As Randy Couture leaves the UFC to pursue a bout with Fedor Emelianenko, pundits and hardcore fans alike are left wondering whether the fight will be a financial success. Will this be the first bout in MMA history to draw casual fans away from the UFC in significant numbers? No event to date has managed it, so why should this matchup be any different?
October 23, 2007
October 18, 2007
Welcome again to the Fantasy MMA Betting League tipsters panel!
At the time of writing, the odds provided by BetOnFighting were as follows.
+180 Rich Franklin v Anderson Silva -220
+150 Tim Sylvia v Brandon Vera -180
+190 Jason MacDonald v Yushin Okami -240
+110 Alan Belcher v Kalib Starnes -140
+275 Eric Schafer v Stephan Bonnar -345
+280 Matt Grice v Jason Black -350
+140 Alvin Robinson v Jorge Gurgel -170
+265 Forrest Petz v Josh Burkman -325
-210 Demian Maia v Ryan Jensen +170
Mike (me) - of mmagame.com.
Doug - proprietor of zewkey.com - the mma betting site.
TheGarv - MMA prophet and funny man of YouTube fame.
Boondock - Awesome highlights maker and high flying tipster in our betting league.
TJ DeSantis - of Sherdog Radio fame.
UFC 77 promises to be explosive, and there are two fights that are a lock if you want to bet. The first lock is Vera over Sylvia. This is a fight you need to bet the farm on. Bet the farm, bet your house. Hell even bet your wife, because you can’t lose. Vera truly is the second coming of Fedor and he’s going to show the world on October 20th. I expect him to chop down Tim with leg kicks and overhand rights. Vera by KO round 2.
The second lock is Anderson Silva over Rich Franklin. I love Rich, he is one of my favorite fighters but he just doesn’t match up well with the Spider. After the brutal ownage in their first fight, I don’t see any way possible for Rich to win this. I think the second fight is going to look similar to the first, with Anderson dominating on the feet, and Rich unable to get it to the ground. I think Rich will last into the second or third round before being KO’d.
Those are TheGARV’s picks.
UFC 77 is upon us and I have to admit that this is one of the harder cards when it comes to making my picks. Vera vs. Sylvia: I’d have to say this fight is a virtual crap shoot as to who’ll win… and as we all know, when it comes to crap shooting, never doubt Sylvia. However, I’m not so sure this time and neither fighter steps into the octagon with any momentum. Vera has been out of the cage for quite a while as has Sylvia after recovering from a back injury (that I’m sure was a result of not having the belt strap around to support him through his daily routine). So Ring rust vs. Back injury? I’ll take Vera but I don’t think it’ll be the walk in the park some are telling us. And Vera’s not the second coming of Fedor… only Fedor is good enough to be the second coming of himself.
Last time we saw Franklin vs. Silva we were shocked to see Rich going down faster than Tito’s girlfriend. And while I see Silva winning this fight I don’t see another Tyler Durden style beat down like we saw last time. What made that fight the train wreck that it turned into was Silva’s skill and an absolutely horrible game plan by Franklin’s corner… unless blocking Thai knees with your ribs and nose is some sort of Krav Maga defense gone wrong. All the same, I still think Silva wins this but I would bet someone else’s life (not mine) that Rich takes it to the ground to use his size to try and gNp a victory. He could get one. Then again, Rich could very well be getting another kneecap instead of a nightcap to help him sleep on fight night.
And finally the lock of the night: Okami.
Long Live MMA!
UFC 77 isn’t the strongest card of the year. Nevertheless, a few fights definately have the ingredients to make for some wars.
In the main event Rich Franklin looks to get his title back against current champion Anderson Silva. The first time these guys met Franklin was over-whelmed. The Ohio based fighter walked in to the clinch thinking he would find success there. Instead of success he found hard knees to the face.
For Rich to win he needs to fight smart. Franklin is a smart fighter and I expect him to look to trade at first and then get on the inside with underhooks. “Ace” needs to stay away from the knees and kicks of Silva. If he can do this I think that he can wear Anderson down and get the fight to the floor.
Unfortunatly for Franklin, Silva doesn’t allow that. Anderson will utilize the clinch again. Silva will land shots to the body and this will hurt Rich in the later rounds. I expect Anderson to hurt Rich through out the first couple of rounds. In the third Rich will score a takedown, get stood up, and Silva will stop Franklin again via TKO.
Sylvia Vera is a pickem in my opinion. Vera will look to land low kicks and use his speed. If he is successful I expect him to win a decision. One hard punch from Sylvia could end this fight. But I think Vera is smart enough and wins a decision.
UPSET PICK: Matthew Grice over Jason Black.
