UFC 101 Betting Odds and Analysis: Johny Hendricks vs Amir Sodallah
Johny Hendricks (+105, 5Dimes) vs Amir Sodallah (-110, Bodog)
If there was ever a main card fight with more questions and unknown factors, it is this one.
First off, we have the winner of TUF season 7, Amir Sodallah, who has been plagued by injuries since he beat CB Dollaway in the finals. He was very impressive on TUF, having no professional fights; he still went through Steve Byrnes, Gerald Harris, Matt Brown, and Dollaway (twice). What makes this even more impressive is that he finished every single guy, with 4 out of the 5 times by submission.
Since the show, he has had to scrap two fights over the past year due to a leg infection and broken clavicle. So there are a lot of questions about ring rust and addition training. If he was able to get some good quality training in, the layoff was probably beneficial. If he had to sit out for most of that year to heal, it could be very detrimental. It should be noted that he currently trains out of Xtreme Couture, so if he was training, it was extremely good training.
Stylistically, Amir comes from a Muay Thai background and has some very unorthodox striking. He especially likes to use kicks. From the ground, he is adept at securing submissions from the bottom and was really taking a beating in many of his fights before pulling out the armbar or triangle. So, he has a lot of heart and determination. His biggest hole would probably be his wrestling in that he was taken down at will throughout the show. That being said, he did face some high level wrestlers in Dolloway and Gerald Harris.
Speaking of wrestlers, Amir’s opponent Johny Hendricks is high quality wrestler out of Oklahoma State. He is a 2-time Division I NCAA champion, a 4-time All-American, and 3-time Big 12 champion. He is currently apart of Team TakeDown with other wrestling notable Jake Rosholt and Shane Roller, and does most of his training out of Xtreme Couture (with Amir), Marc Laimon’s Cobra-Kai, and Master Toddy’s. So he is getting some high quality training in with great instructors and training partners. Since his debut in September of 2007, he has gone 5-0 with 3 TKO’s, 1 submission, and 1 decision. His most recent win was the decision victory over Alex Surdyukov at WEC 39, right before they folded their welterweight division. After the fold, Johny made the move over to the UFC.
Strength wise, he is a superior wrestler. He can pretty much take guys down at will. From there, he has been showing an ever improving GnP and submission game. He isn’t exactly a BJJ ace, but he is improving and we don’t really know how he looks on his back, but that shouldn’t be an issue in this fight. The standup aspect of Johny’s game is a little unknown as well, but I imagine that it has been improving pretty quickly with Master Toddy and he will be dangerous standing up.
In the end, there are a ton of unknown factors weighing in on this fight. Most likely, Johny will be able to dominate this fight with his wrestling by determining where it takes place. Amir has taking some pretty good beatings from the bottom in the past, the question will be if Johny can dish out his own and avoid the submission attempts of Amir that everyone else has fallen to. On the feet, I would imagine that Amir has the edge, but it should be negated through Johny’s wrestling. However, Amir has done very well against wrestlers in the past with his submissions, so this is a real tossup.
Final Prediction: The lines are pretty accurate for this one. Sodallah is a slight favorite, and that should be expected with his higher name recognition from TUF. Both of Johny’s fights in the WEC were on the prelims and never got any airtime, so he is pretty unknown to the casual fan. Another thing to keep in mind is that of the 9 TUF seasons and 11 winners who have fought since winning the show, only 2 have lost their immediate fight afterwards, those being Travis Lutter and Joe Stevenson. So there seems to be a trend with TUF. Either the UFC is giving the winners tailor made opponents to start building them up, or the TUF show itself does a good job in finding and building up potential talent, or a combination of the two. Either way, it should be take into account. Therefore, I would take Amir Sodallah at -110 for .3 units to win .27 units. It is a somewhat risky bet with so many unknowns, but it is hard to look past the TUF trend and Sodallah’s history with wrestlers.