Anyone here got any pieces of green on them?
Are you willing to put it on the line if it means you get to win some more wallet-candy?
Well then, yours truly has a treat for you at home, because I'm going to give you the skinny on how the odds really stack up for the fighters involved on the UFC 118 card tonight.
What this is going to be is a small break-down of the fights on the card, followed by what the odds are and who's the favorite along with who's the underdog.
So enough stalling, let's get this thing cracking!
(Author's note: The views of the author do not in any way reflect the true results of betting on a fighter, so if you seriously are planning on betting, please consult your oddsmakers, sportsbooks, and "loan sharks" for popular odds on each fighter involved.
Translation: These odds are different than what Vegas is giving them, so don't look at these as legitimate... and no, you can't blame me if you lose money on a fighter -- I gave y'all fair warning not to take these odds as if they were from Vegas!)
Mike Pierce vs. Amilcar Alves
Not much you can say about Alves for the time being, other than he boasts an 11-1-0 record, with the only loss coming by submission, and he's a black belt in both Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Also, the man knows a bit of Muay Thai and trains at Nova Uniao with Andre Pederneiras, the man who gave BJ Penn his black belt in BJJ.
Against Mike Pierce, who is noted for his Wrestling, that ould present some clear and present danger for anyone who goes to the ground with him, but because Alves has fought predominantly in Brazil until now, it's tough to say whether or not it'll be an issue for Pierce.
The odds for Pierce: (-280)
The odds for Alves: (+220)
If you're betting on this one... you seem to stand a better chance at winning by placing the bet on the unknown rather than the established UFC Welterweight. Perhaps it's because he's new or perhaps it's because of the way Pierce has ended hs last few fights, including the loss to Jon Fitch at UFC 107, but whatever it is, you may be better off putting your hopes in Alves than in Mike Pierce, but if you're counting Pierce in, you're as good as a winner because Pierce always brings it in the cage and leaves little doubt.
Dale's Pick: Amilcar Alves (going by his record, by way of submission in either the first or second round)
Nick Osipczak vs. Greg Soto
With Slick Nick, you're talking Shaolin craziness on the feet and the ground, as the Shaolin Kung Fu style takes from various styles from the Chinese Martial Arts.
With Greg Soto, you're talking sweet Jiu-Jitsu as taught by Kurt Pellegrino, meaning that even if nick does defend a submission attempt, he still will have to contend with someone who will look to keep the fight as a grappling match all throughout rather than a fighter who will want to box or trade blows.
If you put the two together in the cage, which style will come out on top?
Odds for Osipczak: (-175)
Odds for Soto: (+176)
If you're betting on this one... It's seeming like you're close to an even shake. You'd gain a slightly larger amount than that which you would have to bet in order to keep the cash you threw in on your bet. In the fight, it seems like Nick would be as good a bet as Soto, but with slightly more experience in the cage, Soto could find a way to get an upper hand and a victory in the cage.
Dale's Pick: Nick Osipczak by submission, unless Soto can surprise him with a KO or an extremity-wrenching hold.
Dan Miller vs. John Salter
Miller is on the chopping block, so to speak, with his losses to Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia and Michael Bisping being his most recent.
Salter's only loss recently was when Gray Maynard fought Nate Diaz, and that was a loss by TKO to Gerald Harris.
Odds for Miller: (-250)
Odds for Salter: (+248)
If you're betting on this fight... then you're likely to give Salter a chance, but Miller could be a surprise winner. A win for Salter would boost him up past prelim status, but a win for Miller means he keeps his job.
Dale's pick: Miller by submission (rear naked choke) in R1.
Andre Winner vs. Nik Lentz
Here's where it gets interesting.
Winner is a runner-up to teammate Ross Pearson on The Ultimate Fighter 9, but ever since the loss to Pearson, he's gone 2-0 in the UFC.
Lentz has gone 3-0-1 in the UFC since his debut in Dallas at UFC 103, with the draw coming against Thiago Tavares.
Winner has gone the distance for most of his victories, but he does still have knockout power and some deadly submissions in his game, as does Lentz, who has gone the distance and won four times in his career.
Odds for Winner: (-112)
Odds for Lentz: (+104)
If you're betting on this fight... you're likely to win IF you're betting on a decision win, because while it's possible that either man could get knocked out, both men also do have a good endurance factor in my eyes. I'm not saying they ARE going to the judges, but it's possible.
