Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mailbag - Who Wins Between Velasquez and Dos Santos

DesMoinesMMA asks: Who do you think will win between Cain Velasquez (-180) and Junior Dos Santos(+150)? Who would you bet on for this card?

I really think the Junior Dos Santos versus Cain Velasquez title fight is a flip of the coin type of fight. The longer the fight stays standing, the more I like Junior Dos Santos. With UFC debuting on Fox, odds are the fighters feel the pressure to deliver an exciting fight.

Junior Dos Santos stand-up is crisp, powerful and dynamic. Velasquez prefers a boxing type attack and often goes into brawl mode. Velasquez does possess the edge in the wrestling department as an NCAA All-American. It would be good strategy to attempt to get Dos Santos to the mat. However, he will have to take some serious punishment on his way there.

Expect Dos Santos to control the center of the cage, avoiding the fence where takedowns come easier. In the end, I think it will be close, but the guy connecting more standing will win. I'd lean towards Junior Dos Santos, but won't be putting money on the fight.

Looking at the undercard is where you will find the mismatches.

Mike Pierce (-350) vs. Paul Bradley (+265)
Aaron Rosa (-135) vs. Matt Lucas (+105)
Mackens Semerzier (-135) vs. Robert Peralta (+105)
Cole Escovedo (-300) vs. Alex Caceres (+230)
Ricardo Lamas (-130) vs. Cub Swanson (EVEN)
DaMarques Johnson (-280) vs. Clay Harvison (+220)
Norifumi Yamamoto (-370) vs. Darren Uyenoyama (+280)
Ben Henderson (-280) vs. Clay Guida (+220)
Dustin Poirier (-280) vs. Pablo Garza (+220)

Cole Escovedo (-300) is a virtual lock against Alex "Bruce Leroy" Caceres. Escovedo has better technical skills standing, and is levels ahead on the ground. Escovedo has beaten quality B-level fighters before, while Caceres has not. As long as he avoids a flashy kick or two, I expect Escovedo to get a first round submission victory.

My upset play would be Robert Peralta (+105) against Mackens Semerzier. Peralta has serious power in his stand-up game with 11 TKO's on his resume, while Semerzier is often tenative standing. Peralta is riding an 8 fight winning streak, which includes his UFC debut against Mike Lullo and Strikeforce debut against Hiroyuki Takaya. Meanwhile, Semerzier is 1-3 in his last four fights, with his only win against Alex Caceres.

Another good play is Matt Lucas at (+105), as Aaron Rosa weighed in at 260 just 5 months ago for his heavyweight loss against Joey Beltran. Rosa needs to cut 44 pounds to make the cut to 206, with the one pound allowance. Lucas, an All-American wrestler out of Northern Colorado, has solid wrestling skills and ground and pound attack. With Rosa drained, takedowns should get easy for Lucas as time goes on. Rosa seemed a little slow at 260.

I also like Kid Yamamoto and Dustin Poirer.

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