UFC 121 on October 23rd at the Honda Center in Anaheim features Brock Lesnar as the UFC Heavyweight title holder taking on young up and comer Cain Velasquez in the main event. The under card is stacked in this fight with Jake Shields coming over from Strikeforce to take on Martin Kampmann and Tito Ortiz squaring off against fellow UFC veteran Matt Hamill.
The fight of the night could be the first one out of the gate on the pay-per-view televised portion of the UFC 121 card. Diego Sanchez will take on Paulo Thiago in the most evenly matched fight on the card. Sanchez is looking to re-establish himself in the UFC welterweight division with this fight and Thiago is looking to make a stepping stone of Sanchez.
Cain Velasquez +150 vs Brock Lesnar -170 UFC Heavyweight Title Fight 5 Rounds
Brock Lesnar has improved with every fight as the defending UFC Heavyweight champ and his recovery against Shane Carwin was nothing short of miraculous. Lesnar proved to the world in that fight that if someone cannot take him out in the first round they will not win. Carwin’s game plan was for the quick knockout but he punched himself out and did not have the stamina to stay with Lesnar in the later rounds.
Cain Velasquez is a young wrestler that has picked up his punching power but this spot may be too early in his career. Velasquez is still developing as an all around talent in MMA and judging by his mistakes and transgressions in early fights he is still not ready for a UFC Heavyweight title shot. Velasquez will be able to hold serve with Brock Lesnar for two rounds and then it will be the Brock Lesnar show. Do not bet Brock Lesnar -170 straight up but if there is a round proposition take Lesnar under three rounds.
Martin Kampmann +230 vs Jake Shields -270
Martin Kampmann enters this fight as the UFC veteran against Jake Shields who is fighting in his first fight for UFC after coming over from Strikeforce. UFC President Dana White is already touting this fight as a precursor to a match up with the winner of the Georges St Pierre/Josh Koscheck fight. That is a lot of pressure for a first time UFC fighter in Shields.
Kampmann is no push over for Shields in this fight. Kampmann has won eight of his last ten UFC fights and has rattled off four consecutive wins after dropping down to UFC welterweight. Kampmann’s last eight wins were not against slackers either. Kampmann disposed of Carlos Condit, Paulo Thiago and Thales Lietes. Take Martin Kampmann +230 over Jake Shields.
Tito Ortiz +130 vs Matt Hamill -150
Everyone in UFC knows Tito Ortiz is done except for Tito Ortiz. If Ortiz even makes it to the point of walking into the ring for this fight it still will not matter. It is not Ortiz fault that the MMA has passed him by. It is just a matter of age and years of abuse. Ortiz was once one of the best in UFC and now he is only on the card for one reason. To sell pay-per-view buys from fringe fans that know his name.
Matt Hamill has also fallen on hard times as a once fan favorite. Hamill’s last two performances in the UFC Octagon have been well below what he was once capable of. Hamill has enough wresting experience and take down defense to keep the fight under control and Tito has not won a fight since 2006. Take Matt Hamill -150 over Tito Ortiz +130. Hopefully Tito gets the message after this fight and he retires.
Diego Sanchez -110 vs Paulo Thiago -110
This could win UFC Fight of the Night if everything falls together perfectly. Diego Sanchez is on a two fight losing streak after dropping a UFC Main Event in UFC 107 to BJ Penn and then dropping his next fight to John Hathaway in UFC 114. Sanchez is an exciting fighter but now he finds himself in a must win spot in the UFC rotation.
Paulo Thiago is also in a redemption spot for this fight. The Brazilian looked off in his last fight against Martin Kampmann and he will need to show more to make the next UFC pay-per-view card. Thiago and Sanchez are both strong all around fighters and this fight will start slowly and finish with a bang. The fighter that wins will be moving up the UFC ladder and the fighter that loses could be moving out the UFC door, especially if the loser is Sanchez. Take Diego Sanchez -110 over Paulo Thiago -110.
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