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UFC 171 Handicapping | Betting Preview | Free UFC Picks

UFC 171 Preview and Picks

Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler meet in the Main Event at UFC 171 looking to secure the vacated Welterweight Championship belt.

UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler
Date: March 15, 2014
Time: 10pm ET/7pm PT
Location: American Airlines, Dallas, Texas
Broadcast: Pay-Per-View

MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET)

Johny Hendricks (15-2-0): -450
Robbie Lawler (22-9-0): +325

Hendricks enters the fight as the new breed in the Division while Lawler comes in as a re-invented fighter that has gone 3-0 since his return to the UFC after a 3-5 record fighting in Strikeforce.

Hendricks has the all-around game to give his opposition fits – his skills nearly proved too much for the best Welterweight the sport has ever seen – Georges St. Pierre. He is a former two time NCAA wrestling champion, his ground game and top control could be the best in the organization right now and his punching power, especially in his left hand seem to be on a completely different level. Hendricks is absolutely the real deal and ready to take what he thinks is rightfully his.

Lawler had been an average fighter until recent wins over Bobby Voelker, Josh Koschek and most recently Rory MacDonald. He is a one-dimensional guy – 18 of his 22 wins have come by KO or TKO. He has to hope that Hendricks chooses to stand and bang – if that happens, Lawler has a puncher’s chance.

But I can’t see it happening – Hendricks knows that dragging this fight to the mat will definitely be in his own interest. Lawler is totally outclassed on the ground. While Hendricks may opt to prove that he can hang with Lawler on his feet, this fight will ultimately end up on the ground whenever Hendricks decides its time.

Lawler steps right into a title fight because of one win – against Rory MacDonald while Hendricks has been busy putting away the best the Welterweight Division has to offer. Many people have Hendricks as the Champ already – me included. Saturday could mark the start of a long reign as Champ for Big Rig as he takes Lawler down often and grinds out a decision win.

Pick: Johny Hendricks -450

Carlos Condit (29-7-0): -220
Tyron Woodley (12-2-0): +175

In another Welterweight clash Tyron Woodley off an impressive first round KO victory over Josh Koschek takes on former interim Welterweight title holder Carlos Condit. Both men are 2-2 in their last four fights looking to climb the ladder toward a possible title shot down the line.

Carlos Condit has been at the top of the Welterweight rankings for a long time now – his two recent losses came to GSP and Johny Hendricks – not a whole lot of shame in that! Condit brings one of the most lethal and relentless striking games in the Welterweight Division into Saturday night’s clash but the one hole in his game could play right into the hands of Tyron Woodley.

Woodley should have an immense advantage in the wrestling department – he has shown the ability to drag his opponents to the mat in the past and will likely do so again. Condit has been taken down a staggering 25 times in his last three fights. Woodley, like everyone else will have a hard time against Condit’s striking – he absolutely needs to get this fight down to the ground.

Condit has been in the Octagon with the best the Welterweight Division has to offer and he has fared very well. Expect more of the same as Tyron Woodley struggles with Condit’s standup and he has a difficult time taking him down. Look for Condit to dictate the pace of this fight and to impose his standup will on Saturday.

Pick: Carlos Condit -220

Myles Jury (13-0-0): -155
Diego Sanchez (29-7-0): +125

One of the up-and-comers in the UFC Lightweight division takes on one of the most experienced fighters in the organization when the well rounded Myles Jury – 4-0 in the UFC takes on Diego Sanchez whose skills seem to be dwindling just a tad but is coming off one of the best fights of all time – against Gilbert Melendez in a fight that Sanchez lost by unanimous decision.
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Jury has been impressive so far but he hasn’t quite faced anyone the caliber of Sanchez yet in his career. The experience proves to be the difference Saturday as Sanchez gets back in the win column while handing Jury his first professional loss.

Pick: Diego Sanchez +125

Hector Lombard (33-4-1): -200
Jake Shields (29-6-1): +160

The powerful Hector Lombard makes his second Welterweight appearance Saturday when he takes on Jake Shields – the winner will most certainly be considered for the next Welterweight title shot. Lombard is coming off an extremely impressive KO victory against Nate Marquart while Shields has won two straight in upset fashion – against Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley.

Lombard will definitely have the stand-up advantage – his power could be amongst the best in the Welterweight division. But he goes up against one of the craftiest fighters in MMA today. Shields has a knack of dumbing down a fight an neutralizing the power and stand-up games of his opposition.

Lombard will need his power game to reign supreme in this fight but out-smarting Shields is a tall task. Shield has seen it all before and more often than not he is able to dictate what happens inside the Octagon. It may not be the most exciting fight on the card but if you are a Jake Shields fan the result will be to your liking. Expect a grinding decision win Saturday!

Pick: Jake Shields +160

Nikita Krylov (16-3-0): +300
Ovince St. Preux (14-5-0): -400

Former Heavyweight Krylov moves down to 205 lbs to replace the troubled Thiago Silva against Ovince St. Preux. Krylov is coming off an impressive KO victory over Walt Harris after a loss in his UFC debut. He will fight at Light Heavyweight for the first time Saturday. St. Preux has won three fights in a row ahead of this weekend – two inside the Octagon.

St. Preux’s athleticism will be the difference here. A former University of Tennessee football player, St. Preux will prove to be too much Saturday.

Pick: Ovince St. Preux -400

PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET)

Kelvin Gastelum (7-0-0):-190 vs. Rick Story (16-7-0): +155
Pick: Kelvin Gastelum -190

Jessica Andrade (10-3-0): -300 vs. Raquel Pennington (4-3-0): +220
Pick: Jessica Andrade -300

Dennis Bermudez (12-3-0): -220 vs. Jimy Hettes (11-1-0): +175
Pick: Dennis Bermudez -220

Alex Garcia (11-1-0): -400 vs. Sean Spencer (11-2-0): +300
Pick: Alex Garcia -400

PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6 p.m. ET)

Renee Forte (8-3-0): -135 vs. Frank Trevino (11-0-0): +105
Pick: Frank Trevino +105

Will Campuzano (13-5-0): +350 vs. Justin Scoggins (8-0-0): -550
Pick: Will Campuzano +350

Robert McDaniel (21-7-0): +105 vs. Sean Strickland (13-0-0)): -135
Pick: Robert McDaniel +105

Daniel Pineda (18-10-0): -230 vs. Robert Whiteford (10-2-0): +180
Pick: Daniel Pineda -230

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About DaveB

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.


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