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2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao

2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao

2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao
By Drew Sharper

CALGARY, Alber (TheSpread) – UFC 149 takes place on Saturday night and features a number of competitive bouts. Here are some picks to consider for the night.

UFC 149 will take place from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary with the main card bouts airing live on PPV at 10PM ET. Preliminary bouts air live on FX starting at 8PM ET.

UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship Bout – Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barao (28-1)

This fight has a lot of intrigue as Barao has won 28 straight and expected to be the future of the division, but is facing one of the all-time greats for lighter weight fighters. Is Barao ready now? That is the big question. He should certainly face some adversity in this fight and it is unknown how he will handle it. Fatigue also could be a factor as he has yet to go five rounds. For that reason, I see Faber struggling early, but finding a way to win late as Barao tires from putting to much energy into the fight in the early rounds. Look for a Faber submission in the fifth. FREE PICK – Urijah Faber +160

UFC Middleweight Bout – Tim Boetsch (15-4) vs. Hector Lombard (31-2-1)

This fight should be pretty interesting. Both men are aggressive strikers and very strong in the grappling game due to their power. Lombard is a fast starter, but Boetsch is hard to finish and a fighter that will leave it all out in the cage. If Lombard tires, he will be in trouble, but due to his experience as a champion in Bellator, I expect him to stay fresh and do enough to earn a decision victory. FREE PICK – Hector Lombard -345

UFC Heavyweight Bout – Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3)

Jordan is a relative newcomer to the UFC, but was part of Strikeforce prior to entering the octagon. He is considered one of the strongest fighters in MMA, as he is also a power lifter. Kongo is primarily a striker and very agile for the division, but he lacks a lot of grappling skills. Kongo will have a big reach advantage in this fight, so if the fight stays on the feet, he should win. But, I see this fight getting to the ground where Jordan will use his ground-and-pound to finish the fight. FREE PICK – Shawn Jordan -140

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Re: 2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao

2012 UFC 149 Betting Odds & Card for Faber vs. Barao    
By Drew Sharper

CALGARY, Alberta (TheSpread) – A new UFC champion will be crowned on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 149. Here is a look at the odds for this card.

UFC 149 will take place from the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary with the main card bouts airing live on PPV at 10PM ET.

The main event of Saturday’s card is for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship as Urijah Faber (26-5) faces Renan Barao (28-1). This is a fight for an interim title as the actual champion, Dominick Cruz, is going through a knee injury that will have him out for nearly a year. According to oddsmakers, Barao is the favorite to win this five-round title fight, as he has a money line of -200, while Faber has odds of +160 to win. Faber is seeking his first UFC title. He was scheduled to have a rubber match with Cruz prior to Cruz getting injured. Faber has won three of his last four, but has lost his last four championship contests. Barao is 3-0 in the UFC and riding a 28-fight win streak with nine KO’s and 13 submissions in the run. Barao has beat a number of top contenders, but facing his toughest test to date against Faber. Both men are very skilled all around, but Faber may have a slight striking edge, while Barao may be the better submission fighter.

In the co-main event of UFC 149, middleweights Tim Boetsch (15-4) and Hector Lombard (31-2-1) face off. According to oddsmakers, Lombard is the favorite in this fight. He has been given a money line of -345, while Boetsch has odds of +275 for this contest. Lombard is making his UFC debut after being the Bellator middleweight champion for the past few years. Lombard currently has a 20-fight win streak and he has finished his last four opponents. Boetsch is 3-0 since he made the move down from light heavyweight to middleweight. He earned a big KO win over Yushin Okami at UFC 144 where he made a miraculous third-round comeback. Boetsch is strong and has big power in his hands while Lombard is also known for his KO power, but has a good grappling background as well. This fight should be a good scrap and likely won’t go the distance.

For the complete odds for the main card of UFC 149, see below.

