UFC NEWS: UFC on Fox 10: Henderson Vs. Thomson Picks, Odds & Predictions - 1/25/14 - MMA NEWS
UFC on Fox: Henderson Vs. Thomson
January 25, 2014
TV: 1 Prelim fight on UFC Fight Pass starting at 4:30ET, 6 Prelim fights on Fox Sports 1 starting at 5:00ET, Main Card starts at 8:00ET on FOX
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The UFC returns to Chicago for the third consecutive January Fox Event. On Saturday night, United Center will host UFC on Fox 10, we had UFC on Fox 6 last January and UFC on Fox 2 prior that one in 2012. This is a decent card considering it is a free one of Fox. Now the card might not look that great on paper with not many big names being on it, but I think we will have some entertaining matches with some of these fighters trying to get that much closer to a title shot. The main event should be a very competitive one between two of the toughest lightweights in the UFC, we have a heavyweight match for our co-main event, Donald Cerrone is looking to get back in the hunt for a title shot, Jeremy Stephens against Darren Elkins is my early candidate for Fight of the Night and an interesting bantamweight matchup between Sergio Pettis and Alex Caceres. So the question is can Ben Henderson get his belt back? His first step will be to get through Josh Thomson and if he can do so in impressive fashion, his next fight might be a rematch against the current belt holder, Anthony Pettis. I will break down every single fight on the card and give you my best bets, odds, and predictions.
Benson "Smooth" Henderson (19-3) Vs. Josh "The Punk" Thomson (20-5)
In the main event of the evening we have a title contender eliminator as Benson Henderson looks to get his lightweight belt back, in his way is the veteran Josh Thomson, who is coming off a very impressive victory over Nate Diaz. Thomson was originally slated to face Anthony Pettis for the lightweight title but Pettis had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. This paved the way for the matchup we have now, which I would have to agree is the right fight. I'm not sure how the UFC decided to give Thomson the title shot after only fighting once since his return to the UFC. Benson Henderson's last fight was against Anthony Pettis, where he lost his belt via first round armbar submission, prior to the submission though Pettis was landing some brutal kicks to the body and looked like he had Henderson hurt early. This is an intriguing matchup as both guys are good standing and on the mat, Henderson probably has a slight edge due to his wrestling and also winning the lightweight belt and than defending it three times before losing it. The line originally opened at Henderson -230 and Thomson +170 but has since jumped to Henderson -300 and Thomson +250. I agree that Henderson should be the favourite but I also think this will be a close fight and one that could possibly go to decision. If it does go to decision, I favour Henderson eeking out a close one as he has done many time before. Don't rule out Josh Thomson though, he is a gritty veteran who is coming off a knockout win over Diaz and Henderson fought Diaz at the end of 2012 and that fight went to a decision.
Benson Henderson -300
or Over 4.5 Rounds @ -205
Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga (16-7) Vs. Stipe Miocic (10-1)
In the co-main event of the evening we have the hard hittin Gabriel Gonzaga up against super athletic Stipe Miocic. A win for either fighter would help them move up the ranks in the heavyweight division. Miocic is coming off an impressive decision victory over Roy Nelson and Gonzaga is coming off consecutive first round knockout victories. This is an intresting matchup as Gonzaga has excellent knockout power and has only one fight in his career that has gone to a decision. Miocic looked great against Roy Nelson in his last fight where he used his height and reach advantage to keep his distance and out-box his opponent. Stipe comes in as the favourite at -225 and Gonzaga the underdog at +185, something's gotta give in the matchup and the longer the fight goes the better the chances are for Miocic. This might just come down to who can connect on the others chin first and I hate predicting heavyweight fights because anything can happen. If Stipe Miocic could stay away from the power shots of Gonzaga by continuously moving away from his power hand he has a good chance to make this competitive, but if Gonzaga can touch his chin, he very well might go to sleep. The line on the rounds is set at over/under 1.5 rounds and instead of picking a winner I'll lean towards this going over 1.5 rounds. Don't forget that this is a heavyweight fight and things could end early, but if it turns into a grappling match early, there is a good chance it could go into the second round but tread lightly.
Over 1.5 Rounds @ +155
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone (21-6) Vs. Adriano Martins (25-6)
Both guys are coming off big submission wins and look to string together a win streak and make some moves in the lightweight division. Martins made his UFC debut last November where he defeated Daron Cruickshank via armbar and now takes a big step in competition, taking on Donald Cerrone. "Cowboy" Cerrone is coming off a victory against Evan Dunham, where he showed off how much more powerful he was than his opponent. Donald Cerrone is the favourite at -220 while Martins is the underdog at +180, I think this might be too much too soon for Martins and a great matchup for Cerrone. I like Donald Cerrone in this matchup and would definitely include him in a parlay, getting him at -220 is decent and I think he can even get it done within the distance.
Donald Cerrone -220
Jeremy "Lil Heathen" Stephens (22-9) Vs. Darren Elkins (17-3)
A great featherweight matchup between Jeremy Stephens and Darren Elkins could be a candidate for fight of the night award. Stephens is coming off two straight victories, most recently a brutal head kick knockout on Rony Jason. Elkins has been excellent, winning 6 of his last 7, that loss coming to Chad Mendes who finished the fight in the first round. Jeremy Stephens is the favourite at -125 and Elkins the underdog at +105, this is the closest matchup as far as lines go on the card. I think Stephens has the edge striking and Elkins has a slight edge in wrestling. I imagine Elkins will want to take this fight to the ground and control it from there, but that is if Stephens lets him, as Stephens himself has great wrestling. The oddsmakers got it right as this fight could go either way but I would lean towards Jeremy Stephens, and if "Lil Heathen" can connect to Elkins jaw like he did Rony Jason, it could be an early night for him.
Jeremy Stephens -125
Sergio "The Phenom" Pettis (10-0) Vs. Alex "Bruce Leeroy" Caceres (9-5)
We are in store for a very interesting matchup of up and comping bantamweights in Sergio Pettis and Alex Caceres. Sergio Pettis is coming off a victory in his UFC debut and has received a lot of hype being the younger brother of lightweight champ Anthony Pettis. Alex Caceres has looked much more impressive since dropping from featherweight to bantamweight and would have won four straight if it wasn't for a fight he won which was ruled a no-contest after Caceres was found to have marijuana in his system. This is one of the fights on the card I am most looking forward to watching as both guys could make some noise in the bantamweight division. Pettis comes in as the favourite at -190 and Caceres the underdog at +165, Sergio is getting a lot of credit early and he hasn't even really proved much of himself. This will be Caceres's ninth UFC bout and stylistically could pose problems to Pettis as he is longer and will have slight height and reach advantages. Sergio Pettis is only 20 years old and has a lot of time to mature and grow as a fighter, the thing is I don't believe he has the finishing power like his older brother, not to say that he won't in the future , but for now I think he has a lot to learn still. Pettis will probably try to keep the fight standing and Caceres will try to get the fight to the ground where he might have a bit of an edge. My gut tells me Pettis is going to win but my heart says Caceres, I could see this being back and forth and ending in a decision so I'll leave that as my prediction.
Over 2.5 Rounds @ -185
Eddie Wineland (20-9-1) Vs. Yves "Tiger" Jabouin (19-8)
Two WEC vets face off in this octagon as Eddie Wineland and Yves Jabouin set to face off for the first time. Wineland is fresh off a loss to Renan Barao for the interim title, Eddie was doing okay until Barao caught him with a spinning back kick that wobbled him and Barao came in for the kill getting the referee to stop the fight in the second round. Yves is coming off a decision victory over Dustin Pague and now hopes to string a win streak together and move up the bantamweight ladder. Wineland is the favourite at -300 and Jabouin the underdog at +250, I agree with this line and the line on Wineland actually opened at -380 and has since dropped to an even -300. I like Wineland in this matchup as he probably holds the edge in the striking department and has fought tougher competition. I would suggest playing Wineland in a parlay instead of laying the number.
