UFC 157 Betting Odds Breakdown: Heavyweights Brendan Schaub (-120) vs. Lavar Johnson (-120)

Brendan SchaubUFC 157: February 23, 2012 Honda Center in Anaheim, California UFC Heavyweight Contender Brendan Schaub (-120) Profile: The runner-up to Roy Nelson on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (8-3) was touted as the next big thing in the UFC heavyweight division. He was young, explosive and had a professional football background. To many, Schaub was the “next level of athlete” the UFC was expecting to see in the coming years. Schaub did well after his loss to Nelson, following it up with four wins in a row, which included an impressive come-from-behind victory over Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 128. Then, at UFC 134 in Brazil, Schaub’s chin failed him again as he was knocked out by Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera amidst a cheering Brazilian crowd. After that loss, Schaub would fall again via knockout to Ben Rothwell at UFC 145, this time in just over a minute into the first round. Some have said Schaub should make the weight cut to 205, where he would be a monster at his size. UFC Heavyweight Contender Lavar Johnson (-120) Profile: Lavar Johnson (17-6) is lucky to be here. Shot twice in a random act of violence in 2007, the heavyweight contender was near critical condition, and after a long recovery, got back to his fight training almost immediately. Since then, he’s gone 8-3, including a 3-2 run in Strikeforce and two impressive wins over Pat Barry and Joey Beltran to open his UFC career, which won him back-to-back “Knockout of the Night” honors. He finally lost in the UFC to Stefan Struve via armbar in just over a minute at UFC 146. That pretty much sums up Johnson’s fighting style though, as he is an impressive striker who is willing to bang with anyone but lost on the ground if he’s facing a decent grappler. Opening UFC 157 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made both Schaub and Johnson -120 (bet $120 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook in a Pick’em fight. These two fighters were originally scheduled for a bout on the UFC on FOX 5 card back on December 8, but a groin injury forced Johnson out. This fight is equally important to both men coming off losses, especially Schaub, who was once viewed as a top heavyweight prospect despite losing to Nelson in the TUF 10 Finale. Suffering first-round knockout losses in his last two bouts has suddenly put his UFC future in a state of flux, and he desperately needs a win here no matter how he does it. Considering Johnson has never been to a decision during his MMA career, a stoppage is almost a certainty. Johnson has heavy hands that are certainly capable of knocking out his opponent with one punch, and that will likely be his strategy until Schaub proves he can survive. The longer the bout goes though, the more the outcome figures to favor Schaub. Johnson has only been to the third round once compared to Schaub, who has gone to the third in each of his last two wins. Schaub is also six years younger, and his training as a former pro football player could also give him a slight edge.

Written by MMA OddsBreaker

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