UFC 160 Betting News and Notes

UFC 160 Betting News and Notes

UFC 160 Preview
By Sportsbook.ag

Cain Velasquez (11-1) vs. Antonio Silva (18-4)

Line: Velasquez -850, Silva +550

Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva will get a second chance at heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez when the two headline UFC 160’s main card Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Silva and Velasquez fought last May, a first-round TKO for Velasquez who used a barrage of punches to end the fight after just 3:36. Velasquez was not the heavyweight champ at the time, however, reclaiming the belt in his next fight on Dec. 29 against Junior Dos Santos, to whom he had lost it in the fight before the Silva bout. Silva has won twice since losing to Velasquez, earning knockouts against top fighters in Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem. There’s no doubting at this point that that Velasquez is easily the world’s top heavyweight, but the action has been too heavy on him thus far. Silva looked extremely competent in his two most recent wins and has the power to do exactly what Velasquez did to him the first time around.

Velasquez’s only career loss was the one to Dos Santos, which he avenged with a unanimous decision. Winning via decision is rare for him, however. Nine of his 11 career wins are knockouts with just two decisions to his name and no submissions. At 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, he cedes three inches and 25 pounds to Silva. But he makes up for that with his quickness and well-rounded skill set. Most of the 30-year-old Velazquez's wins, though, come from his fists which have unparalleled power. He’ll look to do the same thing he did against Silva a year ago by coming out aggressive and never allowing him to get into a rhythm.

Silva’s ticket to an upset will be replicating Dos Santos’ recipe for giving Velasquez his only loss. Velasquez went down 1:04 into that fight with a knockout via punches, something the 33-year-old Brazilian has the talent to do. Thirteen of Silva’s 18 career wins are knockouts, including his past four wins. The majority of those knockouts have come from his powerful punches. Silva is surprisingly agile despite his "Bigfoot" frame and he’ll have to show that to avoid the same early onslaught he fell victim to last time.

Junior Dos Santos (15-2) vs. Mark Hunt (9-7)

Line: Dos Santos -400, Hunt +300

Coming off his first career loss and relinquishing the heavyweight title, Junior Dos Santos returns to the Octagon Saturday to face Mark Hunt on the main card of UFC 160.
   
At UFC 155 on Dec. 29, Dos Santos lost the belt to Cain Velasquez, who is putting his title on the line to headline this card. Dos Santos is the only person to ever record a win against Velasquez, however, beating the champ and taking the title in 2011. He successfully defended it once, against Frank Mir last May. Hunt has always been powerful and is now just finding his groove. After six consecutive losses in the middle of his career, he has now won four straight, all in UFC. Three of those have been knockouts, all a result of his deadly punches. It will be tough to do that against Dos Santos, however, a talented defender who has never been knocked out in his career.

Vertically, Hunt is as small as they come in the heavyweight division, standing at just 5-foot-10. That’s six inches shorter than dos Santos. But that doesn’t mean "Super Samoan" lacks strength—he weighs 265 pounds, 27 more than his foe. And despite the huge height difference, Hunt's reach of 74 inches is just three shorter than Dos Santos’. A kick boxer and a boxer, the 39-year-old can adapt to different fighting styles and try to land his one big flurry of blows. He likely won’t win a decision battle here, but he always has the potential for a knockout victory.

The 29-year-old Dos Santos is as experienced as they come in UFC, now 8-1 in his nine bouts. That includes wins against a number of top heavyweights: Velasquez, Mir, Roy Nelson, Mirko Cro Cop, Stefan Struve and Fabricio Werdum. An elite boxer, strikes make up the great majority of the Brazilian's attack, and given the height differential he should be more than happy to engage Hunt in a boxing match. Though "Cigano" (which means "Gypsy" in his native Portuguese language) has never lost via knockout, he has 11 career wins that way, adding two submissions and two decisions. Dos Santos KO’ed Velasquez just 1:04 into their bout, and that’s the type of skill that should earn him the win in this one.

Glover Teixeira (20-2) vs. James Te Huna (18-5)

Line: Teixeira -300, Te Huna +240

Glover Teixeira will put his 18-fight winning streak on the line Saturday night on UFC 160’s main card against James Te Huna in a light heavyweight bout.

For much of his winning streak, Teixeira has romped through lower-level circuits before making the leap to UFC. He is now 3-0 in UFC, including his most recent win, a unanimous decision win against Rampage Jackson on Jan. 26. Te Huna is also riding a win streak with four consecutive victories, putting him at 5-1 in UFC-promoted tilts. Both fighters carry the same height (6-foot-2) and weight (205 lbs.) into this fight. Though Te Huna has not taken on the same class of fighter as Teixeira has, he has shown endurance and skills that should give bettors confidence in him as an underdog. He has both the potential earn a knockout or grind out a fight and take it to the judges.

