Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, June 7, 2012 | 6 p.m.
Case Keefer appears on MMA Oddsbreaker show
Two elite fighters who are angry and holding a steadfast belief they’re better than the other spells a recipe for a great bout.
Ian McCall is fully convinced he defeated Demetrious Johnson when the two first met in a flyweight title eliminator three months ago. Johnson speaks with an equal amount of conviction when describing why he felt he beat McCall.
The two settle the debate left in the wake of their majority draw earlier this year in the main event of UFC on FX 3 Friday in Sunrise, Fla.
“I don’t even bother watching it much because the more I watch it, the more it (ticks) me off and the more I realize I won,” McCall told UFC.com.
McCall nearly finished Johnson late in their UFC on FX 2 fight in Sydney, Australia after losing the first two rounds, but didn’t get the luxury of going to a planned sudden-victory round. A mathematical error by the Australian Athletic Commission caused an announcement that Johnson was the winner.
McCall stormed out of the octagon only to later receive news that the bout was actually scored a draw. Both fighters feel they’re in a better position heading into the second meeting.
Johnson’s much heralded speed is less foreign to McCall after the two spent 15 minutes together in the cage. McCall is also more confident with his wrestling, feeling he has an advantage he wasn’t as sure of in the first fight.
But Johnson says he’s making the 125-pound weight limit easier after struggling in his first foray into the UFC’s newest and smallest division.
“I told my coaches the other day that I’m glad I get to rematch him because I feel sharper,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’ve gained a lot more this time around in training camp. My body is not banged up, and I just feel better.”
Johnson remains the favorite in sports books, albeit to a lesser degree. He’s listed with a -160 (risking $1.60 to win $1) price as opposed to being a 3-to-1 favorite n March. McCall comes back at +130.
Pick: Johnson by decision
Check below for a breakdown of every fight at UFC on FX 3 along with picks and betting odds. The televised card airs by tape delay on the west coast at 9 after preliminary offerings on FUEL TV at 3 and facebook at 2.
Welterweight bout: Erick Silva (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Charlie Brenneman (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC)
Line: Silva -185, Brenneman +150
Matchup: The 27-year old Silva is one of the best prospects in the 170-pound division, but lost by a controversial disqualification after knocking out Carlo Prater in less than a minute in his last fight. But Brenneman, 30, is no stranger to pulling off upsets — most notably beating Rick Story last year — and has the wrestling to possibly control Silva.
Pick: Silva by TKO
Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle (22-8-1 MMA, 5-3 UFC) vs. Josh Neer (33-10-1 MMA, 6-6 UFC)
Line: Pyle -190, Neeer +155
Matchup: Neer has won six in a row and credits some of his recent success to training with the Diaz brothers in Northern California. Pyle is on a positive tear, too, and says changes in his preparation have contributed. “Quicksand” has particularly improved his striking, which he’ll need against “The Dentist”.
Pick: Neer by decision
Bantamweight bout: Eddie Wineland (18-8-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC) vs. Scott Jorgensen (13-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC)
Line: Wineland +180, Jorgensen -230
Matchup: Fans voted for this fight to hold the final spot on the televised main card. It’s no surprise given the caliber of these fighters. Wineland is a former WEC bantamweight champion, while Jorgensen once challenged Dominick Cruz for the same title. Jorgensen projects to have a wrestling advantage, while Wineland is probably the better striker.
Pick: Jorgensen by decision
Welterweight bout: Mike Pierce (13-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC) vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Line: Pierce -225, Rocha +175
Matchup: Pierce has taken after his buddy Chael Sonnen lately by running his mouth. A contentious build-up to a UFC 143 meeting with Josh Koscheck ended with Pierce losing a close split decision. Now, like Sonnen, Piere has taken aim at Brazilians. Rocha is a submission specialist who has missed the last 16 months with injury.
Matchup: Rocha by submission
Welterweight bout: Seth Baczynski (15-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC) vs. Lance Benoist (6-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Line: Baczynski -125, Benoist -105
Matchup: Benoist is a big, strong welterweight with submission skills. In other words, he’s a lot like Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola” has returned to the UFC since a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” 11 to win two in a row. Benoist is a 23-year old up-and-comer from Saint Louis.
Pick: Baczynski by TKO
Featherweight bout: Leonard Garcia (15-8 MMA, 2-4 UFC) vs. Matt Grice (14-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Line: Garcia -155, Grice +125
Matchup: “Bad Boy” Garcia is the UFC’s most infamous brawler. He’s going to come out swinging and put on a show regardless of the opponent. But Grice looks like one of the least difficult matchups in the 145-pound division. The Oklahoma native is winless in the octagon other than one split decision victory in 2007.
Pick: Garcia by knockout
Bantamweight bout: Dustin Pague (10-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Jared Papazian (14-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Line: Pague +135, Papazian -165
Matchup: These are two young strikers looking to make a name for themselves and stick in the UFC. Papazian made a lasting impression in a highly entertaining majority-decision loss to Mike Easton in his debut earlier this year. After a stint on “The Ultimate Fighter” 14, Pague’s first official time in the octagon didn’t go as well. John Albert knocked him out a minute into the first round.
Pick: Pague by decision
Lightweight bout: Tim Means (17-3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Justin Salas (10-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Line: Means -140, Salas +110
Matchup: Both fighters picked up unanimous-decision wins within minutes of each other earlier this year at UFC on FUEL TV 1 in Omaha, Neb. Means’ striking stood out against Bernardo Magalhaes, while Salas’ wrestling served as the difference against Anton Kuivanen.
Pick: Means by knockout
Light Heavyweight bout: Buddy Roberts (11-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) vs. Caio Magalhaes (5-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Line: Roberts -135, Magalhaes +105
Matchup: Roberts is no slouch in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but Magalhaes has a black belt and will likely look to take the fight to the ground. Roberts should hold advantages in the striking and wrestling departments.
Pick: Roberts by TKO
Lightweight bout: Henry Martinez (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) vs. Bernardo Magalhaes (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Line: Martinez -220, Magalhaes +180
Matchup: The elder Magalhaes warms the octagon for the younger one in South Florida Friday night. Despite the surnames, they are not related. But they do share a similar fighting approach in that they prefer going to the ground. Martinez was on a four-fight win streak before suffering a setback in his UFC debut.
Pick: Magalhaes by submission
Welterweight bout: Jake Hecht (11-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) vs. Sean Pierson (11-6 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Line: Hecht -160, Pierson +130
Matchup: The first of an uncharacteristic nine fights with a favorite of less than 2-to-1, Hecht vs. Pierson looks as evenly matched as the rest of the card. Hecht will have a wrestling edge, but Pierson’s striking has looked precise at times.
Pick: Pierson by decision