by Kevin Stott | Already on their 86th card, UFC is showing no signs of slowing down and Saturday nights card at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas has some pretty intriguing matchups on it, including the main event, light heavyweights Quinton "Rampage" Jackson against Forest Griffin for Jacksons title belt.
Jackson (27-6) and Griffin (15-4) both coached the recent season of Spikes "The Ultimate Fighter 7" and oddsmakers have made Jackson is now a -260 favorite (Las Vegas Hiltons SuperBook) to defeat Griffin who is a +220 underdog in the main event. Jackson won the title by knocking out Chuck Liddel in the first round of their bout in May and then defended it by taking a unanimous decision over Dan Henderson in September.
Griffin earned his shot at Jackson by upsetting Mauricio Shogun Rua the last man to defeat Jackson at UFC 76 in 2005. Griffin knows he has his work cut out for him with the powerful Jackson.
"Hes going to be a hard guy to get rid of," Griffin said Thursday in a TV interview. "He hasnt bee submitted a lot. Recently in his career nobody has submitted him and nobody knocked has him out."
On the undercard, lightweights Joe "Daddy" Stevenson (33-8) and Gleison Tibau (27-4) lock horns in what is sure to be an exciting match in the Lightweight division. Stevenson is now a -215 favorite over Tibau (+185), being up from -205 as the public is leaning toward Stevenson in early betting.
Patrick "The Predator" Cote (13-4) faces Ricardo "Big Dog" Almeida (9-2) in a match very hard to handicap with Almedia and Cote both listed at -110 on Thursday afternoon after Almedia opened up a -140 chalk. Cote has won three straight matches while Almeida has won his last seven straight.
Also on the undercard are bouts between Josh Koscheck (-330, LVH) and Chris Lytle (+270); Tyson Griffin (-380, LVH) and Marcus Aurelio (+320) and Cole Miller (-145, offshore odds) and Jorge Gurgel (+115).
UFC 86 will be televised on pay-per-view (Cox channel 501 in Las Vegas or call your local cable operator) starting at 7 p.m. PDT ($44.99) with the High-Definition (HD) feed being telecast on channel 701 ($54.99). For additional information, access the events website at www.86.UFC.com.