UFC 116 Odds and fight card preview. One of the most anticipated heavyweight fights in the history of MMA will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday. The undisputed UFC heavyweight championship will be on the line when Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin face off in the octagon.
It will be Lesnar’s first bout since UFC 100 in July of last year. The hiatus came in the wake of a rare and serious stomach illness called diverticulitis, which required surgery to close a perforation in his intestine that had been leaking fecal matter into his abdomen. Lesnar lost 30 pounds due to the illness and the surgery.
In Lesnar’s absence, Carwin beat Frank Mir at UFC 111 to become Interim heavyweight champion. It was announced that Carwin was to face Lesnar as soon as the latter had recovered from his illness and was ready to fight. And it looks like Lesnar is ready.
Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
Carwin comes into the fight with an impressive 12-0-0 record. The record becomes even more impressive when you look at how he won his fights. He finished every single bout in the first round either by knockout or submission.
He is a very well rounded fighter who has a background in boxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Carwin is a two-time runner-up in the NCAA Division II national heavyweight championship. He won the NCAA Division II heavyweight title in 1999.
He has shown that he can beat his opponents in the ground-game as well as the stand-up game and will be a tough opponent for Lesnar. Carwin has seven wins by knockout and five wins by submission. The guillotine is his best submission hold, and it seems almost impossible to get out of it.
Lesnar holds a 4-1 record, with his only loss coming in his first UFC fight against Mir He has made up for the loss by beating Mir at UFC 100. Lesnar has an even stronger wrestling background. He won the 2000 NCAA Division I heavyweight title and finished runner-up in 1999.
He doesn’t have the jiu-jitsu background and his striking is a little inferior to Carwin’s. Lesnar, however, holds the size advantage in this fight. He stands at 6-foot-3 to Carwin’s 6-foot-2.
This will be a true clash of the titans, with two heavyweights that can wrestle and land some punches. It will be a close fight in which Lesnar is the slight favorite with the bookies. Lesnar did look great in his last three fights, but it is unclear how much his illness and his long break from fighting has affected him.
I think Carwin comes away with the title here. If you are with me, go to Bookmaker for a +118 line.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben
Akiyama was supposed to fight Wanderlei Silva at UFC 116, but Silva had to pull out due injury problems. He broke three ribs and suffered a knee injury during training and will be unable to fight. The Ultimate Fighter alum Chris Leben stepped in, and should gibe Akiyama a good fight.
Akiyama (13-1-0, 2 NC) is extremely well rounded. He has fought most of his bouts in the Japanese K-1 organization. He uses his judo background well and has dangerous submission holds. He also has a strong background in karate and possesses the knockout power to succeed in the stand up game. He will be a tough matchup for Leben.
The Japanese won his only UFC bout. He faced Alan Belcher at UFC 100 and succeeded in a split decision. Ayikama has seven knockout wins, five submission wins and the one decision win. Like Lesnar, Ayikama hasn’t fought since UFC 100, and it will be interesting to see whether the long layoff will affect the fight.
Leben (20-6-0) is well rounded himself. He has a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but he can strike as well. He also calls his great chin one of his strengths, and he should be hard to knockout.
Leben has a lot of experience at age 29, and that could help him against Akiyama. He has won his last to fights – a knockout victory over Aaron Simpson and a decision win against Jay Silva – but is 5-5 in his last ten bouts.
I think Akiyama is too versatile for Leben and will come up on top. The Japanese is the favorite for the fight, and 5Dimes offers the best line at -200.
Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle
This fight is a rematch of a 2007 bout, in which Lytle came out on top after a guillotine choke. Brown will look for revenge, but he will have a tough time against the experienced Lytle.
Brown (13-8-0) has a great stand up game and can do serious damage with his punches. His conditioning is superb and his submissions are underrated. He is very dangerous when he can control the fight.
Brown’s downfall is inferior wrestling ability. Once he goes down, he is in trouble and he has a hard time defending against submissions.
Lytle (38-17-4) has a ridiculous amount of experience in MMA fighting, and he will use it against Brown. He is very well rounded and can strike and grapple. He might be a little inferior to Brown in the stand up game, and will be looking to take the fight to the mat.
He should be able to do so, and I think he will come up as the winner of this bout. Lytle is the favorite in the fight, and Bookmaker offers the bet value for him at -200.
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzystof Soszynski
This is another second meeting, and it should be a great fight. The last bout between the two at UFC 110 was decided by a controversial doctor’s stoppage in the third round, after Soszynski had inadvertently headbutted Bonnar.
Bonnar (14-7-0) is out for revenge, and his first meeting with Soszynski was really close until the cut occurred. Bonnar is a tough striker and has some great Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves. His biggest problem is his takedown defense, and that could spell serious trouble against Soszynski.
“The Polish Hammer” is 20-10-1 in his MMA career, and always shows up extremely well conditioned. He is very well rounded and can beat opponents with his striking and submissions. He has a definite advantage over Bonnar in the grappling department, and that could make the difference here.
Expect this to be a closely fought bout that could end with a decision victory. Soszynski’s takedowns will come in huge in that case, as they will give him extra points. He is the favorite, and I expect him to win.
Go to 5Dimes or Bookmaker for a -220 line on Soszynski.
Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulos
This will be a great bout between two of the best grapplers in the lightweight division.
Pellegrino (21-4-0) comes in with more experience and that could be crucial against the tough Sotiropoulos. The veteran is a strong boxer and great wrestler, who sets up his excellent submissions masterfully. He has won his last four bouts and is looking to keep this streak going Saturday.
Sotiropoulos (12-2-0) has won all five of his UFC fights. He has looked dominant and has recently improved his stand up game. He has gotten better in his boxing and has improved his wrestling as well. His submissions are just as strong as Pellegrino’s and we will see an evenly matched fight.
While Sotiropoulos has the better boxing, I think Pellegrino’s experience will prevail. Go to Bodog for the best line on the underdog at +150.