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UFC 135 betting odds and picks

Full breakdown of all 10 fights on Saturday’s Denver card below

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Sam Morris

Quinton Jackson hits Matt Hamill with a forearm during their bout at UFC 130 Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Jackson won by decision.

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How long does the UFC 135 main event between Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson last?

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DENVER — The four members of Las Vegas Sun’s picks panel came to a unanimous decision on who would win in five of UFC 135’s 10 bouts.

Surprisingly, the main event between light heavyweights Jon Jones and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was not one of those contests. The championship bout is the most lopsided on the card, according to oddsmakers, with Jones installed as a -600 favorite (risking $6 to win $1). Jackson comes back as a +400 underdog.

Jackson does have a few factors working in his favor. Experience is on Rampage’s side, as he started his mixed martial arts career nearly a decade before Jones. He also possesses more punching power than any of Jones’ previous opponents.

“Do you honestly think Rampage is a 5-to-1 underdog in this fight,” UFC President Dana White asked. “I can’t wrap my brain around that one. Rampage is nasty and he’s motivated. He’s also been in Denver to get acclimated. That makes no sense to me.”

Check below to see who picked Jackson and read breakdowns with betting odds on every fight. ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (53-27) leads the year-long competition with a .663 winning percentage with the Sun’s Case Keefer (71-41), KSNV’s Kevin West (70-42) and ESPN Radio/Cagewriter.com’s Steve Cofield (68-44) close behind.

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’1''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-2
  • MMA record 32-8
  • Out of: Irvine, Calif.
  • Betting line: +400

Jon Jones

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 6’4''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-1
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -600

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Mat Hamill at UFC 130.

Punch list: For one of the only times in his career, Rampage didn’t get out of shape between fights. Jackson only took one week off, in fact, after beating Hamill before he started training for Jones. He’s motivated to get a belt back that he doesn’t believe he truly lost and also determined to hand Jones, who he repeatedly calls “cocky”, his first legitimate loss.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Jackson

Cofield: Jones

Last fight: Third round TKO win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128.

Punch list: Most around mixed martial arts believe Jones has the skills to be the best fighter on the planet someday. But it’s a little premature to hand him that honor until he goes down the list and knocks off the established powers at the 205-pound division. That group starts with Jackson.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Jones

Okamoto: Jones

Josh Koscheck

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 13-5
  • MMA record 15-5
  • Out of: Fresno, Calif.
  • Betting line: -450

Matt Hughes

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5’9''
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 18-6
  • MMA record 45-8
  • Out of: Hillsboro, Ill.
  • Betting line: +300

Welterweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124.

Punch list: Koscheck has been out for 10 months after suffering a nasty broken orbital in his second championship loss to St. Pierre. He took the Hughes fight after Diego Sanchez came down with an injury three weeks ago. It’s two months sooner than he expected to return, so there’s a question of whether or not he unnecessarily rushed himself back into the octagon.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Koscheck

Cofield: Koscheck

Last fight: First round knockout defeat to B.J. Penn at UFC 123.

Punch list: Before the lopsided loss to Penn, which came in 21 seconds, Hughes was on a three-fight winning streak. But none of those opponents are as tough as Koscheck. It’s a challenging matchup for the UFC Hall of Famer on paper, as Koscheck is strong in the same areas, mainly wrestling, but younger and faster.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Koscheck

Okamoto: Koscheck

Takanori Gomi

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 32-7
  • Out of: Tokyo
  • Betting line: +190

Nate Diaz

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 8-5
  • MMA record 13-7
  • Out of: Stockton, Calif.
  • Betting line: -250

Lightweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Lost to Clay Guida via second round submission at UFC 125.

Punch list: “The Fireball Kid” hasn’t found the same success in the UFC that made him a PRIDE champion and one of the organization’s most popular fighters. He did, however, knock out Tyson Griffin in just more than a minute two fights ago. It proves he’s still lethal on his feet, if not suspect everywhere else.

Staff picks:KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Diaz

Cofield: Gomi

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Rory MacDonald at UFC 129.

Punch list: Diaz ditched his experiment at 170 pounds after losing two straight and now drops back down to lightweight. He showed promise at this weight class originally by winning his first five UFC bouts, but going only 1-3 against the division’s elite. His brother, Nick Diaz, famously upset Gomi in 2007 before the bout was ruled a no contest.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Gomi

Okamoto: Gomi

Rob Broughton

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’3''
  • Weight: 257
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 15-5-1
  • Out of: Liverpool, England
  • Betting line: +265

Travis Browne

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’7''
  • Weight: 247
  • UFC record 2-0-1
  • MMA record 11-0-1
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: -350

Heavyweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: Third round submission victory over Vinicius Queiroz at UFC 120.

Punch list: Broughton is known for having exceptional cardio for a heavyweight. It showed in his UFC debut when he weathered an early storm from Queiroz, who later tested positive for steroids, to take control late.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Browne

Cofield: Browne

Last fight: First round knockout of Stefan Struve at UFC 130.