Dale's pick: Winner by split decision, because I think Lentz could give him enough hell to make people think that Winner lost the fight tonight.
Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger
J-Lau beat Jens Pulver and he's been on something of a tear with the only recent blemish being to Sam Stout.
Gabe Ruediger will be making his first appearance in the UFC since the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter, with tonight being his first UFC fight since UFC 63 when he lost to Melvin Guillard.
Lauzon was baked a cake that said "Sorry for your loss" by Ruediger as seen at yesterday's weigh-ins, but the time for the funny stuff is at its end.
Ruediger has to bring it to Lauzon, which will be a feat in itself but not an impossible feat.
Odds for Lauzon: (-313)
Odds for Ruediger: (+300)
If you're betting on this fight... you're a winner if you think Ruediger will make a successful return to the UFC tonight, but Lauzon was never a can that anyone can crush (a "can" would've been crushed by Jens Pulver). While Ruediger isn't rusty by any means, he is facing a dangerous opponent, albeit one he's somewhat familiar with.
Ruediger better leave the Mayhem Miller stuff at home and come in with the mindset that Lauzon will be looking to wreck him in the cage, or else it'll be all over before Mike Goldberg tells us it's all over.
Dale's pick: Lauzon spoils Ruediger's return by way of a second round submission.
Marcus Davis vs. Nate Diaz
Both men have Boxing and BJJ, but Nate has Cesar Gracie training while Davis has Team Sityodtong behind him.
All I can say is what a fight this ought to be.
Odds for Davis: (+175)
Odds for Diaz: (-185)
If you're betting on this fight... The Irish Hand Grenade is your best bet, although you never put anything past a Diaz brother. Stockton, baby!
Seriously though, Davis could prove too much for Diaz if he stands with him for too long.
Dale's Pick: Davis by second-round KO due to an uppercut.
Demian Maia vs. Mario Miranda
I don't know that much about Miranda, although he apparently has good BJJ and he's only lost to Gerald Harris, so he's still a star on the rise.
What he may not be, though, is the type of opponent who wants to stand across the cage from a man who is coming off a loss to the UFC Middleweight Champion.
Miranda, be careful.
Odds for Maia: (-200)
Odds for Miranda: (+205)
If you're betting on this fight... then consider that Miranda is an underdog and thus you might be able to put an extra $205 in your pocket if you bank on him winning tonight against Maia. I wouldn't consider anyone too much a favorite that goes up against Maia, but strange *s-word* has happened before.
Dale's pick: Maia by Triangle Choke in Round 1.
Lightweight Title Contendership:
Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard
You can check out my full take on this fight here.
Odds for KenFlo: (-146)
Odds for The Bully: (+140)
If you're betting on this fight... then the smart money is that either Maynard has a rematch with Edgar or a fight with Penn in his future. However, Florian should be a favorite for anyone in this fight because he always seems to fight like a champ every time he's in the cage. It remains to be seen if he can put on a top performance when he does face the champ again -- if he ever does, but he'll definitely give a good showing tonight.
Dale's Pick: Florian by second-round Rear Naked Choke.
Randy Couture vs James Toney
Odds for The Natural: (-500)
Odds for Lights Out: (+476)
If you're betting on this fight... you're making a huge gamble, but the risk could be worth the reward. With this, it seems as though Toney might knock Couture out, but NEVER rule out the possibility of Toney losing the fight.
As for MMA vs. Boxing... maybe this fight isn't the best way of finding out, but I'm still watching MMA no matter what.
Besides, I don't have too many nice things to say about Larry Merchant.
Dale's Pick: Randy Couture by Ground-N-Pound in the second round
UFC Lightweight Title:
Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn
The first fight had some controversy behind it, because although Frankie may have looked to win three rounds out of five, a judge scored every round 10-9 for Edgar.
This time, BJ may not be so lucky, but what if he is?
Odds for the champ: (+258)
Odds for the challenger: (-275)
If you're betting on this fight... you will want to put your money on the champ, but don't count out the challenger. Either man can end the fight at any given moment.
Dale's Pick: Penn by Unanimous Decision. He won't finish Edgar, but he'll get the belt back in my opinion.
If you're betting on this card, you're in for one hell of a night.