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UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao Handicapping | Betting Preview | Free UFC Picks

UFC 149 Full Card Preview and Picks

The UFC Interim Bantamweight title is on the line Saturday night when the California Kid Urijah Faber tries to end the incredible 28 fight win streak jiu-jitsu ace Renan Barao.

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UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao
Date: July 21, 2012
Time: 10pm ET/7pm PT
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Broadcast: Pay-per-view

Renan Barao (28-1-0): -190
Urijah Faber (26-5-0): +155

Faber comes into the fight having a wealth of experience in Title fights both at Featherweight and Bantamweight while for Barao; this will be his first time fighting for a Title and his first time going beyond three rounds.

Faber will definitely have the wrestling advantage but Barao has the better overall grappling chops to minimize and force Faber to largely abandon any notion of bringing this fight to the mat. Faber will also have a slight advantage in hand speed, power but not by much. Barao is a beast – he, like Faber can win a fight anywhere that it happens to go. It is true that Barao has yet to fight anyone the caliber of Mr. Faber but his youth, athleticism and all around skills make him a deserving combatant in this most important bout.

For Faber, it will have to be his ability to vary his attack, remain unpredictable and to use his wrestling to keep this fight on its feet. For Barao, he will need to close the distance, try to bring the experienced Faber down to the ground where he can employ arguably the best jiu-jitsu game in the bantamweight division.

This is an interesting fight to call but I like the tenacity of Barao to prevail. Nobody has come close to defeating Barao during his incredible streak while Faber has shown holes in his game. All it takes is one small mistake for Barao to capitalize – I see that mistake coming in the championship rounds.

Pick: Renan Barao -190 by submission in the fourth round

Tim Boetsch (15-4-0): +250
Hector Lombard (31-2-1 1 NC): -350

Hector Lombard, another fighter riding an impressive win streak (24 fights dating back to 2006) makes his UFC debut on Saturday night when he takes on the very tough Tim Boetsch in Middleweight action. Lombard, a Cuban born fighter will be looking to use this fight as a stepping stone to an eventual fight with Anderson Silva – a fighter that Lombard has been calling out for years.

Lombard is a stud – a former Olympic judoka fighter and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt with power and serious technique in the standup game. He has as much power in his hands as any Middleweight alive. Lombard is top notch anywhere this fight happens to go. Boetsch is a tough guy – remember his insane comeback in his last fight against Yushin Okami? He is well rounded, has a great chin and a very strong wrestling background. Boetsch is solid in every aspect of MMA but isn’t elite in any.

Let’s face it – Boetsch is in a different league than Lombard – heck maybe he is two leagues down. I admire Boetsch’s toughness but he is totally outclassed in this one. Lomard the bully will do his thing and like Barao will keep an impressive streak alive.

Pick: Hector Lombard -350

Shawn Jordan (13-3-0): -140
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2): +110

Not a whole lot is known about Shawn Jordan who takes on Cheick Kongo in Heavyweight action except for the fact that he has defeated names like Lavar Johnson and Oli Thompson. If there is one thing that we do know – it is that Kongo is coming to fight and that this battle likely won’t go the three rounds. Kongo is just too big, too experienced inside the Octagon and he has too good a chin to be denied in this one. With the Knockout of the Night take…

Pick: Cheick Kongo +110

Matthew Riddle (6-3-0): -155
Chris Clements (11-4): +125

Struggling Welterweights will try to right the ship on Saturday when Matthew Riddle takes on Chris Clements. Clements is largely one dimensional – 10 of his 11 wins have come by knockout. Clements will never be a contender but he puts on a show every time out. Because Riddle is slightly more well-rounded I like him to win this battle of “C level” fighters. [ad-3573245]

Pick: Matthew Riddle -155

James Head (8-2-0): +300
Brian Ebersole (50-14-1): -400

Veteran Brian Ebersole steps into the Octagon once again, this time to take on James Head who is coming off an upset win against Papy Abedi. Expect Head to come out strong but for the experience, craftiness and will of Ebersole to eke out a decision win.

Pick: Brian Ebersole -400

FX Preliminary Card

Francisco Rivera (7-2-0): -125 vs. Roland Delorme (8-1-0): -105
Pick: Francisco Rivera -125

Mitch Clarke (9-1-0): +140 vs. Anton Kuivanen (16-5-0): -170
Pick: Anton Kuivanen -170

Court McGee (14-2-0): -110 vs. Nick Ring (12-1-0): -120
Pick: Court McGee -110

Bryan Caraway (16-5-0): -210 vs. Mitch Gagnon (8-1-0): +165
Pick: Bryan Caraway -210

Antonio Carvalho (13-5-0): +180 vs. Daniel Pineda (17-8-0): -230
Pick: Antonio Carvalho +180

Anthony Perosh (13-6-0): +145 vs. Ryan Jimmo (16-1-0): -175
Pick: Anthony Perosh +145

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