UFC 204 Main Card Expert Picks
It’s a very good mixed martial arts card from Manchester, England, this Saturday as UFC 204 is staged there. The card is led by a rematch between middleweight champion Michael Bisping and former non-UFC title-holder Dan Henderson. Fitting it’s their second fight as Manchester is considered England’s second city. This will be the fourth UFC event contested in Manchester. In order for the event to be broadcast live during prime-time hours on the East Coast of the USA, the main card is expected to begin at 3:00 am Manchester time. Bisping is -235 on MMA odds with Henderson at +190 and the over/under at 2.5 rounds.
Here’s a Look at the UFC 204 Main Card Expert Picks
Back in June, Bisping was a big underdog in a middleweight title fight against Luke Rockhold, but Bisping (29-7) knocked out Rockhold with a left hook and right hand at 3:36 of the first round of their 185-pound championship fight at UFC 199 in Los Angeles. Referee John McCarthy stepped in after Bisping knocked Rockhold to the floor and then put him to sleep with a clubbing right hand. Bisping only got his title shot because Rockhold’s original opponent, Chris Weidman, had to pull out injured. Entering the fight, Bisping was second in UFC history with 18 wins. He moved into a tie for first with former welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.
Henderson, 45, came back from the brink of defeat to knock out Hector Lombard at 1:27 of the second round at UFC 199. The finish was one of Henderson’s best in his 19-year career. He landed a right head kick, and after Lombard caught his leg, Henderson threw a back elbow that landed flush and put away Lombard immediately. Henderson (31-14) followed Lombard to the floor with two hard elbows to make sure of the finish. Henderson had talked of retiring after that fight but he signed a new contract with UFC.
The championship fight will be a rematch of a bout at UFC 100 in July 2009. Henderson knocked Bisping, the first British UFC champion, out cold with a right hand in the second round. It was one of the more memorable UFC endings ever.
“UFC 100 was a long time ago,” said Bisping. “I just recently watched that fight and cringed. It was a terrible performance. Dan Henderson got the win on the night. God bless him, Dan Henderson got the job done on the night.”
“The Count” ripped Henderson for his previous use of the now-banned testosterone replacement therapy, claiming that the American is a “marvel of modern science.” Dazed after the fight, Bisping had no idea what happened to him.
That past history was behind the matchmaking more than rankings, as Henderson currently sits at No. 13 on the official UFC rankings at 185 pounds. A former Strikeforce and two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder, Henderson has yet to hold a UFC title.
The co-main event features Dutchman Gegard Mousasi against Vitor Belfort in another middleweight fight. Mousasi is a -330 favorite on MMA odds. Mousasi has won four of his last five in the Octagon, with an upset defeat to Uriah Hall his lone setback. The former Strikeforce champion scored a first-round technical knockout triumph over Thiago Santos in his last outing at UFC 200. Belfort, meanwhile, has lost two of his last three. Most recently, Belfort was stopped in the opening stanza by Ronaldo Souza at UFC 198.
Also, Jimi Manuwa will fight Ovince St. Preux in a featured bout at light heavyweight. Saint Preux is a -160 favorite. Saint Preux lost a unanimous decision to Jon Jones in April for the interim light heavyweight championship at UFC 197, going the distance despite breaking his arm in the third round. Manuwa will have the crowd behind him as he’s from England. He hasn’t competed since UFC 191 last September, when he lost to Anthony Johnson via second-round knockout.
My UFC Expert Picks
It might be boring, but it’s about winning money and I like the three favorites on UFC odds.