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Free UFC Picks – UFC 132 Lines | Cruz vs. Faber

UFC 132 Cruz vs Faber Preview & Pick

We’ve seen an explosion of UFC fight cards of late, pretty much one every week, but UFC 132 is the first big one in a while, probably since St-Pierre vs Shields last April.

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This Saturday, we’ll see a title fight, a battle of two maniacs and a passing of the torch between a legend and a rising star.

Time for the picks.

Promotion – Ultimate Fighting Championship
Event – UFC 132: World Bantamweight Championship – Cruz vs. Faber
Date – July 2, 2011
Time – 9pm ET/6pm PT
Venue – MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Broadcast – Pay-per-view

Bet on UFC 132

UFC BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Dominick Cruz (17-1) vs Urijah Faber (25-4)

UFC 132 odds: Cruz -150, Faber +130

Talk about a statement fight. Both Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber have much to prove in the UFC’s inaugural bantamweight title bout.

Cruz is 17-1 but the only man to ever beat him is none other than Faber, who submitted him via guillotine choke four years ago in a WEC featherweight championship match. Naturally, Cruz wants to show that he’s an evolved fighter capable of overcoming his only defeat. Faber is out to show that he’s still a superstar and the king of the small weight classes.

This is an interesting bout in that both guys aren’t overmatched in the other’s “world.” Cruz definitely prefers to stand and box and Faber is an outstanding grappler but Cruz can wrestle and Faber’s hands are more than respectable.

Some people think that Cruz will rely on superior speed and technique to outpoint Faber, just as Jose Aldo did, but I don’t agree. Eddie Wineland’s striking was supposed to be better than Faber’s as well and Faber looked surprisingly fast as a bantamweight. Also, Faber should have a major mental edge in this fight. First off, he already has the win over Cruz, who has done lots of verbal mudslinging and appears to be letting Faber get into his head. Secondly, Faber is used to the big stage. He was the WEC’s poster boy for years and already has a UFC fight under his belt.

I expect Faber to close the gap and break Cruz’s will. Cruz will feel more pressure, could be nervous, and may grow frustrated if he can’t keep the fight standing. This bout could unfold very similarly to Anthony Pettis’ flop against Clay Guida. Also worth noting: this is a five-round fight and Faber is tough as nails. He’s finished 20 opponents in his 25 wins; Cruz has only put way seven guys in his 17 wins.

Pick: Faber +130

Middleweight: Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1, 1 NC) vs Chris Leben (25-7)

UFC odds: Silva -180, Leben +155

Oooh baby. Hide your kids, hide your wife if you don’t want them to see a bloodbath. Is there any way Silva vs Leben doesn’t end up as the fight of the night, if not the year?

Few if any two fighters on the planet are as criminally insane as Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and Chris “The Crippler” Leben. In MMA lingo, they’re “zombies,” guys who can essentially get knocked out on their feet without falling down and continue to throw haymakers like madmen.

Naturally, Silva and Leben both have the one-punch knockout power to end the fight at any second. They also both have underrated ground games, especially Silva, who is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt.

I think this bout will come down to “fighting age.” Silva just has too much tread on the tires. I know he’s had a year off and has trained hard but his brilliant prime is over. He’s 2-5 over his last seven fights (albeit all against great competition) and 2-3 since returning to the UFC. [ad-3573245]

Leben is fresh off a vicious knockout loss to Brian Stann but had won three straight before then. I just think he’ll be a bit quicker to the punch than Silva and may be able to absorb a few more big shots. This should be a ton of fun.

Pick: Leben +155

Light heavyweight: Tito Ortiz (15-8-1) vs Ryan Bader (12-1)

UFC 132 odds: Ortiz +400, Bader -500

Both Tito Ortiz and the UFC want you to believe this is a big fight, but it just isn’t. It only happened because (a) Bader, his ego bruised after losing badly to Jon Jones, wanted a cupcake matchup against a big name and (b) Ortiz begged the UFC to give him one more chance to keep his job.

Tito’s career has been brilliant and he’ll forever be remembered among the sport’s best, most important fighters. But he ain’t beating Ryan Bader on Saturday. Bader is just a younger, stronger version of him. Bader is a dominant wrestler and Ortiz was once a dominant wrestler. Bader hits much harder. Tito’s only chance may be a desperation submission off his back. But, if Matt Hamill could manhandle Ortiz, Tito should be losing sleep over what Bader will do to him.

Eventually, when he climbs back up the ladder, Bader’s mental toughness may be questioned, but it won’t happen at UFC 132. Ortiz won’t push him hard enough.

Pick: Bader -500

UFC 132: OFFICIAL FIGHT CARD

Main card
Bantamweight Championship bout: Dominick Cruz (c) vs. Urijah Faber
Middleweight bout: Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
Light Heavyweight bout: Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
Welterweight bout: Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Lightweight bout: Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman

Preliminary card (Spike TV)
Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller
Lightweight bout: George Sotiropoulos vs. Rafael dos Anjos

Preliminary card (Facebook)
Bantamweight bout: Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Middleweight bout: Brad Tavares vs. Aaron Simpson
Lightweight bout: Anthony Njokuani vs. Andre Winner
Bantamweight bout: Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker

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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.


Comments

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    lookin really forward to the Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader matchup as well. Should be a great tilt

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