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Alan "The Talent" Belcher (+240) vs Denis Kang (-300)

by Stan Leung
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January 17th, 2009 8 PM
Alan Belcher vs Denis Kang
UFC Betting Pick: Denis Kang -300

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UFC Middleweight Fight: Alan Belcher vs Denis Kang

Denis Kang (31-10) makes his long awaited debut in the UFC against Alan “The Talent” Belcher (13-5). Kang is a legit top ten mixed martial arts middleweight while Belcher might be top 30 at best. Sports betting wise, the UFC oddsmakers have the UFC fight lines set right as Kang should be a huge betting favorite. For all the underdog sports bettors who think that Belcher will win this fight, they should save their money and bet on the sure thing in Denis Kang. Many might be tempted to bet on Belcher because they have seen him on the UFC before but save your money.

Kang has fought most of his career in Asia and is a huge fan favorite ever since he fought Kazuo Misaki at PRIDE Bushido 13. Kang had torn his right biceps muscle earlier that night in his win over Akihiro Gono in the Pride Middleweight tournament but still fought on one arm and almost won the fight. Since then he is idolized for his warrior spirit. Before that loss to Misaki with one good arm that Kang was 18-0-1 in his last 19 MMA fights.

Denis Kang has more experience, has fought better fighters, is a way better striker and has a better ground game. Kang is one the best technical strikers in all of mixed martial arts. His has great fundamentals in his striking and is technically perfect in his stand up striking. He does not have the most power but if you look at his positioning, stance, and movement he has all the fundamental tools. His jabs, and hooks and so technically good he could be a pro boxer. His hands are always up and his chin is tucked in. Kang honed his striking skills under former 3 time world champion Tony Pep and with American Top Team he has worked with 1976 Olympic gold medalst Howard Davis Jr.Belcher is a more powerful striker but is wild and can be caught by a person who has better technical skills.

Belcher does have better kicks and is a better Muay Tai fighter, but Kang is very good at countering kicks and likes to grab the kick and land the lead shot. Belcher is the taller fighter but Kang is the wider and stronger fighter and he will be able to keep his distance. I do not see the kicks in this fight as a deciding factor.

Grappling wise Kang is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under 7th degree black belt Marcus Soares who was Carlson Gracie’s highest ranking member.  If this fight goes to the ground he will be able to beat Belcher with a submission. Out of his 31 wins Kang has 15 wins by submission. He has all the fundamentals on the ground from one of the best BJJ instructors in the world. Soares who is referred to as the Encyclopedia of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for his grapping knowledge will be cornering Kang and will have a good game plan coming into this fight. If this fight goes to the ground there is no way Belcher will be able to out grapple Kang. Grappling wise Belcher has no real formal instruction in grappling like Kang has. He has taken cross training with Judo and Jiu Jitsu classes but no real legitimate instruction which means his grappling game is loose and lacks fundamentals. In grappling you need to have good base and fundamentals and a fighter like Kang has the training and experience to dominate Belcher on the ground.

Kang has fought every type of fighter from judokas, grapplers, strikers and wrestlers while Belcher has not fought any top level fighter yet in his career. His last fight with Ed Herman at UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Neer, he won a split decision, however, he should have lost that fight. He has also lost to Jason Day at UFC 83 - Serra vs. St. Pierre II and to Marvin Eastman who Kang KO’ed in 49 seconds. Just look at Kang opponents. He has fought Dream middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi, top ten middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama and Kazuo Misaki along with top fighters like Amar Suloev and 15 second brutal KO over Murilo Rua at PRIDE Bushido 11

Right now Denis Kang is training in Montreal with Georges St Pierre. If his is training with the St Pierre he is learning all of GSP’s knowledge and his work ethics. Kang and St Pierre have one of the most intensive workouts imaginable and are helping each other prepare for their upcoming fights. If you are rolling with a top pound for pound fighter you will only get better. Who is Belcher training with him? He fights out of Remix MMA where he is an instructor. Belcher does not have the tools to help him in this fight and it will show.

Bottom Line: Belcher has a long way to go before he is even considered a top level fighter and Kang is already one. Kang has all the tools to already contend against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and was signed by the UFC to create competition in a very weak division. Kang is just heads and tails better above Belcher in this fight who lacks skill, training and fundamentals at this stage in his career to fight a top level middleweight fighter.

Kang will soften Belcher up with his stand up skills and once Kang sees the opportunity he will shoot and be able take Belcher down due to his wrestling training with GSP. Once he gains top position, he will be able to control and ground and pound him out or submit him with a kimura or arm bar. This fight will not go to the third round and a great UFC prop bet would be for a second round victory.

Not Enough Talent in this Fight. Bet Heavily on a Kang Victory

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