UFC Live: Vera vs Jones Odds

The world’s leading MMA promotion is banging the pots for next week’s huge UFC 111 card (Georges St-Pierre is in the main event) by presenting a free show on cable television – and not just any show.

The UFC will make its debut on the Versus network this Sunday with an impressive lineup of 11 fights, ending with a promising light heavyweight bout between Brandon Vera and Jon Jones, two of the rising stars of the division.

Jones is the hotter commodity right now. The grappling specialist started his UFC career with three straight victories before taking a controversial loss at The Ultimate Finale 10 last December. Jones was disqualified for “illegal downward elbows” after dominating Matt Hamill from the opening bell.

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Oddsmakers are treating that result accordingly, making Jones a –265 favorite for Sunday’s fight.

Vera (+205 at Bovada) has a bit more to prove following his last bout. After he physically punished Randy Couture last November, Vera lost via unanimous decision in yet another controversial piece of judging. But Vera himself was also to blame for allowing Couture to tie him up and keep the fight close. That decision dropped Vera to 7-4 lifetime in the UFC and just 3-4 since pummeling Frank Mir back in 2006.

It takes more than technique to beat the better fighters in the Octagon. There’s no question that Vera has the Muay Thai skills and striking power to win this contest, but Jones has the killer instinct and backs it up with a superior ground game, something that has caused Vera no end of trouble in past fights.

Perhaps the 32-year-old Vera will be more motivated this Sunday in front of a national audience with the winner vaulting into title contender status. It’s tempting to go with Vera at this price; however, another loss by decision appears to be in the works.

The other three fights on the main card are Alessio Sakara versus James Irvin, Cheick Kongo versus Paul Buentello, and Junior dos Santos versus Gabriel Gonzaga. The 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo. is your venue; the cameras start rolling at 10:00 p.m. ET.

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