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UFC 164 Best Bets

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UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis

There’s no shortage of interesting matchups on the UFC 164: Pettis vs. Henderson card. Here’s a look at our best bets and quick picks for the event.

Jamie Varner -150 vs. Gleison Tibau +120

I’d be shocked if Tibau submits Varner, which is his best chance to win this fight. Tibau’s physique is impressive, but it’s a deterrent against the quicker, more active fighters in the division. That description fits Varner, who has looked outstanding since his return to the UFC. You might recall that Varner started his comeback here in Chicago at XFO 39, quickly choking out Tyler Combs at the Sears Centre.

Varner’s level of activity and ability to win scrambles will win the day for him. It will likely come in the form of a decision win since Tibau hasn’t been finished in over five years, but Varner will prevail. Take Varner -150.

Brandon Vera -120 vs. Ben Rothwell -110

Vera may be the biggest enigma in MMA over the last decade. He has tremendous skills but has never been able to live up to the hype. He makes the move back to heavyweight for this fight, and looked great at the weigh-in. You could argue that his last big win came against Frank Mir at UFC 65, and that was almost seven years ago. Rothwell had a huge knockout against Brendan Schaub at UFC 145, then took a step back against Gabriel Gonzaga, getting choked out in the second round.

Although Vera is just returning to heavyweight and Rothwell knocked out Schaub last year, this loser of this fight probably gets cut. In my estimation, Rothwell has more desire and a better chin. Vera was a finisher in his younger days, but that hasn’t been the case in a long time. I see Rothwell absorbing some early punishment from Vera, who will fade. Rothwell will  then turn it on and knock Vera out. Take Rothwell -110.

Frank Mir +145 vs. Josh Barnett -175

You won’t find a bigger Frank Mir fan than me, but I’m having trouble discerning how Mir can win this. Mir says he has submitted a lot fighters that haven’t been submitted before, but Josh Barnett is a different kind of beast with his catch wrestling game. Mir does not want to be on his back against Barnett, even if he says different. No fighter does. Barnett’s ground game is such that we could see him in top position for the majority of the fight, and maybe it’s Mir who taps.

Mir is coming off back to back losses to Junior Dos Santos and Daniel Cormier and needs a win to remain a contender in any way. He had an exceptional three-fight win streak right before the losses, knocking out Cro Cop, beating Roy Nelson and submitting Big Nog. But Barnett looks to be the favorite across all the boards, as www.topbettingaction.com points out. Take Barnett -175.

QUICK PICKS

  • Ben Henderson -125 over Anthony Pettis -105
  • Chad Mendes -500 over Clay Guida +375
  • Tim Elliot -170 over Louis Gaudinot +140

UPSET SPECIALS

  • Chico Camus +165 over Kyung Ho Kang -205
  • Ryan Couture +185 over Al Iaquinta +235

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About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago’s MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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