UFC 155 Betting Preview at Bovada
A tremendous year of mixed martial arts concludes on Saturday, December 29 with UFC 155 at the MGM Garden in Las Vegas and one of the most anticipated fights of the year. Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez tangle again for the Heavyweight Championship.
The two fighters fought in a history-making bout at UFC on FOX 1 in November 2011 in the first broadcast network televised UFC event. Then Velasquez was the Heavyweight Champion, having taken the belt from the once-feared Brock Lesnar in a surprising first-round TKO at UFC 121 in October 2010 (the most-wagered UFC bout of that year). The top contender was dos Santos in the first fight as he was riding an eight-bout winning streak, including impressive victories in his previous two fights against Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.
Unfortunately, the UFC on FOX 1 headliner didn't live up to the hype, at least in terms of the bout's length. In the first round, dos Santos landed a devastating overhand right hand that landed squarely on Velasquez's left temple. The champion fell to the canvas and dos Santos pounced, landing several more punches before the fight was called at the 1:04 mark. It was the first loss of Velasquez's career. He actually opened that fight as a -105 dog but was the -135 favorite at fight time, with dos Santos at +115.
Both have fought once since the first bout, at UFC 146 in May. While dos Santos (15-1) actually was supposed to defend against former Strikeforce Champion Alistair Overeem, he failed a pre-fight drug test. The legendary Frank Mir stepped in against the champ and lasted until 3:04 of the second round, when he succumbed by TKO. Cigano was a -485 favorite against the past-his-prime future Hall of Famer.
The one and only loss by dos Santos came against Joaquim Ferreira via first-round submission in the November 2007 Mo Team League final in the champ's native Brazil. His fights rarely go to a decision as he has 11 wins by KO/TKO and just two by decision. He is considered the best boxer in the division.
Meanwhile, Velasquez (10-1) earned his shot back at the title with a first-round TKO (punches) of Antonio Silva on that UFC 146 card. Velasquez took the vast majority of action in that bout, moving from an open of -335 to a close of -410. Velasquez, a tremendous wrestler, has won nine of his fights by KO or TKO. His only decision was a unanimous win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 99.
Currently at the book, dos Santos is the -175 favorite with Velasquez at +145. The line opened at -150/+120, with dos Santos taking approximately 60% of the lean and thus the book is slightly exposed on him. It's the first time Velasquez has been a dog since he was +155 against Lesnar. If dos Santos wins, he should finally get his chance to take on Overeem in what would be one of 2013's top bouts.
The other main fight currently with active odds features middleweights Yushin Okami and Alan Belcher in what is also a rematch. Way back at UFC 62 in August 2006 in the UFC debut for both, Okami won by unanimous decision. Thunder (27-7) ended a two-fight losing streak in his last trip inside the Octagon, beating Buddy Roberts by second-round TKO at UFC 150.
Okami fought for the Middleweight Title against pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva at UFC 134 last year but lost by second-round TKO. Okami then lost to Tim Boetsch by third-round TKO in May. Okami had dominated the first two rounds.
The American Belcher (18-6) is on a four-fight winning streak. He last fought in May at UFC on FOX 3 and beat Rousimar Palhares by second-round TKO. Belcher's last loss was via split decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama in July 2009.
Okami is currently -130 at the book, with the Talent at even money. It opened at -140/+110. Belcher is taking more than 93% of the action thus far. Okami was a much bigger favorite against both Roberts (-620) and Boetsch (-440). Belcher was a +180 dog versus Palhares.
Bet on UFC 155 at Bovada Sportsbook. Raise Your Game.