The UFC 164 card is set to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 31st, main evented by Benson Henderson‘s Lightweight title defense against Milwaukee native Anthony Pettis. The title bout sits at a dead even pick ‘em, as the line sits at (-125) for Pettis, (-115) for Henderson. The close line comes from Pettis having a victory over Henderson dating back to their WEC days, and from his complete wipe out of crowd favorite Donald Cerrone in his last fight.
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Picking the title fight is really going to come down to which fighter you like better, because both men are much improved fighters since coming to the UFC. Henderson may have a slight advantage in that he has been active lately and has not been nursing an injury like Pettis, but when weighed against intangibles like youth, the home crowd advantage and owning a win over your opponent already, Henderson’s advantages are nullified by Pettis.
The co-main event of the evening features Heavyweights as Josh Barnett clashes with UFC stalwart Frank Mir in a fight that should send Barnett directly into the UFC title picture. The lines out there have Barnett a (-205) favorite, with the comeback on Mir at (+165). Mir has really seemed to have less starch in his last few outings, and it is surprising that he still has enough juice left to keep the line this close. Barnett is in a position of returning to the UFC after a ten year hiatus giving him motivation and he has the experience, training and talent to take out Mir. Look for Barnett to go on the offensive first, and Mir has been slow to return fire, if he returns any at all.
In the featherweight division, Chad Mendes takes on Clay Guida in a battle of two guys seemingly headed in different directions. The line reflects this, as Mendes is a wide (-390) favorite, with the comeback on ‘The Carpenter’ at (+270). Mendes has been wiping people out since he lost to titleholder Jose Aldo, and he has another title shot firmly on his mind. As for Guida, the drop in weight class did not rejuvenate his career, but rather exposed him as a fighter whose game planning and strategic take on fights has pulled him away from his crowd pleasing style.
But Guida has been written off before and comeback with a great performance. This fight will demand a great performance out of Guida, so we will find out in a hurry if Guida is on the downslide of his career or if he can still go deep in fights with guts like he used to.