Beating Jackson gave Teixeira some credibility, though it should be noted Jackson is certainly in the twilight of his career, losing his last three fights. Prior to that, Teixeira earned solid wins against Fabio Maldonado and Kyle Kingsbury. He’s a good boxer and wrestler, but Jiu-Jitsu also figures into his attacking style. So, the 33-year-old Brazilian likes to end fights early with 12 knockouts and five submissions in his career to go along with three decisions. Four of Te Huna’s five career losses have been via submission, so Teixeira can definitely grapple his way to a victory here.

Te Huna showed his resilience in his last fight on Feb. 16, a unanimous decision victory against Ryan Jimmo. Though he was on the ropes in the first round after a tough kick, he dominated rounds two and three. His previous win, a unanimous decision against Joey Beltran, showed similar grit. After a slow start and breaking a handful of bones, he toughed it out and took control to curry the judges’ votes. Though those two fights were submissions, he also has 10 career knockouts and three submissions. Without a win against a top-notch fighter, the 31-year-old New Zealander is understandably an underdog, but he can certainly ground-and-pound his way to an upset here.

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Re: UFC 160 Betting News and Notes

UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Bigfoot
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

There is no shortage of opportunities to cash monster underdog tickets for Saturday’s UFC 160 card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. In the main event, Cain Velasquez will defend his heavyweight title against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva as an enormous -700 favorite (risk $700 to win $100).

As of Friday afternoon, gamblers could take Silva for a lucrative +500 payout (risk $100 to win $500). The ‘over/under’ is 1.5 rounds (-120 ‘over,’ -110 ‘under’).

Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) is coming off the most impressive performance of his career, regaining the heavyweight belt by destroying Junior dos Santos at UFC 155 on Dec. 29. Velasquez dominated JDS for 25 minutes en route to a unanimous-decision victory (50-45, 50-44 and 50-43).
   
Unlike the first meeting when JDS caught Velasquez with a big right hand and followed it up with ground-and-pound punishment to win the belt, Velasquez came out applying pressure. Dos Santos had never been taken down in nine previous Octagon appearances, but the former Arizona St. wrestler scored a takedown in the first minute of action.

Velasquez floored Dos Santos with an overhand right moments later and then went to work in ground-and-pound fashion. By the end of the first stanza, JDS was a swollen and bloody mess.

The fight was never competitive. Velasquez’s relentless attack kept JDS backing up, preventing him from letting his hands go. To his credit, though, Dos Santos somehow hung in there and took the beating like a warrior.

Unlike his last reign as champ when Velasquez took the belt from Brock Lesnar but lost in his first title defense to Dos Santos, he is looking to remain The Baddest Man on the Planet in another rematch situation.

Following Cain’s loss to JDS at UFC on Fox 1 on Nov. 12 of 2011, he returned to the Octagon and smashed ‘Bigfoot’ Silva by first-round knockout. As the two men met in the center of the cage, Sliva threw a legkick that Velasquez caught before executing a takedown.

Working from Sliva’s half guard, Velasquez landed a big elbow right between Bigfoot’s eyes to open a massive cut that instantly began pouring blood. From there, Silva’s vision was shot and Velasquez finished him quickly.

Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) bounced back from his miserable UFC debut to blast previously-undefeated Travis Browne by first-round knockout. In Browne’s defense, he did suffer a hamstring injury early in the first round and was basically fighting on one leg.

Nevertheless, Silva took full advantage and finished the KO at the 3:27 mark of Round 1. Next, Silva was installed as an underdog in the +350/+400 range versus Alistair Overeem.

Overeem controlled the first two rounds, winning most of the standing exchanges and also scoring a few takedowns. However, Overeem wasn’t dealing out lots of damage and he wasn’t giving ‘Bigfoot’ enough respect, repeatedly dropping his hands and inviting Silva to get busy.

At the outset of Round 3, that’s exactly what Silva did. The entire course of the fight changed when Silva connected with a headkick. ‘Bigfoot’ followed up with several overhand rights that hurt Overeem and pushed back against the cage. Silva’s violent flurry was capped by a couple of uppercuts that floored Overeem before Herb Dean stepped in to end the carnage.

