3 Picks For September 5’s UFC 191 Card From Las Vegas
Champion Demetrious Johnson (-450) vs. #1 John Dodson (+325) – Flyweight (five rounds)
You can’t always count on a flyweight bout in the main event spot getting unquestioned respect from casual fans, but this tilt should have a lot of eyes glued to it. These two arch-rivals are squaring off in a rematch of their absolute classic at UFC on Fox 6 from way back in January 2013. (In case you forgot, Johnson won by unanimous decision.) One of the pound-for-pound fighters in mixed martial arts today, Johnson’s held the title since 2012 and has refused to let it go. Mighty Mouse wrestles superbly, strikes well and has a technique that opponents have a hellish time trying to crack. If anyone has a shot, it might be Dodson. Dodson lands nearly as many strikes-per-minute as Johnson but can also recieve strikes like a champ. (Or a #1 contender.) The last two fights from the challenger have ended in a doctor’s stoppage win (versus John Moraga) and a unanimous victory (Zach Makovsky was on the losing end of that). We consider Dodson to be a real threat to Johnson if he comes after the champ in the early rounds, but the edge has to be given to the champ. He’s too good, too technically sound and too well conditioned to lose his title at UFC 191.
Our Pick: Johnson
#4 Andrei Arlovski (-190) vs. #10 Frank Mir (+155) – Heavyweight (three rounds)
No, your calendar isn’t busted. Heavyweight vets Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir really are providing your subheadlining fight. Former champ Arlovski has been hammering his way through the heavyweight ranks since his return to the UFC with wins over Brendan Schaub, Antonio Silva and Travis Browne. Fellow former hardware holder Frank Mir is also riding high off of a pair of KO victories. A big win for either guy could spring them into title shot talk. We’re picking Arlovski in this tilt. It’s like he’s been reborn since his time in the Affliction/Strikeforce wilderness and he’s defiitely capable of knocking Mir out.
Our Pick: Arlovski
#7 Paige VanZant (-1600) vs. Alex Chambers (+800) – Strawweight (three rounds)
As you can see by the numbers saddled to each of the two competitors, oddsmakers do not like the chances of an Alex Chambers upset. The Australian fighter has an incredibly difficult task ahead of her as faces Paige VanZant. Both of VanZant’s UFC bouts have featured decisive wins (Kailin Curran and Felice Herring took the Ls) and the American has a strong overall style and can wreak havoc on an opponent’s legs. Chambers is a BJJ trained vet that’s more dangerous than that advertised. The armbar submission Chambers used at May 10’s UFC Fight Night event may raise eyebrows in the VanZant camp. (Previous to the armbar, Chambers took a lot of damage.) We think Chambers has more fight than Vegas imagines, but we’ve gotta give the nod to VanZant.
Our Pick: VanZant
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