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UFC 167 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Is Johny Hendricks poised to follow in Chris Weidman’s footsteps?

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Johny Hendricks spars during the publicity workout for UFC 167 Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at the MGM Grand.

UFC 167 Workouts: St. Pierre and Hendricks

Georges St. Pierre answers questions during the publicity workout for UFC 167 Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 at the MGM Grand. Launch slideshow »

The last time this many people picked against a long-reigning UFC champion, the challenger proved them correct and altered the promotion’s history.

Four months after Chris Weidman dethroned Anderson Silva, Johny Hendricks looks to do the same against Georges St-Pierre on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 167 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. From the vocal support of other fighters to the betting odds posted in local sports books, the situations look similar.

Weidman went off as a plus-220 underdog before UFC 162 despite a slew of fellow fighters calling for the upset. Hendricks is sticking around at plus-210 (risking $1 to win $2.10) at sports books around town with more and more peers calling for him to end St-Pierre’s five-year run on top.

St-Pierre comes back at minus-260 (risking $2.60 to win $1) in a fight he acknowledges as one of the toughest of his career at the UFC’s 20th anniversary card.

Two of the five members of the Sun’s picks panel take issue with the betting odds. They’re taking the plunge with the underdog to win outright.

Check below for betting odds on all the fights at UFC 167 as well a breakdown and picks from ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (121-58), ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (116-63), Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (115-64), Las Vegas Sun’s 2011 champion Case Keefer (115-64) and KSNV’s 2012 champion Kevin West (114-65).

Johny Hendricks

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 10-1
  • MMA record 15-1
  • Out of: Dallas
  • Betting line: +210

Georges St. Pierre

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 18-2
  • MMA record 24-2
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -260

Welterweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Defeated Carlos Condit by unanimous decision at UFC 159.

Punch list: If Hendricks becomes champion, he says cleaning out the division shouldn’t be hard. He’s got a head start with already beating six fighters in the upper reaches of the 170-pound class to get the title shot he felt he deserved years ago.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Hendricks

Cofield: St. Pierre

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 158.

Punch list: A victory would put St. Pierre one win away from tying Anderson Silva’s record for 11 consecutive title defenses. Although there’s some talk of retirement after this fight, a shot at history would seemingly be difficult to walk away from.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: St. Pierre

Brewer: St. Pierre

Okamoto: Hendricks

Chael Sonnen

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-6
  • MMA record 29-13-1
  • Out of: West Linn, Ore.
  • Betting line: +155

Rashad Evans

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 13-3-1
  • MMA record 23-3-1
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: -180

Light Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Submitted Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26.

Punch list: Sonnen openly celebrated the fact that he beat his first former UFC champion in August. Now he goes for another win, which could help the stubborn three-time top contender inch closer to his ultimate goal of one day holding a championship.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Sonnen

Cofield: Evans

Last fight: Split-decision victory over Dan Henderson at UFC 161.

Punch list: “Suga” snapped out of a two-fight funk that had some calling him complacent and past his prime against Henderson. But does one win truly signal his return to form? The victory was slim and unspectacular enough that any debate deserves merit.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Sonnen

Brewer: Evans

Okamoto: Evans

Robbie Lawler

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 21-9
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: +275

Rory MacDonald

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 6-1
  • MMA record 15-1
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -365

Welterweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Knocked out Bobby Voelker in the second round at UFC on Fox 8.

Punch list: “Ruthless” rightfully landed a spot on the 20th anniversary card. He’s one of a select few of a fighters left from the early 2000s, as he debuted with a win over Aaron Riley at UFC 137. Lawler is on a two-fight win streak since returning to the octagon.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Lawler

Cofield: MacDonald

Last fight: Defeated Jake Ellenberger by unanimous decision at UFC on Fox 8.

Punch list: Although he stands firm about never fighting mentor and teammate Georges St. Pierre, MacDonald must know their paths are rapidly converging on each other. A win over Lawler would mark MacDonald’s sixth in a row and almost surely make him the true top contender.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: MacDonald

Brewer: MacDonald

Okamoto: MacDonald

Tyron Woodley

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Saint Louis, Mo.
  • Betting line: -120

Josh Koscheck

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 15-7
  • MMA record 19-7
  • Out of: Fresno, Calif.
  • Betting line: -110

Welterweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: Lost to Jake Shields via split decision at UFC 161.

Punch list: Once a can’t-miss prospect, Woodley risks severely crippling his chances at ever winning a title with a third loss in four fights here. The former University of Missouri wrestling standout has shown flashes of brilliance — including a flash knockout of Jay Hieron in his UFC debut — but hasn’t fared well against elite fighters.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Koscheck

Cofield: Woodley

Last fight: First-round TKO loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 157.

Punch list: Another fighter deserving of a slot on the 20th anniversary card because of a long history with the promotion, Koscheck rose to prominence by playing the heel on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”. The former college wrestler kept that persona and developed a well-rounded game to twice land championship assignments against St. Pierre.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Woodley

Brewer: Woodley

Okamoto: Koscheck

Ali Bagautinov

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’4”
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Dagestan Republic, Russia
  • Betting line: +125

Tim Elliott

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 10-3-1
  • Out of: Kansas City, Mo.
  • Betting line: -155

Flyweight Bout

Main Card Opener

Last fight: Knocked out Marcos Vinicius in the third round at UFC Fight Night 28.

Punch list: They don’t call him “Puncher” for nothing. The smallest member of the UFC’s recent influx of Russians has won three straight fights by knockout. The first two came in the first round, while Vinicius lasted into the third in Bagautinov’s UFC debut.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Bagautinov

Cofield: Bagautinov

Last fight: Defeated Louis Gaudinot by unanimous decision at UFC 164.

