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MMA Betting Free Picks For Saturday: WEC Aldo vs. Faber – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 24th, 2010 by David Glisan

MMA Betting Free Picks For Saturday:  WEC Aldo vs. Faber
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Good MMA betting opportunity for Saturday as the WEC heads to PPV for the first time with their ‘Aldo vs. Faber’ card.  In addition to potentially being one of the best MMA cards of the year, there are several strong wagering opportunities in the top matches.  In the main event, Jose Aldo will defend his WEC Featherweight Championship against former champ Urijah Faber.  On the undercard, Ben Henderson will make a defense of his WEC lightweight title against Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and Mike Brown will try to fight his way back into top contender status for the featherweight championship as he faces a tough opponent in Manny Gamburyan.  Here’s how we see it from a betting standpoint.  Lines are from Bookmaker:



Aldo is a monstrous striker, but this could prove to be a bad stylistic matchup for him.  This line is based in large part on the always dubious ‘associative’ property of fighter qualitative superiority–Faber lost twice to Mike Brown, Aldo dominated Brown so the thinking is that he should dominate Faber as well.  Brown made the tactical mistake of trying to outstrike a superior striker and paid for it.  Brown also walks around at 175 to 180 and has to undergo a brutal weight cut to get down to the featherweight limit (145).  He’s 34 now, and might not be able to make that drastic cut anymore–at least without repercussions in his strength and stamina.  Faber walks around at or just above a buck forty five so it’s no big deal for him.  It’s unlikely that Faber will fall into the trap of trading with Aldo that even though he’s a decent standup fighter.  Faber has fought a much higher class of opposition with only three losses–to Brown twice and early in his career to current UFC fighter Tyson Griffin.  Aldo hasn’t really fought any high level fighters since coming to the WEC except Brown–he beat a decent opponent in Cub Swanson but that’s it.  Aldo fought his early career in Brazil and England against a dubious quality of opposition. Faber is the far superior ground fighter and should be able to take it to the ground and keep it there.  He’s also one of the best conditioned fighters in the sport and known for his relentless workrate.  That gave Brown trouble early in their second fight before Faber badly broke one hand and injured the other limiting his ability not only to throw punches but grapple.  Faber had a lengthy layoff due to surgery on his mangled hand but in his first fight back submitted a tough BJJ black belt in Raphael Assuncao in a matchup that I thought could potentially give him trouble.  Worth noting that Aldo has never gone more than three rounds, and there’s no way he can top Faber’s conditioning.

It’s never a bad idea in fighting to ‘follow the money’ and the WEC really needs Faber to win this.  They’re going to be moving a lot of their cards to PPV going forward and Faber is really the only fighter in the promotion that can potentially sell PPVs.  As I noted above, Aldo can bang but may have caught Brown taking him lightly.  Faber won’t do that–he’ll take it to the ground and keep it there.  The longer the fight goes the more in works in favor of ‘The California Kid’ but I’ll go out on a limb and call it Faber by 3rd or 4th round stoppage.  In any case, he’s the value play in a fight that’s not worse than a toss up.



Rematch of their great WEC 43 fight that more than a few MMA media types called the ‘fight of the year’.  Both guys are legit badasses and a couple of my favorite fighters in the sport.  Classic ‘striker vs wrestler’ matchup, and I think Henderson wins it again.  In addition to being one of the nicest guys in MMA, he’s got insane cardio, great power for the weight and is a wrestling machine.  Cerrone may have hit his ‘glass ceiling’ in the sport as he’s lost both times he’s stepped up in class to Henderson and against Jamie Varner.  To his credit, both were by decision in great fights but they’re still losses.  After watching Henderson destroy Varner to unify the lightweight title you get the feeling he’s just now hitting his prime.  Over five rounds there’s just more ways that a top level wrestler can control the fight and win.  Cerrone really needs to get a KO and Henderson showed that he can take punches and trade both in their previous fight and his fight against Varner.  This fight is priced as a near ‘pick’em’ but in my estimation Henderson is the much more complete fighter and should be the clear favorite with the stylistic advantage to win a 5 round fight.



Brown is a beast, but a -600 favorite?  Gamburyan was thought of as something of a journeyman until he dominated Leonard Garcia in his last fight which earned him this shot at Brown.  Ironically, that was sort of the rap on Brown before he KO’d Faber.  Brown had lost whenever he stepped up in class (Joe Lauzon, Japanese MMA god Genki Sudo, Hermes Franca) and so had Gamburyan (Nate Diaz, Thiago Taveres, Sean Sherk).  Gamburyan trains with former UFC fighter and fellow Armenian Karo Parisyan (who is also his cousin) and has the same unorthodox judo based style.  As I noted above, not sure that Brown can still make the weight cut to 145 as easily now as earlier in his career (both fighters actually weighed in at 1 pound over).  Brown has fought once since his KO loss to Aldo, easily defeating an overmatched opponent in Anthony Morrison.  Personally, I have a lot of questions about where Brown is at as a fighter and those combined with a very credible opponent makes this a much tougher fight than the line suggests.  At +400 theoretical breakeven is 30%, so Gamburyan is clearly an overlay.  I wouldn’t have made Brown more than a -250 favorite in this matchup though you can justify a higher price based on his name recognition and ‘rep’.  -600 is way too high though and as a result the value is the play.



Fans of Japanese MMA are very familiar with Jung from his tenure in the Sengoku promotion.  He’s got one of the best nicknames in the sport– ‘The Korean Zombie’–and is a double tough fighter.  He’ll enter this bout with a career record of 10-1, with the only defeat a decision loss to the inaugural Sengoku lightweight champion Masanori Kanehara in the tournament to crown the champ.  He’s also got a 15-6 kickboxing record, so obviously he’s a guy who can bang.  He’s also a decent, if somewhat unorthodox, ground fighter schooled in the traditional Korean martial art of Hapkido with some training in Sambo.  Garcia is a very talented fighter, but has been very erratic throughout his career.  He was arrested in 2008 as part of an alleged cocaine ring which he claims was a case of being ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people’ and charges against him were dropped several months later.  Following a dominating performance against Jens Pulver, he got a shot at then featherweight champion Mike Brown.  Brown obliterated him in less than two minutes.  He’s gone 1-1-1 since then, with his last fight being a draw against George Roop, a fighter he should have beaten easily.  Garcia is only 30, but may have peaked as a fighter.  Jung, on the other hand, is only 23 and has yet to reach his full potential.   Fighters making their WEC or UFC debut are typically underdogs against ‘bigger name’ opponents with more exposure, but Jung is a -120 favorite here which should clearly reflect the respect he’s being afforded by linesmakers.  With good reason–even at that price he’s a great value and should stop Garcia in a short but exciting bout. This fight is one of the preliminary bouts that will air on Spike TV in the US.


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