UFC 116 Betting Preview

Brock Lesnar makes his long-awaited return to the octagon this weekend when he puts his UFC Heavyweight championship on the line versus Shane Carwin at UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin.

When Lesnar steps into the octagon on Saturday night almost a year will have passed since his last fight. Injuries and illness have caused a number of the UFC Heavyweight champion's fights to be postponed, including a prior matchup with Carwin at UFC 106.

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The last time Lesner did fight was back at UFC 100 on July 11, 2009. That night he defeated Frank Mir by TKO in the second round, which unified the UFC Heavyweight title. Lesnar is looking to unify the titles again, as his long absence away from the UFC allowed Carwin to become the interim UFC Heavyweight champion.

Carwin won the interim title in March at UFC 111 where he also defeated Frank Mir by TKO in the first round. With that win Carwin maintained a perfect MMA record at 12-0 with seven wins by KO and five by submission. None of Carwin's fights have ever gone the distance. In fact none of his opponents have ever made it beyond the first round, always succumbing to a KO or a submission.

Carwin may be undefeated but he' still the underdog to Lesnar this weekend. The latest odds on the fight have Lesner as a -150 favorite and Carwin as a +120 underdog. Lesnar has never been knocked out in his short MMA career, with his only loss coming by submission in his UFC debut, If Carwin can land some of his extremely powerful punches and still not knock down Brock, maybe no one can.

Also on the UFC 116 card is a middleweight bout between Yoshihiro Akyiyama and Chris Leben. Akyiyama was supposed to fight Wanderlai Silva but Silva was forced to pull out due to injury just last week. Leben is an interesting choice to replace Silva because he just fought two weeks ago at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale on June 19. He defeated Aaron Simpson by TKO to improve his MMA record to 20-6.

Akyiyama is 13-1 with two no contests in his MMA career and hasn't lost since 2005. In his last fight in his UFC debut at UFC 100 last July he defeated Alan Belcher by split decision despite breaking an orbital bone early in the fight. Akyiyama is the favorite in this weekend's bout at -215, while Leben is a +175 underdog.

UFC 116 Odds (courtesy of Bovada) Heavyweight championship

Brock Lesnar -150 Shane Carwin +120

Middleweight

Yoshihiro Akyiyama -215 Chris Leben +175

Light Heavyweight

Krzysztof Soszynski -250 Stephan Bonnar +190

Heavyweight

Brendan Schaub -300 Chris Tuchscherer +240

Middleweight

Goran Reljic -160 Kendall Grove +130

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