It’s fight night once again for the men of UFC, as they all get prepared for the 136th Pay-Per-View edition of the UFC. Here at Bang the Book, we’re all set to make our UFC 136 picks for the big card this weekend.
We’ll begin with the lesser matches on the main card. Joe Lauzon finds himself as a huge +300 underdog against Melvin Guillard. However, we’re not ones to count out J-Lau as a contender in this fight. He does have some impressive fights in his career, including posting wins over Jason Reinhardt, Jeremy Stephens, and Gabe Ruediger. Of course, the loss to George Sotiropoulous was the loss that really had him reeling, but a win over Curt Warburton brought him back towards the top of the mountain in the lightweight division. Don’t be shocked if Lauzon pulls off the upset over the veteran, Guillard, though the latter does have a very impressive 29-8-2 mark and hasn’t been beaten since September 2009.
In the featherweight division, we’re watching to see if Nam Phan can get back on the horse after back to back losses. In fact, Phan has lost seven out of 11 fights dating back to December 2006, and his team here with the UFC hasn’t been stellar to say the least. Leonard Garcia, his foe on Saturday, beat Phan at The Ultimate Fighter: Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck just 10 months ago via split decision, and we just don’t see any reason why that won’t be the worst case scenario for Garcia again in this one. We’re definitely puzzled as to why Garcia is a +200 underdog.
One big favorite that we do like on the card this weekend is Chael Sonnen, who is -260 against Brian Stann. Stann is 11-3, and he has won three straight fights, but this is a humongous step up in competition going against Sonnen. The middleweight vet lost out to Anderson Silva via submission at UFC 117 back in August 2010, and he hasn’t fought since that point. This is a nice, easy fight to get back on the radar in the UFC world, and we expect to see Sonnen dominate it.
What makes this UFC particularly rare is that there will be not just one, but two championship bouts on tap. In the featherweight division, Jose Aldo defends his belt against Kenny Florian, while in the middleweight division, Frankie Edgar defends against Gray Maynard.
Aldo is just too tough to top. He has beaten the best that there is in his division, both at the WEC level and the UFC level, and there is no doubt that he is a deserving huge -320 favorite. Florian is only just now fighting in the featherweight division, having already gotten knocked out of the lightweight division (by Maynard, no less!), but he is going to realize that this drop in class isn’t going to change his status. This fight should be one sided in favor of the Brazilian.
On New Year’s Day, Maynard and Edgar fought to a draw in a UFC that was perhaps inappropriately entitled, “Resolution.” There is still no “resolution” for these two, but they’ll be back in the octagon together for the second time this year. This match is just a fantastic one, as Edgar has been a great champion. He is 13-1-1 in his career and has two wins over BJ Penn of late as well. However the only two blemishes of his career have come against Maynard. The only draw on Maynard’s career record though, came in this fight against Edgar. The third time is the charm though, for Edgar, as we tend to think in a match that will come right now to the last few strikes of the third round, that he’ll find a way to prevail. However, tread lightly at -120, as this match really could ultimately go either way.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.