Jones vs. Bader Pick
Jones enters the fight as the favorite according to oddsmakers from online sportsbook Sportsbook.com with betting odds of -325 while Bader comes in with odds of +250. UFC 126 takes place from the Mandalay Bay Events Center and will air live on Pay-Per-View at 10PM ET.
HOW JONES WINS
Jones (11-1) really has never been beaten. He was DQ’d for using an illegal elbow in a bout in 2009, which is his only blemish. Jones is considered by many as the next big thing in MMA as his length and striking are unique and hard to defend. Jones hasn’t really been challenged by anyone in the UFC and for this fight, he needs to keep things standing and if he is taken down, he has to use his long legs to have an active guard. If Jones is able to use his kicks, elbows, and punches during the fight, he should be able to finish Bader.
HOW BADER WINS
Bader (12-0) has not lost in his career and he has used his wrestling and strength to get his victories. Bader has good hands, but will clearly be the lesser striker in this bout. The key for Bader will be to get Jones to the ground and use his wrestling ability to work ground-and-pound striking. We haven’t seen Jones have to fight off his back, and that is a big test for fighters to have to go through. Bader may be able to beat Jones psychologically with an early takedown.
WHO TO PICK?
For this bout, I like Jones as he has more ways to win and is just a very athletic and diverse fighter. Bader has to have things get to the ground, and even then, Jones may be able to be the better fighter there. It is hard to not respect an unbeaten fighter, but I think Jones is at another level and he will use his striking to earn a TKO win in round two.
UFC 126 FREE PICK: JON JONES -325