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UFC 107 Betting Odds - BJ Penn better be ready for a war

Posted by Jack "The Hammer" Howard on 12/7/2009 4:10:56 PM

MMA Odds: Pick Sanchez +240 / Mir -180

bet on UFCUFC 107 betting odds mark the fourth UFC event in the last five weeks, continuing a very busy season of sports betting for fight fans. After seeing virtually every reigning champion succumb to injury, the UFC finally has a title fight on tap again. Lightweight powerhouse BJ Penn has been untouchable at 155 pounds but has a tough challenge in the big, aggressive Diego Sanchez. Can Penn handle Sanchez’s size and cardio?

UFC 107 betting odds:
Penn a legend but sometimes prone to lapses in dedication
Extremely fit, focused Sanchez will push a breakneck pace to tire out Penn
Frank Mir should cruise against Cheick Kongo, who has no ground skills

Penn vs Sanchez odds

BJ Penn (14-5-1)
As any die-hard fan will tell you, BJ “The Prodigy” Penn is a lightweight legend. Penn is known for his natural gifts and unparalleled ground game in his weight class. He’s as flexible as any fighter in the world and can contort his body in ways few other fighters can. That makes him a dominant Jiu-Jitsu practitioner capable of submitting anyone from any position.

BJ’s standup is quite underrated; he’s a technically crisp boxer who has knockout power and the ability to finish opponents with surprise attacks – as he did when he obliterated Sean Sherk with a flying knee at UFC 84.

The only real question that follows the UFC lightweight champ around is that of dedication and conditioning. Because he’s so talented, he’s occasionally fallen into the trap of not training hard enough and showing up for fights out of shape. That usually happened when he fought at 170 pounds and got dominated by stronger welterweights like Georges St-Pierre. At lightweight, Penn is trimmer and usually trains harder. He’ll have to do so against Diego Sanchez, whose size makes him more like a welterweight.

Diego Sanchez (21-2)
After what seems like an eternity, the accomplished Diego Sanchez finally gets his title shot. His style is nothing like the beauty of watching Penn work. Diego is fast and furious – a self-professed brawler who swarms opponents and relies on a true mixture of different fighting styles. He’s a decent grappler and he’s a big lightweight – he won the “Ultimate Fighter” reality show at middleweight – but prefers to stand and trade blows. One major advantage he has over Penn and most of his other opponents is cardio; few fighters can match “Nightmare” Sanchez’s furious pace.

What will happen: A properly dedicated Penn is almost unbeatable at lightweight but I’m not so sure he’s ready for Sanchez. In recent interviews, Penn seemed overly relaxed and looked slightly overweight. The bigger, stronger Sanchez is a major online betting underdog but he’ll arrive for this fight in tip-top shape. Never having been stopped in a fight, Sanchez won’t fear Penn’s hands; he’ll engage and try to tire Penn out. Take a sportsbook flier and go with Diego Sanchez. No one wants the lightweight title as much as the intense Sanchez does right now – including Penn.

UFC 107 betting odds pick: Sanchez +240

Mir vs Kongo odds

Frank Mir (12-4)
Some fight fans underestimate Mir with the image of monstrous Brock Lesnar pummeling him at UFC 100 stuck in their minds. But the truth is that Lesnar is the exception in terms of Frank Mir’s recent opponents. Mir is a world-class heavyweight and, next to Minotauro Nogueira, the best submission artist in the heavyweight division.

In his victory over Nogueira last year, Mir also showed legitimate boxing – enough of a plus in his game that he can finish fights with his hands. It’s also important to remember that Mir looked small compared to Lesnar but is actually a huge heavyweight, fighting between 235-255 pounds. He won’t give up much if any girth to Cheick Kongo.

Cheick Kongo (14-5-1)
One of the more enigmatic heavyweights around, French kickboxer Cheick Kongo teases with his talents but usually disappoints in crunch time. He’s a powerful physical specimen with big knockout power in his hands, feet and elbows, but he seriously lacks a ground game. At UFC 99, the smaller Cain Velazquez ragdolled Kongo on the canvas. After three years in the UFC, Kongo hasn’t really improved as a fighter.

What will happen: Mir is a nightmare matchup for Kongo. He’s beaten and submitted bigger men, such as behemoths Tim Silvia and, don’t forget, Lesnar in their first fight. Mir will have to be careful on his feet but his boxing is good enough for him to hang with Kongo. It will only be a matter of time before Mir takes Kongo down and taps him out.

UFC 107 betting odds pick: Mir -180

Other UFC 107 betting odds to consider

Kenny Florian (11-4) vs Clay Guida (25-10): There’s a ton of pressure on Kenny Florian, who looked flat in his title fight loss against BJ Penn. The tenacious Clay Guida will “annoy” Florian with his takedowns but isn’t a finisher. Florian’s a superior technical fighter in every way and will find a way to win either standing or on the ground.

Jon Fitch (20-3) vs Mike Pierce (9-1): With respect to Pierce (and Jake Shields), Jon Fitch is the best welterweight in the world not named Georges St-Pierre. In fact, the only guy he can’t beat is GSP. Go with the wrestling dynamo Fitch, who has won 18 of his last 19 fights.

Paul Buentello (24-10) vs Stefan Struve (18-3): Watch out for former UFC No. 1 contender Paul Buentello. He’s 35 years old and his physique rivals Roy Nelson’s but the man can box. Don’t be surprised if he knocks out the 6’11” Struve, though Buentello is more technique than power at this stage of his career.

Check the BetOnline sportsbook throughout the week for any changes to the UFC 107 betting odds.



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