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UFC 199 Picks

UFC 199 Picks
When: Saturday, June 4, 2016
Where: Fabulous Forum, Inglewood, California
TV: PPV
by Scott, Mixed Martial Arts Handicapper, Predictem.com

Fight Analysis:

UFC 199 features an exciting dual-championship card from the Forum in Inglewood. New UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold takes on the man he beat for the title, as he fights a rematch with Chris Weidman. In their first fight, Rockhold lifted the title with a brutal 4th-round TKO. Will he repeat the win or will Weidman avenge his first career loss? Also on the card, UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz takes on the only man to beat him, as he defends his belt against longtime contender Urijah Faber. It is a night of rematches on June 4. Who comes out ahead?

Luke Rockhold, 15-2 (4 KOs, 9 Submissions), (-210) vs. Chris Weidman, 13-1 (6 KOs, 3 Submissions), (+175)
UFC Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold makes his first defense against the man he beat for the belt—ex-champ Chris Weidman. It is a rematch from last year's 4th-roundTKO win for Rockhold. The bout was an evenly-fought bout, until Rockhold took over in the third round, pummeling Weidman for an extended period before the bout came to a merciful end for the former champion. It was Weidman's first loss. Can he turn the tables? Or is Rockhold all wrong for him?

A loss can do one of two things for a fighter. Weidman is hoping that it improves him, obviously, but you never know. After going years without losing, he could have grown a bit complacent—or perhaps he just lost his edge ever so slightly. A loss could help him re-focus and come back stronger. But then there's the potential of the Humpty Dumpty syndrome, where once it's broken, it stays broken. We'll see how Weidman spins out of this defeat. After all, he absorbed a protracted beating by Rockhold in their first encounter

Over the years, Rockhold has worked himself into a complete fighter. And he's far more robust than his wispy frame would suggest. He's actually quite strong, as shown by the way he muscled the robust Weidman around at times in their first fight. For 185, the man has great size. But Weidman, who walks around at the 220 range, is also a robust middleweight.

Going into the third round of their first fight, it looked to be a rather even encounter. Weidman tried an ill-advised wheel-kick that started things going downhill for him. And he was never able to recover from that one mistake. Now, it doesn't bode all that well for Weidman that all it takes is one tactical error for his fight plan to go into the toilet. At the same time, it makes it so you can't help but think what would happen if Weidman stays in his zone a little better. And that doesn't mean don't throw kicks. Some of his body kicks were bothering Rockhold. But he didn't get to be who he is via the wheel kick.

Beating Weidman once was a feat that will forever have Rockhold's name in the record books. Doing it twice still seems like an awfully-tall order. Looking at their first fight, it's understandable how some observers have emerged with the notion that Rockhold is all wrong for Weidman. But it was really one mistake, and a bizarre one at that, which started the fight going sideways for the now ex-champion.

The first fight showed that Rockhold belongs at the top and can beat the best. But even as the two have already fought, one feels torn in making a selection. I think from a straight-up perspective, one could justify a stance on Rockhold. His path to victory seems a bit wider than Weidman's. But at more than 2-to-1, where is the value? With good odds, a position on Weidman offers good value and I like the pick.

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Chris Weidman at +175. Beating this man twice is a big task for Rockhold. It could be a matchup where if they fought ten times, each man would win five times. And at nearly 2-to-1 odds, there is some nice value on Weidman. Look for him to be better, healthier, and more-focused after losing the first fight of his career. Bet your UFC 199 picks using your credit card at an online sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a generous 50% bonus up to $250 in FREE bonus cash! --> Bovada Sportsbook!

Dominick Cruz, 21-1 (7 KOs, 1 Submissions), (-600) vs. Urijah Faber, 33-8 (7 KOs, 19 Submissions), (+450)
Newly-crowned UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz defends his belt against the only man he ever lost to—Urijah Faber. This is the rubber match between two of the more-accomplished lower-weight fighters in the sport. They first fought in 2007, when Faber submitted Cruz with a first-round guillotine choke. In their 2011 rematch, Cruz emerged victorious with a unanimous decision win. UFC gold is on the line now and this should be an entertaining bout with legacies on the line.

Faber is one of the best fighters in the UFC to have never won a title. His skills and talent certainly warrant him being a champion, but it hasn't happened yet. You can only give a fighter with as much talent as Faber so many tries before he finally wins the big one—or so you would think. But his back is against the wall and if he drops this one, it's not going to be easy for him to land in this spot again. Faber is 9-4 since joining the UFC, last beating Eddie Saenz in December.

A lot has happened with Faber since facing Cruz, as he's experienced his ups and downs. Cruz' issues are a bit different, with injuries threatening to derail his career. At 30 years old, he has finally assumed his rightful place as champion. Injuries resulted in Cruz fighting only 3 times since his 2011 win over Faber, with two of those fights coming recently. Against the very talented TJ Dillashaw, Cruz showed he is still among the best, even as the bout was razor-close.

While it was nearly a decade ago, Faber's case is bolstered by virtue of him being the only man to defeat Cruz. A lot changes in a typical MMA fighter's career over the course of nearly a decade, making results that are far in the rearview sometimes irrelevant when handicapping a fight. Let's just say Faber having beaten Cruz is something to keep in mind, especially for a fighter who is being listed at such an underdog price.

And when betting on MMA, or any sport for that matter, value is what rules the day. Without odds, one would have to say Cruz is the right choice here. But you give Faber a robust +450 quote and combine that with Cruz' brittleness and the fact that he has scored just one stoppage win in the past 6 years—suddenly Faber's case doesn't look so hopeless. In other words, I'm not so thrilled about Faber, but not to an extent where I'd make Cruz a -600 favorite. The value move here is Faber.

My Pick to Win: I'm betting on Urijah Faber at +450. His back is against the wall, as another loss could put him too far at the back of the pack. He has beaten Cruz before. And Cruz is always a bit of a question mark with his history of injuries. At these odds, there is some nice value on Faber. Another great place to bet on UFC fights is 5Dimes. They offer reduced/discounted odds when you bet and they pay FAST when you win! When signing up, you can opt for a bonus (don't take it!) or "reduced vig". The reduced vig option will save you TONS of cash over the long haul and trumps any bonus you can get. Start wagering smart TODAY by joining the web's best betting site!

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