UFC on Fox 7 Picks
April 19, 2013
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UFC on Fox 7 –Henderson vs. Melendez
With a free fight card brought to you by the UFC this weekend, it seems only fitting to dish out some free picks along with it. Benson Henderson defends his lightweight championship in a much anticipated bout with Gilbert Melendez, one of the best pound-for-pound talents in the world. You’ll won’t have to spend a dime to see this event, but you can definitely build your bankroll by investing in some solid fighters.
UFC on Fox 7 will televise on – you guessed it – the Fox Network live from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Get your bets in as soon as you can on Saturday, since most of the main card matchups will begin to come off the board at 8:00 p.m. ET. Got it? Then it’s time for some free picks!
Benson Henderson (-340) vs. Gilbert Melendez (+260)
As is the case with every championship other than the one the heavyweights fight over, the lightweight division belongs to one man and one man only. Benson Henderson has gone a resounding 6-0 SU in his UFC career pushing him to an overall record of 18-2 overall. His incredible fights against Frankie Edgar put him on the global map, but his thrashing of Nate Diaz solidified his campaign as the champion leaving very few detractors in his wake.
As the complete package, Henderson brings a full platter to the table plus desert. His prowess, speed and precision are unmatched and he uses his godly gifts to press his opponents for five rounds. This guy can burn the midnight oil with the brightest. But you probably know plenty about the reigning champion.
So who is Gilbert Melendez? Hardcore MMA fans will recognize El Nino as the longest running lightweight champion from the recently defunct Strikeforce promotion. He held that title for a total of four years, losing it once and winning it back. Melendez has a tempting combination of power and speed that is rare in this weight class. During his 21-2 record, he’s posted 11 knockouts.
For years, Melendez has been touted as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but it was hard to take his ranking seriously because of where he competed. Now that he’s finally amongst the best in the UFC, he gets to test his mettle and measure himself to the highest standard possible in this sport.
It should say a lot that Melendez’s first fight in the UFC is for the title, but it also says just as much about this division. It’s important for Henderson to fight the best available talent to legitimize a division that has been consistently dominated by an alpha dog.
Benson Henderson is the leader of the pack until further notice. El Nino doesn’t present any challenge that the experienced Bendo hasn’t encountered in the past. His striking is on par with the best in the world, but it’s a half-step back from Edgar and Nate Diaz, whom Henderson has successfully defending his title against in his last two fights. Follow the oddsmakers here and back the champion. Melendez doesn’t have the speed to turn Henderson in to a mere mortal.
Only Frankie Edgar did and Henderson chased him out of this weight class.
Frank Mir (+300) over Daniel Cormier (-450)
Daniel Cormier desperately wanted this fight, and now he’s got it. The winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix is a serious talent, and at a perfect 11-0 SU there’s no telling how good he actually is until he starts battling the big dogs in the UFC. Frank Mir is the perfect type of gate keeper to measure a man’s worth for the heavier weight classes.
I like Frank Mir. He’s an instinctive, intelligent and cerebral grappler who has had a somewhat remarkable career. But in his last fight against Junior dos Santos, Mir was way out of his league and it’s obvious that his athletic short comings have caught up with him at 33 years of age. Against the very best, Mir can’t keep up. But at the next level down he’s one of the very best. He’s like a sex panther.
That being said, I’m not that convinced that Cormier is as good as he thinks he is. Mir has always taken advantage of fighters who underestimate his abilities, and has been able to trap a few opponents in to bone snapping submissions over his most recent bouts. Cormier’s exuberance in this tilt might be his downfall.
The key to beating Mir is to stay patient and stay upright. While Mir doesn’t have glorious boxing or striking abilities, Cormier doesn’t possess the knockout power a man of his stature should have. It’s almost idiotic as a gambler to think that Mir is dumb enough to constantly fall for the same tactics that have destroyed him in more important fights.
This fight won’t do anything to extend, shorten or improve Mir’s career and that means you can expect him to stay cool instead of over-extending himself as he does against next level contenders. Cormier has talked a big talk, but I just don’t see how he walks the walk against a guy like Mir who is smarter in the octagon than he seems outside of it.
Josh Thomson (+170) over Nate Diaz (-220)
You may have not heard of Josh Thomson, but he’s one of the only guys that’s beaten the aforementioned Melendez. He hasn’t fought for nearly a year, since losing the Strikeforce Lightweight Championship to Gilbert Melendez in a sketchy split decision.
If you follow the UFC at all, Nate Diaz probably seems like the smart bet because of his name value. But look at how tightly Josh Thomson is straddling the betting line. Diaz is a great talent, there’s no doubt about that. However, the book on Diaz is fairly simple – he’s relied on his superior conditioning and insane mean streak, but hasn’t improved his dynamic range as a fighter. He still tries to bait guys in to a messy fray, and as long as his opponents stay out of that trap they fare very well.
Thomson will be smart enough to stay out of Diaz’s game and is still spry enough at 34 years of age to keep up with the speed that his opponent possesses. Keep tabs on the news leading up to this fight because Thomson is nursing an injury that may keep him out of the fight. If he straps on the gloves, however, he’s the take.
Jordan Mein (-370) over Matt Brown (+280)
When he debuted in 2008, there was a belief that Matt Brown was going to be the next big thing in the UFC. Since then he’s gone 9-6 SU in the UFC, bringing his overall record to just 16-11. Brown’s career arc has trended up recently with four straight wins, but this could be the beginning of the end for Brown as a UFC regular.
The 23-year old Jordan Mein is oozing with potential. Even at such a young age, he has a decorated pro career with a 27-8 record and won his UFC debut with a TKO of veteran Dan Miller in Montreal. The Canadian Young Gun is a dazzling combination of speed, power, talent and refined ability given his age.
With Mein hell bent on proving his worth in the UFC, and Matt Brown fighting for his career, this could very well be the Fight of the Night. It could also end abruptly with Mein capsizing a desperate Brown. Mein ends this fight via TKO or submission, while showing off his versatility. He’ll use Brown’s carcass to prove to the UFC brass that he’s worth noticing in a dense welterweight division.