Saturday, July 11th, 10 PM ET, live on pay-per-view
Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas
Weigh-in: Friday, July 10th, 7 PM ET, live on UFC.com
Current odds from Bookmaker.com
Matt "The Real One" Grice (9-2-0) vs. Shannon Gugerty (11-3-0)
Current Odds: Grice +110; Gugerty -140
Grice was undefeated in eight fights before joining the UFC; since, he's 1-2 including an arguable decision victory as a 3-to-1 underdog against Jason Black. Gugerty's coming off a losing, but inspired, effort against Spencer Fisher on very short notice. Grice is a very risky bet coming off his first knockout loss, but I'll give him a lean in the underdog role. Prediction: Grice, 2nd round TKO.
CB "The Doberman" Dollaway (8-1-0) vs. Tom "Filthy" Lawlor (5-1-0)
Current Odds: Dollaway -265; Lawlor +215
Dollaway has but a single blemish on his record after 3 bouts in the Octagon and can also claim fame as runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter 7. Lawlor, a fellow wrestler, is a TUF 8 alum and moving down to middleweight for the first time. While neither has much Octagon experience, Dollaway's the better wrestler and big enough himself to have no problems with the size of Lawlor. Prediction: Dollaway, 1st round TKO.
Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim (11-0-1) vs. TJ Grant (14-2-0)
Current Odds: Kim -240; Grant +190
Kim last gave a solid, if boring, effort in a decision loss to Karo Parisyan that was later ruled a No Contest due to a failed Parisyan drug test. A split decision over Ryo Chonan has given Grant wins in 8 of his last 9, though he's fighting here just 3 months after that bout. Grant's submissions may pose problems for Kim and he's worth a lean here as a 2-to-1 dog. Prediction: Grant, 2nd round submission.
Jon "Bones" Jones (8-0-0) vs. Jake "Irish" O'Brien (11-2-0)
Current Odds: Jones -400; O'Brien +300
The undefeated Jones has decision wins in both of his Octagon bouts, most recently against Stephan Bonnar. O'Brien has lost two of his last three, with the sole win being an uninspired split decision against Christian Wellisch. Jones, flashy and highly regarded, is a bit overpriced but should handle this stepping-stone bout with ease. Prediction: Jones, 1st round TKO.
Mac Danzig (18-6-1) vs. Jim Miller (13-2-0)
Current Odds: Danzig +150; Miller -190
After much TUF 6-related fanfare and a 2-0 start, Danzig has dropped his last two to put his UFC career in jeopardy. Miller won his first two in the Octagon before being decisioned by Gray Maynard in a tough bout his last time out. Despite Danzig's recent troubles, look for him to get on track at what looks to be a nice price. Prediction: Danzig, 2nd round TKO.
Mark "The Hammer" Coleman (15-9-0) vs. Stephan "American Psycho" Bonnar (11-5-0)
Current Odds: Bonnar -400; Coleman +300
Coleman, while an MMA pioneer, is far past retirement age at 44, and the years showed in his last fight against Shogun Rua. Bonnar, once a promising contender, has lost 3 of his last 5, including a unanimous decision to Jon Jones. There's little reason to think Coleman can hang with Bonnar despite the steep odds. Prediction: Bonnar, 1st round submission.
Yoshihiro Akiyama (12-1-0) vs. Alan "The Talent" Belcher(14-5-0)
Current Odds: Akiyama -275; Belcher +215
Akiyama is making his UFC debut after an impressive run in DREAM and K-1, where he hasn't been beaten in over 4 years. Belcher beat Dennis Kang as a 2-to-1 underdog to give himself a 2-fight win streak. Akiyama is a multi-talented fighter, but Belcher can be dangerous at times and is worth a shot at what looks to be generous odds. Prediction: Alan Belcher, 3rd round TKO.
Dan "Hendo" Henderson (24-7-0) vs. Michael "The Count" Bisping (17-1-0)
Current Odds: Henderson -215; Bisping +175
Henderson took a close split decision from Rich Franklin to boost his record to 2-1 since dropping back down to middleweight. Bisping has also recently moved down from light heavyweight, sporting a 3-0 record in his new weight class. While Bisping has shown flashes of brilliance, he has yet to notch a decisive win against a quality opponent, and Henderson's experience and power should prove too much for him. Prediction: Henderson, 2nd round TKO.
Jon Fitch (18-3-0) vs. Paulo Thiago (11-0-0)
Current Odds: Fitch -470; Thiago +370
While Fitch didn't win a round against Georges St-Pierre, he's been nearly flawless otherwise and got back to his winning ways with a decision over Akihiro Gono his last time out. Thiago made a splash in his UFC debut, knocking out former contender Josh Koscheck in the 1st round as a 9-to-2 underdog. Despite the stunning victory, don't put too much faith in a relative newcomer against a talent like Fitch, whose sole loss came at the hands of one of the all-time greats. Nonetheless, the line is high enough that the betting value is probably on the underdog. Prediction: Fitch, 2nd round TKO.
Georges "Rush" St-Pierre (18-2-0) vs. Thiago "Pitbull" Alves (16-3-0)
Current Odds: St-Pierre -320; Alves +260
St-Pierre has cemented his place among the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world with a run of 5 straight wins since being on the losing end of one of the biggest upsets in sports history. St-Pierre can't be accused of resting on his laurels, as he's faced nothing but top contenders in his last 10 fights spanning 4 years. Alves is no slouch himself, winning his last 7 straight, including recent victories over Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, and Karo Parisyan. Though Alves has definitely earned his title shot, St-Pierre will prove to be just too talented for him to handle, and the odds are short enough to be bettable. Prediction: St-Pierre, 2nd round TKO.
Brock Lesnar (3-1-0) vs. Frank Mir (12-3-0)
Current Odds: Lesnar -220; Mir +180
This heavyweight "unification bout" final puts to rest the mess caused by Randy Couture's feud with the UFC. Despite holding the title, Lesnar has a mere 4 MMA fights to his name and finds himself facing the man who handed him his sole loss. Mir seems to have his career back on track, stripping the interim title from Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. The key to the rematch will be how far Lesnar has progressed in his submission skills. Lesnar showed in the first fight that he could overpower Mir, but allowed himself to get stuck in a kneebar. If Lesnar has improved his submission defense, Mir will have little chance of beating him in stand-up or in a Lesnar ground-and-pound. While Lesnar's lack of experience is still a big issue, his size and strength give him a good shot at retaining the title. Prediction: Lesnar, 4th round TKO.
Picks (2009): 12-17 -7.5 units; Best Bets: 3-3 -1.65 units
Mac Danzig +150 (Best Bet)
Alan Belcher +215
Stephan Bonnar -400
Georges St-Pierre -320 (Best Bet)
Brock Lesnar -220 Opinions (2009): 20-25 -11.10 units
Matt Grice +110
CB Dollaway -265
TJ Grant +190
Jon Jones -400
Dan Henderson -215
Paulo Thiago +370
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