UFC 144 – Betting Preview Picks and Predictions — Part 2

Big South Tournament
Pettis is favored over Lauzon.
These two fights will air at 10:00 and 10:30 in the Saturday night event.

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (-240) vs. Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (+190)

This fight won’t be a very exciting one, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t offer value from a bettor’s perspective. Lauzon is a pretty aggressive guy who has only gone to decision once in his career, and he tends to take opponents out early….if he doesn’t he tends to get exhausted and lose. That doesn’t sound too boring does it?

That’s without taking into account the fact that Pettis is a pretty dull guy and is going to want to make this a slug fest…Pettis landed 35 significant strikes against Clay Guida and Jeremy Stephens in both fights combined, while allowing the duo to land 36 on him. Neither fight had many take downs, and that really isn’t how Pettis wants it to go.

Lauzon does, though, and he is a better ground fighter. 17 of his 21 career victories have come by submission and and he’ll want to get it to the ground quickly. Pettis isn’t as bad at wrestling as I many have led you to believe, but he has faed the likes of Ben Henderson, and still not been finished off on the mat.

In a striking match, Pettis has the upper hand. He lands 1.82 strikes per minute, but only absorbs 1.42 himself. Lauzon doesn’t usually like to just stand it out and bang but that might be his only chance here. His aggressiveness and attitude mean this one could either be over quickly, or if he can put it off, not so quickly, but Pettis should win this one either by TKO…or, gasp, decision.

Hatsu Hioki (-170) vs. Bart “Bartius” Palaszewski (+140)

Hioki just seems to be the next in a long list of overhyped fighters from Japan who fail to have any kind of success once they come to fight in the UFC. Sometimes, it is too easy to get behind an 11-0 fighter coming to the UFC without considering he has faced all sub par competition, and that seems to be the case with Hioki.

Hioki struggled against George Roop, but that may not be a trend, just more of a mirage. Roop is 12-9-1 and that doesn’t bode well for Hioki’s future. He’s facing a guy he should beat, but I don’t think he will. His ground skills are great and he’s a fair striker, but I think this is a great upset in the making. Palaszewski isn’t a bad fighter and Hioki is nowhere near as good as MMA oddsmakers think he is.

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