Jon ‘Bones’ Jones reigned supreme at 140, but what about 141?
With a guaranteed title shot against Dos Santos hanging in the
balance, Brock Lesnar returns from a year long layoff to take on former
Strikeforce champion, Alistair Overeem. Also, find out who walks away as the
number one lightweight contender between hard hitting Donald Cerrone and
Stockton’s own, Nate Diaz.
Lesnar vs. Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem
After over a year away from the octagon, Brock Lesnar returns at
UFC 141 to take on former Strikeforce champion, Alistair Overeem. Awaiting the
winner will be an immediate 2012 title shot against current heavyweight champion,
Junior Dos Santos.
For the second time in only 2 years, Lesnar was recently sidelined
due to his reoccurring issues with diverticulitis. The unknowns
surrounding Brock’s recovery seems to have created some volatility in the
betting line. Overeem bounced around in-between -125/ -135 for the first few
weeks until this past week’s action pushed the line up to -160. Right now bodog
is offering the best UFC odds on Lesnar at +150.
Overeem, however, was also surprisingly inactive in 2011; he
had just the one fight 6 months ago against Fabricio Werdum. At this point it’s
fair to say both guys will be dealing with a degree of rust on the night.
There’s been no shortage of distractions for Alistair
heading into this fight. Aside from a contract dispute with his former team
Golden Glory, Overeem recently had to uproot his camp to take care of his ailing
mother in Holland.
With the distractions piling on, Alistair’s training camp
has revealed some troubling issues over the week. Having to fly back to Holland
meant abandoning his access to Xtreme Couture’s elite stable of wrestling
partners. Having to now train in Holland simply doesn’t provide Overeem with
the same level of training partners to prepare for Brocks caliber off
Overeem’s been taken down by much lesser wrestlers in the
past. Just recently against Werdum he was controlled on the ground for a brief
period in the 3rd round. The question from there is: what percentage
do you put on Overeem subbing Lesnar off his back?
Against Werdum, Overeem’s hesitancy to throw punches stemmed
from his fear of being taken down. You have to wonder how that translates
against a much greater takedown threat in Brock Lesnar. Will Lesnar’s takedown attempts make him just
as hesitant to let his hands go?
As it currently stands, I like a small play on Lesnar at
+150. However, wait until after the weigh-ins before locking in a play, I could
easily see this line moving above +165.
Free UFC Pick:
Brock Lesnar +150 (bodog)
Donald Cerrone vs.
Donald Cerrone’s hype train has officially peaked.
At the moment, Cerrone is a consensus top 5 lightweight. The
destruction of his last two opponents has rightfully raised his stock to the
top of the division. A win over Nate Diaz
here would set up a potential title shot between him and the winner of Frankie
Edgar vs. Ben Henderson.
Opening at +135 in his last fight against Dennis Siver will
go down as one of the more absurd openers of the year. Ultimately, Cerrone
closed at -300 before knocking Saver out in the first round.
Now, against Nate Diaz, it appears as though the odds makers
may be overcompensating for their previous mistake. They opened Cerrone at -350
before Diaz backers quickly corrected the line. Currently, Cerrone is sitting
at just under -250. The action this week has been largely on Diaz, moving the
line around 20 cents in his favor.
Nate Diaz’s particular skill set poses a few legitimate
issues for Cerrone. His length cancels
out Cerrone’s usual reach advantage and you can make the case that Diaz possesses
both the better defensive grappling as well as the more offensively effective
boxing. Cerrone has left his neck
exposed on multiple occasions whereas Diaz has proven to be nearly
un-submitable in the UFC.
What Cerrone has going for him in this fight is a huge edge
in power as well as the much more diverse kickboxing attack. Nick is a bit limited with his boxing and
should be at a strength disadvantage in the clinch.
For me, Cerrone’s takedowns have the potential to be a bit
of an x-factor in this fight. Not too many talk about it, but Cerrone’s
offensive wrestling has improved tremendously in just the last 2 years. I could
see him possibly stealing a close round with a late takedown attempt.
As far as their defense is concerned, both Men tend to eat
way too many shots. These two legendary chins could very well decide a victor.
At some point one of these guys will likely be scrambling for survival from a
big shot. Many will disregard Diaz’s
punching power, but lately he’s been dropping everyone he faces, most recently dropping
Takanori Gomi at UFC 138.
Personally, my line on Diaz is a lot closer to +155 for this
fight. I like a straight bet on Diaz at +195 and a smaller play on the over 1.5
Free UFC Pick:
Nate Diaz +195 (@ Bookmaker.com)