UFC 96 - Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Shane Carwin

This Saturday the Octagon is open with the UFC traveling to Columbus, Ohio for UFC 96!

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Keith Jardine in the main event. Jackson was fantastic in his last bout and is the slight favorite in the BetUS online sportsbook but gamblers would be amiss to only concentrate on the Jackson fight.

In the pre-main event Gabriel Gonzaga takes on Shane Carwin. For fight fans, the Gonzaga vs. Carwin battle might be the one to watch as both men seem well poised to bloody up the other in the Octagon.

Let’s analyze the Gonzaga vs. Carwin fight.

Gabriel Gonzaga -185 vs. Shane Carwin +145

Gabriel Gonzaga

Strengths: Gonzaga has won two fights in a row, one by technical knock-out and the other by submission. What that shows is that Gonzaga is capable of fighting on the ground and/or keeping his distance and striking at his opponents in the middle of the ring. Gonzaga is a tough dude who has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s going to have to use those Jiu Jitsu skills against Carwin. With his 10 and 3 record, Gonzaga is a tough guy to look past in this bout.

Weaknesses: In two straight losses to Randy Couture and Fabricio Werdum, Gonzaga lost by technical knock-out both times. As tough as Gonzaga is, opponents can wear him down which is exactly what Couture and Werdum did. Gonzaga can also forget to fight defensively at times.

Shane Carwin

Strengths: Carwin is a former NCAA wrestler who has shown incredible success in MMA. His overall MMA record is 10 and 0. That makes him a formidable opponent to the much more skilled Gonzaga. Besides wrestling, Carwin has recently added striking to his repertoire. Shane Carwin is cut like a rock and should be in excellent shape for this bout.

Weaknesses: Carwin doesn’t have a real skill set. His best assets are his heart and determination. That’s great but what’s going to happen when he has to fight a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu like Gonzaga? Heart and determination can take you far in UFC but against the very skilled fighters it won’t take you far enough.

Analysis: Gonzaga has the skills set and the UFC experience but I get that strange feeling that Shane Carwin isn’t going to blow his chance on the big stage. The man looks like a beast physically and the fact that he has a degree in engineering means that he’s got the brains to get it done. Like any good engineer, Carwin should have a plan going into the fight. At the better odds, he’s the wager to take down the vastly more experienced and skilled Gonzaga.

Pick: Shane Carwin at +145 in the sportsbook.