The UFC 155 is up next in the world of MMA. Scheduled for Las Vegas on September 29th and headlined by the Heavyweight title bout between Champion Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquezhas a main card that features three hard hitting Middleweight bouts. Tim Boetsch takes on Costa Philippou, Alan Belcher clashes with Yushin Okami and Derek Brunson welcomes Chris Leben back. Let’s look at where the lines are a week before fight night.
Perhaps the most anticipad match is the return of Chris Leben, who was originally slated to take on Carlos Vermola, but is now facing Derek Brunson. Brunson is making the jump over from the STRIKEFORCE roster where he dropped his last two matches.
Leben is sure to be favored heavily in this fight. Brunson’s only real top opponents in his 11 fight career are Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ and Kendall Grove, and he dropped both fights. Leben should be favored on experience alone. The bottom line is I do want to see what Leben looks like coming off a long suspension for drugs.
In another reconstituted bout, Costa Philippou steps in for injured team mate Chris Weidman to take on Tim Boetsch.The early lines that have popped up at the books have Philippou favored by a slight margin.
Boetsch is bigger and more experienced, however. He has beaten Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami back to back, his issue is that many think he lost the decision to Lombard, and he was getting beat up by Okami before he pulled it out. Boetsch is undefeated at 185 lbs and as a slight underdog, he is an appealing bet.
In the final main card 185 lb bout, Yushin Okami takes on Alan Belcher. Okami is 1-1 since he lost in his title shot against Anderson Silva, and it looks like his decline as a fighter has started. Even in the win, against little known Buddy Roberts, Okami did not look like a fighter ready to mount another rise to title contention.
Belcher has not had quite the level of opposition that Okami has had, but he has a four fight winning streak and he was very impressive in his last outing against Rousimar Palhares.
The bout with Okami is a rematch, and Okami won a Decision last time out. It seems like Belcher has done more improving since that loss back in 2006. The line right now has Belcher as a plus 140, so it is prctically a pick em fight. I’m picking Belcher.