Prediction: Velasquez looked incredible against Dos Santos in his last outing. I don’t think it’ll be nearly as easy against Bigfoot as the last time they squared off, but I see Velasquez winning by second-round KO. From a betting perspective on the side, this is undoubtedly a situation where you either take the underdog or pass. If you like Velasquez enough to risk a -700 Chalk Sandwich, then you’re confident it’ll happen in the first round. Therefore, go with the ‘under’ for less risk if that’s your thinking. I’ll pass.

In the co-main event, Dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will take on former K-1 champion Mark Hunt, who brings a four-fight winning streak to Vegas. Most spots have JDS listed as a -450 ‘chalk’ with Hunt available for a +360 return (risk $100 to win $360). The total is 1.5 rounds (‘over’ -160, ‘under’ +130).

Hunt (9-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is coming off a thrilling third-round KO of Stefan ‘Skyscraper' Struve, who had won four straight fights before falling victim to a leaping left hook from Hunt that broke his jaw.

Both men like to stand and bang, but there has been plenty of speculation that Dos Santos will attempt to demonstrate his ground game against Hunt. The Brazilian hasn’t needed his ground game in his UFC career to date, but he is a member of Team Nogueira and has a black belt in jiu-jitsu.

Hunt, who has won four straight fights with scalps of Struve, Cheick Kongo, ‘Big’ Ben Rothwell and Chris Tuchscherer, has an iron chin, spectacular kickboxing skills and a vicious left hook.

The winner is expected to get a title shot.

Prediction: When you take the type of beating JDS did against Velasquez, you never know if that fighter will ever be the same again. There’s another factor that I believe could work against Dos Santos in this matchup: If his game plan is to indeed take the fight to the ground, that’s a different strategy from every other previous Octagon appearance. I think Hunt has a great shot here and with the generous odds, he is an automatic play for me. I like Hunt to pull the stunner with a second-round KO.

In a light heavyweight showdown, Glover Teixeira (20-2 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will square off against James Te Huna. Most books have installed Teixeira as a -320 favorite with Te Huna available for a +260 payout. The total is 1.5 rounds (-180 ‘over,’ +150 ‘under’).

Teixeira, who is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Rampage Jackson, hasn’t tasted defeat in more than eight years. However, his performance hasn’t really met the hype in his three UFC victories. The Brazilian needs to make a statement if he wants a shot at the title in 2013.

Te Huna (16-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC) has won four in a row, but this will be his toughest career test.

Prediction: I think Teixeira wins a unanimous decision in a competitive bout (29-28). I’ll pass on a wager, though.

In the lightweight loop, Gray Maynard (11-1-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1-1 UFC) and T.J. Grant will collide for the right to face Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson for the 155-pound belt. Most spots have Maynard installed as a -210 favorite with Grant available at +170 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $170). The total is 2.5 rounds (-210 ‘over,’ +170 ‘under’).

Maynard has only fought once since his epic bouts with Frankie Edgar for the 155-pound strap. ‘The Bully’ collected a split-decision win over Clay Guida in Atlantic City on a night when ‘The Carpenter’ used a lame Greg Jackson game plan and ran from Maynard for 15 minutes.

T.J. Grant (20-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) has won four consecutive fights, but this is a big step up in competition for the Canadian.

Prediction: The -210 price is just a tad too ‘chalky’ for my taste but I’m not against taking the risk with Maynard. I think Maynard wins a unanimous decision (30-27).

The opener on the pay-per-view card will feature Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (20-5 MMA, 6-2 UFC) versus K.J. Noons in a lightweight scrap. Most spots have Cerrone as a -290 ‘chalk,’ while Noons is a +240 underdog. The total is 2.5 rounds (‘over’ -135, ‘under’ +105).

Noons (11-6 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has lost four of his last five fights and is making his Octagon debut.

Prediction: I like Cerrone to win by submission, but the price is too expensive for me. Therefore, I’ll go with the ‘under’ (2.5 rounds) at the inexpensive rate (+105).

Octagon Extras

On Tuesday’s edition of UFC Tonight on FUEL TV, we learned that Chad Mendes and Clay Guida are likely to scrap at UFC 164 in Milwaukee.

Travis Browne vs. Alastair Overeem is a huge heavyweight matchup that has been confirmed (h/t to MMAJunkie.com) for the UFC on Fox Sports 1 card, joining lightweight showdown Joe Lauzon vs. Michael Johnson and Matt Brown vs. Thiago Alves (welterweights).

Former welterweight champ Matt Serra has told the media that he is retired ‘unless he gets a chance to fight at Madison Square Garden.’ The state of New York has yet to sanction mixed martial arts.

The UFC signed former heavyweight champ Josh Barnett this week.

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