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Junior dos Santos Favored to Beat Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is no longer viewed as the baddest man on the planet by the betting public.

Lesnar, who has entered the Octagon as the betting favorite in every one of his UFC fights, is actually the underdog for his June bout against Junior dos Santos, which was announced on Tuesday. Bodog lists dos Santos as the favorite at -160 and Lesnar as the underdog at +130.

That says a lot about what the beating Lesnar took at the hands of Cain Velasquez did to Lesnar's reputation. When Lesnar tapped out 90 seconds into his first UFC fight, against Frank Mir, it was easy to write that off as an inexperienced fighter making a mistake against a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt. But the Velasquez fight? That was a good, old-fashioned butt kicking.

And it was a butt kicking that Velasquez dished out mostly by standing in front of Lesnar and punching him in the face, and dos Santos is maybe the best power puncher in the heavyweight division. The way Lesnar reacted to getting hit by Velasquez (and by Shane Carwin in the first round of their fight, before Lesnar bounced back and won in the second round) indicates that he doesn't take a punch very well. And we know that dos Santos dishes out a punch very well.

In fact, dos Santos might be the single worst match-up for Lesnar there is. If the UFC wanted to ease Lesnar back into things following his loss, it could have given him just about anyone else and sold plenty of pay-per-views. But the UFC decided that with its best heavyweight (Velasquez) injured, it would match up its second- and third-best heavyweights in dos Santos and Lesnar. Great for fans who want to see big, competitive fights. Not great for Lesnar's odds of winning.

On the other hand, Lesnar is a former NCAA wrestling champion who has about 25 pounds of muscle on dos Santos. We've never seen what happens to dos Santos when a bigger, stronger, better wrestler tries to put him on his back. It's entirely possible that Lesnar could do to dos Santos what he did to Heath Herring, Randy Couture and Mir in their rematch, get on top of him and beat him up on the ground.

But I think it's more likely that dos Santos will do what he's done to everyone he's faced inside the Octagon, and ride those heavy hands to another victory.

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