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UFC 148 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Anderson Silva posted as a 3-to-1 favorite over Chael Sonnen

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, left, bumps chests with challenger Chael Sonnen as they face off after a news conference to promote their bout at UFC 148 Tuesday, July 3, 2012.

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An overlooked aspect from the first time Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen fought is the effect the bout had on bettors.

One of the worst non-decision beats imaginable in mixed martial arts came when Silva pulled off the latest stoppage in UFC history against Sonnen. The triangle choke that forced Sonnen to tap out with less than two minutes to go proved devastating to gamblers who had the challenger at +400 (risking $1 to win $4) to win.

Underdog bettors were practically lining up at the window to collect handsome payouts when Silva metaphorically ripped their tickets in half. Good luck finding anywhere near that attractive of a price on Sonnen before UFC 148 Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena — it’s not going to happen.

Bookmakers have nearly chopped Sonnen’s odds in half with the challenger at +220 and the champion coming back at -300. At least one member of the Las Vegas Sun’s picks panel thinks it’s worth taking another shot on Sonnen anyway.

Find out who likes Sonnen below and also check out a breakdown, betting odds and picks for the other 10 fights on the card. ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (49-30) leads the standings since the beginning of this year with ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (48-31), KSNV’s Kevin West (47-32), Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (46-33) and Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (43-36) all close behind.

Chael Sonnen

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 6’1''
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 6-4
  • MMA record 28-11-1
  • Out of: West Linn, Oregon
  • Betting line: +220

Anderson Silva

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’2''
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 14-0
  • MMA record 31-4
  • Out of: Curitiba, Brazil
  • Betting line: -280

Middleweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Split-decision victory over Michael Bisping at UFC on FOX 2.

Punch list: Sometimes it’s tough to separate what Sonnen says from what he believes. But there are a few exceptions when it comes to Silva. No, he doesn’t think he beat the champion the last time they fought. He knows the rules of mixed martial arts despite comments to the contrary. Yes, he fully believes he’s the better fighter and will prove it Saturday night by taking down Silva and pounding on him for as many as five rounds.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Silva

Cofield: Silva

Last fight: Second-round TKO victory over Yushin Okami at UFC 134.

Punch list: Despite his age, “The Spider” is likely entering this fight off of the best two-bout stretch of his career. Silva gave beautiful displays of violence in knocking out Vitor Belfort with a front kick at UFC 126 and clowning Okami with a series of right hands at UFC 134. But Sonnen is different and has never lost by knockout. Silva may have to pull off something inventive or spectacular — he’s capable of both — to live up to his first-round knockout proclamation against Sonnen.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Silva

Brewer: Silva

Okamoto: Sonnen

Tito Ortiz

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 206
  • UFC record 15-10-1
  • MMA record 17-10-1
  • Out of: Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • Betting line: +250

Forrest Griffin

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’3''
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 9-5
  • MMA record 18-7
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -310

Light Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: First-round TKO loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.

Punch list: He’ll retire with the most bouts in UFC history with 27. The scene at the MGM Grand Garden Arena should be surreal with the former light heavyweight champion walking out to the octagon for the final time. Although he’s heading into his last fight with only one win in his last eight, Ortiz has at least proven competitive in almost every fight aside from the December loss to Nogueira.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Griffin

Cofield: Griffin

Last fight: Knocked out by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 134.

Punch list: Griffin has joked that he’ll retire if he loses to Ortiz. As confident as the new father may sound, he knows this is a trilogy that needs a conclusion. Both of the first two fights were close — with each fighter claiming one split decision — but Griffin feels like he’s at a better point of his career than Oritz. Wrestling and power could be areas where “The Ultimate Fighter” 1 winner finds an edge.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Ortiz

Brewer: Ortiz

Okamoto: Griffin

Patrick Cote

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 4-7
  • MMA record 17-7
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -250

Cung Le

  • Age: 40
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 7-2
  • Out of: San Jose, Calif.
  • Betting line: +200

Middleweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: First-round knockout victory over Gustavo Machado at Amazon Forest Combat 2.

Punch list: Cote is best known for facing Anderson Silva at UFC 90, a fight he lost by third-round TKO. Cote returns to the UFC for the first time in two years following a four-fight win streak. “The Predator” is serviceable at all the disciplines, but outstanding at none of them.

Staff picks:KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Le

Cofield: Le

Last fight: Second-round TKO loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 139.

