UFC 160 Picks: Brian Bowles (-280) vs. George Roop (+240)

brian-bowles UFC 160 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada Saturday, May 25, 2013 Bantamweight bout: Brian Bowles (-280) vs. George Roop (+240) Fight Breakdown: Former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles returns to the cage after a year-and-a-half long hiatus to take on George Roop in a preliminary bout at UFC 160. Bowles is currently a -280 betting favorite (bet $280 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while the comeback on Roop is +240 (bet $100 to win $240). Bowles (10-2) was the man to beat in the WEC but since coming to the UFC he’s dealt with injuries and has only competed three times in the Octagon, going 2-1 with wins over Takeya Mizugaki and Damacio Page and a loss to top-ranked Urijah Faber in his most recent appearance. The loss to Faber came at UFC 139 back in November 2011 so Bowles has definitely been out for a long time and he might experience some ring rust in this bout which could hurt him. But even with the long injury layoff the 32-year-old American is a very well-rounded mixed martial artist and definitely one of the best bantamweights in the world when he’s on. Against Roop look for Bowles to try and finish this fight and not mess around with his bigger opponent, because if Roop can hang on until the fight goes to decision he could make things interesting on the scorecards. Roop (13-9-1) recently made his UFC bantamweight debut and defeated Reuben Duran via unanimous decision at UFC 158. At 6’1″, the 31-year-old is definitely the tallest bantamweight in the UFC but the height advantage he has means the rest of his frame suffers and his body is likely going to be a target for Bowles, as well as his chin. Roop is one of those fighters who is always capable of having an amazing performance, such as when he knocked out Chan Sung Jung with a head kick in the WEC, but more often than not he hasn’t lived up to his potential since a stint on TUF season eight and going up against a former world champion in the form of Bowles this weekend, he’s probably bit off a bit more than he can chew and I think he’s really going to struggle. Fight Prediction: Bowles might start off slow because of ring rust but once he gets into his groove he’s going to be hard for Roop to stop. Bowles hits hard and Roop has been knocked out before, so I’m guessing that’s what happens here as Bowles connects on Roop sometime in the second and finishes him off with strikes. Adam’s Pick: Bowles by KO (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: At -280 I feel as though Bowles is ridiculously undervalued here as I believe his line should be closer to -400. I would definitely recommend parlaying him with another fighter, and even though I never recommend laying big juice on one fighter, this is an instance where I wouldn’t be totally against it because this really is Bowles’ fight to lose.

Written by Adam Martin.

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