UFC 120 promises to expand the UFC's reach further into the European market and should hopefully provide an entertaining card. In this slideshow, I'll break down the odds of each fight and give my predictions.
This card is light on fights that actually have title implications, but still provides some interesting matchups. The most interesting fights on this card, are the Akiyama-Bisping main event, and the Condit-Hardy fight. The latter is especially interesting as it seems Hardy is already looking past "The Natural Born Killer."
I'll admit, I'm biased against The Ultimate Fighter show winners. I personally just don't think they've produced a quality fighter since Rashad Evans.
So I really don't buy James Wilks at all. And it looks like Vegas agrees with me as he's a fairly big underdog in this fight.
On the other hand Claude Patrick, has not lost a fight professionally since 2002. Somehow I don't think James Wilks is the fighter to end that streak.
Prediction: Claude Patrick By Guillotine choke in the second round.
Ok time to admit another bias. I have a soft spot for Cheick Kongo.
From the name to the physique, it's always felt like Kongo should be better. But much like with Eli Manning and the New York Giants, I will not be sucked in again.
Kongo is an elite level striker, but he was outstruck by Frank Mir and a host of others. To me he's a gatekeeper type fighter at Heavyweight.
Which brings us to 10-0 Travis Browne. Granted a lot of his wins are in questionable companies like Espartan Fighting. But if you investigate a little more deeply, you'll find a six foot seven Heavyweight with an 80 inch reach and a couple sub 10 second knockouts.
If you're looking for an upset pick I like Browne.
Prediction: Browne by KO in First Round
John Hathaway is a beast.
In my opinion he's one of a handful of up and coming stars along with Evan Dunham, Gray Maynard, and of course Jon Jones. I think he's the only English fighter who has a legitimate shot at one day being a champion based on his well rounded style. And an exposure to wrestling, you don't see in many English fighters.
Mike Pyle on the other hand is a guy who has fought a lot of good fighters and almost always come up short against them. He's lost to Jake Shields, Rory Markham, and recently Jake Ellenberger.
Vegas is making it almost impossible to win any money on Hathaway here, so if you really like Pyle for some unknown reason(Like you work for the mob and have his family tied up) then there's a ton of value at +400 on Pyle.
Prediction: Hathaway by Unanimous Decision.
This is my upset pick of the card.
Initially I was very pro Hardy. Then I took another look at his record, and remembered how he basically trash talked his way to that title shot with GSP in March of this year. Hardy talks a lot about his finishing power, but if you look at his UFC record, he's 4-1 with three decision wins and a knockout of Rory Markham.
Carlos Condit on the other hand, was undefeated in the WEC with a 5-0 record. Plus, with the exception of a very hotly contested split decision loss to Martin Kampman, he hasn't lost a fight since 2006.
In recent interviews with Hardy, it's seemed like he is not taking Condit anywhere near seriously enough given Condit's status as a top 10 Welterweight. +145 isn't the best of odds, but it's a great value play for a fight I totally expect Condit to win.
The icing on the cake for me, is the fact that Condit ruined Rory Mcdonald's homecoming, so he should be completely comfortable with the 100 percent pro Hardy crowd.
Prediction: Condit by Decision.
Is anyone more overrated than Michael Bisping?
Though to be fair, Akiyama is pretty overrated as well based on his in Octagon performances.
We can just call this the fight for the less overrated championship of the World.
Bisping's best win was on the Ultimate Fighter TV show against Matt Hamill and that was in a different weight class. His biggest advantage in this fight is his physical size as he's 3-4 inches taller than Akiyama and probably weighs a lot more before his weight cut.
Akiyama has yet to get a great win in the Octagon and is 1-1 in The UFC with a split decision over Alan Belcher and a crazy loss to Chris Leben.
The one wild card here is if Akiyama can use his judo to overcome the gap in size. I really don't think Bisping is particularly skilled so it is possible.
I still don't see it though
Prediction: Bisping by boring decision.