UFC 149 Betting Odds & Fight Card

UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship

Urijah Faber +160
Renan Barao -200

Middleweight Bout

Tim Boetsch +275
Hector Lombard -345

Heavyweight Bout

Cheick Kongo +110
Shawn Jordan -140

Welterweight Bout

James Head +285
Brian Ebersole -355

Welterweight Bout

Matt Riddle -150
Chris Clements +120

Middleweight Bout

Nick Ring -120
Court McGee -110

Bantamweight Bout

Roland Delorme +107
Francisco Rivera -137

Light Heavyweight Bout

Anthony Perosh +140
Ryan Jimmo -170

Featherweight Bout

Bryan Caraway -200
Mitch Gagnon +160

Featherweight Bout

Antonio Carvalho +180
Daniel Pineda -220

Lightweight Bout

Mitch Clarke +130
Anton Kuivanen -160

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Re: 2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao

UFC 149 Betting Notes

Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barao (30-1, 1 NC)

Topping the UFC 149 card on Saturday night in Calgary, two elite 5-foot-6 bantamweights take the Octagon for a bout between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao.

Barao takes the spot on this card in place of Dominick Cruz, who would have fought for the third time against Faber. But Barao is no chump, the winner of all of his career fights but his first, including his past three, which have been UFC promoted. The Brazilian has also proven to be dangerous at winning via submission, where he has come out on top 13 career times. Faber, though, is coming off a title eliminator fight against Brian Bowles in which he won with a guillotine choke, following a bout against Cruz in which the pair went five rounds, giving Cruz a decision win. Ultimately, while Barao is climbing his way up within this division, he hasn't beaten close to the class of fighters that Faber has. And Faber's multi-faceted attack, that could give him a submission win or a TKO, figures to give him the edge in this one.
Faber, nicknamed "The California Kid" first fought Cruz in 2007, when Faber earned a victory in what would be the third of six successful defenses of his WEC featherweight title. But Cruz got the best of him the last time they fought, handing Faber his fourth straight title defeat in four years. The 33-year-old Faber's submission skills are superb, as are his abilities to take an opponent down, but what may separate him from Barao is the speed and precision he demonstrates with his hands and feet to tactically put him in a position to succeed.

Significant hype surrounds Barao in this matchup, considering he hasn't lost in 31 straight fights (30 wins, 1 no-contest). Of his most recent wins, he has either outlasted his opponent or won via submission-in UFC he has one submission in three fights, while he has five in his past eight overall. His decision win over Scott Jorgensen was big in his last fight in February, establishing himself as a legitimate contender. But his one-dimensional submission approach may not be able to keep up with a fighter as technically advanced as Faber.

Hector Lombard (31-2-1) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)

Hector Lombard will make his UFC debut as a heavy favorite on the UFC 149 card in a middleweight bout against Tim Boetsch.

As the Bellator middleweight champ, Lombard has made noise in MMA and could have the chance to face Anderson Silva at some point if he can be convincing enough in his victories. But Boetsch has experience fighting in the Octagon where he is 4-1, including three straight wins since he switched to fighting as a middleweight. Those victories have been increasingly impressive, with the last one a TKO over Yushin Okami. Lombard certainly has destructive power that can give him a knockout at any time, but at 5-foot-9 he cedes three inches to Boetsch in this fight. Boetsch also has a reach advantage of 2-to-3 inches, giving him a greater chance to earn a knockout or submission of his own.

Lombard has seemingly fought everywhere but UFC, but has not stepped in the Octagon since November of 2011. That's a significant span of eight months, with rust potentially playing a factor in any high-level MMA fight. Still, with Lombard's combination of Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing and judo, he is understandably the chalk in this one.

The 31-year-old Boetsch is called "The Barbarian" for good reason-he is an aggressive wrestler who has the brute strength to beat any opponent. He also does not go down easily; his wild fighting style lends to taking some punishing hits, but his chin lets him fight on without going down.

Cheick Kongo (27-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3)

Cheick Kongo will look to bounce back from a loss in Saturday's heavyweight battle at UFC 149 when he faces Shawn Jordan, who is looking for his third consecutive win.

