ufc 152 poster

The Fight Lounge’s resident mixed martial arts betting expert returns to give all of our readers some excellent tips for this weekend’s UFC 152: Jones vs. Belfort event.

The best bet of UFC 152 comes in the evening’s co-main event where the first ever UFC Flyweight Champion will be crowned when Joseph Benavidez (1/3 Various) and Demetrious Johnson (12/5 Various) go head-to-head. This fight is guaranteed to be a much closer contest than the bookmakers have anticipated and even those backing Benavidez would likely agree which makes Johnson a must-bet in this fight. At worst, I would make “Mighty Mouse” a 7/4 shot to win this sure-fire action packed contest. Johnson is likely to be more active on the feet, throwing more strikes, and if the fight stays standing then volume of strikes often impresses the judges. He is a skilled wrestler too and, thus, throwing in a few takedown attempts can help sway the judges in his favour too.

The bout is scheduled for 5 rounds and the likelihood is that we’ll need all 5 rounds to determine a winner. Benavidez has 4 of 16 wins by decision whilst Johnson has 6 of 15, which in itself isn’t an overwhelming statistic, but when you factor in the two fighters both have more submission victories than KOs and the fact that I believe that the majority of the fight will be played out on the feet it leans towards a decision being the most likely method of victory. Both men also have solid submission defence so if it does hit the mat then a submission could be unlikely. Also, the two losses on each record have came via decision. The selection, Johnson, is 16/5 with Paddy Power to win by decision and Benavidez is Evens with the same bookmaker. If you like Benavidez I suggest taking the Evens about a decision victory rather than the skinny price to win.

The headlining fight sees the Light-Heavyweight Championship on the line as Jon Jones (2/13 BWin) defends against Vitor Belfort (13/2 Boylesports)after Jones saw his fight against Dan Henderson fall through and then the entire UFC 151 event scrapped. Whilst a lot has been made of the UFC 151 event cancellation and the Dana White versus Jones/Greg Jackson debate I don’t see this factoring into Jones’ fight with Belfort. Belfort is “The Phenom” by nickname and on Saturday night he will take on an actual phenom who looks unstoppable and should continue his run through the division with relative ease. The hard part is trying to decipher how the fight will play out with the outright price on Jones to win not too appealling for the casual gambler, which means playing the “Round Betting” and “Method of Victory” markets is the likely way to go if you want action on the fight.

Jones’ last fight saw him go to decison for the first time in 8 fights and he only has 3 career wins by decison. That would seem to rule out the decision victory but Belfort is a durable guy who isn’t easy to finish and it could be that the 7/1 at SkyBet on Jones to win on points interests some. I think Jones might be able to finish Belfort early with the 2nd round looking the favourable option, a round Jones has finished Machida and Belfort in in recent times. Paddy Power are a best price 10/3 for the champion to win in round 2 and are also way out of line with the rest of the bookmakers on the Jones to win by KO or TKO at 11/10.

Brit Michael Bisping (4/7 WillHill) looks to take one step closer to a title fight by taking out Brian Stann (6/4 Various) in their pivotal clash. The pricing of the fight surprises me as I make Bisping more of a favourite in this fight than Benavidez is in his so can’t put anyone off backing Bisping to win at 4/7. The perception of Bisping is that he is a grinder and it seems in every fight he is predicted to win by decision but he only has 4 career wins (of 22) by decision. He can certainly finish fights and he’ll want to make sure of a title shot by finishing Stann. Bisping to win by TKO or KO is an intriguing 11/2 with Paddy Power whilst “The Count” to win by submission is 10/1 with Ladbrokes – something he hasn’t done thus far in his UFC career. I think Bisping to win by TKO or KO is a solid bet as he’ll prove too good for Stann on his way to another jump up the divisional ladder.

In the ‘Fight of the Night’ market the flyweight title fight is a clear favourite at 15/8 but it could be worth trying the featherweight clash between Cub Swanson and Charles Oliveria which is on offer at 6/1 with Paddy Power.

Recommendations

Demetrious Johnson to defeat Benavidez @ 12/5 (Various)
Jon Jones to win by TKO/KO @ 11/10 (Paddy Power)
Michael Bisping to win by TKO/KO @ 11/2 (Paddy Power)
Swanson/Oliveria Fight of the Night @ 6/1 (Paddy Power)

The above Johnson, Jones and Bisping bets in a treble pays £464 for a £10 stake with Paddy Power.

By Scott Campbell