|Jun 25th, 2010
The MMA betting world is frustrated with Fedor Emelianenko. The man is a legend – perhaps the greatest heavyweight mixed martial artist of all time – but he’s tarnishing his legacy by doing whatever his promoter says, sticking in Strikeforce and ducking the far superior UFC heavyweight division.
Still, as frustrated as we may be with the Last Emperor, we love to watch him fight. Many eyes will be focused on him as he battles Brazilian Fabricio Werdum this Saturday night. Here’s a preview and free pick for that bout plus the other main event in San Jose.
Fedor Emelianenko (32-1, 1 NC) vs Fabricio Werdum (13-4-1)
Sportsbook odds: Fedor -550, Werdum +425
Untouchable would probably be the word that best describes Fedor Emelianenko during his MMA career. Even his one loss came from a cut on an inadvertent elbow. He’s battled legend after legend – Minotauro Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman – and beaten them all.
Two things are particularly fascinating about Fedor: his versatility and his pound-for-pound strength. It doesn’t seem to matter what type of fighter he faces. He could handle the best Jiu-Jitsu heavyweight of all time in Nogueira, the most feared heavyweight striker in Cro Cop or a powerhouse wrestler like Coleman. Fedor has heavy hands if he wants to stand and bang but also excellent takedown and grappling ability because of his Sambo training.
Fedor is also consistently the smaller man in the cage. He’s a tiny heavyweight at just 6’0” and 230 pounds but has managed to overcome his size disadvantage, even defeating giants like the 7’2” Hong-Man Choi.
That means the bigger Fabricio Werdum (6’4”, 240 pounds) won’t necessarily have a strength advantage on Saturday. Werdum can’t be underestimated; he’s won four of his last five fights and has wins over Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, Brandon Vera and Fedor’s brother Aleksander. But the truth is that he doesn’t hit as hard as Fedor, he doesn’t have a particularly strong jaw and, despite his submission skills, he isn’t a superior grappler.
I just don’t see any edge for Werdum in any category. Fedor should be fighting someone better.
Betting advice: Fedor -550
WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (9-1) vs Jan Finney (8-7)
Sportsbook odds: Santos -2000, Finney +1000
I’ve never seen more lopsided odds for an MMA fight. It’s just a testament to how devastating Cristiane Cyborg Santos has been during her Strikeforce women’s featherweight title run.
She’s just so much bigger and stronger than everyone she faces that it’s almost like she’s a different species. It’s practically unfair to see her unleash flurry after flurry of crushing Muay Thai strikes. Jan Finney’s record looks a bit embarrassing on paper but she’s won four straight fights. Still, that won’t save her from annihilation on Saturday.
Betting advice: Santos -2000