After celebrating a Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings earlier this summer, both the Dodgers and Angels in contention for the MLB playoffs, and the Los Angeles Lakers set to become the favorites to win an NBA title after they land Dwight Howard, the sports betting scene in Hollywood is like none other in the world right now.
There is a tangible excitement in and around Los Angeles for each of its sports teams, and as the countdown continues to the MLB postseason, NHL, and NBA, the city is prepared to host the next big UFC event, the UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera. Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is determined to establish himself as a legitimate No. 1 contender for the title once again, but will need a win over Brandon Vera to have any chance at continuing up that long climb to the top.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera
UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera
Saturday August 4, 2012
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
UFC Betting Line: Shogun – 350
A loss to Dan Henderson in the 2011 Fight of the Year set Shogun back as Henderson is now next in line to face Jon “Bones” Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Vera understands how dangerous Jones can be having suffered a broken cheek bone in a loss to the champion before he earned his belt, but after a win over Eliot Marshall will look to stand in Rua’s way.
UFC Betting Preview: Mauricio Rua
A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shogun went the distance against Henderson but didn’t have enough inside of him to get the final decision. Now, one more loss could bounce him to the bottom of a long list of fighters that feel they are ready to contend for the UFC title. With 17 of his 20 career wins coming via knockout, it is clear what Rua’s strength is but it could be tough against a fighter that has been knocked out just twice in his career. Rua’s defense is strong enough that he should be able to hold Vera off, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see him take a more conservative approach and go for the decision by simply picking his spots and limiting any risks of getting caught.
UFC Betting Preview: Brandon Vera
While Vera’s BJJ skills aren’t at the same level as Shogun’s, he is still a brown belt in the sport and looked strong in his most recent win over Marshall. The problem with Vera has always been his inability to take his game to the next level against elite fighters, with losses to Jones, Randy Couture, and Keith Jardine as proof. Vera is a talented opponent that can hold his own against the best, but until he shows that he can win against some of the bigger names in the sport, it’s hard to think he can compete as a legitimate title contender.
UFC Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick
Shogun is on a mission to get back to the top of the sportsbook list of contenders for Jones’ belt, so don’t expect Vera to stand in his way. The biggest question will be whether or not Rua comes out looking for the decisive knockout or if he is more conservative, but either way look for Shogun to have his arm raised when it is all said and done.
UFC Betting Pick: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua