UFC 148: Saturday, July 7, 2012 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Bantamweight Contender Mike Easton (-130) Profile: Mike Easton (12-1) is 2-0 in the UFC since spending a large portion of his career on the independent circuit. He has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and in Tae Kwon Do, leaving him dangerous on the ground and definitely someone to watch out for on the feet. While he is still developing, the 28-year-old already has outstanding stopping abilities, finishing 50 percent of his fights so far with four knockouts and two submissions. He is riding a seven-fight winning streak overall, which includes five bouts in the Ultimate Warrior Challenge, where he won the bantamweight title and defended it twice. He also defeated TUF 14 bantamweight winner John Dodson in the UWC via split decision and hopes to keep his unbeaten streak alive in the Octagon with his well-rounded skill set. UFC Bantamweight Contender Ivan Menjivar (+100) Profile: Ivan Menjivar (24-8) has been on a tear since his single unsuccessful fight in the WEC. The 30-year-old Salvadorian bantamweight is unbeaten in his three UFC fights, defeating Charlie Valencia at UFC 129 via TKO (elbows and punches) and Nick Pace by a unanimous decision at UFC 133 before earning Submission of the Night honors against John Albert at UFC on FUEL TV 1. Mejivar is a solid athlete who has fought all the way up at welterweight and is now making quite the dent in the MMA bantamweight rankings in the UFC. He has a brown belt in BJJ and should be tough to handle anywhere. Opening UFC 148 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Easton a small -130 favorite (bet $130 to win $100) while Menjivar opened as a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) according to the MMA odds. This is essentially a Pick’em fight, the only one on the entire UFC 148 betting card. Menjivar definitely has an edge in experience while Easton will be trying to secure his first victory against a quality UFC opponent. Easton has earned half of his wins by decision, and he still has a lot to prove in order to be taken more seriously as a top contender in the bantamweight division. Menjivar has been impressive since suffering through a rough stretch when he lost three of four fights, and he would also like to show he is a fighter to be reckoned with. A win may not get either one into the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings, but it will get them noticed and help build their case for a bigger bout against a better opponent.