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UFC Fight Night 88 – Odds and Ends

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This weekend, you have your Saturday night free from UFC action.  Take the girlfriend to a movie, play poker with the guys, and generally just have a good time.  Sunday though, get yourself a seat in front of a TV, because UFC Fight Night 88 isn’t to be missed.  For you out there who enjoy a little action, here’s who I believe will win the fights, and how their odds shape up.   *Odds Courtesey of 5Dimes

Adam Milstead (-255) vs. Chris de la Rocha (+215)

There’s a reason Adam Milstead is a considerable favorite in this fight.  I just don’t know what the hell it is.  Both fighters are relatively new to the game, Milstead is 7-1 while de la Rocha sports a 4-1 record.  That said, I like the level of competition that de la Rocha has faced more than Milstead. In Milstead’s last outing, he defeated a fighter with a 19-18 record at a King of the Cage show.  These guys both like to get their fights over with early, and I expect this to go that direction as well.  I’m not saying I think da la Rocha is the next big thing, but at +215 he’s worth a shot.  I’m going with Chris de la Rocha here by TKO in Round 2.

Aljamain Sterling (-400) vs. Bryan Caraway (+325)

Call me crazy here, but I like Caraway to win this fight via submission.  It’s easy to look past the unassuming Bryan Caraway on paper, but in the cage, he brings with him a ton of ability.  His submission game is on point, and he’s a better all-around fighter in my opinion that Sterling is. Sterling is certainly the flavor of the month, and a tough undefeated prospect, but I think he’s meeting Caraway at the wrong time in his career, and I’d absolutely bet the live underdog here.  Going with Caraway by Submission.

Shane Campbell (-160) vs. Erik Koch (+140)

Koch was once thought to be the next big thing, but after losing 3 of his last 4 fights, it is possible that he’s fighting for his UFC life.  He’s lost to some top guys in the UFC, dropping fights to Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, Dustin Poirier and Daron Cruickshank.  Now he must face Shane Campbell, a fighter who has lost 2 of his 3 UFC contests.  I don’t know what to expect in this fight, it could go either way.  I expect some fireworks early, and whoever lands the first compelling shot, could get the win.  I’m going with Koch here, by Decision, making it 3 for 3 on underdog picks so far.

Jake Collier (+100) vs. Alberto Pereira (-120)

The undefeated (9-0) Pereira makes his UFC debut against a tough and talented Jake Collier.  I’m a fan of Collier’s, I mean, I like anyone who comes out of The Pit.  I don’t know too much about Pereira but from what research I’ve done, he’s a talented finisher, having won by stoppage in 8 of his 9 fights.  Collier has ability, but I’m expecting a nice debut from “Uda” here, and I expect him to submit Collier in the 2ndRound.  Yep, I’m going with the favorite.

Abel Trujillo (-320) vs. Jordan Rinaldi (+260)

Abel is a powerhouse in the division, and I love watching him fight.  Rinaldi doesn’t have wins against real quality opponents, and I expect him to be outgunned here against Abel.  Take the safe money here and go with the favorite. Abel Trujillo by TKO in Round 1-2.

Sara McMann (-155) vs. Jessica Eye (+135)

This is an interesting fight, that is a must win for both competitors.  Both fighters are in the same boat, having lost 3 of 4.  Another loss here, could find them searching for employment elsewhere.  This fight should be a battle of wills and styles.  Sara McMann has wrestling for days, and top-level wrestling at that.  Eye is an agile striker who will likely hope to keep the fight standing.  It’s a battle of who can keep the fight in their realm the longest.  I’m going with wrestling and McMann.  I expect her to be able to muscle Eye to the ground and keep her there in large doses cruising to a Unanimous Decision.

Paul Felder (-325) vs. Josh Burkman (+265)

Dammit, I am a sucker for an experienced live underdog.  Paul Felder is a talented fighter, but his struggles with Ross Pearson make me think he might be in trouble here. Burkman is experienced, and knows every single trick.  He is better than his record indicates and he’s usually in every fight.  I just honestly believe, he’ll be stronger than Felder and muscle him around the cage.  I like Burkman in the clinch and against the fence.  I’m going with the underdog, Josh Burkman will choke Felder out.

Lorenz Larkin (-125) vs. Jorge Masvidal (+105)

This is one of those fights, that looks at least on paper as a can’t miss fire-fight.  These guys are going to throw hands, kicks, knees, elbows and all caution to the wind in what should be fight of the night.  I’m actually surprised that Larkin is the favorite here, I expected Jorge to be the favorite.  It’s a close, tough fight, and I’m going to go with Masvidal despite cheering for Lorenz.

Vitor Miranda (-175) vs. Chris Camozzi (+155)

Miranda lost in the finals of the TUF Brazil 3 to Antonio Carlos Jr, but since then has run off three consecutive victories inside the Octagon. He’s looked pretty impressive in doing so.  He faces the dangerous journeyman Chris Camozzi who on any given night, can shine.  Camozzi enters the fight on a 2 fight win streak, but expect that to come to a grinding halt, as Vitor lands the heavier shots, and TKO’s Camozzi.

Renan Barao (-175) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+155)

Who knows.  Jeremey Stephens is durable, tough, and talented, but he’s never been able to get over the hump and beat the elite in the division.  At one point, Barao was not just considered elite, but pound for pound best in the world.  A couple of losses to TJ Dillashaw took some of the air out of that balloon, but Barao remains a dangerous opponent.  I really like Stephens, but he won’t win this.  He’s going to stand and trade, but will likely be outgunned by a sharper Barao.  I expect Renan to eventually ware down Stephens and get a late stoppage.

Thomas Almeida (-165) vs. Cody Garbrandt (+145)

This should be fun while it lasts.  Thomas Almeida brings his perfect 20-0 record to the cage to put it on the line against Cody’s perfect 8-0 record.  Needless to say, someone’s perfect record is going away, and based on the level of competition they’ve faced, you’ve got to lean towards Almeida.  He’s faced tougher opponents and has looked great in victory.  Garbrandt is tough, and I expect him to have his moments, but in the end, I don’t think he has the speed and accuracy that Almeida has, and that’ll cost him.  I’m going with Almeida by decision.

image via UFC

Dan has been writing about the sport of MMA for the last 15+ years. During this time, he's met amazing fighters, and awesome friends sitting cage-side covering MMA. The memories and relationships are payment for his passion. Dan got his start as a featured writer for Sherdog.com and now serves as owner and co-host with Evan Shoman and Dion Harrison of The Crimson Canvas Podcast, on the Fight Booth Podcast network. Dan is also a part time contributor to FightBooth.com with pro wrestling, and MMA articles. He thanks Dave Reno for the opportunity and for years of friendship and support.

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