UFC Fight For The Troops 2: A Bettor's Guide
UFC: Fight For The Troops 2 will be live on Spike TV Saturday night from Fort Hood, TX. Despite the withdrawal of Houston native Mike Swick, the card still has a distinct Texas flavor to it with Melvin Guillard, Yves Edwards and Will Campuzano all having either Houston or Texas ties.
USCS will be live cageside tomorrow night and will keep a running play by play of both the non-televised and the televised portions of the card. Tune in tomorrow to follow the action. From a betting standpoint, there aren't a lot of great value picks here, but a couple of slight underdogs have a pretty good shot to win. The card is handicapped below.
Will Campuzano (-130) vs. Chris Cariaso (+100)
Both guys are likely looking at a pink slip in their locker should they lose this fight, so expect desperation performances from both. This could be one of the most competitive matches of the night, with Cariaso having the advantage on the ground as well as being an excellent muay Thai fighter. Campuzano will have a 6 inch height advantage, and it will likely be a problem for Cariaso. Look for the Mount Pleasant, TX native to get a win in his home state. CAMPUZANO DEF. CARIASO BY DECISION.
Willamy Freire (-125) vs. Waylon Lowe (-105)
Lowe is going to have a big wrestling advantage here, and will likely dictate where this fight takes place. Freire has an impressive 18-3 record and hasn't lost since 2007, but most of those fights were in Brazil where he is less likely to run into a wrestler. Lowe will control the fight and get through some scary spots on his way to a workmanlike decision win. LOWE DEF. FREIRE BY DECISION.
Charlie Brenneman (-230) vs. Amilcar Alves (+180)
Much like the Freire-Lowe tussle, this features a solid wrestler against a Brazilian up and comer. In this case though, you are talking about a fighter in Alves who has faced much tougher competition than Freire. Brenneman is a solid wrestler, but Alves should prove difficult to take down, at least without taking some serious damage. Look for Alves to catch something early and get the upset win. ALVES DEF. BRENNEMAN BY TKO (RD1)
Mike Thomas Brown (-350) vs. Rani Yahya (+250)
Yahya is basically a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter in an MMA match. Not a good recipe against Brown. Yahya has very few ways to get this fight to the ground, with Brown being a better wrestler and striker. Even if he does find a way to get Brown on the mat, Brown is a beast when it comes to ground and pound. I can't picture a way for Yahya to get this win, despite the fact that Brown is currently in a tailspin. BROWN DEF. YAHYA BY TKO (RD1)
DeMarques Johnson (-145) vs. Mike Guymon (+115)
Another matchup of desperate fighters, with both guys likely in need of a win to stay rostered. Johnson is the better striker, but has not shown much in the way of power. Guymon is going to be the better wrestler and should be able to avoid submissions against Johnson. This one won't be pretty, but should result in Guymon grinding out a win. GUYMON DEF. JOHNSON BY DECISION
Yves Edwards (-280) vs. Cody McKenzie (+210)
This is a matchup of the wily veteran against the up and coming youngster. McKenzie gained a nice following with his TUF appearance, using his trademark guillotine to finish nearly all his fights. Edwards has seen guillotines, and about anything else you could throw at him, in his 56 fight career. Edwards knows that at 34, this may be his last serious run at the UFC, and I don't expect McKenzie to stop it. This is a tough call though, because if McKenzie grabs his neck, it could end in a hurry. McKenzie just hasn't show enough versatility for me to pick him here. Should be an exciting matchup. EDWARDS DEF. MCKENZIE BY DECISION
Cole Miller (-180) vs. Matt Wiman (+150)
These two were friends before their days together on The Ultimate Fighter, and have apparently remained close since. Cole Miller gets better and better every time we see him. Wiman is a tough guy, but not nearly on the level of Miller in terms of talent. Miller would work his name into the already crowded title conversation at 155 lbs. with a win here. Wiman is the better wrestler, but won't be able to avoid the submissions that Miller is constantly throwing. Wiman will do damage early, but Miller will come through in the end. MILLER DEF. WIMAN BY SUBMISSION (RD2)
Pat Barry (-230) vs. Joey Beltran (+180)
This is the fireworks show for the evening. Neither one of these guys are likely to look for a takedown in this matchup of hard-swinging heavyweights. Barry is truly a beast, and had he not broken his hand against Mirko CroCop, would be considered one of the top heavyweight prospects in the organization. Beltran is tough, and will be more than willing to take some shots to land some, but Barry just hits too hard. BARRY DEF. BELTRAN BY KO (RD2)
Mark Hominick (-260) vs. George Roop (+200)
Hominick is an outstanding striker, and one win away from a title shot against Jose Aldo (some reward!). These two are teammates, but Roop is a guy who will always go 100%. Hominick is far more skilled, and while Roop's size will give anyone trouble, it won't be enough to keep him out of trouble in this fight. Look for Hominick to put on a striking clinic en route to a lopsided decision win. HOMINICK DEF. ROOP BY DECISIO
Matt Mitrione (-260) vs. Tim Hague (+200)
This will be one of those fights that will test the guys who put together the cage before the fights. There will be a lot of beef flying around the cage in this one. Mitrione has shown massive improvements in his game since his days on The Ultimate Fighter. Hague has been cut before, and has had a hard time against UFC level competition. Look for these guys to go hard, gas, and for this to be a true gut check. MITRIONE DEF. HAGUE BY DECISION
Evan Dunham (-260) vs. Melvin Guillard (+200)
This is going to be an exciting fight. That said, who knows how long it will last. Guillard has a tendency to have fights end early, with varying results. Dunham should be unbeaten were it not for a bad decision against Sean Sherk. He is truly one of the elite lightweight prospects in the UFC. Guillard has been there and had it slip away. While he is no doubt hungry to get into the title conversation, Dunham is the kind of guy who will capitalize on a mistake. Guillard has been known to make those in his fights, and I think he will here as well. DUNHAM DEF. GUILLARD BY SUBMISSION (RD1)
SAFEST PICKS: HOMINICK, BROWN
RISKIEST PICKS: DUNHAM, EDWARDS
CONSERVATIVE PARLAY: MITRIONE, MILLER, HOMINICK, BROWN- PAYS < 3/1
MODERATE PARLAY: DUNHAM, LOWE, CAMPUZANO, HOMINICK- PAYS < 6/1
AGGRESSIVE PARLAY: MILLER, CAMPUZANO, ALVES, GUYMON- PAYS < 16/1
LOTTERY TICKET: ALL 11 FIGHTS- PAYS 214/1