Thanks to this trio of expert MMA picks, BetUS mixed martial arts gamblers everywhere will have an excellent chance to cash in with at least three potentially winning wagers when UFC 137 gets underway live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9:00 PM ET.
Nick Diaz +105
B.J. Penn -135
Record: 25 - 7 - 0
The Scoop: The red-hot Nick Diaz has won an even 10 straight fights coming into this bout, including his impressive first round TKO over Paul Daley to defend his Strikeforce welterweight title for the third time. Diaz has won 13 bouts by KO, eight by way of submission and four more via decision while losing two fights by knockout and five, via submission.
Name :B.J. Penn
Record: 16 - 7 - 2
The Scoop: Former UFC lightweight title holder BJ Penn returned to the welterweight division and apparently it suited him just fine as he knocked out veteran banger Matt Hughes at just 21 seconds of the first round to record the Knockout of the Night at UFC 123 and get back in the win column following a pair of consecutive UFC lightweight title matchup losses to Frankie Edgar. Penn has recorded seven KO wins, six via submission and three more by way of decision while also suffering two KO losses and five decision losses in his career, identical loss totals as Diaz.
Fight Analysis: Both of these fighters are hostile, mobile and agile – not to mention seriously multi-faceted – but BJ Penn holds a serious edge in experience against quality fighters and that will be the difference in this prime time battle.
Penn looked very good in laying a shocking smackdown on Matt Hughes in his last bout, but it’s a bit tough to gauge how good he really was in just 21 seconds. Still, I like Penn to beat the younger Nick Diaz in this bout, likely on a submission or via a decision win. Either way, BJ Penn is the right pick to win.
UFC 137 Pick: BJ Penn
Cheick Kongo +110
Matt Mitrione -140
Name: Cheick Kongo
Record: 16 - 6 - 2
The Scoop: Kongo pounded the snot out of Pat Barry at UFC Live in June to record the Knockout of the Night at 2:39 of the first round. The gifted physical specimen has recorded 10 KO wins, along with three submissions and decisions in his career. Kongo has also been on the wrong end of one knockout, one submission and four decision losses.
Name: Matt Mitrione
Record: 5 - 0 - 0
The Scoop: The blossoming Matt Mitrione remained unbeaten by knocking out Christian Morecraft at 4:28 of the second round at UFC Live in June and has now dispatched four of his five career opponents by way of knockout.
Fight Analysis: I’ve been really impressed with Matt Mitrione in his brief MMA career, but I’ve got to keep it real for BetUS MMA gamblers by saying that he certainly hasn’t faced a fighter of Cheick Kongo’s caliber.
While I’m surprised that Kongo has suffered some of the losses he has in what has been a very solid career, I don’t think Matt Mitrione is going to be able to withstand Kongo’s world class kickboxing skills. Matt Mitrione has shown himself to be a gifted puncher that is capable of flooring any fighter with just one punch, but Cheick Kongo is just a bit too good to get caught up in his web. I hate to disappoint Matt Mitrione fans everywhere, but he’s going to suffer his first career loss in this bout.
UFC 137 Pick: Cheick Kongo
Mirko Filipovic +220
Roy Nelson -300
Name: Mirko Filipovic
The Scoop: Cro Cop Filipovic has lost two straight fights, including his third round KO loss to Brendan Schaub at UFC 128 in March. Cro Cop has also lost three of his last five fights overall. Filipovic has recorded 20 career wins via KO, four via submission and three more by way of decision. The big Croatian has also been handed four KO losses in his career to go along with two more, via submission and three by way of decision.
Name: Roy Nelson
The Scoop: Roy Nelson has also lost two consecutive fights, including his unanimous decision loss to veteran Frank Mir at UFC 130 in May. Nelson has recorded eight wins via KO, five by way of submission and two, via decision. Nelson has only been knocked out once in his career while suffering five decision losses along the way.
Fight Analysis: While both of these fighters have lost two straight fights coming into this matchup, I like Roy Nelson to win this fight after being on the wrong end of two straight unanimous decision losses.
While I’ve always like Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic (who doesn’t love that nickname?) the veteran fighter is clearly aging quickly and I just don’t have a lot of confidence in a gut that’s been knocked out cold in each of his last two fights. Basically, picking the winner of this fight involves backing the lesser of two evils – and that would be the slightly younger – and much more rotund – Roy Nelson, via third round KO.
UFC 137 Pick: Roy Nelson via Third Round KO