At UFC 84 this Saturday, Travis Lutter (12-4-0) will take on Rich Franklin (22-3-0). I'm willing to bet the majority of you will bet on Franklin. But before you place your wager, let me give you five reasons to show some love for the underdog.
1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Franklin has none. Lutter has almost too much. Kimuras, key-locks, guillotines, triangles, you name it and Lutter has probably beaten someone with it. When you train with the Shamrock family in the Lion's Den, chances are you're going to pick up some ground game.
Lutter has a black belt in BJJ and also runs his own gym centered on teaching BJJ. Herer's one last testament to his ground game. At UFC 67, Anderson Silva, regarded by many as the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, was reluctant to roll with him.
2. Knockout Power
Now, I know most of you are thinking, "What the hell is this kid talking about?", but trust me it's there. Don't believe me, ask Marvin Eastman. On second thought, he probably dosen't remember.
But you can ask anyone who watched UFC 50 and witnessed the most boring first round ever, followed by a one-punch second round.
3. He Has Nothing To Lose
If you saw a 35-year-old man get knocked out by Rich Franklin, would you think any less of him? What if you saw a 35-year-old man submit Rich Franklin? You would probably think Franklin is washed up and that this guy is the most bad-ass middle-aged man you have ever seen.
After failing to make weight for his UFC 67 title fight against Silva, Lutter can only go up from here and a win against the former champ would send him through the stratosphere.
4. You Gotta Love the Nickname...
...if not only for the reason that he looks like the least menacing person in the sport, (I personally think he looks like Toby from The Office). But you do get the vibe that somewhere deep under that calm exterior is a deranged psycho with bad intentions.
If Lutter wants to defeat Franklin in Montreal, we are going to have to see the reemergence of "The Serial Killer."
5. Franklin Just Isn't the Same
Coming off only his second loss in the UFC, the former middleweight champion is a different fighter, mentally at least. Franklin now knows that he cannot beat Anderson Silva, and it just seems that he has lost that drive he once had to stay on top.
I predict Franklin will not be in it, mentally, against Lutter and we have all seen what can happen when Rich isn't in the right state of mind. The case in point was at UFC 64 where it took Anderson Silva just three minutes to TKO the then-champ.
There you have it: five reasons to bet on Lutter. But please, don't come to me when you gamble away your kid's tuition fund on my word.