UFC 93 Predictions: Franklin vs. Henderson

The first UFC of 2009 is only 24 hours away, what better time to bring you my UFC 93 picks. The entire card looks very competitive. Outside two or three fights on the main card there are no clear favorites. There aren’t many slam dunk selections. The under card especially looks very difficult to predict. There are a number of fighters coming off of injuries and a lot new talent is also featured. All MMA betting lines from our good friends at sportsbook.com.

Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson

This looks like a very entertaining fight. The odds are much closer than I would have they would end up. Henderson remains slight betting favorite, the line has hardly moved since it opened over a month ago. Going 1-2 in his last three appears to have dented his reputation with the odds makers and public. However I cant say the same thing for other fighters. On Sherdog’s “The Pro’s Pick Franklin vs. Henderson“, only 3 out of 18 fighters went with the former UFC middleweight champion. The legendary Randy Couture, a former training partner of Henderson’s, picked the veteran Pride fighter while Jamie Fletcher made a convincing argument for Franklin.
Randy Couture: Henderson should win, but that’s a tough fight!

Jaime Fletcher: I think this is a good match up. Hendo’s wrestling is sick and he’s got iron in his chin and fists. However, I think Franklin is a bit more well versed all around. Look for Hendo to try and dominate with his Greco ground control and turn it into a brawl standing and for Franklin to get the better of the standing exchanges and scrambles. Rich by some type of finish in the third round. I love both of these guys, though!

I agree with Fletcher that Franklin may well have the advantage on his feet. However I don’t think he’ll have enough of advantage their to prevent Henderson from tying him up in the clinch and control the fight from there. Franklin is a solid striker in the middleweight division however I cant see him flourishing at the bigger weight. His reach advantage is gone and he’ll have to rely on his technical abilities either dominate or knock out Henderson. I cant see it happening, Henderson has faced better and bigger strikers throughout his career who all failed to put him away. Pick: Henderson at -140.

Mauricio Rua vs. Mark Coleman

These two former Pride champions make their long awaited comebacks at UFC 93. Its Shoguns time for remediation. After a embarrassing performance against Forrest Griffin he really needs to show the world what he is made off. If he is injury free I cant see him failing. He is leagues head of Coleman in every aspect of the game. I see him punishing “The Hammer” with heavy leg kicks throughout the first round and finishing him of via knock or TKO in the second. Pick: Shogun Rua at -365.

Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher

Denis Kang is another big name in Korea and Japan trying to make it big in the US. Kang has the all weapons and experience necessary make a major impact on the UFC middleweight division in no time at all. He has wins over some of the best middleweights in the world and trains with the likes of GSP and Rashad Evans. Having said that he seems to have reached a plateau in his career over the last year and half or so. He has had a lacklustre 2008 and looked to be on the decline for most of the year. Having said that he is the deserving +300 plus favourite, I cant see an upset here.

Palhares vs. Jeremy Horn

Both guys are superb on the ground and are coming of important loses. Their striking is severely lacking. Palhares looked somewhat impressive against Henderson. He didn’t get destroyed and managed to go the distance. Horn on the other hand has looked absolutely terrible in his last few outings. Palhares has the advantage in every aspect of the game, he should make light work of Horn. Pick: Palhares in via TKO in the second round.

Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle

As the odds indicate this one could go either way. Two solid stickers who put on a entertaining show every time they enter the octagon. Both men are well rounded, they are not one dimensional by any means. Having said that I cant see either guy going for the take down. Davis is an excellent boxer, I give him the slight edge on his feet however Lytle has great conditioning, is extremely durable and has the experience to edge out a decision. Pick: Lytle in a close decision.

Read my UFC 93 betting odds post right here and check out our live play by play on this page. Let me know who you like on this card in the comments section below.

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