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UFC 171 Picks: Hendricks vs. Lawler

UFC 171 is being hosted at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas Texas on Saturday night. The prelims are available on UFC Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1 while the main card is on PPV. The fight card is stacked and I expect we’ll get our money’s worth with these fights.

Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler are fighting in the main event for the UFC Welterweight Championship. Two other fights on the main card that look exciting on paper are Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley and Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard.

Bet on UFC 171 at 5Dimes!

UFC 171 Main Event Predictions

· Johny Hendricks (15-2) –400 vs. Robbie Lawler (22-9-1) +350

Hendricks opened at –260, but with most bettors wagering on him his odds are now up to –400 at 5Dimes. Lawler has amassed a 3-0 record in the UFC with wins over Koscheck (TKO), Voelker (KO) and MacDonald (Decision), but is he ready for a title shot?

Lawler has massive power and he’ll have a 5’’ reach advantage in this fight, which makes him very dangerous. However, Hendricks is tough as nails and avoids taking the big shots, which is why he has never been stopped. At the end of the day Hendricks is better.

Now I think we’ll see Hendricks a bit tentative early in this fight because of Lawler’s power. He’ll want to wear him down and I think Hendricks will look for some early takedowns. My best bet for the main event is Hendricks to win this fight by decision (+240).

UFC 171 Main Card Predictions

· Carlos Condit (29-7) –170 vs. Tyron Woodley (12-2) +150

This line opened at Condit –130 and was as high as –200, but it has started to trend downward, so I’d jump on Woodley now if you haven’t yet. Condit is one of the best fighters in the division and his striking is great, but let me tell you why I’m taking Woodley.

Woodley is an excellent wrestler who averages 0.7 takedown attempts per round. Condit lost to GSP and Hendricks who are both great wrestlers. In his L3 fights Condit has been taken down 25 times. If Woodley can utilize his wrestling I like his chances to win.

· Myles Jury (13-0) –175 vs. Diego Sanchez (24-6) +155

Sanchez is a warrior, but the veteran doesn’t have enough offense in the cage to win many fights. Jury is 4-0 in the UFC and his L2 wins over Ricci and Nijem was impressive. The young prospect has displayed nice takedown ability and his defense is even better.

He defends very well in the cage and I don’t think Sanchez will win a round. I expect this fight to go the distance. Sanchez has gone the distance in his L6 fights and he has only been stopped once. Jury at –175 is my bet, but Jury by decision (+140) looks good also.

· Hector Lombard (33-4-1-1) –200 vs. Jake Shields (29-6-1-1) +170

Shields is 4-2-0-1 in the UFC since coming over from Strikeforce in 2010. He’s one of the toughest fighters to face in the division, as he has exceptional wrestling. I’m on Lombard though, as his power is unmatched in the division and Shields has been rocked before.

Lombard has 19 TKO/KO wins while Shields has been KO’ed twice (Once in the UFC). Lombard has strong enough takedown defense to keep this fight standing up where he’ll be able to look for the KO. Lombard has been inconsistent, but this is a big fight for him.

· Ovince St. Preux (14-5) –370 vs. Nikita Krylov (16-3) +310

St. Preux is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Villante and Donavan. Krylov is 1-1 with a win over Harris, but he was KO’ed by Palelei in his debut. Krylov is an active striker, but he doesn’t have the power that St. Preux has and that’ll hurt him in this fight.

Krylov has 10 submission wins, but St. Preux has never tapped out in a fight. Krylov is just 22 and has a lot of cage experience, but I like St. Preux to out power Krylov in the stand-up and win this fight. I’m taking St. Preux to win the fight by TKO/KO at –110 odds.

Apart from the bets above I also have a couple parlays. My best parlay is Hendricks, St. Preux, Andrade and Scoggins, which pays out at +162 odds at 5Dimes. Don’t forget to watch the prelims, as there are some great fights including Rick Story vs. Kelvin Gastelum.