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UFC 106 Betting Odds - Returning Ortiz biting off more than he can chew

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 11/20/2009 9:20:10 AM
bet on UFCUFC 106 betting odds are posted and it’s time for sportsbook bettors to get back on the horse again, even though UFC 105 ended just days ago. It’s a good time to be a fight fan, isn’t it? Saturday’s card features a rematch between star light heavyweights Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, plus a highly anticipated clash between rising stars Josh Koscheck and Anthony Johnson.

UFC 106 betting odds: Forrest Griffin has plenty left in the tank
Bigger, faster Griffin will rely on versatility to beat Ortiz
Koscheck in big trouble if he tries to strike with deadly Johnson
Nogueira will take up-and-comer Cane down a notch

Ortiz vs Griffin odds

Tito Ortiz (15-6-1)
The longest defending light heavyweight champion in UFC betting history at 3.5 years, Tito Ortiz returns to the Octagon after a year and a half away from mixed martial arts. There’s no question that Ortiz remains a big pay-per-view draw. From his bleached hair to his “Celebrity Apprentice” appearance to his marriage to ex-porn star Jenna Jameson, Tito attracts lots of attention. The big question is whether or not he can still contend in the talent-rich light heavyweight division at age 34.

The good news for the Huntington Beach Bad Boy is that punching power, which can diminish with age, was never his forte. Ortiz was and is a powerful wrestler first and foremost. He’s used to controlling opponents with his wide frame, slamming them to the canvas and scoring his knockouts via ground-and-pound strikes. Ortiz defeated Forrest Griffin by split decision in April 2006 but has likely lost a step since then. He’s at a disadvantage in the striking game and doesn’t hold a size edge over Griffin, so he’ll rely on technique and experience.

Forrest Griffin (16-6)
The ultra-likable Forrest Griffin took a major step backward in his career when Anderson Silva absolutely humiliated him at UFC 101. Not only was Silva on another level talent-wise, Griffin lost some fans when he ran out of the Octagon after the fight and declined interviews. Online betting fans have to wonder where he’ll be mentally for Saturday’s fight, one in which he arguably faces immense pressure. Griffin lacks knockout power but he’s a solid striker whose leg kicks are among the very best in the sport. He’ll likely use those kicks to keep the powerful wrestler Ortiz at bay. Griffin has respectable Jiu-Jitsu on the ground and he’s also a big light heavyweight, standing 6’3” and reportedly walking around at close to 240 pounds when he isn’t training. Ortiz will have a tough time pushing him around.

What will happen: Griffin looked bad in his last fight but we should remember that anyone can look bad against one of the all-time greats. Griffin is younger, bigger and faster than Ortiz. He likely won’t finish Ortiz but he has the versatile skills to score points in the standup. Ortiz will be hard-pressed to hurt the durable Griffin and it remains to be seen if he’s still strong enough to control the fight on the ground. Go with Griffin, who brings more diverse skills to the table. Griffin’s confidence may be shaken but he was in a similar situation after losing to Keith Jardine in 2006 and bounced back from that heartbreak beautifully.

UFC 106 betting odds pick: Griffin

Koscheck vs Johnson odds

Josh Koscheck (13-4)
Josh Koscheck is of UFC’s more frustrating fighters, as he teases with his considerable talent only to disappoint when handed crucial opportunities. He’s probably one of the top five wrestlers in the UFC thanks to a highly successful NCAA background. He’s at his best when he sticks to his strength, taking opponents down and pummeling them. However, Koscheck is also a great athlete, a sponge who develops new skills rapidly, and that hurts him as much as it helps him. Because his punching power and boxing are improving, he often feels tempted to “show off” his skills and gets caught in striking matches. He lost to Thiago Alves and Paulo Thiago for that reason. If he tries to box with Anthony Johnson, an absolute killer, he could lose a very winnable fight.

Anthony Johnson (8-2)
Considering that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson lost a fight in which he was poked in the eye illegally, he should be 9-1. At age 25, Johnson is a true up-and-comer in the welterweight division. He’s developing a reputation as a spectacular knockout artist, as his kickboxing gives him an explosive arsenal of head kicks and punches. A big reason behind his power is his size. He’s 6’2” and reportedly walks around at 210-220 pounds, meaning he cuts a ridiculous 40-plus pounds before his fights. It almost gives him an unfair size advantage and he failed to make weight in his last bout, but the gamer Josh Koscheck will likely agree to fight Johnson no matter what. The question with Rumble regards his ground game. Can he find favorable positions or at least escape if Koscheck takes him down?

What will happen: In theory, Koscheck should win this fight if he stays smart, but I’m not convinced he will. Johnson is an exciting fighter, this is being billed as an exciting fight, and the brash Koscheck may get caught up in the hype. I predict that he tries to stand with Johnson and winds up knocked out.

UFC 106 betting odds pick: Johnson

Other UFC 106 betting odds to consider

Luiz Cane (10-1) vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (17-3): Young gun Luiz Cane needs a win over an elite opponent to climb the light heavyweight ladder but Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, twin brother of Minotauro, may be too big of a jump. Expect Nogueira, who has wins over Dan Henderson and Alistair Overeem, to teach Cane a lesson. Pick Nogueira.

Amir Sadollah (1-1) vs Phil Baroni (13-11): After getting knocked out in his welterweight debut, Amir Sadollah gets a shot at redemption versus veteran Phil Baroni. I’d bet on Sadollah to bounce back against the past-his-prime Baroni, who hasn’t fought in the UFC since 2005.

Karo Parisyan (18-5) vs Dustin Hazelett (12-4): Karo Parisyan is a solid fighter but his upside is limited by his inability to finish opponents. Hazelett is hot, having won four of five fights, and should pull out the victory.

Check the sportsbook for updated UFC 106 betting odds and bookmark the Betting Edge for sports betting tips from our top handicappers.



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