Hunt, Okami look like dangerous ‘dogs

Published on Saturday, 3/2/13, at 5:31 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

I don’t have a records page for my UFC picks because I don’t sell them, but I warn you that I have been horrible recently.

In my defense, I almost exclusively play underdogs, so that’s going to happen at times. In other words, when it rains (winners), it pours (profit via underdog payouts).

With that said, I’m firing away with three plays tonight. In the main event of tonight’s card on FUEL TV, I like ‘over’ 1.5 rounds at a minus-130 price for Brian ‘The All-American’ Stann vs. Wanderlei ‘The Axe Murderer’ Silva.

In 10 career Octagon appearances, only three of Stann’s fights have been stopped in the first round. As for Silva, six of his last nine fights have gone beyond Round 1.

Most books have Stann listed as a -290 ‘chalk’ with Silva available for a plus-230 return (risk $100 to win $230). I have zero interest in laying the ‘chalk’ and feel that bettors should take Silva or pass. I’ll pass and root for my ‘over’ to hit.

In the co-main event, Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve will collide in a crucial heavyweight matchup. The winner will most likely get a shot at a top-five opponent.

Most books have Struve installed as a -200 favorite. I like Hunt to bring home a +160 payout.

Struve is the better overall fighter and he’s hot, but his chin has looked suspect in past performances like losses to Junior dos Santos, Roy Nelson and Travis Browne. And Hunt is a powerful puncher who can put any man to sleep with his right hand. I think that happens tonight.

Another underdog that I’m going to back is Yushin Okami, who is a +180 underdog in a middleweight matchup vs. Hector Lombard.

Since losing to the 185-pound champ, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva, Okami has looked outstanding with the exception of the third round against Tim Boetsch. Okami absolutely dominated Alan Belcher in his last fight at UFC 155.

Lombard will have a speed advantage, but I think Okami is the stronger man who will control the fight with his clinch game and his wrestling.

So there you have it — 3 plays: Hunt (+160), Okami (+180) and ‘over’ 1.5 rounds for Stann-Silva (-130).

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!

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