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UFC 132: By the Odds

Dominick Cruz Urijah FaberUFC 132


If you think the Cruz-Faber main event won't go the distance, it turns out that you can profit to the tune of $180 for every $100 wagered (that's what +180 means, smart guy). If you think it will go the distance, you have to put down $220 to make $100 (also known as -220). I'm not ashamed to admit that I must have spent fifteen minutes looking at those odds and trying to talk myself into believing that this fight won't go the full five, even though I know it probably will.

Tito Ortiz

comebacks. In free Cirque du Soleil tickets and especially lucky slot machines. And yet, they didn't build these monstrous casinos because so many people win. In the end, that free domestic is probably the best deal you're going to find.

UFC 132


Dominick Cruz (-130) vs. Urijah Faber (+110)

Here's a fight that's all about speed. Cruz has it in spades, and Faber seems to be losing just a little more of it with each passing year. That's not to say he's some slow, broke-down old man, of course. Faber is still one heck of an athlete and an incredibly versatile fighter. But his biggest asset against a hummingbird like Cruz is going to be his mind. Not only is he a veteran who can adapt as the fight goes on, he's also just so mentally strong that you know you're not going to break him. Cruz has to stay busy and pepper him with those unpredictable combos of his, whereas Faber needs to get in close and slow this fight down in the clinch and on the mat. The fact that oddsmakers favor Cruz -- but just slightly -- tells you what they think of cage savvy against indefatigable quickness.
My pick: Cruz. I'll save it for the parlay, but I think he'll put Faber on the defensive with his speed and keep him there for five rounds.

Chris Leben (+150) vs. Wanderlei Silva (-170)

The first time I saw this line, I felt sure there had to be some mistake. Did some vandal come along and swap the plus and the minus? Were the bookmakers aware that it is in fact Silva who has been out for the last year and a half, and not Leben? I just don't get it. I suppose if they square up and throw bombs, you could argue that it's anybody's fight. But even then, Silva doesn't have the chin he once did. And even though Leben got KO'd by Stann, it still took some doing. The way to beat Leben is with straight, crisp punching and enough foot speed to stay away from his left. Silva isn't known for any of that, especially in recent years. I can see why fans still go for him as a nostalgia pick, but the Pride days are over and time has marched grimly on.
My pick: Leben. I'm not the type of guy to advise you to bet the house, take out a second mortgage, and then bet that too -- but if I were that type of guy...

Carlos Condit (even) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (-120)

This is probably the most competitive and most overlooked fight on the card. Kim is a big welterweight who can absolutely smother you on the mat, but Condit just has that raw, tear-your-head-off aggression. The problem is, you come charging in with blind hooks against Kim and you're going to get taken down. I expect Kim to control the first part of the bout with his patient, methodical grappling, but Condit is never all the way out of the fight until the final bell. His best chance to catch Kim is when the takedown attempts have slowed and he's entered full-scale desperation mode. Then, his finishing power could make all the difference. If it goes to the judges though, it's Kim's night.
My pick: Condit, but this one's too close. It's a great way to toss your money out the window, and it has the potential to screw up an otherwise perfect parlay. I'm leaving it alone.

Tito Ortiz (+350) vs. Ryan Bader (-450)

Okay, so you've been a huge Tito fan since 1999, and you'd like nothing more than to cash in on your Huntington Beach hero now that everyone else is writing him off. I get that -- really, I do. But let me ask you this: how, exactly, do you see Ortiz winning this fight? He's not going to stand there and outstrike the heavy-handed Bader because, well, when's the last time he did that to anyone decent? And he's probably not going to take the guy down and keep him on his back for three rounds because a) Bader knows a thing or two about wrestling, and b) Ortiz is not Jon Jones. So then what? It's not as if an Ortiz victory is out of the question, but he has so few realistic ways to win. Sorry, but it isn't 1999 anymore, and Bader isn't Jerry Bohlander.
My pick: Bader. You won't make any money off him, but at least you won't lose it by taking a big risk on Ortiz.

Matt Wiman (+115) vs. Dennis Siver (-135)

Style-wise, you'd think Wiman might have the edge on Siver. But there's just something about that stocky, scrappy German that makes it impossible to really count him out. Few people gave him much of a chance against Sotiropoulos, but look how that turned out. His takedown defense is solid and he can always hurt you on the feet. If you're unfortunate enough to be on the business end of one of those spinning backkicks, you probably won't breathe right for a week.
My pick: Siver. I'll put it in the parlay, but I can't go against Siver in any reasonable match-up.

Quick picks:

Anthony Njokuani (-150) over Andre Winner (+120). The man with the last name that everyone pronounces differently is too fast and too dynamic on the feet for Winner to handle.

Melvin Guillard (-280) over Shane Roller (+220). You won't profit much off this one, but Guillard -- at least when he has his act together, as I believe he does now -- is a handful for anyone.

The 'For Entertainment Purposes Only' Parlay: Cruz + Leben + Bader + Njokuani + Guillard.

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