UFC 114 Betting Preview

UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans will see the headliners Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and "Suga" Rashad Evans finally put their gloves where their mouths are. Reportedly the feud goes back to 2004.

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This Saturday, May 29, 2010 we will see the grudge settled. At least the current grudge that is. Who knows what will happen during the fight that night create another grudge, requiring yet another headliner bout to settle…Dana White can only dream.

If it turns out to be a "fight of the night," we will almost assuredly get a rematch and the possible tie breaker to finally settle it once and for all. We'll have to see how that shapes up.

Currently online sportsbooks have the lines listed as:

Quinton Rampage Jackson -115

Suga Rashad Evans -115          

The above line is from SPORTSBETTING.com, but you can still find slight variations at some books, with Rashad favored in a few spots and Rampage getting a slight nod in places…but it is very close and even at most spots.

 I believe the reason Rashad is getting a slight nod is based on what people feel Rampage isn’t bringing to the fight, rather than what Rashad is bringing. Where Rampage is favored, money appears to be accounting for his experience and past record, especially from the PRIDE days.

With that said, I'm beginning to wonder where Rashad is in all of this. It seems like a lot of attention is being paid to Rampage's current condition. Is the fight really all resting on Rampage? Is it really all up to him being hot or cold on Saturday night? I don't think so.

If you asked Rampage's camp though, I'd expect you'd get a yes. I keep hearing things along the lines of, “he's taking it personal”, “ he has never trained like this”, “Rashad is gonna get carried out on a stretcher”.

Almost sounds like a busted fighter who's dying to make a comeback…I’m just saying...

UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans Analysis and Pick

When I look at Rashad, I see the strength of his offensive wrestling.  How he uses the standard leg takedowns effectively. I loved how he charged in on Thiago Silva and got takedown after takedown. I think Rampage's wrestling is great as well, but he uses it to keep the fight on the feet and pulls out the occasional, but devastating, slam. I think if Rashad goes to Rampage like he did against Thiago then Rampage may have his hands full.

On the feet, most are giving the skill advantage to Rampage because of his technical prowess. I don't mind Rashad's lunging punches, especially when he follows up with a single or double leg takedown and ends up on top in control position. His standup is improving enough that I think it will make Rampage weary enough to stay standing in the pocket and will get him on the move. This is a great set up for Rashad to charge in for the takedown. Rampage can stuff a lot of guys and keep the fight up, but I've liked what I've seen from Rashad, minus the Machida fight.

Rampage is a lot of things. A champion as well. Rashad was too. This one we’ll determine which former champ gets the next  shot at the current light heavyweight title holder Shogun Rua.

UFC 114 Picks:

So, for the fight I'm picking Rashad.

Enjoy the event and good luck with all your UFC picks.

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Posted: 5/28/10 4:07PM ET

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