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Free UFC Picks – UFC 126 Lines

UFC 126 Silva vs Belfort Preview & Picks

Saturday should be a doozie for both diehard UFC betting fans and casual fight fans. The three star-studded main matchups are the types that could turn non-UFC believers into believers. If you’re trying to convert any of your friends, UFC 126 is the card to do it. Let’s make some picks.

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Promotion – Ultimate Fighting Championship
Date – February 5, 2011
Venue – Mandalay Bay Events Center
City – Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Broadcast – Pay-per-view
BettingBet on UFC 126

UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Anderson Silva (27-4) vs Vitor Belfort (19-8)
UFC 126 odds: Silva -270, Belfort +220

We’ve seen many different versions of Anderson Silva lately. We saw the dominant, Muhammad Ali-like force that destroyed Forrest Griffin; then we saw the disinterested, disrespectful champion who refused to engage Demian Maia; then, last August, we saw Silva’s resilient side against Chael Sonnen. Pushed to the brink, losing badly after four rounds, he pulled out a miracle submission to retain his title and stay undefeated in the UFC.

Saturday’s opponent, Vitor Belfort, is one of Silva’s most interesting challengers in a long time. A former UFC champ, Belfort considered one of MMA’s greatest-ever strikers. He has superb technical boxing, deadly speed and major knockout power. He’s possibly the closet Silva will ever see to an “equal” in the standup game.

Unfortunately for Belfort, he’ll likely see Silva at his best this Saturday. Fighters who really push the issue, especially in the striking game, force Silva to fight back – and fight back in spectacular fashion. Some of Silva’s most impressive UFC wins came against Chris Leben, Rich Franklin (twice) and James Irvin, all of whom are fearless types who put themselves in harm’s way.

Belfort is a legit threat who will make Silva work. But, historically, those are the opponents who seem to bring the best out of The Spider. Look for an exciting battle ending with a knockout win for the champ. Pick: Silva -270

Jon Jones (11-1) vs Ryan Bader (12-0)
UFC 126 odds: Jones -330, Bader +270

If Anderson Silva is the UFC’s most exciting fighter, Jon Jones is the heir apparent. “Bones” Jones has wowed fans with his amazing athleticism and very creative techniques, including wild throws and spinning elbows. Jones has breezed through his career without a scratch – his one loss was a DQ – but he gets a major step up in competition against unbeaten Ryan Bader this weekend.

Jones’ detractors worry that Bader’s tremendous strength and wrestling will pose a problem. But I don’t think those detractors understand just how strong Jones is. He doesn’t have the burly, muscular build of Bader, but don’t let Jones’ wiry frame fool you. He’s remarkably strong and almost as good of a wrestler as Bader. I don’t think Bader will have the edge on the ground he believes he will. Standing up, Jones’ unpredictability will give Bader trouble as well. Look for Jones to continue his ascension to superstar status. Pick: Jones -330

Forrest Griffin (17-6) vs Rich Franklin (28-5, 1 NC)
UFC 126 odds: Griffin +140, Franklin -170

“You have a fairly well-rounded fighter that has some knockout power on his feet and is a very tenacious fighter, and as the fight goes on he fights harder. Did I just describe me or did I just describe Forrest?”

Rich Franklin did a nice job summing up this fight, which pits the UFC’s people’s champions against each other. Both Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin are somewhat freestyle fighters, beloved for just working hard and combining multiple disciplines to fight effectively.

But Franklin is forgetting two key components. For one – he’s much stronger mentally. Forrest Griffin is known for beating himself. He openly said he feels rusty after a long injury layoff and extremely nervous for this fight. He sounds like he’s already accepted defeat.

Also – Franklin was wrong about the knockout power. Franklin has knocked out 15 guys. Griffin has knocked out three guys. Even though he’s the bigger man, Forrest Griffin has little to no knockout power. Look for Rich Franklin to win via KO on Saturday. Pick: Franklin -170

UFC 126 – Official Fight Card

Main card

UFC Middleweight Championship bout: Anderson Silva (c) vs. Vitor Belfort
Light Heavyweight bout: Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin
Welterweight bout: Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha
Light Heavyweight bout: Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader
Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos

Preliminary card (Spike TV)

Lightweight bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Paul Kelly
Featherweight bout: Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa

Preliminary card

Lightweight bout: Paul Taylor vs. Gabe Ruediger
Bantamweight bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson
Light Heavyweight bout: Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero
Welterweight bout: Mike Pierce vs. Kenny Robertson

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.