January 23, 2009
This is a huge weekend for mixed martial arts and it has little do with the UFC unless you choose to watch the UFC 91 replay on Spike. I was there, I don't need to see it again not when it's head-to-head with a great MMA card.
Cage Writer will be in SoCal to cover Affliction 2 and WEC 38 with live updates. We have to make a run at cashing some tickets.
Affliction 2 betting odds (Venetian Resort Hotel Casino):
Cage Writer's official picks are in BOLD.
Sports betting on MMA is simple to understand. When you see a minus number that is the amount you need to bet to win $100. The favorite is always a minus number. So the bigger the minus number, the bigger favorite that fighter is. Anything over -300 is a huge favorite. Anderson Silva was a huge favorite at -800 for his UFC 90 fight. The plus number is what you get if you a bet a dog for $100.
FEDOR EMELIANENKO (-360) v. ANDREI ARLOVSKI (+280) - HEAVYWEIGHT
How do you beat Fedor? I'm not sure that anyone really knows. Where is his weakness? Arlovski's trainer Freddie Roach says pushing him back with aggressive striking is the way to beat Fedor. That may be the way to do it but you've got to have a rock solid ground game. Arlovski may do some damage on the feet but unless he keeps it standing the entire way, he'll eventually run into trouble.PICK: EMELIANENKO -360
GILBERT YVEL (+400) v. JOSH BARNETT (-600) - HEAVYWEIGHT
So much of the preview for this fight has revolved around Yvel and his dirty tactics in the ring. Few have broken the fight down. Yvel is clearly a competent striker. By the odds, you'd think he has absolutely no shot. The guy has 48 MMA fights and has only been submitted once in 12 losses. That may mean Barnett eventually catches him on the feet but this won't be easy for "The Babyface Assassin". Barnett should win but the price is ridiculous. PICK: YVEL +400
VITOR BELFORT (+120) v. MATT LINDLAND (-150) - MIDDLEWEIGHT
This is one of the most intriguing fights on the card. It all comes down to who dictates the pace. If Lindland controls the fight and scores multiple takedowns, he rolls to a decision win. Lindland is not strong enough on the feet to hold off Belfort the entire way. I think we're seeing a career rebirth for Belfort at 185. He should be able to stay off the ground enough to pull off the mild upset. PICK: BELFORT +120
RAMEAU THIERRY SOKOUDJOU (+140) v. RENATO "BABALU" SOBRAL (-170)
Sokoudjou has the look and the game that excites fans. He's a pretty dynamic striker. Unfortunately his gas tank may only contain one round. Sokoudjou is also brutal on the ground. He'll be the bigger fighter in this one but his lack of ground skills will be his undoing against an excellent submission fighter in Babalu. PICK: BABALU -170
Cage Writer will be ringside/cageside with live updates at both Affliction 2 on Saturday and WEC 38 on Sunday.
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