UFC 191 Picks
When: Saturday, September 5, 2015
Where: MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
by Scott of Predictem.com
UFC 191 promises to be an entertaining event, particularly at the top of the main card. In the main event, fans get to see one of the sportís top pound-for-pound practitioners in flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He fights a rematch with hard-hitting John Dodson, the man who gave Johnson his toughest title defense in 2013 in a decision loss that was Fight of the Night. In the co-feature, resurgent former UFC heavyweight champions Frank Mir and Andrei Arlovski do battle, with the winner putting himself in position for a possible title shot.
Demetrious Johnson, 22-2-1 (4 KOs, 9 Submissions), (-450) vs. John Dodson, 17-6 (8 KOs, 2 Submissions), (+325)
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson makes the 7th defense of his title by taking on former victim John Dodson at the MGM in Las Vegas. Their first fight, won by Johnson unanimously, was a competitive bout and considering Johnsonís recent run of utter dominance, Dodson may in fact be the divisionís top option.
Since losing to Johnson, Dodson has won three straight against credible opposition, including a TKO over John Moragaóhis second win over the 125-pound contender. Heís coming off a unanimous decision over Zach Makovsky in May. Heís 30, a very mature fighter at his peak, and he has a pretty good idea of what heís up against after going 25 minutes with Johnson a few years ago.
Making this seem like an even taller order for Dodson is the fact that Johnson seems to be getting better. After beating Dodson the first time, heís registered 4 successful defensesóall in dominant fashion. Heís submitting guys, punching them into oblivion, and showing signs that he is peerless at 125 pounds. Heís simply one of the best fighters around.
In his last fights, Johnson has been pretty close to perfect. The movement, the set-ups, and the technique seem almost effortless, though we all know itís the result of hard work. Johnson is one of those guys who actually stepped it up a notch after becoming champion, rather than letting his foot off the gas.
In Dodson, there are some things upon which potential backers to hang their hats. When taking an underdog of his magnitude, one would prefer to see him have one outstanding fight-changing trait. For Dodson, it is his power. It can suddenly change the complexion of fights and Dodson was able to buzz Johnson on occasion in their first fight. There were times when Dodson caught the speedy Johnson and had him on the precipice of ruin. Credit Johnsonís durability and conditioning, along with a championís heart, in allowing him to withstand the stormy passages, but we saw hints of Dodson at least being able to do it.
Johnson knows what he is up against this time and look for him to employ his speed and ground-game to a greater extent, in an effort to reduce the viability of Dodsonís striking. I see some potentially-tough moments for Johnson, but he has too many tools for Dodson. If able to steer clear of Dodsonís bombs, he should be able to cruise to a unanimous decision win or potentially a late stoppage.
My Pick to Win: Iím taking Demetrious Johnson to win at -450. He is a peaking champion facing a man he has beaten before, having already taken his best shots. Johnson has more routes to victory and should exercise more caution in dissecting the hard-hitting, but more one-dimensional Dodson. Bet your UFC 191 predictions at an online sportsbook that has been in business since the 90's, where your credit card WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a free money signup bonus: Intertops.
Frank Mir, 18-9 (5 KOs, 9 Submissions), (+160) vs. Andrei Arlovski, 24-10 (17 KOs, 3 Submissions), (-200)
The co-main event features a high-stakes battle of former heavyweight champions, with Frank Mir battling Andrei Arlovski in a 3-rounder between big men. There was a time not long ago when the idea of a high-stakes match-up between Mir and Arlovski would have been laughable. Once champions, both men had fallen into a prolonged funk and were on the precipice of afterthought status. But each man showed the heart of a champion in resurrecting their careers to the point where a title shot may hang in the balance for the winner of this fight.
Arlovski, the 36-year old Belarusian, reigned as UFC champ back in 2005. After a run of success, Arlovski was left scrambling for answers, as he lost 4 straight fights. He bounced around and got back on his feet. Other than a loss to light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson, he has won every fight since 2011. Still, when he returned to the UFC, it was greeted with chuckles. No one is laughing after wins over Brendan Schaub, Antonio Silva, and Travis Browne.
Mir, also 36, reigned as UFC champ back in 2004. And he did continue to have success, even after a near-fatal motorcycle accident. But 4 straight losses from 2012 to 2014 had him right on the cusp. He has since scored two big winsóknockouts over Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee and he is back in the mix. At this late stage, Mir has managed to add a new dimension to his game. Always a Jiu-Jitsu master, Mir has improved his striking exponentially. His flattening of Todd Duffee was startling. The new wrinkle has allowed him to become relevant again, when it seemed he was all but finished.
Even as Mirís striking has reached a new level; he is facing a man in Arlovski who still packs bricks in his hands. His punches are savage and capable of ending any fight instantly. Even at this stage in his career, he may be the most capable stand-up fighter in the heavyweight division. At the same time, Arlovskiís chin is hardly dent-proof, though it has held up well in recent battles. Mir could conceivably put one over on Arlovskiís chin and end this one early.
I picture a lot of standing, with hard shots being thrown on both sides. Each man has been knocked out seven times, so no result would be particularly startling. I like what both men have been showing in recent bouts, but Mir has more avenues to victory and as a +160 underdog, may represent some better value.
My Pick to Win: Iím taking Frank Mir to win at +160. His recent addition of knockout power in his strikes has given him a new dimension, as he now looks better than he has in years. Arlovski is certainly a dangerous assignment and neither man is immune to being hurt. But in what appears to be a toss-up, one may feel inclined to take the underdog. Bet this fight for FREE by depositing $100 and getting $50 FREE at one of the web's best bookies: Bovada Sportsbook.
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