Saturday, August 27 – 9:00 p.m. ET
HSBC Arena – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mauricio Rua (19-5-0) vs. Forrest Griffin (18-6-0)
Line: Rua -260, Griffin +200
On the undercard for the hyped showdown between Silva and Okami, two talented fighters in Mauricio Rua and Forrest Griffin take the stage for a light heavyweight throwdown between two former champs. Griffin enters the fight with the momentum, having won five of his past seven bouts, while Rua is cold, losing two of his past three. In the last one of those, he lost the UFC light heavyweight belt to Jon Jones in a third-round TKO. Vegas odds.
Play on the heavy favorite RUA, who should be in good shape for this battle despite going through a rough patch. The Brazilian’s aggressive and experienced methods of attack should be too much for the American to handle, even though Griffin is receiving generous lines.
Rua (19-5-0), at 29 years old, is still in the prime of his career. With a strong background in Muay Thai and Jiu-Jitsu, his aggressive fighting approach should be effective against Griffin, who has two inches on him at 6-foot-3. He lost to Griffin when they last fought in September of 2007, but Rua’s aggression should be able to get the best of his opponent this time. Betting lines.
Griffin (18-6-0) is a well-rounded fighter with a huge 77-inch reach. He has a well-rounded skillset and is a particularly talented grappler, something he will need to take full advantage of if he plans on winning again. Rua only has a 12% takedown defense rate, so he can be vulnerable to strong grapplers. Sports scores.