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UFC 170 Handicapping | Betting Preview | Free UFC Picks

UFC 170 Preview and Picks

UFC 170: “Rousey vs. McMann”
Date: Sat., Feb. 22, 2014, at 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view (PPV)
Location: Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada
UFC 170 Main Event:
Ronda Rousey (8-0-0): -400
Sara McMann (7-0-0): +300

A battle of the undefeated headlines the UFC 170 card Saturday – former Olympians will meet for the Women’s Bantamweight Title. Rhonda Rousey is coming off yet another title defense against Meisha Tate – her eighth victory – all by arm bar. Seven of those wins have come in the first round! Sara McMann brings stellar wrestling chops to the Octagon Saturday – she will be a rare challenge for Rousey on the mat.

Both fighters will use their striking to set up what will inevitably turn into a ground battle. The fight will likely be won or lost there. So in the end this looks like a battle between Rousey’s judo and submission dominance versus McMann’s wrestling and ability to control her opponents from the top position.

The only thing missing from Rousey’s game was the absence of a real challenge – someone that would take her into deep water. Rousey got that last time out and can now be considered battle tested. Rousey’s judo game is better than McMann’s wrestling game which means that when this fight hits the ground it is likely Rousey that is on top – McMann definitely isn’t used to that.

Nobody has come close to defeating Rousey thus far – Tate gave her a battle but was clearly the second best fighter in the Octagon. Rousey has a lot to prove Saturday and with the giant chip on her shoulder growing by the minute, it is nearly impossible to see McMann posing much of a challenge. Watch for yet another arm-bar victory – likely in the first round again as Rousey cements herself as one of the most dominant champs in the UFC today.

Pick: Rhonda Rousey -400

UFC 170 Pay-Per-View Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

Daniel Cormier (13-0-0): -1200
Patrick Cummins (4-0-0): +750

Daniel Cormier was supposed to fight Rashad Evans but injury forced Evans to the sidelines. Enter Patrick Cummins who looks a lot like a sacrificial lamb in this case. Cormier has looked terrific in the UFC with wins over Frank Mir and Roy Nelson – he has the aggression and the defense that makes it tough to get in close.

On paper, this fight isn’t close. Sure Cummins is undefeated but he hasn’t faced anyone near the caliber of Cormier so far. It’s too bad that Evans is injured – this fight doesn’t offer a whole lot of intrigue.

Pick: Daniel Cormier -1200

Rory MacDonald (15-2-0): -300
Demian Maia (18-5-0): +220

Rory MacDonald will try to regain some of the momentum that he had a few years back and in turn throw his name back into title contention in the wide open Welterweight Division of the UFC. His challenge Saturday? A steadily improving Demian Maia – one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners that the UFC has ever seen.

MacDonald has been somewhat disappointing lately – coming off a loss as heavy favorite to Robbie Lawlor. He will have a reach and size advantage as per usual in this fight – the trick is to use those advantages to score rather than to set up a takedown. MacDonald likely won’t want to go to the mat too early with Mr. Maia.

Demian Maia has been good since dropping to Welterweight – a split decision loss to Jake Shields last time out stopped a three fight win streak in the division. His last three losses have come against Shields, Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva – no shame in that.
MacDonald is definitely not on the level of the fighters that have beaten Maia in the past – it’s a tad hard to believe that MacDonald is -300. Maia, although not elite is a very tough B+ fighter – one of the best grapplers in the Welterweight Division. MacDonald is dangerous but has a few more lessons to learn – Maia provides one Saturday.

Pick: Demian Maia +220

Mike Pyle (25-9-1): -210
T.J. Waldburger (16-8-0): +165

Two fighters coming off underwhelming performances in which they were knocked out early will try to get back in the win column Saturday when Mike Pyle takes on TJ Waldburger. Both men bring a good striking game to the Octagon Saturday but Pyle has by far the better rounded game.

Experience and a varied attack will likely be the difference in this fight – Waldburger will have a tough time defending all that Pyle brings to the Octagon. Pyle gets it done by TKO.

Pick: Mike Pyle -210

Stephen Thompson (8-1-0): -135
Robert Whittaker (11-3-0): +105

Strikers with interesting styles kick off the pay-per-view portion of UFC 170 when Robert Whitaker, who lost a split decision in controversial fashion to Court McGee last time out, takes on Stephen Thompson who beat Chris Clements in his last fight.

The striking looks about even in this fight – grappling and ground chops could be the difference here. Whittaker has the slight edge in that department – watch for him to take advantage of that advantage and wear Thompson down en route to a decision victory.

Pick: Robert Whittaker +105

UFC 170 FOX Sports 1 Prelims (8 p.m. ET):

Alexis Davis (15-5-0): -165
Jessica Eye (11-1-0): +135
Pick: Alexis Davis -165

Raphael Assuncao (21-4-0): -220
Pedro Munhoz (10-0-0): +175
Pick: Raphael Assuncao -220

Aljamaine Sterling (8-0-0): -240
Cody Gibson (11-3-0): +190
Pick: Cody Gibson +190

Zach Makovsky (17-4-0): -170
Josh Sampo (11-2-0): +140
Pick: Josh Sampo +140

UFC 170 Fight Pass Prelims (7 p.m. ET):

Erik Koch (13-3-0): -400
Rafaello Oliveira (17-7-0): +300
Pick: Erik Koch -400

Ernest Chavez (6-0-0): +220
Yosdenis Cedeno (9-2-0): -300
Pick: Yosdenis Cedeno -300

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Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.