Punch list: There are few fighters in the UFC as underrated as Elliott. Neither of his last two victories were particularly close, and his only loss came via decision to John Dodson, the consensus third best 125-pound fighter in the world. And many thought Elliott deserved the judges’ nods against Dodson.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Elliott

Brewer: Bagautinov

Okamoto: Elliott

Evan Dunham

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 14-4
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -110

Donald Cerrone

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 156
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 20-6
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -120

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Lost to Rafael dos Anjos by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 8.

Punch list: Dunham’s loss to dos Anjos sparked a mini-riot in the mixed martial arts sphere. Virtually no media member, and hardly any fans, believed Dunham lost to dos Anjos and voiced their disagreement with the judges.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Dunham

Cofield: Dunham

Last fight: Lost to Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 27.

Punch list: Yes, both fighters are coming off of a defeat to the same fighter by the same method. “Cowboy’s” fight was the less competitive, as dos Anjos rocked him early and cruised to victory.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Dunham

Brewer: Cerrone

Okamoto: Cerrone

Thales Leites

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 21-4
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -210

Ed Herman

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 8-5
  • MMA record 21-7
  • Out of: Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Betting line: +170

Middleweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 prelim

Last fight: Defeated Tom Watson by unanimous decision at UFC 163.

Punch list: One of only two fighters to go the full five rounds with former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Leites is mostly known for that dull five-round affair. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu artist, he has 13 career wins by submission.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Herman

Cofield: Herman

Last fight: Beat Trevor Smith by split decision at UFC on Fox 8.

Punch list: “Short Fuse” hasn’t technically lost in more than four years in the UFC. His last defeat, against Jake Shields, was overtuned to a no contest following a positive drug test and the one before that came when he crossed over into Strikeforce to face Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Leites

Brewer: Herman

Okamoto: Leites

Rick Story

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 8-5
  • MMA record 15-7
  • Out of: Vancouver, Wash.
  • Betting line: -220

Brian Ebersole

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 50-15-1
  • Out of: Phuket, Thailand
  • Betting line: +170

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Split-decision loss to Mike Pyle at UFC 160.

Punch list: Story keeps the pace up in all of his fights. Nothing will stop him from coming forward, winging punches and shooting for takedowns.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Ebersole

Cofield: Story

Last fight: Split-decision loss to James Head at UFC 149.

Punch list: Despite a loss in his last outing, Ebersole believes he deserves more attention heading into UFC 167. It’s no surprise the nomadic veteran isn’t on top of people’s minds, however, as an undisclosed injury has kept him out of the cage for 16 months.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Story

Brewer:Story

Okamoto: Story

Edwin Figueroa

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 9-3
  • Out of: McKinney, Texas
  • Betting line: +265

Erik Perez

  • Age: 23
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 13-5
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -350

Bantamweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Roland Delorme at UFC 161.

Punch list: “El Feroz” has a fighting style that’s as appealing to fans as his opponent’s. The slugfests haven’t done him well recently, however, as he’s dropped two in a row.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Figueroa

Cofield: Perez

Last fight: Split-decision loss to Takeya Mizugaki at UFC Fight Night 27.

Punch list: Despite a loss his last time out, “El Goyito” remains someone the UFC is solidly behind. The promotion hopes to push Perez, known as an exciting fighter, in his native Mexico as it looks to break into the market.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Perez

Brewer: Figueroa

Okamoto: Figueroa

Anthony Lapsley

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 25-5
  • Out of: Indianapolis
  • Betting line: +230

Jason High

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 18-4
  • Out of: Kansas City, Mo.
  • Betting line: -300

Welterweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Gerald Meerschaert by rear-naked choke in the first round at Rocktagon MMA: Elite Series 23.

Punch list: The former Bellator fighter has choked out his last two opponents with the same move in less than five minutes combined. The grappler has 15 career victories by submission.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Lapsley

Cofield: High

Last fight: Submitted James Head in the first round at UFC Fight Night 27.

Punch list: None of “The Kansas City Bandit’s” last three fights have lasted even two minutes. They’ve all featured a tapout, two with High forcing the opponent to make the move and one to the contrary.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: High

Brewer: Lapsley

Okamoto: High

Sergio Pettis

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: -450

Will Campuzano

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 13-4
  • Out of: Dallas
  • Betting line: +350

Bantamweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: First-round submission of James Porter at NAFC: Battle in the Ballroom.

Punch list: As far as preliminary-card UFC debut, none have ever been as anticipated as this one. The younger brother of lightweight champion Anthony Pettis fights in the octagon sooner than many expected, immediately becoming the youngest fighter in the promotion.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Campuzano

Cofield: Pettis

Last fight: Split-decision victory over Hideo Tokoro at Vale Tudo Japan 3.

Punch list: Campuzano has won five straight since fizzling out of the UFC in his first tenure. He was interestingly part of the UFC’s first-ever bantamweight bout three years ago, losing via submission to Nick Pace.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Pettis

Brewer: Pettis

Okamoto: Pettis

Cody Donovan

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 8-3
  • Out of: Denver
  • Betting line: +265

Gian Villante

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 10-4
  • Out of: Bellmore, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -350

Light Heavyweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Majority-decision loss to Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 28.

Punch list: Teammate of middleweight champion Chris Weidman dating back to their wrestling days at Hofstra University, Villante looks to follow in his buddy’s shadow. Villante’s first fight was a positive first step, as it was a memorable war that could have gone either way.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Donovan

Cofield: Villante

Last fight: First-round knockout loss to Ovince St. Preux at UFC Fight Night 28.

Punch list: The man nicknamed “Donnybrook” looks to incite just that. He’s at his best in a brawl, as evidenced by a first-round finish and Knockout of the Night bonus in his UFC debut against Nick Penner last December.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Villante

Brewer: Villante

Okamoto: Donovan

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

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