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UFC 103 Odds - Former stars Belfort, Cro Cop will disappoint

Posted by Jack "Hammer" Howard on 4/25/2012 10:06:06 AM
UFC bettingThe UFC 103 odds cap off what has been an interesting summer of UFC betting. We saw high-profile cards with big title fights at UFC 100 and 101, then more of a “fight fan’s” card at UFC 102. UFC 103 is sure to please anyone who enjoys a good striking match, as famous knockout artists Vitor Belfort and Mirko Cro Cop are back in action.

UFC 103 odds: Franklin and Dos Santos are younger, faster, better than Belfort and Cro Cop

  • Belfort may be rusty against the fit, talented Franklin
  • Dos Santos almost like a younger version of Cro Cop
  • Frank Trigg will disappear as quickly as he returns to the Octagon

Franklin vs Belfort odds
Filipovic vs Santos odds
Koscheck vs Trigg odds
Griffin vs Franca odds
Kampmann vs Daley odds
Escudero vs Miller odds
McFedries vs Drwal odds
Miller vs Lopez odds
Oliveira vs Lentz odds
Foster vs Story odds
Marshall vs Brilz odds
Matyushenko vs Pokrajac odds
Emerson vs Dos Anjos odds

Franklin vs Belfort odds

Rich Franklin (25-4)
One of most popular fighters in UFC betting today, Rich “Ace” Franklin, a former math teacher, is known for his tenacity, punching power and willingness to brawl. While many modern fans can’t help but picture him getting knocked out brutally by Anderson Silva twice, the truth is that those losses are almost the only black marks on his accomplished career. Franklin’s only other losses were a controversial split-decision defeat to Dan Henderson at UFC 93 and a KO defeat against Lyoto Machida early in his career. Aside from those high-profile losses, Franklin enters UFC 103 betting as one of the more dominant fighters of his generation. He’s what I call a “smart brawler.” He loves to trade shots but he also picks his spots; he’s excellent at avoiding strikes and his ground defense is strong too. He uses his excellent conditioning to outlast opponents and hurt them when they start to breathe heavily in late rounds, as he did in his last fight when he beat Wanderlei Silva.

Vitor Belfort (18-8)
After more than four years away from the UFC, Brazilian knockout artist Vitor Belfort returns to the Octagon and hopes to recapture his former glory. Belfort has wins over big names like Tank Abbott and Randy Couture, though his win over Couture came via cut stoppage. He’s also faced a boatload of legendary fighters, including Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Couture three times. Unfortunately for Belfort, he almost always loses when he faces tough competition. He struggles against brawny fighters with good wrestling skills. He has, however, caught fire recently, winning four straight fights and three via knockout. He hasn’t lost since dropping to middleweight and showed tremendous power in his last fight when he knocked out Matt Lindland in 37 seconds.

What Will Happen: Belfort could make real noise in his return to the UFC but bettors should make him earn back their trust at the sportsbook. Franklin is a world-class fighter, tough to hurt and able to win in many ways. He could overwhelm Belfort, who could still have a good future but may feel rusty after facing weaker competition the last few years.

UFC betting pick: Franklin

Filipovic vs Dos Santos odds

Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (25-6-2)
The nickname “Cro Cop” is synonymous with “knockout,” as Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic is widely considered one of the most powerful strikers in mixed martial arts history. While his UFC betting career hasn’t been too successful to date, he’s faced many of the world’s best fighters overseas and has beaten Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett and Kevin Randleman, among many other high-profile heavyweights. Cro Cop will never be mistaken for a ground fighter entering the UFC 103 odds; he’s a kick boxer with devastating punching power and, arguably, the greatest head kicks the sport has ever seen. In recent years, however, he hasn’t looked the same. Gabriel Gonzaga shocked the world by brutally knocking him out at UFC 70 and seriously injuring Cro Cop’s knee. The big Croatian seems to have lost a step since then.

Junior Dos Santos (8-1)
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos is a rising star in the heavyweight division and makes headlines the same way Cro Cop does – spectacular knockouts. Though he’s developing a decent Jiu-Jitsu game, Dos Santos is first and foremost a knockout machine. He exploded onto the UFC scene at UFC 90 when he upset contender Fabricio Werdum with a massive uppercut knockout in the first round – just 1:21 into the fight. He followed that win up by dropping 6’11” Stefan Struve in 54 seconds. While he still hasn’t faced much elite competition, Dos Santos’ sportsbook future looks bright. How much faith do his fellow fighters have in him? Let’s put it this way – some guys named Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and Minotauro Nogueira train him.

What Will Happen: Cro Cop is a scary opponent for any fighter because he can change a fight in the blink of an eye. However, Dos Santos has flashed that same ability early in his career. He’s 10 years younger and Cro Cop looked flat-footed in his last fight. Bet on Dos Santos to make a major climb on the heavyweight ladder with a knockout victory.

UFC betting pick: Dos Santos

Koscheck vs Trigg odds

Josh Koscheck (12-4)
Known in online betting circles for his bleached hair and brash demeanor early in his career, Josh Koscheck has slowly morphed into a legitimate welterweight contender. Thanks to a championship background in NCAA wrestling, “Kos” is one of the strongest fighters in his weight class. After some humbling defeats, he’s also developed his striking. He’s a well-rounded fighter with phenomenal wrestling, knockout power and a strong chin, as he showed when he took a heavy beating from Thiago Alves last year. He was “knocked out” in his last fight against Paulo Thiago but many sportsbook bettors believe the referee stopped that fight early. Hovering around the top five at welterweight, Koscheck is likely a win or two away from another title shot and would probably love a rematch with Georges St-Pierre.

