All eyes will be on the Main Event at UFC 113 but Al Dannity feels the undercard will serve up plenty of entertainment
Machida and Shogun set for a classic I can still hear the boos from UFC 104 when fans and experts alike thought Mauricio Rua got a raw deal against Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto Machida. In truth it was too close to feel either fighter clearly won the fight. This time around Machida (-196) is once again favorite and not just because he wears the belt. There have been few poor performances in the Champion’s career but every time he failed to shine Machida returned to dominance in his next fight. At +140, Mauricio Rua looks good value for an underdog and I expect him to stay in this one until the end. Machida will retain his title, with either a late stoppage or on points.
Kimbo will be no freak show Kimbo Slice (-118) is never going to win a UFC title, he simply lacks the ability, but since joining the organisation the street fighter has shown a better understanding of the fundamentals required to compete. Kimbo was downright boring beating Houston Alexander in his UFC debut and expect more of the same when he takes on Matt Mitrione (-118). Gone are the days when we were entertained by Kimbo wildly swinging at nobodies in a parking lot, instead we will see a more cautious approach, inside the octagon. Mitrione is even less experienced than Kimbo and wouldn’t be so high on this card were he fighting any other opponent. Kimbo will hopefully finish this one early but I fear it will go the full three rounds before he has his arm raised.
A smarter Koscheck will emerge For a fighter with as much mat ability as Josh Koscheck (-250), it’s frustrating to see him rely so much on striking. Even when up against superior punchers Koscheck has been slow to use his wrestling skills. With a shot at the UFC Welterweight title on the line I expect that to change against Paul Daley (+175). The English fighter is a solid striker, albeit not in Koscheck’s class. There’s no doubting MMA betting will favor the American in this fight and he will finally deliver the kind of tactically smart performance required to dominate Daley and set up a future fight with GSP. Koscheck to win by a late stoppage.
Stout’s cleaner strikes to prove decisive When matched against the right opponent Jeremy Stephens (+160_ is a lot of fun to watch. His raw power and explosive attack makes for a jaw-dropping highlight reel. Unfortunately the right opponent is one of a lower standard than Sam Stout (-233). Not only does Stout match Stephens in striking ability, he has a far superior defense and is an all-round smarter fighter. The one-dimensional approach of Stephens will be his undoing, Stout to win inside of two rounds.
For the best MMA odds as UFC 113 approaches check out Sports Interaction’s online sports book.
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