When Vinc Pichel forced John Cofer to tap to an Arm-Triangle Choke in last week's The Ultimate Fighter, it evened up the victories for each team during the season. It also allowed UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz, to pick the next fight. He chose the undefeated Sam Sicilia to represent his team against Chris Saunders from Urijah Faber's team. What do the odds makers think of the fight and who is best prepared for the fight of their career?
Sam Sicilia -355 vs. Chris Saunders +265
Depending on which website you use, Sicilia has odds as high as -500. The 10-0 fighter from Spokane, Wash., has won five of his fights via knockout or TKO, but has also earned four wins via submission. He has great all-around skills in the sport and is one of the toughest fighters on the show this season.
His opponent has had more mainstream action during his career, but I'm not convinced that will be an issue. He is 9-2 in his career and prior to appearing on the show, lost to Chris Horodecki at Bellator 47 in June 2011.
After their fights to get in the house, I ranked Saunders as the sixth best fighter in the house, while I called Sicilia the eighth best. Sicilia won his fight in eight seconds, which didn't allow me to rank him any higher.
When these two men meet live on FX on April 27, the winner of the fight will give their team a one-fight edge, heading into the final fight of the first round. If Sicilia follows the game plan like other fighters from Team Cruz that have won, it should be an easy victory. If he struggles to follow the game plan, a la Chris Tickle, Team Faber may have the edge.
Both fighters are extremely talented, but if I was betting, Sicilia would be my pick.
For a look at the best fights for some of the most popular fighters in the UFC and 2011 division recaps, go here.
More from this contributor:
Hobson Lopes has been a fan of mixed martial arts since the days of Tank Abbott and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Urijah Faber
- Dominick Cruz