Punch list: Is this Le’s final fight? That’s a question that will come up any time someone 40 or older enters the octagon. It’s especially true for someone like Le, who has a career outside of fighting as a starring martial arts actor. But the former Strikeforce champion wanted at least one more fight after he lost a thriller against Silva in his UFC debut.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Cote

Brewer: Le

Okamoto: Cote

Demian Maia

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’0''
  • Weight: 186
  • UFC record 9-4
  • MMA record 15-4
  • Out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Betting line: +115

Dong Hyun Kim

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’1''
  • Weight: 171
  • UFC record 6-1
  • MMA record 15-1
  • Out of: Busan, South Korea
  • Betting line: -145

Welterweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Bout

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Chris Weidman at UFC on FOX 2.

Punch list: The man most consider the UFC’s most dangerous fighter on the ground drops to welterweight where he hopes to use size to his advantage. But that’s going to be difficult in this one, as Kim is actually big enough to fight at middleweight. Opponents have seemingly learned how to combat Maia’s feared ground attack recently, as he’s only 3-3 in his past six and hasn’t submitted anyone in three-and-a-half years.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Maia

Cofield: Kim

Last fight: Beat Sean Pierson at UFC 141 by unanimous decision.

Punch list: The grinding judoka makes his eighth straight appearance on a Las Vegas card. He’s going to look to clinch up and damage Maia, a strategy he most masterfully employed during a UFC 125 victory over Nate Diaz. Kim is still trying to climb past a second-round knockout defeat to Carlos Condit that happened on the annual Fourth of July card in 2011.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Kim

Brewer: Kim

Okamoto: Kim

Cody McKenzie

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 154
  • UFC record 2-2
  • MMA record 13-2
  • Out of: Spokane, Wash.
  • Betting line: +400

Chad Mendes

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 11-1
  • Out of: Sacramento, Calif.
  • Betting line: -500

Featherweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Bout

Last fight: First-round submission victory over Marcus LeVesseur at UFC on FUEL TV 3.

Punch list: McKenzie has traded his time in Northern California with Mendes’ team for sessions with the Diaz brothers in nearby Stockton. He continues his quest to become a more complete fighter at a new weight class at UFC 148. McKenzie has his patented “McKenzintine choke” submission that has saved him from many precarious positions, but lacks skills in most other areas.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Mendes

Cofield: Mendes

Last fight: Knocked out by Jose Aldo in the first round at UFC 143.

Punch list: Mendes’ training camp, Team Alpha Male, welcomed McKenzie for some training sessions recently. That could give “Money” a huge advantage in having trained against the “McKenzintine choke”. The former Cal Poly wrestler fights for the first time since falling in his first shot at a championship, a situation where many fighters trip up.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Mendes

Brewer: Mendes

Okamoto: Mendes

Mike Easton

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 12-1
  • Out of: Camp Springs, Md.
  • Betting line: -125

Ivan Menjivar

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 24-8
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -105

Bantamweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Majority decision win over Jared Papazian at UFC on FX 1.

Punch list: The injury to Easton’s good buddy and training partner Dominick Cruz resulted in him getting a bout with elevated status like this. It’s his first fight in the upper tier of the 135-pound division and a win could bring him close to a title shot. Despite his relationship with Cruz, Easton has always maintained he’d be open to fighting him if it was for the championship.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Easton

Cofield: Menjivar

Last fight: First-round submission victory over John Albert at UFC on FUEL TV 1.

Punch list: “The Pride of El Salvador” lost a guaranteed No. 1 contender fight with Renan Barao when champion Dominick Cruz went down with a knee injury. Menjivar was rumored to take Cruz’s spot in a fight against Urijah Faber for the interim title, but the opportunity ultimately went to Barao. If he beats Easton, Menjivar will be riding a four-fight win streak and could earn top-contender status anyway.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Easton

Brewer: Menjivar

Okamoto: Menjivar

Fabricio Camoes

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-1-1
  • MMA record 14-6-1
  • Out of: San Diego, Calif.
  • Betting line: +240

Melvin Guillard

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 10-6
  • MMA record 29-10-2
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: -300

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Tommy Hayden in the first round at UFC on FX 1.

Punch list: “Morango” is a longtime member of Team Blackhouse, the home of Silva and many other notable fighters. As expected coming out of that camp, his Brazilian jiu-jitsu is at an exceptional level. Camoes has seven submission victories, as opposed to four by knockout and three by decision.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Guillard

Cofield: Guillard

Last fight: Lost to Jim Miller via first-round submission at UFC on FX 1.

