Rockhold, Machida highlight UFC Fight Night
April 18, 2015 3:01 AM
by Alan Berg
A huge middleweight showdown between No.2 ranked Lyoto Machida and No.4 ranked Luke Rockhold highlights the UFC Fight Night on FOX card from Newark, New Jersey tonight.
The winner of the main event should be next up for a middleweight title fight – well, not if No. 1 ranked Ronaldo “Jacare” Sousa has anything to say about it. Sousa fights in the co-feature against Chris Camozzi.
While it isn’t clear who will eventually get the first crack at the winner of UFC middleweight championship fight between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort on July 11th at MGM Grand, all three fighters will be looking to make an impression to UFC boss Dana White.
With regards to Machida-Rockhold, it’s a bit of a mixed bag with both fighters. Rockhold has a victory over Sousa back in their Strikeforce days. Sousa lost the middleweight title to Rockhold via unanimous decision. However, Rockhold was also iced in one-round by Belfort and is without a defining victory in the UFC.
Machida’s history in UFC is a long one and he is 3-1 at middleweight with his only loss to champion Weidman by decision.
This is a tough fight to call and I have been going back and forth. It might be Rockhold’s time as he is the younger man, but without a big UFC victory I lean toward Machida winning. I cannot, however, recommend either as a fantasy play.
On to the picks, you can play on Kountermove.com and the salaries are from their site:
Ronaldo Souza ($5,400) – There really is no other choice here, at a -1200 or more betting favorite Souza is a must. Camozzi winning this fight would be a gigantic upset. Take Souza expecting an early finish. Projection: SUB1.
Diamonds in the Rough
Paige VanZant ($4,600) – The girl with one fight in the UFC – only on the prelim – finally gets her chance on live TV. She already has a Reebok sponsorship so the pressure is pretty high not to mention the hate coming in from better female fighters who feel she hasn’t earned this much attention. Her opponent Felice Herrig, who had to be separated from VanZant at the weight in, is one of them. It’s odd of Herrig to be so upset since she has used her looks to sell herself as well. Regardless, VanZant should have enough to take out the overrated Herrig. Projection: UD3.
Aljamain Sterling ($4,700) – The man known as ‘Funk Master’ is 10-0 but faces his toughest test in No.6 ranked bantamweight Takeya Mizugaki. At 2-0 in the UFC, Sterling will get Mizugaki coming off a first-round knockout loss to Dominick Cruz. That loss should weight on Mizugaki’s mind and Sterling will shoot himself in the Top 10. Projection: KO3.
Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Follow him on Twitter: @vegasberserker Contact him at AlanBerg@GamingToday.com.