Jordan fought in his first UFC bout his last time out, earning an impressive 2nd-round TKO against Oli Thompson. Kongo, by contrast, is a UFC veteran, as this will be his 17th UFC bout, where he carries a record of 10-5-1. Jordan was slightly favored in this bout, but the lines are currently even at -115 for each fighter. Before his win over Thompson, Jordan earned a submission win over the talented Lavar Johnson last September in Strikeforce. Meanwhile, Kongo has far more experience taking on elite fighters in this division. In a bout that figures to either end in a knockout or decision, Kongo's experience beating names such as Matt Mitrione and Pat Barry (both in 2011) should pay dividends. And when Kongo has lost, it has often been to top-notch fighters like Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez. That experience will give him the edge against a foe who needs more seasoning before he deserves to be deemed an equal in a bout like this.

Kongo is 3-1-1 in his past five fights, earning a decision, TKO and submission win. But the 6-foot-4 heavyweight most regularly wins via knockout, by which the majority of his career victories have come. The 37-year-old Kongo is a powerful striker and an effective kickboxer, but also uses his massive size to take down his foes as a Greco Roman wrestler. For both of those tactics, his four-inch height advantage could be the key to victory on Saturday night.

Kongo may have the height advantage in this one, but Jordan will look to use his smaller frame to help him this one with a thicker (260 pounds, 20 more than Kongo) and more athletic build. "The Savage" Jordan is a deadly striker, with nine of his 13 career wins coming via knockout. The former LSU running back can also engage Kongo in a ground battle, but both of these big men will trade their fair share of punches.

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Re: 2012 UFC 149 Picks & Predictions for Faber vs. Barao

UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao
By Brian Edwards

Never has a card put on by The Ultimate Fighting Championship been so heavily impacted by injuries than tonight’s event at the Saddledome in Calgary. Nevertheless, there will be a belt at stake and fights galore to be wagered on at UFC 149.

The main event is for the interim bantamweight title as Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC) takes on Renan Barao, who is listed as a minus-200 favorite at most books. Faber, the former WEC featherweight champ, is plus-170 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $170).

Faber was initially set to take on bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz in a rematch of their UFC 132 showdown won by Cruz via unanimous decision. However, Cruz was scratched after suffering a torn ACL. (This actually would’ve been the third meeting between Faber and Cruz, as Faber won their first encounter by first-round submission at WEC 26.)

Barao (28-1-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) is unbeaten in three Octagon appearances with wins over Cole Escovedo, Brad Pickett and Scott Jorgensen. His win over Pickett by rear-naked choke late in the first round at UFC 138 garnered Fight of the Night honors.

Barao’s lone career loss came in his mixed martial arts debut at the age of 18 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Joao Paulo back in April of 2005.

The 33-year-old Faber, who also held the KOTC bantamweight belt early in his career, has participated in 15 bouts with a title on the line. He has posted an 11-4 record in those matchups.

A few offshore books had proposition bets available on Friday afternoon. 5Dimes had minus-150 odds for the fight to go the five-round distance, while a plus-120 return could be had for a finish inside the distance.

If you like Faber to win by decision, the payout is plus-303. A win by Barao from the judges will net a plus-171 return (risk $100 to win $171).

Prediction: I think it’s a toss-up fight but from a betting standpoint, I’m all about the veteran Faber at the generous underdog price.

In the co-main event, former Bellator middleweight kingpin Hector Lombard (31-2-1-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will make his UFC debut. Most books are listing Lombard as a minus-360 ‘chalk’ versus Tim Boetsch, who is a plus-280 underdog (risk $100 to win $280).

Lombard hasn’t tasted defeat since a unanimous-decision loss to Gegard Mousasi at Pride Bushido 13 on November 6 of 2005. The ‘Cuban Australian’ has won 20 consecutive fights with 13 knockouts over this span.