Punch list: Smells like an ultimatum for Guillard, whose only weakness is his submission defense. After winning six in a row and getting within inches of a title fight, Guillard has gone down in two straight fights by first-round submissions. Miller and Joe Lauzon rank as higher-level fighters, but Camoes is the best pure grappler Guillard has faced in years.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Guillard

Brewer: Guillard

Okamoto: Guillard

Khabib Nurmagomedov

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 17-0
  • Out of: Fairfield, N.J.
  • Betting line: +160

Gleison Tibau

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 10-5
  • MMA record 34-7
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: -200

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Third-round submission victory over Kamal Shalorus.

Punch list: Unlike Tibau, Nurmagomedov is one of the newest faces in the lightweight division. At least the Russian grappler made an impression in his debut. The bout against Shalorus wasn’t even close, as Nurmagomedov outclassed the WEC veteran both on the field and on the ground.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Tibau

Cofield: Nurmagomedov

Last fight: Split-decision win against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 139.

Punch list: Few lightweights can claim enjoying a longer UFC tenure than Tibau. The American Top Team-trained Brazilian is in his sixth year with the promotion. For the first time since 2007, he’s on a three-fight winning streak. Size often works in Tibau’s advantage, as he enters the octagon as much as 20 pounds bigger than his weigh-in weight.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Nurmagomedov

Brewer: Tibau

Okamoto: Tibau

Riki Fukuda

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 18-5
  • Out of: Tokyo
  • Betting line: +160

Constantinos Philippou

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 10-2
  • Out of: Long Island, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -200

Middleweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Steve Cantwell at UFC 144.

Punch list: The four-month layoff since he handily beat Cantwell counts as the shortest the “Killer Bee” has enjoyed in the last three years. He couldn’t be happier. Injuries and other factors have kept Fukuda from fighting regularly for most of his career. Many believe he has the talent to be dangerous at middleweight. He may finally have a chance to show it consistently.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Philippou

Cofield: Philippou

Last fight: Defeated Court McGee by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 2.

Punch list: The Serra-Longo team member has gone from “The Ultimate Fighter” reject to one of the better new faces in the 185-pound division. If a fighter can’t get Philippou to the ground, they will likely lose. The boxing glove tattoo on his chest isn’t just for show; Philippou used to fight as a professional boxer.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Philippou

Brewer: Philippou

Okamoto: Fukuda

Shane Roller

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-3
  • MMA record 10-5
  • Out of: Dallas
  • Betting line: -235

John Alessio

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-4
  • MMA record 34-15
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: +185

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision defeat to Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 2.

Punch list: A promising start to Roller’s UFC career has taken a turn for the worst. The former Oklahoma State wrestler has to feel fortunate about getting another fight booked after losses to Johnson, T.J. Grant and Melvin Guillard. He knocked out Thiago Tavares in one punch after coming to the UFC from the WEC merger in 2011.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Roller

Cofield: Alessio

Last fight: Lost to Mark Bocek via unanimous decision at UFC 145.

Punch list: If the Xtreme Couture product wasn’t such a pleasant guy, he may have bemoaned this matchmaking. After taking the fight with Bocek on short-notice, Alessio was thoroughly out-wrestled. Now, he faces an even stronger wrestler in Roller. Alessio will have needed to improve his takedown defense if he wants to stay in the UFC.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Roller

Brewer: Alessio

Okamoto: Roller

Yosilandy Izquierdo

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 6-1
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: -170

Rafaello Oliveira

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-4
  • MMA record 14-5
  • Out of: Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Betting line: +140

Lightweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Submitted by Reza Madadi at UFC on FUEL TV 2.

Punch list: The Cuban had shown promise on the regional circuit before looking raw and overmatched in his octagon debut. Like most fighters in their first UFC stint, the promotion decided to give him a second chance. Izquierdo had knocked out two straight opponents before the loss to Madadi.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Oliveira

Cofield: Oliveira

Last fight: Second-round TKO loss to Yves Edwards at UFC on Versus 6.

Punch list: Despite having not won a UFC fight in two-and-a-half years, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt keeps getting calls from the promotion’s brass. “Tractor” appears stuck in a situation where he’s clearly better than the fighters in smaller promotions but clearly worse than those in the UFC.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Oliveira

Brewer: Izquierdo

Okamoto: Oliveira

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

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