Mad Xyientist’s Pre-Event Picks: WEC 45 / Strikeforce: Evolution

–> Editor’s Note: As always, lines for this event and all other upcoming MMA events can be found on our MMA Betting Superboard. On that page, we link to five of the most reputable MMA sportsbooks. Have some fun – throw a few dollars in an account with any of them and have some fun!

Mad Xyientist’s Recommended Play: Rani Yahya (+155) over Joseph Benavidez (-185)

Joseph Benavidez is certainly a talented young fighter, but this is simply too juicy a line for Yahya, who has a very clear path to victory against a fighter still adapting to the submission game. I have no doubt Benavidez is thoroughly schooled in how to avoid triangles and armbars, but Yahya brings far more to the table, including a variety of sweeps and chokes. Benavidez won’t be easy to submit, and Yahya is notorious for not training hard, so keep this bet properly sized. Bet $50 to win $77.

Mad Xyientist’s Recommended Play: Zack Micklewright (+210) over Muhsin Corbbrey (-270)

Admittedly, Micklewright hasn’t earned favorite status on the big stage, but I’m not sure Corbbrey has either. Corbbrey has some pieces of the MMA puzzle, but he still has trouble defending the takedown and can fade in the later rounds of a fight. Both of those weaknesses can work against him here, against a Militich guy with a wrestling game. Take Micklewright as one of the weekend’s best underdog bets. Bet $50 to win $105.

Mad Xyientist’s Recommended Play: Ronaldo Souza (-270) over Matt Lindland (+210)

This to me is a terrible mismatch. Matt Lindland is 39 years old, susceptible to submissions, and hasn’t adapted his MMA game much in 12 years of competition. We also haven’t seen him fight since Vitor Belfort turned him into a moaning heap nearly 11 months ago. Jacare, representing the absolute cutting edge of MMA grappling, is worlds above him at this point. Betting -275 favorites outside of parlays isn’t going to multiply my bankroll anytime soon, but Jacare probably should be -600 here. Bet $300 to win $111.

Mad Xyientist’s Recommended Play: Gilbert Melendez (-110) over Josh Thomson (-120)

I have to preface this bet by saying I was absolutely wrong on this one once before, but I’m convinced it won’t happen again this time. In the first fight, Thomson baited Melendez into thinking he was less than 100%, then brought a complex gameplan utilizing improved footwork, wrestling, and even teep kicks. El Nino will avenge his second loss here and pick up an undisputed Strikeforce Lightweight title in the process. Bet $100 to win $90.

Mad Xyientist is a highly regarded MMA handicapper based out of Charlotte, NC and a past winner of our Gambler’s Challenge. When not providing expert analysis and pro bono winners for our readers, he can found discussing all things MMA on’s UnderGround.

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