Boetsch (15-4 MMA, 6-3 UFC) has won three in a row since dropping down to the middleweight loop following a loss to Phil Davis (modified kimura) at UFC 123. The 31-year-old wrestler rallied from a huge deficit to score a third-round KO of Yushin Okami at UFC 144 in Japan.

Okami dominated the first two rounds, but Boetsch caught the former No. 1 middleweight contender with a big right early in the third stanza to completely shift the momentum. With Okami struggling to regain his senses, Boetsch turned it on and finished with a violent flurry of uppercuts, prompting analyst Joe Rogan to momentarily call it the greatest comeback in UFC history. (Rogan later admitted to a moment of hyperbole.)

Whatever the case, the dramatic victory earned Boetsch a shot at a top contender in Michael Bisping, who had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. When Brian Stann had to do the same (shoulder) for his UFC on Fox 4 showdown versus Lombard, then Boestch and Lombard were matched up for tonight.

The popular notion is that a win by Lombard in impressive fashion could earn him a title shot against Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, who doesn’t appear interested in a superfight versus light heavyweight champ Jon ‘Bones’ Jones. UFC President Dana White said this week that a win by Boestch would put him ‘in the mix’ for a title shot.

Prediction: Sometimes the bright lights of the UFC impact fighters who have only fought for smaller promotions in the past. Will this be the case for Lombard? I’m not sure but this is certainly a fight that warrants a play on the underdog or a pass. I’ll suggest a small taste of Boestch for the nice return, but I wouldn’t risk much at all.

Cheick Kongo (17-7-1 MMA, 10-5-1 UFC) will take on Shawn Jordan in a heavyweight battle. Most spots are listing Jordan as a minus-130 favorite, while Kongo is available at even money.

Kongo saw his 3-0-1 run halted when he lost by first-round KO to Mark Hunt at UFC 144 in late February. The defeat was his first in more than 26 months, dating back to a loss to Frank Mir at UFC 107 in December of 2009.

Kongo’s 10 victories in the Octagon include six KOs, three decisions and one submission.

Jordan (13-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut in March at UFC on FX 2 in Sydney, beating Oli Thompson with a second-round TKO (knee and punches). He replaced Little Nog, who had to withdraw from his fight against Kongo due to an arm injury.

The biggest win on Jordan’s resume is a second-round submission of Lavar Johnson when both me were with Strikeforce last year.

Prediction: The French kickboxer has certainly faced tougher competition in his career with wins over the likes of Pat Barry, Matt Mitrione, Mirko Cro Cop, Antoni Hardonk and Paul Buentello. Plus, Kongo’s only losses in the last four years have come against a pair of former champs, Mir and Cain Velasquez, and Hunt. I like Kongo as my favorite play of the night.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Jason Floyd, the host of ‘In the Cage’ on sports radio in Tampa, likes Kongo tonight. Floyd told, “This fight is a huge step up in competition for Jordan, who just seemed happy to be there at the press conference. On the other hand, Kongo looked like he was ready to take Jordan’s head off.”

Dana White confirmed this week that welterweight champ Georges ‘Rush’ St-Pierre was on schedule and barring injury, will be ready to face interim champ Carlos Condit at UFC 154 in Montreal at the Bell Centre on November 17. 5Dimes currently has GSP installed as the minus-360 favorite with Condit available for a plus-270 payout (risk $100 to win $270). Also on this card, Johny Hendricks and Martin Kampmann are scheduled to throw down with the winner getting a shot at the 170-pound belt. Hendricks is the minus-135 ‘chalk’ against Kampmann (+105) at 5Dimes.

Daniel Cormier will make his final appearance with Strikeforce when he faces former UFC heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia in September.

Notable fights announced in the last week or so include…
Brian Stann vs. Michael Bisping (co-main event at UFC 152)
Glover Teixeira vs. Rampage Jackson (co-main event at UFC 153)
Jose Aldo vs. Erick Koch (for featherweight title at UFC 153)
Lavar Johnson vs. Brendan Schaub (UFC 154)

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