UFC 102 Preview: Odds and Predictions for Couture-Nogueira and Silva-Jardine

Midwest Sports FansAnalyst IAugust 21, 2009

LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 22:  UFC fighter Randy Couture attends the 'Heatherette' party hosted by celebrity designers Richie Rich and Traver Rains, at Light nightclub, Bellagio  Hotel, February 22, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Farina/Getty Images)

The UFC 102 fight card that will take place next weekend is being touted by some MMA betting fans as being a much better card than UFC 100 or 101, and the main bouts are being headlined by the fighters who are 205 pounds and over.

UFC 102 Odds – Saturday, August 29, 10:00 PM ET

Randy Couture (16-9) vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (31-5-1-1)

This heavyweight bout features two of the legendary fighters in MMA history, and both are coming off losses. Couture is a -180 favorite despite losing his belt to Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, but that was a bad fight for him, as Lesnar was too big for the “Natural” to control with his wrestling skill.

Nogueira was beaten by Frank Mir at UFC 91 for the interim heavyweight title, but it was revealed that “Minotauro” had a staph infection which hospitalized him in the run-in to the fight. That, combined with being a +150 underdog, should be more than enough motivation for Nogueira to prove that he’s still a draw in the UFC. If you’re a betting management player, take Nogueira in the upset pick.


Thiago Silva (13-1) vs Keith Jardine (14-5-1)

Silva is coming off a loss to Lyoto Machida in a match for Machida’s light-heavyweight belt, as he was knocked out just before the end of the first round. Jardine, as known as the “Dean of Mean”, has lost three of his last five fights, but he can’t be counted out.

Jardine has racked up wins over guys like Chuck Liddell, Brandon Vera and Forrest Griffin, which is the only reason I can come with for him being a -160 favorite against Silva, who will be hungry to make his way back up the 205-pound ladder after losing to Machida. He has devastating power, as 10 of his 13 wins have come by knockout, and he’s well versed in the ways of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. Jardine is in an unfamiliar spot as a favorite, and that could stand to hurt him in the long run. Go with Thiago Silva as a +130 underdog in your UFC sports picks next weekend.