Jones vs. Rampage Free Pick
According to oddsmakers, Jones is the heavy favorite to retain his title, with odds of -700. Jackson comes into the fight with a money line of +450. UFC 135 takes place from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado and will air live on Pay-Per-View at 9PM ET.
WHY PICK JONES
Jon Jones (13-1) has quickly risen to the top of the MMA world, tearing through everyone he has faced in the UFC. He won the championship in April by dismantling Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in three rounds. Jones has yet to face any kind of distress in the octagon, as opponent’s haven’t been able to match his diverse striking and strong wrestling. In this fight, he faces a very one-dimensional fighter in Jackson, who is primarily a boxer. Jones should have the grappling edge and will also be a more diverse striker.
WHY PICK JACKSON
Rampage (32-8) is a former UFC champion and is one of the most powerful strikers in MMA. Jackson has shown the ability to supply devastating knockouts with both his right and left hands. Jackson has the one-punch KO power and is also a very strong man. He showed some improved takedown defense in his last fight against Matt Hamill, which could cause problems for Jones if he tries to take Jackson down. As I said, Jones has yet to face much adversity in his time in the octagon, so we don’t know how he will respond if Jones gives him problems. Rampage might be able to capitalize on that if Jones panics in a bad situation.
WHO TO PICK?
I think the odds are somewhat disrespectful to Jackson, a great former champion, but you can’t pick against Jones in this one. He has torn through everyone and I see no reason he can’t control this fight. I see Jones uses his long reach to keep Jackson at bay early. Then, I look for the champion to take the fight to the ground where he will overwhelm Jackson with his ground-and-pound striking. Look for a TKO finish in the third round.
UFC 135 FREE PICK: JON JONES -700