UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama
October 16, 2010
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
UFC Betting Pick: Yoshihiro Akiyama (+200)
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Middleweight bout: Michael "The Count" Bisping (-260) vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama (+200)
Michael “The Count” Bisping (19-3) has grown into a good mixed martial arts prospect but I still think he has a little bit to go before he is in the top echelon in the UFC.
He will be fighting Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-2) who has been in the top 10 in the middleweight division. Though he has a very disappointing performance versus Chris Leben in his last fight I do think he is a better all round fighter than Bisping.
UFC betting wise I think this is a great underdog bet to wager on Akiyama.
Striking wise Bisping has more powerful and a bigger body but he is slow and Akiyama will use his speed to move in and out on Bisping who is a much slower striker. Bisping is not as powerful as Chris Leben and is not as skilled in striking as Alan Belcher.
Akiyama took every punch that Leben at UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin had and he was not able to KO the Japanese fighter and he took major leg kicks and strikes from Alan Belcher at UFC 100 and he won a tough fight.
Bisping is not at good at striking from either of those fighters and he won’t have the speed or power to catch-up to and hit Akiyama. Akiyama is a very quick and agile fighter. Bisping is more of a kickboxer and he has decent kicks but his punches are not as good as his kicks.
In this fight I like Akiyama to stay out of Bisping’s range and come in for the strikes. Akiyama is very quick and light on his feet and he will frustrate Bisping with his movement. Bisping is a long kicker. This means he has a big wind up in his kicks. If he connects he can hurt guys. However, because of the big wind up a lighter faster fighter can see this coming and avoid the legs. If Bisping misses he is susceptible to being in a position where he can be hit and taken down. Akiyama will counter the kicks of Bisping and either get the take down or strikes to being out of position.
The last time Bisping fought in England he beat Denis Kang at UFC 105: Couture vs. Vera. That fight he was losing and landed a punch late in the second round. He was losing most of that fight and got taken down and if it wasn’t for a lucky punch he was well on his way to losing that fight.
Akiyama is a better grappler and he a much more polished ground game than Bisping. If Kang was able to take him down so will Akiyama who is a very good grappler. Akiyama is a 3rd dan black belt in Judo and is very good on the ground. He is very good at arm bars and triangle choke and has 7 submissions in 13 of his wins.
Akiyama has good takedowns and he uses his judo to trip up and control people on the ground. Because of Bisping’s looping kicks Akiyama will be able to tie up Bisping and judo throw him to the ground.
Once on the ground he has the speed and base control to hold down Bisping. Akiyama also is very good on his back as he has very active hips. On the ground Akiyama is very good and Bisping is not very good on the ground. Bisping has a very loose ground game he has not subbed a high quality fighter in his career.
Bottom Line: Bisping is a striker and if he can’t win the striking battle he is going to have trouble. Yes Bisping is a good striker but I think he is a slow striker. Bisping has not fought a quick fighter like Akiyama and he will be confused with his speed.
Betting wise I like the odds for this fight. Yes Bisping should be the betting favorite but I don’t think he is the -260 most online sportsbook say he is. To me a +200 bet on Akiyama is worth the bet. He has the skills to beat Bisping and he will use his quickness to confuse the slower fighter.
To me the sports book odds are determining who I think will win this fight. Akiyama is pretty close to Bisping yet the odds are so great. To me the moneyline differential is worth the bet on Akiyama.
Both fighters are not great finishers. Both fighters tend to gas and slow down in the third rounds. Akiyama has a very strong chin and Bisping does not have the power or speed to put him away.
If you are not willing bet the underdog in this fight a better bet is to make a UFC prop bet. Bisping has gone the distance in his last 2 fights and if it want for the late submission by Leben Akiyama would have gone the distance in his last two fights.
I think the fighting style of both fighters will lead this fight to go to the judges. Akiyama will dance around and use his speed and Bisping will chase Akiyama and try to strike but not connect.
Look for Akiyama to Win a Close Three Round Decision
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