Moose’s Pre-Event Picks: WEC 44 – Brown vs. Aldo

I’m cookin’ now, and I’m not talking about next week’s overcooked turkey and that gelatinous cranberry thing… does anybody really eat that? Anyway, you last saw me hit 3 of 4 at UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera, and have correctly called 9 of my last 12 including two underdog winners mixed in for fun (and profit). As its essence, I perform the analysis of specific upcoming MMA fights, pick winners, and put fingers to keyboard for your benefit. I’m like the “Mother Theresa” of MMA betting – I give, and give, and give and expect very little in return. Well, maybe a little – continue to read our site, and, if so inclined, open an account at Bodog or any of our other preferred sportsbooks referenced on the MMA Betting Superboard. Several have some great sign up bonuses now and really do pay you when you win, unlike your pal who took your action a few weeks ago and has suddenly “disappeared”. It’s simple – if you still don’t have an online sportsbook account, you can’t cash in. And, related to that, if you’re not playing my recommended plays, then you’re just throwing money out of the window. If you’d rather, just mail what you would’ve won to me. I hate losing and I hate paying anyone out… it doesn’t matter if it’s a casino, an online sportsbook, or that old drunk at the corner bar. I’m here for you – put me in coach! Enough of my mea culpa, let’s get on with the recommended plays on this evening’s WEC 44: Brown vs. Aldo.

Sandwiched in between two UFC events, WEC 44: Brown vs. Also is a surprisingly strong event with ten fights on tap that’s free to anyone that has Versus. All ten fights now have a betting line from most major sportsbooks, and, interestingly enough, I see some nice opportunities for informed players. Several of the WEC’s biggest stars will be swingin’ tonight, including Mike Brown and Jose Also (the main event), Leonard Garcia, and Chuck Liddell’s personal gopher Antonio Banuelos. For winners involving those very same fighters, take a look at my three recommended plays below. It’s go time!

Moose’s Recommended Play: Mike Brown (-130) over Jose Aldo (+100)

The American Top Team’s Mike Brown (22-4) comes into this fight on an absolute roll. He’s now universally regarded as the top 145er in the world (no dice, Urijah), has won ten fights in a row including two against Faber, and hasn’t tasted defeat in almost four years. He can beat you in a variety of ways. He likely has the division’s heaviest hands, his wrestling is dominant, is juggernaut strong, and his BJJ is solid to the point where he can catch an opponent in a variety of submissions. His gas tank is never a concern; he’s easily grinded out decisions in three of his last seven fights. At first glance, some think he’s a mauler with solid wrestling, however, that’s certainly underestimating his toolbox. BJJ black belt Jose Aldo (15-1) comes into this fight on a bit of a roll himself and probably has the division’s quickest hands. He’s won eight in a row, including the last three being by 1st round TKO. Although his BJJ is obviously legit, he’s a dynamic striker with ten of his fifteen wins by KO or TKO, but doesn’t quite have the quality of wins that Brown does. The likely difference in this fight will be Brown’s strength and wrestling. Brown isn’t going to catch Aldo in a submission – unless he’s significantly softened him up – and will likely heavily depend upon his wrestling, strength, and cardio to control the fight. Aldo’s a live dog at +100, but unless he catches a sloppy Brown standing, look for Brown to grind out a 5 round decision or overwhelm a fatigued Aldo late. Think Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle at UFC 68, only not quite as boring. Bet $130 to win $100.

Moose’s Recommended Play: Manny Gamburyan (-110) over Leonard Garcia (-120)

These two have traded favorite vs. underdog status all week, depending on the sportsbook and time of day. To most, it’s a toss up. Cousin of “Bro, do you know who I am” fame Karo Parisyan, diminutive Judoka Manny Gamburyan enters the fight at 9-4 splitting his last six fights, including losses to notable opponents Thiago Tavares and Nate Diaz. Of his four losses, the Diaz loss was due to an injury during a fight that he was winning and another career loss to Rob Emerson was the result of being caught 8 seconds into the fight. Take away those two anomalies and you have a solid fighter being underestimated in my opinion. Garcia enters at 13-4 overall, including 4-3 in his last seven fights. He’s fresh off a razor thin, split decision victory over Jameel Massouh, yet was completely dominated by a bigger Mike Brown at WEC 39. Granted, no one is going to confuse Manny Gamburyan’s overall game at this point with that of champion Mike Brown, however, Garcia had a hard time with the strength of Brown, and went to sleep as a result. Look for the Anvil to test Garcia’s chin early, if that isn’t working, I can see him pulling takedowns, working from dominant position, and eventually pounding out a win. Bet $70 to win $63.

Moose’s Recommended Play: Antonio Banuelos (-250) over Kenji Osawa (+190)

The little guys are going at it! Well, maybe not. Banuelos likes to throw down, and Osawa? Eh, not so much. Antonio Banuelos has amassed a solid 15-6 record over 21 exciting fights, including winning five of his last eight. One thing that makes Banuelos so fun to watch is that he never stops – his motor goes a 100MPH and he’s always looking to engage via a variety of methods. He fights freestyle, and really doesn’t necessarily have an overpowering strength or glaring weakness – a testament to his training at The Pit. His fight against Scott Jorgensen at June’s WEC 41 was classic. Conversely, Kenji Osawa is a decision fighter. Primarily a veteran of Japanese organizations like Shooto and GCM, he’s 15-8-2 against questionable opposition. If the quality of his opponents aren’t enough to lull you to sleep, his inclination to take fights to a decision (17 career decisions) should. Still not sure what Reed Harris and the chaps at the WEC had in mind when importing him into the organization, but, I like Banuelos to win this in some manner… your guess is as good as mine. It might be a dull ride thanks to Osawa, but Banuelos will be partying later with the Iceman. Count on it. Bet $300 to win $120.

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