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Free UFC Picks – UFC 131 Lines | Dos Santos vs. Carwin

UFC 131 Dos Santos vs Carwin Preview & Pick

Don’t pout because Brock Lesnar had to pull out of UFC 131 due to illness. This Saturday’s card still has some intriguing bouts lined up – and Brock’s replacement in the main event couldn’t be a better choice.


Promotion – Ultimate Fighting Championship
Event – UFC 131: Dos Santos vs Carwin
Date – June 11, 2011
Time – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Venue – Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Broadcast – Pay-per-view

Bet on UFC 131

Junior Dos Santos (12-1) vs Shane Carwin (12-1)

UFC 131 odds: Dos Santos -170, Carwin +140

In my opinion, replacing Lesnar with Carwin actually improves the main event. Lesnar’s striking is non-existent; he relies almost entirely on wrestling. Carwin can wrestle but the big fella also has serious knockout power. Isn’t he therefore a more interesting challenge for Dos Santos?

On one hand, we might expect Carwin to test Dos Santos’ takedown defense. After all, who wants to stand with JDS? He has outstanding boxing and serious power to match, so you’d think his opponent would want to keep the fight where he isn’t the most dangerous: on the canvas.

But I think Carwin might get caught in a slugfest. As much as he’s known as a “wrestler,” how often does Carwin actually attempt takedowns He prefers to stand? Also, during the few times we’ve seen Dos Santos’ takedown defense challenged, it’s looked good. I see Dos Santos winning the punching exchanges and eventually scoring the knockout.

His hands are almost as heavy as Carwin’s and his technical ability is superior. Pick: Dos Santos -170

Demian Maia (14-2) vs Mark Munoz (10-2)

UFC 131 odds: Maia -105, Munoz -125

Can Mark Munoz continue his crusade toward a middleweight title shot? Since dropping down from 205 to 185 pounds, he’s gone 5-1. His next challenger is the dangerous submission artist Demian Maia. He’s a fourth-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. There’s no greater threat to tap guys out in the middleweight division.

But Maia is also pretty one-dimensional. His striking is remedial, among the very worst in the UFC. Also, Maia has a pretty slight build for a 185-pounder. He almost looks like he could fight a weight class lower. Munoz, on the other hand, is a big middleweight who once fought as a light heavyweight. He could outweigh Maia by 20 pounds on fight night.

Maia’s two losses have come to Nate Marquardt and Anderson Silva; both guys were strong enough grapplers to keep Maia from taking them down. More importantly, both guys had the striking ability to embarrass Maia.

Munoz is an accomplished wrestler and he has heavy hands.

I think he’ll score a knockout over Maia this Saturday. Pick: Munoz -125

Kenny Florian (14-5) vs Diego Nunes (16-1)

UFC 131 odds: Florian -300, Nunes +220

Kenny Florian is a choker, isn’t he? He lost the Ultimate Fighter finale to Diego Sanchez. He lost his first lightweight title fight against Sean Sherk. He lost his second crack at the belt against BJ Penn. He lost his No. 1 contender match against Gray Maynard.

Maybe dropping down to featherweight will eliminate the problem for Florian, a former middleweight. In Diego Nunes, he has an opponent knocking on the door for a title shot against Jose Aldo. But, in Nunes, Florian also has a non-finisher as an opponent. Nunes’ last six fights have gone to a decision.

Florian will have the reach advantage, he’s a more advanced grappler and his boxing skills can keep Nunes on his toes. He has to win this bout and I think he will.

If he lands a title shot as a result, that’s another story. Pick: Florian -300


Main card
Heavyweight bout: Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin
Featherweight bout: Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
Heavyweight bout: Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman
Middleweight bout: Demian Maia vs. Mark Muñoz
Lightweight bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha

Preliminary card (Televised)
Lightweight bout: Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards
Middleweight bout: Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman

Preliminary card (Facebook)
Middleweight bout: Nick Ring vs. James Head
Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young
Heavyweight bout: Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa
Featherweight bout: Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins

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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.



  1. I think Carwin is a nice replacement for Lesnar. Hope he gets his health figured out. This Vancouver card is sneeky good. Should be fun