Moose’s Pre-Event Picks: UFC 105 – Couture vs. Vera

Time, baby, time. Never enough of it. While we’ve been building out a site that’ll one day rival anything that you’ll find on the web for MMA betting, event, and fighter information, you were sitting in your recliner watching that same Seinfeld rerun for the 86th time. No worries. Even in a scatter brained, not-quite-enough-time-to analyze fights mode, I can still provide the MMA winners to cash in on. Let’s get on with, shall we? This Saturday’s UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera event has 11 fights on the tilt – 5 on the main card and 6 prelims. Because the event is taking place in Manchester, England, Joe Silva will be jamming the usual assortment of British fighters down our throat, and, as you’d hear on Seinfeld “not that there’s anything wrong with that”. Some of those guys bring it and may be making some noise down the road. I collaborated with ARMYOFNONE on a preview of the main event fights, so some of the below analysis may look familiar, but, rest assured, the reasoning is sound and the end result is certain (well, not really). Coming off picking winners in 3 of 4 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers, the following consists of my recommended plays – time to cash in!

Moose’s Recommended Play: Randy Couture (-125) over Brandon Vera (-105)

I’ve personally spoken with several industry insiders, who, like me, are wondering why this line is so tight. On one side, we have a former Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling alternate, three-time former UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time light heavyweight champion, and a UFC Hall-of-Famer in Couture. He’s fought the world’s elite for years, and continues to amaze. On the flip side, we have an ex-WEC champion who’s most famous for so-so cardio, calling out Chuck Liddell back in the day, and being put on ice by Dana White after excessive contract demands. Granted, Couture’s 46 years old and the word is that Vera has been preparing for this fight like no other, but, unless Father Time finally rears his ugly head, I truly think Couture mauls Vera with his dirty boxing and works nice takedowns and ground-and-pound. The crystal ball says Couture by decision.

Moose’s Recommended Play: Mike Swick (-250) over Dan Hardy (+190)

Both of these guys let their fists do the talking. I like that! Swick and Hardy have improving ground games, yet, are still primarily glorified Muay Thai fighters. If either scores a takedown, it’s likely that the downed opponent will pop up pretty quickly and resume the slugging. The true difference here is Swick’s hand speed. In a fight against someone who will likely bang with him, he has a decided advantage in hand speed and overall quickness. Someone’s taking a nap in this one, and I think it’s the mohawked Brit.

Moose’s Recommended Play: Michael Bisping (+100) over Denis Kang (-130)

Minor upset special. You know, I’ve just never been that impressed with Denis Kang. Sure, he’s a BJJ black belt, has decent boxing, and had a nice run in Pride. However, he has double-digit losses on his overall record, is 4-4 in his last eight fights, and was guillotined by Alan Belcher at UFC 93 earlier this year. It seems like he consistently loses against elite… but, is that Michael Bisping? Perhaps not, Bisping’s had a tough time against the truly elite, should have three losses on his record (not two), and was last seen getting KTFO’ed by Dan Henderson. He’s now itching for redemption and looking to put on a show for his countrymen. Although not a fish on the mat, Bisping doesn’t want any of Kang’s ground game and will look to keep this a kickboxing fight. Bisping’s stand up is solid, and he may catch a lunging Kang at some point. If Bisping can keep the fight standing, he has a solid chance of feeding off the rowdy, Harp-frenzied crowd and pulling the minor upset.

Moose’s Recommended Play: John Hathaway (-250) over Paul Taylor (+190)

Styles make fights, right? Eh, not so much in this matchup of pasty Brits. Hathaway likes to work his wrestling, while Taylor likes to trade. Hathaway’s undefeated with a nice win over a solid Rick Story to his credit. Taylor’s an exciting fighter – he’s been a part of a “Fight of the Night” three times in the UFC, yet has tasted defeat six times, and is susceptible to being rode to decision losses. While it won’t be a “barn burner”, I think that Hathaway works his wrestling once again to a fairly easy decision victory or stoppage after softening up Taylor with ground-and-pound.

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