UFC on FUEL TV 9 Picks: Ross Pearson (-390) vs. Ryan Couture (+320)

Ross Pearson UFC on FUEL TV 9 Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden Saturday, April 6, 2013 Lightweight fight: Ross Pearson (-390) vs. Ryan Couture (+320) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event of UFC on FUEL TV 9 pits lightweights Ross Pearson and Ryan Couture against one another in a bout scheduled for three rounds. Pearson is currently a hefty -390 favorite to win (bet $390 to win $100), while Couture is a giant +320 underdog (bet $100 to win $320). Pearson (14-6) was a coach on TUF: The Smashes and is coming off an impressive TKO victory over rival coach George Sotiropoulos at UFC on FX 6. The 28-year-old Brit is rapidly improving and it’s likely he is in the prime of his career right now. The recent move back up to lightweight will be better for him because he cut too much weight to fight at featherweight. As a UFC lightweight Pearson has a stellar 5-2 record including victories over Dennis Siver and Spencer Fisher. Pearson is primarily a boxer but he has been working on his ground game at Alliance MMA in order to become a complete mixed martial artist. And he’s going to need to hope the changes he’s been making have worked, as he’s taking on an underrated grappler in Couture. Couture (6-1) is making his UFC debut after a stellar 6-1 run in Strikeforce. He is coming off a controversial split decision victory over KJ Noons at the Strikeforce finale, a win that was by far the biggest of his career up to this point. The 30-year-old, who is of course the son of UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, is a grinder just like his dad was, using his grappling and heart in order to win a lot of his fights. But he does have some skills too, including some finishing power and a decent bag of submissions. If he’s going to defeat Pearson he will have to have everything working for him on Saturday because this is definitely not an easy matchup at all. But if he can stay patient, wait for his openings, and fight smart, it’s a fight he can win. Fight Prediction: It could be a bad decision, but I see Couture getting his hand raised here. It’s most likely going to come after he grinds out a very close decision by mixing up his strikes and takedowns — and he could get hurt by Pearson along the way — but don’t be shocked if he someone gets Pearson’s back and finishes him off with a rear-naked choke. Adam’s Pick: Couture via decision (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: It won’t be a popular pick, but at +320 I say go ahead and roll the dice on Couture. Sure, Pearson should be the favorite here, but he shouldn’t be a -390 favorite, so this is mostly a value play on Couture, as it’s a fight he can most definitely win and it’s way closer than the odds indicate.

Written by Adam Martin.

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