Punch list: The Hawaiian looks like one of the UFC’s most promising newcomers in its biggest division. Perhaps a win here could assure him a booking with an elite heavyweight. The promotion can’t overlook an undefeated fighter with Browne’s power.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Browne

Okamoto: Browne

Mark Hunt

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 263
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 6-7
  • Out of: Sydney, Australia
  • Betting line: +260

Ben Rothwell

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’5’’
  • Weight: 265
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 31-7
  • Out of: Kenosha, Wisc.
  • Betting line: -340

Heavyweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Second round knockout victory against Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 127.

Punch list: The only fighter on the UFC roster with an overall losing MMA record can get to even with a win in Denver. Hunt has stuck with the UFC despite his struggles because he has a following as a former K-1 kickboxing champion.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Rothwell

Cofield: Rothwell

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Gilbert Yvel at UFC 115.

Punch list: Rothwell’s tenure with the UFC has been a trying one. Despite signing a contract more than two years ago, he only has two fights to show for it. He’s had to pull off of a multiple cards with various injuries.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Rothwell

Okamoto: Rothwell

Aaron Riley

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-4
  • MMA record 30-12-1
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: +275

Tony Ferguson

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Ventura, Calif.
  • Betting line: -350

Lightweight Bout

Spike Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Joe Brammer at UFC 114.

Punch list: Talk about a guy who has been around for a while — Riley made his octagon debut at UFC 37. He trains under Greg Jackson and is known as a submission specialist, even though all of his UFC victories have come by decision.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Ferguson

Cofield: Ferguson

Last fight: First round knockout victory over Ramsey Nijem at “The Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale.

Punch list: The latest champion of “The Ultimate Fighter” goes down to lightweight despite winning the show at welterweight. He splits his time training at ‘TUF’ coach Brock Lesnar’s DeathClutch Gym in Minnesota and KnuckleHeadz Boxing in California, which has recently received plenty of mentions because it’s the home of boxer Victor Ortiz.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Ferguson

Okamoto: Ferguson

Tim Boetsch

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 4-3
  • MMA record 12-4
  • Out of: Sunbury, Penn.
  • Betting line: -160

Nick Ring

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 12-0
  • Out of: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Betting line: +120

Middleweight Bout

Spike Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Kendall Grove at UFC 130.

Punch list: Naysayers ate their words when Boetsch upset Grove in a dominant fashion. His drop to middleweight appears to have done wonders, as he has a strength advantage that was never available at 205 pounds.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Boetsch

Cofield: Boetsch

Last fight: Third round submission win over James Head at UFC 131.

Punch list: One of the favorites on “The Ultimate Fighter” 11 before getting injured, Ring is now living up to that hype. He severely beat up Head in Vancouver, British Columbia, before succeeding with the late submission.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Boetsch

Okamoto: Boetsch

Eddie Yagin

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 15-4-1
  • Out of: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Betting line: -115

Junior Assuncao

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 12-4
  • Out of: Athens, Ga.
  • Betting line: -115

Featherweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: First round submission victory over Joe Soto at Tachi Palace Fights 10.

Punch list: “The Filipino Phenom” shares the same age and weight as his country’s most famous fighter — Manny Pacquiao. The only difference is Yagin fights in a sport where he can use variety to an astounding clip of five wins by kncokout, five by submission and five by decision.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Assuncao

Cofield: Assuncao

Last fight: First round submission over Wesley Murch at Recife Fighting Championships 4.

Punch list: The Brazilian who runs in a gym in the Atlanta area gets a second chance in the UFC after fizzling out of the lightweight division four years ago. During that run, he lost to notables Nate Diaz and Kurt Pellegrino.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Yagin

Okamoto: Assuncao

Cole Escovedo

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 17-7
  • Out of: Fresno, Calif.
  • Betting line: +175

Takeya Mizugaki

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 14-6-2
  • Out of: Kanagawa, Japan
  • Betting line: -225

Bantamweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Renan Barao at UFC 130.

Punch list: The former WEC champion gave the once-beaten prospect Barao all he could handle on the UFC’s Memorial Day weekend card. It was a valiant performance, but not enough for the win as Escovedo has slipped a bit from his days at the top of the division after dealing with a life-threatening staph infection.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Escovedo

Cofield: Escovedo

Last fight: Lost to Brian Bowles at UFC 132 by unanimous decision.

Punch list: Mizugaki can’t take too much heat for going 1-2 in his last three fights. The losses came to two of the top five bantamweights in the world in Bowles and Urijah Faber.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Mizugaki

Okamoto: Mizugaki

Ricardo Romero

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: North Brunswick, N.J.
  • Betting line: +125

James Te Huna

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 12-5
  • Out of: Sydney, Australia
  • Betting line: -155

Light Heavyweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: First round knockout loss to Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 126.

Punch list: He’s a mystery right now. Upon signing with the UFC last summer, Romero got plenty of hype and backed it up with a win over Seth Petruzelli at UFC 116. But he couldn’t even last 25 seconds with Kingsbury.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Romero

Cofield: Romero

Last fight: First round submission loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 127.

Punch list: Te Huna has strong takedowns and ground-and-pound capable of finishing a fight once there. The Australian was riding a five-fight knockout streak before encountering heralded prospect Gustafsson in his hometown six months ago.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Te Huna

Okamoto: Romero

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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