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Special to Chicago’s MMA

This Saturday, the UFC presents UFC 119 – Mir vs. Cro-Cop live from Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The main event features the former PrideFC open weight champion, Mirko “Cro-Cop” Filipovic taking on former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. While UFC 119 lacks a title fight, the UFC is offering two free preliminary fights on SpikeTV and UFC sportsbook offers the sports betting fans plenty of betting opportunities.

The UFC odds makers have the current UFC sportsbook line favoring Frank Mir at -260 and a bet on the underdog Cro-Cop will pay +200 on the moneyline.

UFC 119 Betting Odds
September 25, 2010
Mirko Filipovic +200
Frank Mir -260
Heavyweight 3 rounds
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse – Indianapolis IN
Fight Time: 10:00

The line on this fight has moved quite a bit in the past couple of days after it’s come out that Cro-Cop been poked in the eye during his last sparring practice. The line opened at -220/+170 favoring Mir and if UFC bettors have any doubts about Cro-Cop’s eye is something serious, these odds could jump even more.

The athletic commission has cleared Cro-Cop to fight but the specter of the eye injury will leave bettors leery back Cro-Cop in this fight. Mirko Filipovic came to the UFC with great fanfare, he had built an aura of the greatest striker in mix martial arts and fresh off his PrideFC Grand Prix championship but once in the UFC, he’s been a disappointment.

In his first stint the UFC, he won his first fight against a tomato can and despite being a huge UFC sportsbook favorite, he dropped his next two to Gabriel Gonzaga and Cheick Kongo. He was cut loose and won three of his next four fights with one no decision.

The UFC resigned Cro-Cop and he’s won three of his four fights on his second stint in the UFC, his only loss was to Heavyweight title contender Junior Dos Santos. Coming into his most recent win over Patrick Barry, pundits had suspected Cro-Cop was finished and he had lost his passion for the fight game but in Vancouver at UFC 115, Cro-Cop was in tremendous shape and even at the post fight press conference he was showing humor and legitimate enjoyment for his win.

Frank Mir is looking to bounce back into the UFC heavyweight title picture after an embarrassing first round KO to Shane Carwin. He was supposed to offer Carwin his toughest challenge after Mir bulked up to 265lbs to compete on a strength level with the big heavyweights of the division. The loss has put Mir in a tough spot, he was the interim title holder until he was flattened by Brock Lesnar at UFC 100.

Mir is an excellent Ju-Jitsu artist and he’s shown he can out strike his opponents as we saw in his wins over Kongo and Nogueira but the problem with Mir has been his inability to keep his head in the game. In the past year, he’s moved his weight from 240 to over 265 and then after the loss to Carwin he considered a drop to light-heavyweight but nixed the idea after advisors told him he looked like he was in a death camp. He’s back up to about 235 but I’m concerned about where his mind is at coming into this fight.

I’m not concerned about Cro-Cop’s eye poke and after watching him at UFC 115, I’m not ready to call his career over. The odds favoring Mir are over inflated and I’m going to take advantage of the great value on Cro-Cop at the UFC sportsbook.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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