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Gambling Spotlight: UFC 113

Thought I'd have some sort of witty banter before I give you my subpar gambling analysis? No dice, sir. Let's get straight to it. (Percentages after lines are break even rates.)


Lyoto Machida

#1 Light Heavyweight


Mauricio Rua

#2 Light Heavyweight
2005 Pride MWGP Champ

-180 (BODOG) / 64% Best Line +172 (5DIMES) / 37%
31 Age 28
6'1" Height 6'0"
16 - 0 - 0 Record 18 - 4 - 0
5 / 2 TKO / SUB 15 / 1
Black House Camp Universidade da luta
W - Rua (UD)
W - Evans (KO)
W - Silva (KO)
Last 3 L - Machida (UD)
W - Liddell (KO)
W - Coleman (TKO)

I almost missed the first fight live. I had gone to the Lawrence Arms 10th anniversary show in Chicago. Their set, predictably, went long, and it took some goading to get my friend to leave. He ended up ditching me to go drink more (to be fair, he was trying to spend more with the girl he's currently dating). So I hurried to the Red Line which carried me home in time to catch the Cain Velasquez in the middle of whipping Ben Rothwell.

I've watched the subsequent main event close to twenty times since. I still think a draw is the correct scorecard. Regardless, though, we have five more rounds to differentiate the two.

I've struggled over this fight since the lines went up a couple months ago. The only thing I feel confident saying is that the -500 laid on Machida for the first bout didn't look like a very efficient line on fight night.

Every round in the first contest was close. Even the fifth round, which is probably the most unanimously scored of the five, isn't nearly as one-sided as I remember it live.

I believe the fight will play out differently this time. I believe the judges will gift Shogun a decision if the fight plays out with any similarity to the first, which leaves an onus on the champion to do something differently.

What that something is is anyone's guess. Machida could opt to be more aggressive, mix in takedown attempts, work a clinch game, etc. A huge part of my interest in the fight comes from these sorts of tactical decision both sides need to make.

For a fight between two guys with as much experience and having five rounds against each other, I'm really at a loss for the line on this one. When I see Machida close to -200, I feel like there must be value on Shogun. But with the vig, I'm not so sure I see value at +170 (which is the best you can get). I'm staying away for this fight, but if you put a gun to my head, I would take Shogun if you can still get him near +170.



Josh Koscheck

#4 Welterweight


Paul Daley

#8 Welterweight

-250 (DOG/5D) / 71% Best Line +230 (5DIMES) / 30%
32 Age 27
5'10" Height 5'9"
14 - 4 - 0 Record 23 - 8 - 2
4 / 5 TKO / SUB 18 / 1
American Kickboxing Academy Camp Team Rough House
W - Johnson (SUB)
W - Trigg (KO)
L - Thiago (KO)
Last 3 W - Hazelett (KO)
W - Kampmann (TKO)
W - Barata (TKO)

All aboard the Josh Koscheck train. This should look very similar to GSP's recent railroading of Dan Hardy. Koscheck should similarly steamroll Daley.

Yes, Daley has Melvin Manhoef kinds of power at welterweight, but let's pull up on the reins just a bit. Here's a list of Daley's recent wins: Weichel, Jenkins, Ludwig, Weir, Morgan, Kosednar, Alessio, Keipe, Barata, Kampmann, and Hazelett. Outside of Kampmann, not one of those guys is near Koscheck's level, and I think Josh is significantly more dangerous than the Dane at this point, too.

That's all a really long-winded way of saying Daley's impressive esKOpades are getting a bit more credit than they probably deserve, at least for analyzing this fight.

While Daley's been blasting iffy competition, Koshcheck has been fighting the absolute best at 170 pounds: Georges St-Pierre, Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, Anthony Johnson, etc. Yeah, he lost the fights with GSP and Alves, but neither were blowouts. And yes, the Paulo Thiago knockout is an eyesore, but there's really no better explanation that he simply got caught (copyright Chuck Liddell).

I won't be shocked if Josh stands with Daley for longer than most would expect or advise. But I also won't be shocked if he holds his own there either. Eventurally, though, this is going to hit the floor, and Daley's going to be in for a world of pain.

Daley has the proverbial puncher's chance, and the stakes are heightened because his power is so immense. I can't see him stopping Kos's wrestling, though, when this fight inevitably turns that way. And with a title shot/TUF coaching gig on the line, you can bet that Kos will be fighting with a win-first mentality.

I like Kos for a big 2-3u play here.


Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione
EV (5DIMES) / 50% Best Line -110 (5DIMES) / 52%
36 Age 31
6'1" Height 6'2"
4 - 1 - 0 Record 1 - 0 - 0
2 / 1 TKO / SUB 1 / 0
American Top Team Camp Roufousport
W - Alexander (UD)
L - Petruzelli (TKO)
W - Thompson (TKO)
Last 3 W - Jones (KO)

This fight will come down to how far Matt Mitrione's game has come. Kimbo, maybe for the first time, enters the contest as the more quantifiable fighter. His training at ATT seems to have smoothed out some of his rough edges, but he's still largely the brawler he has been since taking up MMA three years ago.

Mitrione has three televised fights under his belt, though only of those is reflected on his professional ledger. We learned some things in his debut against Marcus Jones at the TUF 10 Finale. First, while Jones had very little trouble taking Mitrione down, Matt defended well off his back and did a great job of getting back to his feet.

It's Mitrione's hands, however, which should make one pause before backing the Miami street fighter. Jones doesn't seem to have the chin or resilience of most fighters, but the shot he took from Mitrione looked like it would put down a lot of heavyweights. Brent Brookhouse mentioned to me that he's seen Kimbo's legs buckle any time his chin has been tagged, going all the way back to his street fighting days. I haven't personally verified that, but one need not be reminded of the Seth Petruzelli disaster either.

Kimbo opened as a -150 favorite, and has been bet down to what is essentially a pick 'em fight. While it's usually bad practice to play against heavy movement, I like Kimbo as a virtual coin toss. I think something that's been overlooked in Kimbo's progression is his move from Bas Rutten to American Top Team. Whatever you think of Bas Rutten (and 99% of us love him), he's not a relevant MMA trainer in the second half of this decade. The jump from Rutten to Coconut Creek is huge for Kimbo.

This is a fight Mitrione can win, and most of the times he does win, I think he brutally knocks Kimbo out. That said, I think ATT is going to bring Kimbo into this fight prepared with a gameplan he can follow that plays to his strengths while playing away from Mitrione's. I like Kimbo for a unit around even.

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