Looking for the smart money at UFC on Fox 8? Keep looking. But at least we’ve got the cojones to tell you who we’re putting OUR money on this weekend. Place your bets!
Jim Casey, FIGHT! Managing Editor
Pick: Yves Edwards, +118 (Pinnacle)
Yves Edwards was cracking skulls back when Daron Cruickshank was popping pimples in middle school. Seriously. In his 62 pro fights, the “Thugjitsu Master” has seen some things, man. While the experience-factor usually ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on (the counterclaim is the youth-advantage), I still don’t see how Cruickshank is favored in this fight. This baby is a tossup, and I’m playing the odds. Edwards for the win, please. Circle gets the square.
TR Foley, FIGHT! Wrestling Apologist
Pick: Jake Ellenberger, +206 (SportBet)
Rory MacDonald is an abysmal wrestler, and he knows it. In 15 fights, he’s never faced a collegiate wrestler, and he was taken down by CARLOS CONDIT. Jake Ellenberger is a former Division II wrestler, with the size to counter MacDonald’s strength. The Canadian has enjoyed plenty of hype as the next GSP, but unless he has secretly spent the last 17 years training under Russian wrestling coaches, he’s nothing more than a countrymen and teammate to the great UFC Welterweight Champion. Rory will spend 15 minutes on his back eating punches, which means that by the time the decision is announced, you’ll have tripled your money, and we can once again raise our glasses to the greatness of wrestlers.
Josh Nason, FIGHT! Bearded Fellow
Pick: John Moraga, +415 (SportBet)
John Moraga comes into Saturday having won seven straight fights, and he has finishes in his first two UFC tilts. While his lone career loss is against a guy that Demetrious Johnson defeated (John Dodson), is “Mighty Mouse” that dominant where he can’t get caught? Johnson is good, but we’re not talking Jose Aldo-level champ just yet. In a division that is still trying to find itself with contenders, you couldn’t have a better long shot on Saturday.
Chuck Mindenhall, #1 FIGHT! Hat Wearer
Pick: Melvin Guillard, -115 (SportsBook)
Is Guillard a complete fighter? No, but—God bless him—he keeps searching for it, traveling from Louisiana to Houston to Albuquerque to Florida to Denver to (re)locate that inner-Assassin. The high-altitude training doesn’t hurt, but the warm paternal presence of the smiling Trevor Wittman will have him centered heading into his clash with Mac Danzig. No new wrinkles this time out, just his furious power finding a target.
Steven Marrocco, FIGHT! Pretty Boy
Pick: Jorge Masvidal, -260 (TheGreek)
Reza Madadi was the perfect opponent on which TUF winner Michael Chiesa could build his résumé. With Madadi now wrestling Swedish authorities in the wake of an alleged burglary, it looks like the reality champ is about to get schooled by Jorge Masvidal, whose past submission weakness doesn’t negate his edge in experience. “Gamebred” should be able to thump the undefeated fighter, and thump him often, before he gets anywhere close to rear mount. It’s only the vet’s penchant for being a little too casual in the cage that puts him in danger.
E. Spencer Kyte, FIGHT! Canadian Guy
Pick: Robbie Lawler, -260 (SportsBook)
After two different opponents were forced out due to injuries, Robbie Lawler faces Bobby Voelker, a tough—but limited—veteran. Bet the rent money on Lawler, because this is a match-up tailor-made to his strengths. Voelker has never met a fistfight he didn’t like. While he’s proven to be durable over his career, Lawler is on another level in terms of his power, and he should finish this one in spectacular fashion.
Check out bestfightodds.com for the best betting lines.