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Jackal Gambling: UFC 117 prelims

All right, back into gambling mode once again!  It’s so nice, having two cards within six days of each other – especially coming on the heels of a pretty damn long MMA drought – and hey, this one is a PPV card, meaning a much deeper preliminary docket.  Odds are available at BetUS (Fightlinker’s official partner in crime),  and every time one of you bastards creates a new account (no deposit required to start – that means it’s free), the Tooth Fairy takes one of Ryan’s scurvy-ridden molars and leaves enough to cover utilities.  Let’s get right to it!

  • I picked Ben Saunders to beat Jon Fitch in a fit of stupidity, and that was on the verge of making me hesitant to bet him here.  Of course, that was before I saw his opponent (Dennis “I Have Beaten No One Of Note Except For Matt Hughes Twice” Hallman) and the line (-220; for you betting newbs, that means you have to wager $220 in order to earn $100 in profit).  Hallman’s coming off of a loss to John Howard, the former Australian prime minister that was just rendered into a Cyclops by Jake Ellenberger.  Saunders has a nast clinch game and his size is hard to deal with at 170 – I’d definitely put a couple of units ($100 increments) on Saunders.
  • Stefan Struve is a 6’11 prospect at heavyweight.  Christian Morecraft is a 6’8 prospect at heavyweight.  There are a hundred reasons to bet Struve here – odds are Morecraft has never fought (seen?) a taller fighter and his making his UFC debut against a guy with a much tougher strength of schedule – but they’re both too damn young and Morecraft isn’t enough of a dog (+160, meaning you’d win $160 for a $100 bet) to justify taking a flier on it.  Prospect v prospect matches normally equal a non-bet from me, and this one is no different.
  • Johny Hendricks must have absorbed some of Amir Sadollah’s love from Joe Silva, because he’s been installed as a -350 favorite against Charlie “Who?” Brenneman.  If Who? does something crazy, then this will go down as an all-time bad pick, but I’m pretty confident in saying Hendricks is a safe addition to a parlay (bet on multiple fights – improves your payouts, but miss one and you’re done.  No better way to get yourself interested in fights you normally wouldn’t care about).
  • I know MMA Math is widely loathed, but argue with this: Brian Stann beat Rodney Wallace at 205, Phil Davis decisioned Brian Stann right out of the 205 division, and now Phil Davis is fighting Rodney Wallace.  Davis is a -700 favorite, which is not worth betting.
  • Oh, Dustin Hazelett.  I fell in love with him and Tamdan “The Barn Cat” McCrory at about the same time, believing them both to be the first wave of kids that have been doing MMA-centric grappling (as opposed to wrestling or BJJ or judo) since they were kids.  Well, McCrory got cut (here’s hoping he’ll be back soon), and Hazelett got melted by a Paul Daley left hook after coming off of a fourteen month layoff – but I still have faith.  I’ve just heard too many good things about his opponent – Rick “The Neverending” Story – to allow my pure love of McLovin’ to motivate my desires.  This is the closest fight (line-wise) on the prelims, and I’m emotionally attached to one of the participants – thus, I will be skipping this one, but if you feel strongly enough either way (without being affected by a man-crush), then by all means.

Multiple close fights on the main card – tune in tomorrow for more advice (and Saturday for picks and chat!)