The UFC 181 card was awesome, but unfortunately neither of my picks for the finals won. I kind of feel like Hendricks got robbed a bit, but I didn’t like how he was just stalling late in the fight and how he felt like he was ahead on the scorecards. He should have learned his lesson when he didn’t beat GSP by decision, but he still didn’t look intent on truly trying to finish the fight against Lawler.
2014 Record: 50-32 for +14.81 units.
Junior Dos Santos vs Stipe Miocic
Dos Santos is only 30 years old and he’s still only ever lost to Cain Velasquez in his UFC career. In his last 5 fights he’s lost to Cain twice and his other 3 fights ended in knockouts for JDS. He’s really beaten the who’s who of the Heavyweight Division, and Miocic was the correct next opponent for him seeing as he is currently ranked #4 in the division and has beaten some decent fighters of late. This fight has been planned for almost the entire year with JDS having to back out of the tilt back in May due to a hand injury, and Miocic instead stepped in and KO’d Fabio Maldonado.
I still don’t think that Miocic has ever fought someone as accomplished or as great on their feet as dos Santos. I’m expecting a JDS knockout in this one and I hope that we get to see JDS vs either Werdum or Travis Browne for his next fight.
Take Dos Santos by knockout -175 @ 5Dimes.eu
Nate Diaz vs Rafael dos Anjos
Dos Anjos is coming off a huge knockout win over Benson Henderson in August and he really needs to keep this momentum going in order to possibly get a title shot. If he can beat Nate Diaz today, he will be in the title shot conversation with Nurmagomedov as the next fighters with a shot at Anthony Pettis.
I’m surprised Nate Diaz continues to get top end talent when he hasn’t fought much in the past few years and when he has it hasn’t generally ended well for him. In the last two years he’s lost to Benson Henderson and been knocked out by Josh Thomson before KO’ing Gray Maynard. Maynard is a fairly decent name, but he’s now been knocked out in his last 3 fights, with 2 KO’s coming in the first round and one in the second so that victory isn’t too impressive for me.
I expect dos Anjos to win this one and cement his spot as a top contender.
Take Dos Anjos -230 @ BetOnline.ag
Alistair Overeem vs Stefan Struve
This is a battle of two fighters who never lived up to their potential in the UFC. Struve hasn’t fought in almost two years when he was knocked out by Mark Hunt. He had built some momentum to that point, but who knows which Struve we see in the cage on Saturday.
Overeem is another fighter I don’t particularly like, and for some reason he has one of the biggest contracts on the UFC roster right now, but I do like him in this fight. It seems like the UFC is lining this one up for Overeem after he was knocked out by Ben Rothwell in September. His only win in the past 3 years was over a washed up Frank Mir by decision so it’s hard to bet on him. In fact, I’m not going to risk it. I give the edge to Overeem, but he’s a favourite and I don’t think the odds reflect his chances considering his history of getting KO’d.
Taking a pass on this one.
Gabriel Gonzaga vs Matt Mitrione
I’m a fan of Mitrione and I think he can win this fight. He’s coming off a couple knockout wins and he looks to have really found his range when it comes to his striking game. I don’t think this fight will last long, but my money is on Mitrione to take it and really become a name in the Heavyweight Division.
Take Matt Mitrione by knockout +125 @ 5Dimes.eu