Free UFC 164 Picks: Josh Barnett (-165) vs. Frank Mir (+155)

Josh_Barnett UFC 164 Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI Saturday, August 31, 2013 Heavyweight bout (three rounds): Josh Barnett (-165) vs. Frank Mir (+155) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event of UFC 164 is a three-round heavyweight war between Josh Barnett and Frank Mir. Barnett is currently a -165 betting favorite (bet $165 to win $100) while Mir is a +155 underdog (bet $100 to win $155) at Several Bookmakers. Barnett (32-6) is a former UFC heavyweight champion and he is coming back to the UFC after a decade away, having been cut way back when, due to testing positive for steroids. The 35-year-old is an excellent submission grappler and one of the last few “Catch as catch can wrestlers” in MMA. The winner of nine of his last 10 fights, Barnett comes back to the UFC with a lot of hype following a successful stint in Strikeforce, but he still has the stigma of three positive drug tests behind him. Barnett is a very good fighter but it remains to be seen how he’ll fare with a step up in competition as Mir is the best opponent besides Daniel Cormier that Barnett has fought in years. Mir (16-7) is also a former UFC heavyweight champion and one of the best submission grapplers to ever step foot in the eight-sided cage. The 34-year-old is coming off of two losses to Cormier and Junior dos Santos, but he looked a little better in the Cormier fight, a match that coincided with him training at Greg Jackson’s for the first time. But those fights also showed that Mir is old and slow, and that the TRT isn’t helping him. His chin is also not very reliable. The thing about Mir though, is that even when you count him out, he often finds a way to surprise everyone. Against Barnett, Mir has a very tough task ahead of him but if he can find a way to win, he will reaffirm his position as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time. Fight Prediction: This should be a competitive fight and I think it’s going to hit the cards, but I see Barnett being the one pushing Mir against the fence and getting the takedowns, and we all know the judges love the man on top. Look for it to be close on the scorecards, but for Barnett to pull out a 29-28 x 3 win. Adam’s Pick: Barnett via decision (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: This is a close fight and I would recommend a pass as far as a bet on either fighter goes. Of all the lines on the board, the one I do find intriguing for a bet is “the fight goes three-round distance” as that pays out at +130. Maybe play that prop in a round robin, but sometimes the best play is to pass and this is a fight that screams pass to me in almost every way.

Written by Adam Martin.

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