Black looked zapped in his fight with Thiago Tavares. If Black is anything like that Saturday night look for Grice to take this fight. At +240 you’re silly not to throw at least 50 on this fight
For me, the big pick of UFC77 is Brandon Vera. Now first off, let me say this is a pick that does leave me doubting myself somewhat. My justification is basically that he’s a lot more skilled than big Tim but then so (supposedly) was Andre Arlovski. Still, I am putting my doubts aside and going for the Truth, because after a pretty uninspiring debut against Fabiano Scherner, I have been very impressed. He’s polished off two of Sylvia’s former opponents (Mir and Silva) in 4 minutes combined and in general, I think he’s a superior fighter. REMEMBER, you don’t need to KO or sub someone to win a fight - you just need to beat them. Vera decision : leg kicks.
Secondly I’m going for Okami over McDonald. He’s just bigger and better with more power. I can’t see McDonald winning by sub (his only chance) and I can see Okami winning by either sub, decision or KO.
Silva over Franklin. I really don’t know how Franklin could win the fight. He’s just outmatched in every area. Sorry Rich but I don’t see any way you win and considering the way the last fight went, I can’t believe Silva is only -220.
I think UFC 77 is the best event for betting I have seen in a long time. If you are a true MMA fan, then the 4 main fights are all intriguing matchups.
I have strong opinions on three of the four, the exception being Starnes vs Belcher. Although I favor Starnes, both guys are talented but unproven in my eyes. So, I will take a pass on this one and invest in the other three.
Let’s start with the Championship fight. Here’s the deal. If you think Rich Franklin is the same fighter he was before the first fight (just as good now as he was then,) you have to bet him. 2-1 is a dream. I, however, believe that the beating Silva gave him that night ended the career of the championship level Rich Franklin. Silva has moved forward in his development as a complete fighter, while Franklin has fought to regain his confidence. You can make a case that Franklin is bigger and will take him down etc… but I see it as Silva is at a completely different level than Franklin, physically and mentally. I’m taking Spider.
Everyone hates Tim Sylvia, but I don’t get it. Sylvia is one of the most resilient fighters we have ever seen, he uses his strengths better than any fighter I can think of, and he’s a hard working fool. No way Vera should be favored over big Timmy. Even if you buy into all the Vera hype, that should make him about even up with the former champion-at best! Tim’s loss to Couture looks a lot better now that Randy tore through Gonzaga. Fighting styles will matter in this one. Expect Vera to have a similar plan that Couture used to defeat Sylvia, except more knees in close. Sylvia will be ready for it, and you can bet your last tater that he won’t fall into that trap again. Look for Sylvia to use his size effectively as he controls the pace. Sylvia will frustrate Vera and take him off his game. Easy win for Sylvia. Big Bet!!!
Okami is physically superior to Jason MacDonald. MacDonald lacks the crisp, effective punching that he will need to keep the Japanese mauler off him. The combination of a physically stronger fighter facing a submission fighter is a profit machine. Okami will bull his way to MacDonald’s chest whenever he feels like it, where he can take him down and gnp as long as he wants. Some say that Okami is a slow starter, but here’s the secret…Okami knows he’s strong enough to escape submission attempts once the fighter start getting sweaty. He keeps himself out of trouble until everyone’s good a warm, then goes to work. Bet Okami with confidence.
Best Bet: Tim Sylvia
Good Bets: Okami and Silva
Records (Starting balance $200)
TheGarv: 0-0 (0%) Balance $200 - making his debut
Mike: 42-18 (80%) Balance $390.52, Total Amount Bet $3690
Boondock: 32-43 (44%) Balance $1977.75, Total Amount Bet $3911
Doug: 19-13 (59%) Balance $233.85, Total Amount Bet $436
TJ DeSantis: 9-8 (53%) Balance $632, Total Amount Bet $1990
(see more stats in game)
UFC 77 Betting Summary for the Fantasy Betting League
Note: These bets don’t necessarily correspond to who the tipsters have picked in their summaries above.
TheGarv: $50 Silva, $50 Vera
Mike: $200 Silva, $80 Vera, $50 Okami
Boondock: $500 Okami, $50 Franklin, $25 Belcher, $150 Sylvia
Doug: $100 Sylvia, $50 Okami, $50 Silva
TJ DeSantis: $100 Sylvia, $100 MacDonald, $100 Grice
Thanks to the tipsters for taking part - please show them some love and visit their respective ventures.
October 16, 2007
We have reached a deal with the good people over at mmawarehouse.com to bring you prizes for all the major UFCs! From now on, whoever tops the table for each UFC can choose a t-shirt from MMA Warehouse, up to a value of $25.
They have the latest designs from Tapout, Throwdown, Warrior Wear and many many more great brands. Check out their site, pick yourself a t-shirt and then get your picks in for UFC77 - come Saturday night you could be a winner!
Early odds for the card at BetOnFighting are;
If you’re having trouble deciding on your picks, check back later in the week and we’ll have an expert tipsters panel on our blog, featuring many of MMA’s favourite internet personalities.
Over and out!
The MMA Game team
October 15, 2007
If you haven’t checked out the IFL yet, you should. They are doing a great job and it’s good to see a bit of variety in the MMA landscape - the ring, the team concept, the free network TV deals… it’s all good stuff.
Anyway, if you haven’t seen the IFL before, check out the video below (IFL greatest KOs and extreme action) and support the IFL!
Visit IFL.tv for more information on the next IFL show and don’t forget to check out their first ever live televised event on November 3rd.
October 11, 2007
The Fight Network broke the news at around 3pm ET on Thursday that Randy Couture has walked away from the UFC.
In saying goodbye to Couture, the UFC is losing it’s most recognisable personality, it’s biggest draw and their self proclaimed “greatest champion of all time”.
More importantly, Couture is a role model to many young fighters and his public vote of no confidence in the UFC could well be a watershed moment for the Company.
This will be an extremely difficult incident to spin. Champions don’t just disappear and whatever reason they give for his departure, the UFC and it’s management are going to look incompetent. Even if they made something up, Couture can speak for himself and when the mainstream media approach him for his side of the story, I doubt he will sugar coat it. He will state that the UFC failed to sign the best competition in the world and he will mention Fedor by name.
Generally the mainstream UFC fans are lazy and uninterested in the other organisations, but if Couture speaks they listen and this may well prick their ears enough to take notice of that pudgey Russian… “Feder Amliko or something… whut did he say?”
More importantly, this is the type of story that the mainstream media love. Termoil from within and what amounts to little more than backstabbing from Couture. No matter how frustrated he may be with the organisation, they have made him a household name and a very rich household name at that. If he really wanted to retire he could have done it more honourably than this but he chose to air his dirty laundry in public and take a swipe at the UFC management in the process. That says a lot and when you see some of the reasons why, it’s certainly hard to judge him for it!
“I’m tired of being taken advantage of, played as the nice guy and basically swimming against the current with the management of the UFC….I don’t feel like I get the respect I deserve from the organization
I think the final straw for me was meeting with White and Lorenzo (Fertitta, UFC co-owner) where they claimed I was the No. 2 paid athlete in the organization, which I know is a bold-faced lie,” Couture said. Polling other athletes, said Couture, he learned that his compensation — some $250,000 a fight with pay-per-view bonuses, according to the Couture camp — was nowhere near what other top UFC fighters were making.
“All us athletes are all pretty tightly intertwined,” he said. “You hear what other guys were paid signing bonuses and what other guys were paid on the record and off the record with bonuses. I’ve heard Chuck’s numbers. Tito’s numbers. Hughes’ numbers. Quinton’s numbers. Cro Cop, Wanderlei. I heard what they were offering Fedor, and it’s insulting.”. - Couture
Assuming Couture has a no-compete clause, meaning he can’t go to another organisation, then this is a manageable mini-PR-disaster. If Couture is somehow able to sign with another organisation, this is potentially the single most important event in the history of the sport and a living nightmare for the UFC.
I hope it is the latter but I would be very surprised if that is the case.
For the last year or so, whenever I think of the UFC’s management and in particular Dana White, I think of My Name Is Earl, along with the catchphrase “Karma - I’m just trying to be a better person”.
I am no hippy loon but I do believe in the concept of karma and I’ve always wondered whether Dana’s constant badmouthing, untouchable self confidence and balshy attitude was ever going to come back and bite them in the butt. Well for me this is the first indication that all within the UFC isn’t as rosey as they would have us believe.
Dana frequently states that “we look after our guys” but when one of the highest paid stars publically dismisses your company and walks away, that’s a huge kick in the teeth.
What’s more, whilst Dana frequently calls other organisations a bunch of amateurs, his own company is starting to look like a complete mess. With Sean Sherk’s positive drugs test, the UFC are now paying twofold for a complete lack of rankings and structure within their weight divisions. Two of their five divisions are Championless and neither have a clear #2 and #3 to fight for the title.
For years the UFC have done a very good job of managing on the move, throughout their immense growth. It appears that their house of cards, whilst lofty, is wobbling furiously. No doubt they are still the biggest and the best but that house of cards could do with a firmer footing and without the need for metaphors, perhaps Dana White should stop calling everyone under the sun a moron or a joke and start building relationships, instead of breaking them.
“Certainly there’s personal motivation for resigning and taking stand for myself,” he said. “If it sets a precedence that down the road requires athletes to be treated better than that’s icing on the cake.”
Let’s hope so.