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UFC 104 Betting - Machida is here to stay as light heavyweight champ

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 10/21/2009 2:49:36 PM
UFC betting oddsUFC 104 odds are posted and a major fight card is upon us for the first time in months. Now, MMA betting fans are licking their chops to see light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida defend his crown. He’s a heavy favorite over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua but the light heavyweight title has changed hands three straight times. Can Machida break the trend?

UFC 104 betting: Machida will exploit Shogun’s renegade style; Cain Velasquez will fuel the hype train

  • Shogun a deadly striker but will leave himself open to big strikes from Machida
  • Ben Rothwell is no slouch but Velasquez’s talent is legit
  • Joe Stevenson will overpower Spencer Fisher

Machida vs Rua odds

Lyoto Machida (15-0)
It’s time to slot Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida beside Anderson Silva, Fedor Emelianenko and Georges St-Pierre in the “pound for pound” discussion; he is truly one of the best martial artists in the world. Few fighters have started their careers more dominantly; not only is Machida undefeated, he’s never lost a round in the UFC. He’s also the best defender in the UFC history, getting hit less per strike attempt than any other fighter has.

The key to Machida’s success is his unique Karate-based style, which keeps his body upright and his chin far away from opponents. No one can reach the guy. When they attempt to penetrate his defense, they come within his striking range and he picks them apart with his powerful, technically sound strikes. By brutally knocking out undefeated Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva in consecutive fights, Machida showed that he isn’t a “boring” fighter. If necessary, however, he can win fights on points or submit opponents. His impressive list of victims includes Tito Ortiz, B.J. Penn and Rich Franklin.

Mauricio Rua (18-3)
One of the deadliest strikers in the world, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is known for devastating knockouts over top competition. He’s finished opponents in 16 of his 18 wins and has knocked out Rampage Jackson, Alistair Overeem, Mark Coleman and Chuck Liddell, among others.

A product of the Chute Box Academy, Shogun is an extremely aggressive fighter who not only uses his Muay Thai to go for the knockout but also can take a serious punch. He puts himself in danger to inflict damage on his opponents. Rua drew criticism in recent years for poor conditioning and a perceived lack of dedication but looked sharp and in shape in his last fight against Liddell.

What will happen: Rua is a killer; if you give him an opening, he’ll pounce immediately. Against slower, over-the-hill opponents like Coleman and Liddell, it was no contest. Against Machida, however, Shogun’s aggression will hurt him. Machida’s patience will pay off; he’ll simply wait for Shogun to overextend himself going for the knockout and explode on him when the time his right, just as he did against Silva and Evans. Machida is a near perfect fighter; he’ll be champion for a long time.

UFC betting pick: Machida

Velasquez vs Rothwell odds

Cain Velasquez (6-0)
Is he or isn’t he? Some fight fans call Cain Velasquez the “next big thing” at heavyweight while others think he’s extremely overhyped. I side with the former; he still has some growing to do as a fighter, but I think Velasquez will eventually become Brock Lesnar’s greatest challenger. Velasquez is the total package; he’s a phenomenal wrestler, an All-American out of Arizona State. He’s a powerful kickboxer who changes his levels and picks apart opponents, as he showed when he won his first five fights via knockout. He’s extremely tough, with a granite jaw; he absorbed some powerful blows from big Cheick Kongo and ground out a win. Best of all, Velasquez is a perfectionist. He’s never satisfied with his performance, always looking to improve. He’s thus unlikely to let his perfect record go to his head.

Ben Rothwell (30-6)
Big Ben Rothwell doesn’t really have a set identity; is he a striker? A submission specialist? A brawler? Mixed martial artist is more like it. Rothwell can do a little bit of everything. He has knockout power but sometimes gets caught trading with polished strikers, as he did against Andrei Arlovski. Rothwell does his best work on the ground, using his weight to smother and overpower opponents.

What will happen: Rothwell is no easy opponent for Velasquez, especially since Velasquez hasn’t shown finishing ability yet. However, Velasquez is still the faster, smarter fighter. He can pick apart Rothwell and, while Rothwell isn’t an easy load to bully on the ground, Velasquez showed his strength by ragdolling the massive Kongo. He’ll put on another impressive display in the sportsbook’s UFC 104 betting.

UFC betting pick: Velazquez

Stevenson vs Fisher odds

Joe Stevenson (30-10)
Joe “Daddy” Stevenson’s career has been a rollercoaster of late. He went from No. 1 lightweight contender to dud last year, losing to Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, but looked like the Daddy of old against Nate Diaz in his last fight. Stevenson’s at his best when he sticks to his strengths, using his great power and wrestling instead of trying to box. If Stevenson wants to stand and trade, his UFC odds won’t fare as well. He has heavy enough hands but a short reach and doesn’t evade punches too well.

Spencer Fisher (23-4)
One of the more versatile lightweights around, Spencer Fisher combines solid Muay Thai striking with good submission ability thanks to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He’s never afraid to face top competition, having battled Thiago Alves, Hermes Franca and Frank Edgar. Against Stevenson, Fisher’s best bet is to stay standing, as he’s the more accomplished striker. On the ground, Stevenson could manhandle him.

What will happen: If Stevenson had a weak jaw, Fisher would have a chance. But I don’t think he can really hurt Daddy. Look for Stevenson, the much stronger fighter, to wrestle his way to victory.

UFC betting pick: Stevenson

Other UFC 104 betting matchups

Anthony Johnson (7-2) vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida (11-3): Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is making fans quickly thanks to his kickboxing and knockout power. As one of the biggest welterweights around, he’s a difficult matchup for Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Look for Johnson to drop Yoshida just like Josh Koscheck did last year. Bet on Johnson.

Yushin Okami (23-4) vs Chael Sonnen (23-10-1): Here’s an important fight for each of these guys. Okami has to validate his reputation as one of the top middleweights in the world by putting his injuries behind him with a convincing win. Sonnen wants to show he can still contend in the UFC. Look for the bigger, stronger Okami to control the pace of the fight and maybe even knock out Sonnen. Pick Okami.

For full UFC 104 odds and other sports betting tips, keep reading the Betting Edge at

Jack "The Hammer" Howard is's mixed martial arts expert.



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