UFC 104 Its Time!

Well its finally here, "Its time" for UFC 104. Here is our coverage so far, more to come very soon. As always visit our friends at Sportsbook to bet on the event. Click on our special banner on post below to score a extra bonus.

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UFC 104 picks and predictions

UFC 104: Machida vs. Shogun takes place this weekend in Los Angeles and here are some handicapping insights on the main card matches.

MAIN EVENT: Lyoto Machida vs. Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua
With all due respect to UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, you’ve got to take the value with ‘Shogun’ Rua here. Before coming to the UFC ‘Shogun’ was on a short list for best ‘pound for pound’ fighters in the world. His run in the UFC got off to a bad start with a submission loss to Forrest Griffin. He had knee trouble during training and re-injured it in his subsequent fight against Mark Coleman. He’s since had knee surgery and looked very sharp in dominating Chuck Liddell at UFC 97.

‘Shogun’ has only lost three times in his MMA career—to Griffin in his UFC debut, to Mark Coleman at PRIDE 31 when he suffered a broken arm and couldn’t continue and early in his career to Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral. He’s beaten a who’s who of MMA superstars including Alistair Overeem (twice), Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Kevin Randleman and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.

As always, it comes down to a matter of value—we’re getting a fighter who as of mid 2007 was considered the best light heavyweight in the world as a +320 dog. At the price, theoretical break even is just under 25% and ‘Shogun’ has a much better shot than that. Granted, Machida’s style is a tough matchup for anyone but with ‘Shogun’ you’re getting a top notch fighter at a great value price. See the latest UFC 104 odds below.

Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell

Velasquez is considered to be one of the next bigtime heavyweights by the UFC, but his win over Chieck Kongo at UFC 97 revealed some serious liabilities with his standup defense. Velasquez was dropped three times in the fight by Kongo’s punches, though he did recover each time and otherwise dominated the fight.
In this matchup, Ben Rothwell definitely has the striking power to exploit that weakness. ‘Big Ben’ has only lost once in his last 16 fights (to Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned) and may have the best chin of any heavyweight in the sport. He’s also vastly more experienced than Velasquez, who’ll be fighting as a professional for just the 7th time here.

In other words, Rothwell definitely has a ‘puncher’s chance’ in this matchup and this should be a much more evenly contested fight that the wagering line suggests.

Gleison Tibeau vs. Josh Neer

Neer is a late replacement for Sean Sherk. Tibeau just a -130 favorite and while we think the underdog Neer has a good shot not much value backing him at even money. Pass.

Joe Stevenson vs. Spencer Fisher

Pretty simple concept here—these two fighters are much more evenly matched than the line suggests. Fisher has won four of his last five fights, while Stevenson has lost two of his last three. Value alone dictates a play on Fisher.

Anthony Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

Yoshida went 1-2 in his first three professional fights, and has only lost once since for a 11-3 professional record. Unfortunately for him, his only loss in his last eleven fights was a highlight reel knockout defeat to Josh Koshcheck. Koscheck, of course, is a top level opponent so it’s hard to diminish him too much for dropping that fight. Johnson has been pegged as something of a future superstar by the UFC, but in our view he’s a pretty one dimensional fighter. Johnson has decent wrestling skills, but nothing to suggest that he’ll matchup effectively with Yoshida’s judo and submission expertise.

Ultimately, this is another fight that comes down to value—this is much closer to a ‘coin flip’ than the line suggests and that alone dictates a play on the underdog Yoshida.

That concludes our UFC 104 predictions. Follow the action live at THE SAVAGE SCIENCE. They've got the best UFC 104 play by play coverage by far. Stay tuned for more.

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UFC 104 betting odds and best bets

Big time MMA is returning to LA for the first time in a long while. UFC 104 takes place on Saturday, October 24th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here are the current odds on the PPV fights. Don’t forget that you call follow the UFC 104 live play by play at Savage Science. Bet on the event only at Sportsbook. These guys i've got the overall best odds around at the moment. Here are the current lines.

Lyoto Machida -400
Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua +320

Lyoto ‘The Dragon’ Machida makes his first defense of the UFC light heavyweight title against former PRIDE standout ‘Shogun’ Rua. ‘Shogun’ has dealt with injuries and substandard performance since coming to the UFC, but looked very sharp in his UFC 97 domination of Chuck Liddell. ‘Shogun’ was considered among the ‘pound for pound’ best in the world during his time in PRIDE, and if he’s close to regaining his old form could be a formidable challenge for Machida as well as a good wagering value.

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Cain Velasquez -295
Ben Rothwell +235

Heavyweight up and comer Cain Velasquez faces his toughest challenge to date as he takes on rugged Ben Rothwell. Velasquez sports an undefeated record and is pegged as a star of the future, but has shown problems with his standup punching defense. That could be a problem against the hard hitting Rothwell. Rothwell showed an almost ungodly ability to take punishment in his Affliction: Banned loss to Andrei Arlovski and definitely has a ‘puncher’s chance’ in this matchup.

Gleison Tibeau
Josh Neer

No line posted on this matchup, with Neer serving as a late replacement for injured Sean Sherk

Joe Stevenson -245
Spencer Fisher +195

Could be a good value opportunity on underdog Fisher in this battle of lightweight contenders. Stevenson has lost two of his last three fights, while Fisher has won his last three and four of five including polishing off Japanese veteran Caol Uno at UFC 99.

Anthony Johnson -315
Yoshiyuki Yoshida +255

Johnson has been tabbed as a star of the future by the UFC, but Yoshida is a much tougher opponent than this lopsided price would suggest. Yoshida has lost only one of his last eleven fights (to top level opponent Josh Koscheck) and may be a better rounded fighter than Johnson.

Head over to Sportsbook for the undercard betting odds.

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