Frank Trigg (19-6)
After more than four years away from the Octagon, former top welterweight contender Frank Trigg returns to the UFC. He’s a well-rounded-fighter – big for his weight class and able to combine wrestling with knockout power and submission ability. Trigg has also battled some of the greatest welterweights of all time, including Matt Hughes and Georges St-Pierre. The problem: Trigg never beat any of those top-quality opponents. He’s more of a gatekeeper, a tough fighter who never broke through to elite status. He’s also prone to mental mistakes, having given up his back to Hughes (twice in two title fights) and St-Pierre and lost via rear naked choke three times.

What Will Happen: Trigg is six years older and his age will likely show in the UFC 103 odds. He’s in over his head against an athletic, next-generation fighter like Koscheck and may get manhandled on the ground.

UFC betting pick: Koscheck

Griffin vs Franca odds

Tyson Griffin (13-2)
One of the sport’s most underrated fighters, Tyson Griffin is a rare combination of speed, power and technique. He’s a wrestler by trade and one of the strongest lightweights in the UFC. He’s also a good technical striker and has flashed knockout power, though it hasn’t translated to many of his Octagon fights. Even though he’s only 25, he’s already faced some of the top lightweights in the world, including Sean Sherk and Frank Edgar. His only two losses came against those two fighters, but both defeats were closely contested decisions that could have gone his way in some online betting fans’ eyes. So far in his career, Griffin has showcased a granite jaw and good submission defense, as he has never been stopped. A win could catapult him close to the top of the lightweight heap.

Hermes Franca (19-7)
Hermes Franca is a tough, well-rounded veteran who’s fallen upon hard times in his recent UFC career. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt had a very promising start to his MMA betting career, scoring wins over Mike Brown, Nate Diaz, Carl Uno and Spencer Fisher via knockout or submission. After he lost a lightweight title match against Sean Sherk two years ago, he tested positive for a banned substance. He won his next fight against Marcus Aurelio after a one-year suspension but tore his ACL during training after that and hasn’t fought for almost a year.

What Will Happen: Griffin is too young, too fast and too talented for Franca to handle. He’s hungry for a title shot and resistant to Franca’s punching power and submission skills. Look for him to pick apart Franca, who should be very rusty after almost 11 months off.

UFC betting pick: Griffin

Kampmann vs Daley odds

Martin Kampmann was scheduled to fight Mike Swick on the main card in a welterweight No. 1 contender match but will settle for Daley after Swick pulled out with an injury. Daley is a knockout machine and Kampmann doesn’t have the best chin, but he’s at a higher level. Bet at the sportsbook on Kampmann to make a statement and earn a title shot against Georges St-Pierre.

UFC betting pick: Kampmann

Escudero vs Miller odds

Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero is undefeated and a rising star in the UFC, but I think he’ll get knocked off his high horse in UFC 103 betting. Cole Miller is a tough, heady fighter with outstanding submission skills and won’t have to worry about any hard strikes from Escudero, who has no knockout victories.

UFC betting pick: Miller

McFedries vs Drwal odds

Drew McFedries is an entertaining fighter if nothing else. He loves to trade blows and go for knockouts and, because of his style, he gets knocked out a lot. That doesn’t bode well for his UFC 103 odds against power puncher Tomasz Drwal, who could brutalize him.

UFC betting pick: Drwal

Miller vs Lopez odds

Jim Miller is a submission specialist starting to climb the lightweight UFC betting ranks after beating former TUF winner Mac Danzig in his last fight. He shouldn’t have much trouble with the relatively unknown Steve Lopez.

UFC betting pick: Lopez

Oliveira vs Lentz odds

Oliveira fits the profile of “up and coming Brazilian submission artist” in the mould of Paulo Thiago, Demian Maia and so on. He’s 9-1 and should cruise against Nik Lentz.

UFC betting pick: Oliveira

Foster vs Story odds

Watch for a memorable UFC 103 odds debut from Foster, who has won all 12 of his fights via finish. He may become the first man to stop Rick Story, who seeks his first UFC win.

UFC betting pick: Foster

Marshall vs Brilz odds

Both fighters have started their careers promisingly – especially Jason Brilz, who is 17-1 and has beaten some “name” fighters like Tim Boetsch and Jason McDonald. Look for him to finish Marshall.

UFC betting pick: Brilz

Matyushenko vs Pokrajac odds

Once in a while, Dana White tucks big names into undercards. Vladimir Matyushenko is a former UFC No. 1 contender who hasn’t fought in the UFC in six years. His opponent, Igor Pokrajac, is a true finisher as well, so this fight shouldn’t go the distance. Bet on Matyushenko, who has the better pedigree.

UFC betting pick: Matyushenko

Emerson vs Dos Anjos odds

Don’t let Rob Emerson’s 8-7 record deceive you; he started his career 2-6 and is 6-1 since then. He has knockout power and will show it against Rafael Dos Anjos, who hasn’t beaten anyone since joining the UFC.

UFC betting pick: Emerson

For more MMA odds and other sports betting tips, keep reading the Betting Edge at

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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