UFC on FOX 10 looks to be a decent card combining veteran fighters with newcomers trying to make a name from themselves in MMA. Pick Sixty’s feature UFC writer Chris Barth has the goods on all the top matchups coming to you live on January 25 from the United Center in Chicago including his prediction for Henderson vs. Thomson
The main event features a showdown between Benson Henderson (19-3) and Josh Thomson (20-5), two of the sport’s top rated lightweight fighters. At the age of 35, Thomson is looking to make one last run at the title while Henderson is hoping that a win can earn him a shot at Anthony Pettis, who took Henderson’s title at UFC 164 in August. I see Henderson controlling the pace and dictating where the fight takes place for the majority but the moneyline odds on this highly touted fighter are overpriced. One of the top online books for MMA betting, Sports Interaction, is listing Henderson at -303, or 3-to-1 to win. I have Henderson taking this fight in 5-round, unanimous decision and will wait for the books to offer expanded betting options in the next couple of days.
Prediction: Henderson by decision
The co-main event features two heavyweight fighters looking to propel themselves into the upper echelon of the heavyweight division. Gabriel Gonzaga (16-7) faces Stipe Miocic (10-1) in a much anticipated heavyweight showdown. Gonzaga has looked good recently, going 5-1 since being released from his UFC contract following a loss to Brendan Schaub at UFC 121. Miocic is coming off a dominant performance over one of MMA’s surging heavyweights, Roy Nelson. Look for Stipe to keep the fight standing and use his boxing skills and the jab to keep the Brazilian at a distance. The current online betting odds favor Miocic (-278).
Prediction: Miocic by KO or TKO in Round 2
The main card also features a matchup between one of UFC’s most active fighters in Donald Cerrone (21-6) taking on UFC newcomer Adriano Martins (25-6). This will be Martins’ second UFC appearance since beating Daron Cruickshank by armbar at UFC Fight Night 32 in November and the Brazilian is fetching an attractive underdog price of +175. Cerrone (-250) is coming off an impressive win over Evan Dunham after a rather lackluster performance against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night last August. Cerrone will use his range and height advantage to keep Martins at bay. Look for Cerrone to work the legs and body early before going high. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cerrone win by a head kick knock out at the end of round 1. Watch for ‘Exact Round’ betting options online before wagering on this bout.
FROM THE TOP
The first fight on the main card features Darren Elkins (17-3) vs. Jeremy Stephens (22-9) in a featherweight matchup. There are not a lot of opponents left for champion Jose Aldo and both Elkins and Stephens are hoping an impressive win can get them one step closer to that title shot. Elkins is coming of an impressive performance against a highly regarded Japanese grappler, Hatsu Hioki. Prior to that, Elkins had a five-fight win streak snapped by Chad Mendes where he lost via KO at UFC on FOX 7. Stephens is coming into this fight riding a two-fight win streak capped by a highlight reel head kick to Rony Mariana Bezerra at UFC Fight Night 32. I see Elkins avoiding Stephens’ power early en route to a unanimous 3 round decision.