Eddie Wineland -300
Chico "King Camus (13-4) Vs. Yaotzin Meza (20-8)
A battle of two bantamweights looking to string together a winning streak and make a move up that bantamweight ladder. This will be Chico Camus's fourth fight in the UFC and Meza's third, both fighters coming off wins. Camus is the favourite at -190 and Meza the underdog at +165, this one fight i'm not too crazy about but it is an interesting matchup as Meza has a height advantage and that might come into play in the fight. I think Meza will be trying to take this fight to the ground and attempt to submit his opponent, Camus will probably be pressuring Meza and trying to control him with his wrestling. Like I said earlier, i'm not in love with this one but if I had to predict I would say Camus via decision but you can't rule out Meza who comes in as the longer fighter. With both guys being so tough, I could see this going the distance and that might actually be the best bet
Over 2.5 Rounds @ -165
Hugo "Wolverine" Viana (7-1) Vs. Ramiro "Junior" Hernandez (13-5)
A bantamweight bout between two Brazilians looking to get back in the win column. Both Viana and Hernandez lost there previous UFC bouts, Hernandez last fought in September where he was submitted in the first round by Lucas Martins. As for Viana, his last fight was last April where he lost via TKO in the first round against the rising bantamweight star T.J. Dillashaw. Viana is a standout from the first TUF Brazil and looked good making it to the semi-final before losing to Rony Jason via decision. Hugo "Wolverine" comes in as the favourite at -325 and "Junior" Hernandez the underdog at +265. We've only seen Hernandez once in the UFC and he comes into this fight as the more experienced one with 18 professional fights under his belt. I agree that Hugo "Wolverine" should be the favourite but I think it's a little too high at -325, I wouldn't lay the number straight up but perhaps play him in a parlay.
Hugo Viana - 325
Daron "The Detroit Superstar" Cruickshank (13-4) Vs. Mike "The Wolverine" Rio (9-3)
A battle of two TUF 15 alums face off in a lightweight battle as Daron Cruickshank takes on Mike Rio. Cruickshank is coming off a loss to Adriano Martins last November where he was defeated via armbar, while Rio has lost his last 2 both via submission in the first round, another poor performance by Rio could mean the chopping block for him. With both guys in need of a win, I suspect that we will see a sense of urgency from the two. The two of them were on opposing teams on TUF 15 also known as TUF Live. Daron Cruickshank comes in the favourite at -225 and Rio the underdog at +185, when the line originally came out Cruickshank was at -260 and has since dropped, this is a good thing though because I believe Cruickshank is the better fighter and has more ways of winning than Rio does. I like Cruickshank in this spot and would suggest playing him in a parlay.
Daron Cruickshank -225
George Sullivan (14-3) Vs. Mike "Biggie" Rhodes (6-1)
A battle of two welterweights making their UFC debuts as they try to make a good early impression to prove they belong in the big league. Rhodes is coming from RFA where he has won his last two, while Sullivan is coming from CFFC where he holds the welterweight title. Sullivan trains under Pelligrino MMA and Rhodes is with Roufusport under the tutelage of Duke Roufus. Rhodes comes in as the favourite at -230 while Sullivan is the underdog at +190, here is another fishy line that oddsmakers must have pulled out of a hat. This fight should be a pick'em because we don't know a whole lot about either fighter and because of that i'm going to have to go with the underdog. We're getting Sullivan who is a champ in his league at +185 and I see that as good value in this spot.
George Sullivan +185
Nikita Krylov (15-3) Vs. Walt Harris (5-2)
Kicking off the card is a bout between two heavyweights who lost in there UFC debuts and look to get there first UFC victory. Walt Harris is coming off of a unanimous decision loss to Jared Rosholt last November, while Krylov made his UFC debut last August against Soa Palelei where he lost via TKO in the third round. Krylov showed his durability as Palalei had him hurt and it took a while before the referee finally stepped in to stop the fight in the third. Harris is the biggest favourite on the card at -400 and Krylov the biggest underdog at +310, i'm not sure how they came up with this line as we have very little to go on. We've only seen each guy fight once in the octagon, Harris was the underdog in the bout with Rosholt while Krylov was actually the favourite against Palalei. We know both guys are pretty durable and the line is set at -110 for over 1.5 rounds, I see some value in Krylov at +310 but I haven't seen enough of him to be confident enough to lay the number. Also, Krylov is only 21 years old and that's super young for a heavyweight in the UFC, there's too much uncertainty in this fight so i'm just gonna lean on this fight going past a round and a half.
Over 1.5 Rounds @ -110
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