt -280
Wilson Gouveia +220

Joe Stevenson +240
Diego Sanchez -300

The UFC’s lightweight division is a shark tank, loaded with versatile fighters anxious to challenge BJ Penn for the crown. Those who bet sports will watch two of those fierce competitors butt heads when wrestling specialists Joe Stevenson and Diego Sanchez clash in the main event. The other fights feature some exciting up-and-comers from multiple weight classes who could become consistent offshore sportsbook picks in the near future.

Stevenson vs Sanchez odds

MMA betting fans could argue that Joe Stevenson (34-9) struggled in 2008, but it’s hard to fault him considering his two losses came to the top two lightweights in the UFC – BJ Penn and Kenny Florian. Still, the way in which he lost those fights – beaten to a bloody pulp and choked out by Penn at UFC 80, then outboxed and choked out by Florian at UFC 91 – is imprinted the minds of those who bet sports. Sure, the year wasn’t all bad for Daddy; he submitted Gleison Tibau with his trademark guillotine choke at UFC 86. But the bottom line is that, aside from the “Ultimate Fighter” finale, “big fights” haven’t been kind to Stevenson.

It’s safe to say Diego Sanchez (21-2) constitutes a “big fight” opponent for Stevenson, so Daddy could be in trouble. The matchup looks dead even on paper – both fighters use their wrestling skills to overpower opponents– but does Sanchez have the natural talent advantage? He was the next big thing after he too won his season of the “Ultimate Fighter” and his only two losses were by decision – one of them a split. While Daddy is a burly lightweight who has a strength advantage in most fights, that may not be the case in the Stevenson vs Sanchez line. Sanchez fought as heavy as 185 pounds in the past, meaning he’ll be a “big” lightweight.

Sanchez’s biggest obstacle is himself. In his losses to Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck, he appeared to withdraw and mentally “check out” when the going got tough. Stevenson has no problem getting his nose dirty, so it will be interesting to see how Sanchez responds.

Still, MMA betting fans have seen Stevenson get dominated before, whereas no fighter has truly beaten up Sanchez. For that reason, online sports betting players should give Sanchez the benefit of the doubt. Assume he’s the better fighter and give him one more chance to show he has the desire to win. Pick Diego Sanchez.

Other UFC 95 lines

Nate Marquardt (29-8-2) vs Wilson Gouveia (12-5): Both have shown the ability to finish fights spectacularly, so I doubt this one will go the distance. Bet on the more proven Marquardt, who is still hungry after losing to top middleweight contender Thales Leites because of point deductions.

Demian Maia (10-0) vs Chael Sonnen (23-9-1): Keep sticking with Maia. The guy is an all-world Jiu-Jitsu artist and no one can touch him so far.

Josh Koscheck (14-3) vs Paulo Thiago (n/a): Bet on Koscheck here. My gut tells me he’ll keep evolving and contend for the welterweight title again someday. Wildcards like Thiago are scary, but Koscheck’s iron chin helps him survive anything.

Junior Dos Santos (7-1) vs Stefan Struve (n/a): Two big, big boys meet in this bout, with the 6’8” Struve “dwarfing” the 6’4” Dos Santos. Was Dos Santos’ huge knockout of Fabricio Werdum a fluke, a-la-Gonzaga/Cro Cop? We’ll find out. For now, bet on the known commodity Dos Santos.

If you want to bet on UFC 95, check out betonline.com for the latest UFC 95 lines.

Jack “the Hammer” Howard is new to the MMA handicapping game, but his roots in the sport run deep. He enjoyed a brief amateur career in mixed martial arts and also has some boxing experience under his belt, making him an authority on the subject. Thoughts or questions?


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