Carwin vs. Dos Santos Free Pick
Junior dos Santos enters this bout as the favorite according to oddsmakers from online sportsbook Bodog as he has odds of -165 while Carwin has a money line of +135. UFC 131 takes place from the Rogers Arena and will air live on Pay-Per-View at 9PM ET.
WHY PICK DOS SANTOS
Dos Santos (12-1) was originally scheduled to face Brock Lesnar, but an illness forced Lesnar out and put Carwin in. Dos Santos is considered the current No. 1 contender in the division as he has won all six UFC bout he has had, with all but one coming by TKO. Dos Santos is a powerful striker that has been able to tear through lesser opponents. He also is a black belt in jiu-jitsu, but has never had to show his skills because of his striking ability. His opponent, Carwin, is fighting for the first time in nearly a year after having back surgery, so his gas tank may not be as strong as Junior’s.
WHY PICK CARWIN
Carwin (12-1) ran through his first four opponents in the UFC, winning by KO in less than 4 minutes against each man. He then faced Lesnar, who he beat up badly in the first round before gassing out and getting choked out in the second. Now, in his return fight, he gets a chance to avenge that loss against dos Santos, who is still somewhat unproven. Carwin has big power and a college wrestling background, so he is hard to move in the clinch or in takedown attempts. Dos Santos hasn’t been tested in his chin and Carwin hits harder than anyone Junior has fought to this point. Carwin also may be able to get the fight to the ground if he needs to.
WHO TO PICK?
I would be shocked if this fight lasts longer than five minutes. Both men are explosive and I expect a flashy slugfest. I look for Carwin to come out on top because I believe he has more power per average punch than dos Santos, and he can use his size to push Junior against the cage and dirty box him. Look for Carwin to win by first round KO.
UFC 131 FREE PICK: SHANE CARWIN +135