UFC 119 Betting Odds Preview
Frank Mir vs Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic UFC 119 Betting Preview
By Richard Gardner
The UFC 119 card Saturday night at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis almost lost its headline bout between heavyweights Frank Mir and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, and that certainly changed the odds on that bout at Bodog's Sportsbook.
Filipovic suffered what was being reported out of his native Croatia as a serious eye injury in his finals training session last weekend before flying to Indianapolis - that put his bout with Mir in jeopardy. And that was a bit ironic considering Cro Cop had only replaced fellow former Pride star Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as Mir's opponent a month ago because Nogueira suffered an injury.
But upon his arrival in Indiana early this week, doctors immediately took a look at Cro Cop and cleared him for Saturday.
"Cro Cop suffered a poke in the eye in the last round of his final sparring session for the bout last week, but after a few days of rest, he is in tip top shape for this pivotal battle of heavyweight contenders," the UFC.com statement read.
Filipovic (27-7-2 MMA, 4-3 UFC) has won three of four since returning for his second stint with UFC. The loss came via submission in the third round of his fight with Junior Dos Santos at UFC 103, but Filipovic has bounced back with a TKO of Anthony Perosh at UFC 110 and submission of Patrick Berry at UFC 115.
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Mir (13-5 MMA, 11-5 UFC) is of course a former UFC heavyweight champion, but he has been uneven in his three fights since beating Nogueira at UFC 92. Since then, Mir has sandwiched a technical submission win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 107 with losses to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100 and to Shane Carwin at UFC 111 - the latter with the interim heavyweight title on the line with Lesnar still having been sidelined back then. Carwin thoroughly dominated Mir.
Before the Filipovic injury, the Bodog line on this bout was Mir at -225 and Cro Cop at +185, and at those numbers Mir was getting more than 85 percent of the lean at Bodog. Following the injury, the line was reset at Mir -275 and Filipovic at +215 - we've seen certainly more action on Filipovic with the longer odds but not a giant shift. It also didn't help matters on those looking to back Filipovic that he admits he isn't in tip-top shape since he was on "vacation" when he got the call to replace Nogueira. The winner Saturday might earn a shot at the heavyweight belt next year.
Many players have Mir parlayed with Nate Marquardt, who was at -215 when he beat Rousimar Palhares by TKO at UFC Fight Night 22 last week. Mir is the Bodog betting favorite for only the third time in his UFC career - he is 2-1 in those bouts. Cro Cop, meanwhile, has never opened as an underdog at Bodog but has twice closed as the dog, with a record of 1-1 -- the win over Berry as a +155 underdog and the loss to Dos Santos as a +145 dog. Of all the fights on the UFC 119 card, Mir-Filipovic is drawing about 22 percent of the action.
Early betting actually has one of the undercard fights drawing more total action on just the single result than Mir-Filipovic, and that is former UFC light heavyweight champ Sean Sherk vs. Evan Dunham. It has been a long time out of the Octagon for Sherk, who hasn't fought since losing to Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision at UFC 98 way back in May 2009. Sherk, 37, has had to pull out of his previously two scheduled fights since then with injuries. Dunham has been very impressive, yet to lose in his MMA career (11-0, 4-0 UFC), although he needed a split decision to beat Tyson Griffin at UFC 115. Dunham is the -220 favorite on Saturday night and is drawing nearly 60 percent of the lean. The bout itself actually was taking slightly more than 22 percent of the total card's action.
The other bout seeing significant action is Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Ryan Bader. Rogerio, the twin brother of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, has won seven fights in a row, the last a split decision victory over late replacement Jason Brilz at UFC 114. Bader is yet to lose in his MMA career and was the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 8. He knocked out Keith Jardine at UFC 110 in his last fight. This fight is drawing about 17 percent of the total card's handle, with Bader as the -165 favorite getting nearly 69 percent of the lean.
We expect good but possibly not great action on this card because of the lack of a true big-name superstar in his prime. Our top card this year has been UFC 111, headlined by Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy. The Mir-Carwin bout also was on that card.
by Bodog at 1800-sports.com on September 24, 2010
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