UFC 162 is almost upon us and we’re back to update you with our undercard picks and our full betting selections for the card. If you missed our in depth Silva vs Weidman coverage or our main card predictions they are linked for you. Obviously, most of the headlines for this event focus on the clash between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title, but there are several intriguing match-ups hidden on the undercard. For example, Chris Leben has switched training camps and is apparently completely sober heading into his match-up with Andrew Craig. Dave Herman and Gabriel Gonzaga have not had much luck lately and could be battling for their UFC jobs in the heavyweight division. The action gets underway at 7pm ET on Facebook, with the FX prelims at 8pm ET and the main card at 10pm ET only on Pay-Per-View.
To kick off our undercard predictions, we will look at the middleweight match-up (fun fact, a third of the 12 UFC 162 fights are in the middleweight division) between Chris “The Crippler” Leben and Andrew “Highlight” Craig. The line for this fight opened favouring Leben, but has sharply shifted the other way with Craig as low as -150 on many books. When we plugged the data into the model, we came out with Leben as a very slight favourite to take this match-up. One trend that has a major impact on our prediction in this one is fighters who have had success in the past not doing well over a two year span. Leben, in fact has not been able to win in the last two years. The likely reasoning for that is that fighters are extremely competitive and a couple of losses can drive them to train beyond what limits they had ever set. Since he sits at 2.33 to 1, we placed a 1 unit bet on Leben.
In a case where we don’t really trust what the data is telling us, the model has Dave Herman as a slight favourite to defeat Gabriel Gonzaga. Besides his UFC victory over John-Olav Einemo (who?) and a couple Strikeforce (EliteXC) wins over relatively weak competition, Herman has little on his resume to make us think he can defeat longtime UFC heavyweight in Gonzaga. Gonzaga has been a long time middle of the pack heavyweight, losing when he faces the top guys and winning when he faces the bottom guys. We see Dave Herman as a lower tier heavyweight and we see Gonzaga submitting him early. Our model’s prediction, however is Dave Herman to defeat Gabriel Gonzaga.
Our last two picks of the night are likely more obvious to even casual MMA fans. Firstly, we see Edson Barboza defeating Rafaello Oliveira in devastating fashion. Oliveira is just 2-4 in his UFC career and an unlikely candidate to defeat Barboza (5-1 in the UFC). Our model has Barboza winning 81% of the time, but at just 1.2 to 1, we don’t see any value in placing a bet. Finally, our model has Mike Pierce defeating David Mitchell more than 90% of the time. This fight seems like somewhat of a mismatch with Pierce being 8-3 in his UFC career and Mitchell sitting at just 1-2. Two of Pierce’s losses were splitters to top competition in Johny Hendricks and Josh Koschek as well. At just below 1.2 to 1, we don’t see any value in placing a bet on Pierce either.
Weidman over Silva. 2 units at 3.34 to 1
Gracie over Kennedy. 2 units at 2.33 to 1
Leben over Craig. 1 unit at 2.33 to 1
Edgar over Oliveira.
Munoz over Boetsch.
Swanson over Siver.
Herman over Gonzaga.
Barboza over Oliveira.
Pierce over Mitchell.
As always, here are the latest odds from bestfightodds.com