The UFC heads to Inglewood, California for UFC 199. Once hailed as the card that nobody wants to be on (with UFC 200 on the horizon), Dana White and co. have managed to stack this one two title fights in addition to a bunch of other fun fights.
Henderson vs. Lombard
With father time catching up with him, and a contract with just a single fight remaining,Â this could be the last that we see of the legendary Dan â€˜Hendoâ€™ Henderson compete in MMA. Hendo has been a staple of the biggest fighting organizations around the world but at 45 years old that once-granite chin has morphed into something much softer. Win or lose, this should be Hendoâ€™s last fight.
Hector Lombard makes his return to the Octagon a mere 10 weeks after suffering an absolute beatdown from Neil Magny. In that fight Lombard administered a beat down of his own in the opening round before Magny gave it back to him in spades. It wasÂ a loss that has sent Lombard back up to 185lb where his power may not count for quite as much as it did at 170lb
With a combined age of 83 - surely the oldest cumulative age to compete in the UFC aside from when Randy Couture fought Mark Coleman - itâ€™s unlikely that this lasts too long.Â
Recommendation: Under 1.5 Rounds - 2 units at -200 (1/2) @ 5Dimes
Cruz vs. Faber
With a split decision win over former champion TJ Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz recaptured a belt that he never formally lost. Cruz, who in four years had more surgeries than the Bionic Man, is a deceptively young 30 years old.
Urijah Faber has been in more than his fair share of title fights and could potentially go down in history as the best fighterÂ in MMAÂ who never won the UFC belt. Twice against Renan Barao he fell short, as he did when facing Cruz at UFC 132 all the way back in July 2011. Faber has beaten pretty much every else one of note in the division, with the exception of his current and former teammates, and has almost nothing to prove... almost.
This fight is pure bad blood, which makes for entertaining pre-fight antics but often means both men hold back in the cage for fear of making a mistake. Itâ€™s therefore likely this goes to a decision, where I heavily favor Cruz.
Recommendation: Cruz wins via unanimous decision â€“ 2 units at -120 (4/5) @ 5Dimes
Rockhold vs. Bisping
Luke Rockhold makes the first defence of the title he won so emphatically from Chris Weidman in December at UFC 194. With Weidman pulling out of the rematch due to injury, a former opponent of Luke's in Michael Bisping steps up despite almost overwhelming odds, not least of which is the champ's mental edge having submitted Bisping in their first meeting.
With the wave of support still rippling behind BispingÂ after an inspiring win over former champÂ Anderson Silva in London, England, â€˜The Countâ€™ was a no-brainer for the shot.Â
At the available odds I wouldnâ€™t back Rockhold with stolen money, and I am going to give Bisping the benefit of the doubt in bringing his A-game to Inglewood. Iâ€™m taking the overs which is one of the few lines available at plus money in a potentially one-sided bout.
Recommendation: Over 1.5 Rounds - 2 units at +105 (21/20) @ 5Dimes