UFC 163 is less than a week away now and we’re here a little earlier than usual to bring you our full picks. The reason we’re early with our picks for this event is that there is a serious limit of statistics for the fighters involved. Interestingly, for this pay-per-view card, we will only be able to predict 3 fights. In contrast, we can predict 9 fights for the UFC’s debut on Fox Sports 1 in the middle of August. The fights will be in the standard UFC pa-per-view time slot, with the Facebook prelims starting at 6:30 pm, the FX prelims at 8 pm and the main card starting at 10pm ET.
In the main event, highly ranked pound for pound fighter, Jose Aldo will face “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Jung is a strange choice to challenge for the featherweight strap. He fought just twice in 2012 picking up a sbmission win in his rematch with Leonard Garcia and a KO win over Mark Hominick. In 2013 so far, he was able to submit Dustin Poirier. The three straight wins however, should not put him at the front of the line for a title shot. Prior to the win streak, Jung was 1-3, with losses to Garcia, Goerge Roop and Masanori Kanehara (who?). The title shot is likely more of an indicator of the UFC’s ambition to grow its business in Asia rather than a reflection of Jung’s ability as a fighter. Ricardo Lamas, who was supposed to fight Jung at UFC 162 and is ranked ahead of Jung in the UFC’s rankings would have been a better choice. Regardless, the fight is set and we will offer our prediction. Aldo has won all four of his UFC featherweight championship defenses. Prior to that, he was able to defend the WEC strap on 3 occassions and has been undefeated since November, 2005. Our model has Aldo as a huge favourite in this one. So much so, that even at the 1.15 to 1 odds on Aldo to win, there is probably a positive EV in placing a bet. Following in our current strategy, where we try to be smarter in the bets we place, we decided to place a 1 unit bet at 4.47 to 1 on Aldo winning by decision. We feel this bet is a strong candidate to cash, given that these are featherweights fighting, Jung has a granite chin (as demonstrated in the first bout vs Garcia) and Aldo has gone to the score cards in 4 of his last 6 fights.
In the co-main event of the night, light heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Phil Davis will do battle. Our model has Machida as the more likely victor, but the edge is slight and at 1.30 to 1, we can’t justify placing a bet. We do see a decision as his most likely route to victory, but the odds on that are only 2.03 to 1. Intriguingly, the odds on Machida to win inside the distance sit at 3.05 to 1. While we feel the fight is more likely to be a snooze fest with both fighters being relatively tentative, the possibility of Machida scoring a knockout victory is definitely still there. The winner of this fight, especially if it is in devastating fashion, could be the next to challenge for the light heavyweight title. Both men sit in the top 10 for UFC light heavyweights, Machida at #1 and Davis at #8. Machida comes into this fight with 2 straight wins over others in the top 10 in Dan Henderson and Ryan Bader. Davis holds career wins over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Tim Boetsch and next in line contender, Alexander Gustafsson. His lone career loss was to #4 UFC light heavyweight Rashad Evans. We do not expect Davis to be able to close the distance on Machida and we fully expect a similar fight to the Machida vs Henderson fight where Henderson chased Machida around for three rounds and Machida ended up taking the decision victory.
Our third pick of the night is another light heavyweight match-up between Vinny Magalhaes and Anthony Perosh. Both guys are finishers, Magalhaes has finished 10 of his 10 victories and Perosh has finished 13 of his 13. In fact, Perosh has only gone to the third round twice in his career and on both occassions he lost a decision. In terms of losses, Persoh has 7 in his career and Magalhaes has 6. What’s interesting to note about the losses is that Magalhaes has only been finished in 2 of his 6, while Perosh has been finished in 5 of 7, all knockouts. In addition, Perosh is likely nearing the end of his career at 41 years old, while Magalhaes should have many good years left at the age of 29. Like the co-main event however, the odds seem to be pretty well-adjusted for these facts. A straight bet on Magalhaes sits at just 1.30 to 1, while Magalhaes winning inside the distance is at 1.67 to 1 and Magalhaes winning by decision is at 3.8 to 1. Since our model has Magalhaes as a heavy favourite and because Perosh seems pretty susceptible to being finished, we placed a 1 unit bet on Magalhaes to win inside the distance at 1.67 to 1.
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Here’s the best odds for UFC 163 from BestFightOdds.com