UFC 159 Picks: Middleweights Michael Bisping (-170) vs. Alan Belcher (+150)

UFC-159 UFC 159 Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey Saturday, April 27, 2013 Middleweight Title: Middleweights Michael Bisping (-170) vs. Alan Belcher (+150) Fight Breakdown: Middleweight contenders collide in the co-main event of UFC 159 as Michael Bisping takes on Alan Belcher. Bisping is a -170 betting favorite (bet $170 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while Belcher is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). Bisping (23-5) is looking to rebound from his KO loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC on FX 7. The 34-year-old Brit won season three of TUF and has since went on to compile a solid 13-5 record while fighting in the Octagon. Bisping is a solid all-around fighter with good, technical boxing and improving wrestling, and he has notable career victories over Brian Stann, Chris Leben, and Matt Hamill. However, he has faltered when he’s stepped up in competition, as he’s lost to the likes of Belfort, Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva and Rashad Evans, and some have questioned his chin. Going up against Belcher should be interesting because Bisping has the takedown ability to grind out a decision, as well as the boxing to win a the fight standing. But Belcher has underrated knockout power and Bisping has to be careful if he chooses to stand and trade with “The Talent.” Belcher (18-7) is similarly looking to rebound from a loss in his last fight, as the 28-year-old dropped a boring decision to Yushin Okami at UFC 155. Belcher is a product of Roufusport in Milwaukee so you know his striking is solid, and he’s won half of his fights by T/KO prove it. But he also has underrated submissions and has won seven fights via tapout. Belcher, who has defeated the likes of Rousmar Palhares, Ed Herman, and Denis Kang, is well-liked by the public and that’s why he’s only a slight underdog to Bisping. Although Belcher is certainly capable of winning this bout, he has a questionable fight IQ at times and if he makes any mistakes against Bisping it could prove to be the difference in the outcome, just as it did in the fight against Okami. Fight Prediction: This is a competitive fight but I believe Bisping is a little better in most areas of the game and those edges should help lead him to at least a decision win, if not a T/KO stoppage, as the Brit moves back into title contention in the UFC middleweight division. Adam’s Pick: Bisping via decision (click for latest UFC 158 odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: I believe Bisping is being undervalued in this fight (I peg him around -250) because the betting public has an infatuation with Belcher, so at -170, I would recommend a straight play on Bisping or to parlay him with Jon Jones in the main event to get some more value. He’s not a lock by any means, but Bisping wins this fight most of the time and is definitely worth a play.

Written by Adam Martin.

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