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UFC on Fox 11 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Oddsmakers see fair fight between Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne for top contendership

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Leila Navidi

Fabricio Werdum poses for photos during open workouts for UFC 143 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.

The first fresh UFC heavyweight championship bout in two years will be set by the end of Saturday night.

Rematches have taken place in each of the past three title fights in fighting’s most glamorous division, but an entirely new challenger will emerge at UFC on Fox 11 in Orlando, Fla. Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum headline the second network-television card of the year in a title eliminator, with Cain Velasquez awaiting the winner.

The heavyweight division is notoriously unpredictable, which is usually reflected in the betting odds. Three of Velasquez’s five title fights have featured a favorite of less than 2-to-1.

Werdum vs. Browne fits snugly in that category, with the former hanging on just below 2-to-1 at minus-195 and the latter coming back at plus-175. That translates to sports books giving Browne a 65 percent chance to earn the spot as the heavyweight top contender.

The Las Vegas Sun picks panel likes him more than that, as all five prognosticators picked Browne to beat Werdum.

Check below for full picks from ESPN Radio's Steve Cofield (34-13 year to date), Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (32-15), Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (31-16), ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto (29-18) and KSNV’s Randy Howe (28-19).

Travis Browne

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’7”
  • Weight: 242
  • UFC record 7-1-1
  • MMA record 16-1-1
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -195

Fabricio Werdum

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 242
  • UFC record 5-2
  • MMA record 17-5-1
  • Out of: Los Angeles
  • Betting line: +175

Heavyweight Title Eliminator

Main Event

Last fight: First-round knockout victory over Josh Barnett at UFC 168.

Punch list: The expectation is that “Hapa” will try to keep the fight standing and use his striking against Werdum. He’s railed against the perception that he’s only a stand-up fighter, but does have three straight first-round knockout victories.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Browne

Cofield: Browne

Last fight: Second-round submission victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC on Fuel TV 10.

Punch list: The expectation is that “Vai Cavalo” will try to take the fight to the ground and grapple with Browne. Werdum proudly sports his Brazilian jiu-jitsu roots in every fight and has submission victories over the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Browne

Brewer: Browne

Okamoto: Browne

Liz Carmouche

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-2
  • MMA record 9-4
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: +160

Miesha Tate

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 134
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 13-5
  • Out of: Yakima, Wash.
  • Betting line: -180

Women’s Bantamweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Alexis Davis at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.

Punch list: Carmouche has a dedicated legion of fans nicknamed the “Lizbos”, as a play on her being the first openly gay fighter in the UFC. She grew her base substantially a year ago by facing Rousey in the first UFC women’s fight.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Tate

Cofield: Carmouche

Last fight: Third-round submission loss to Ronda Rousey at UFC 168.

Punch list: “Cupcake” remains one of the most celebrated female fighters of all-time despite going winless in the UFC. Both the losses were forgivable, coming against the two best fighters in the world in Rousey and Cat Zingano.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Tate

Brewer: Carmouche

Okamoto: Tate

Edson Barboza

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-1
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -125

Donald Cerrone

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 9-3
  • MMA record 22-6
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -105

Lightweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Majority-decision victory over Danny Castillo at UFC on Fox 9.

Punch list: It’s been a long road back to the main card for the electrifying Brazilian, who lost via knockout to Jamie Varner nearly two years ago to tumble down the rankings. He has the striking and quickness to threaten anyone in the division.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Cerrone

Cofield: Barboza

Last fight: First-round knockout victory over Adriano Martins at UFC on Fox 10.

Punch list: For a while, “Cowboy” swore he didn’t care about the UFC title; he just wanted to fight often. That’s no longer the case. Cerrone, riding a two-fight win streak, has his sights set on a championship bout.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Barboza

Brewer: Cerrone

Okamoto: Cerrone

Yoel Romero

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: +100

Brad Tavares

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 7-1
  • MMA record 12-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -130

Middleweight Bout

Main Card Opener

Last fight: Third-round TKO victory over Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 35.

Punch list: A Cuban defector, Romero got a late start on mixed martial arts after not taking up the sport until coming to America. It hasn’t hurt the former silver-medalist in Olympic wrestling, however, as he’s three-for-three with knockouts in the UFC.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Tavares

Cofield: Tavares

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night 35.

Punch list: Based on records, the local Hawaiin transplant might be the most underrated fighter in the UFC. Tavares has stayed perfect other than a decision loss to Aaron Simpson, who more neutralized him than inflicted any damage.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Tavares

Brewer: Tavares

Okamoto: Romero

Khabib Nurmagomedov

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 5-0
  • MMA record 21-0
  • Out of: Fairfield, N.J.
  • Betting line: -200

Rafael dos Anjos

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 9-4
  • MMA record 20-6
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: +170

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Defeated Pat Healy by unanimous decision at UFC 165.

Punch list: Nurmagomedov’s seven-month layoff wasn’t his choice. The UFC couldn’t find anyone to agree to fight him, leaving the surging Russian on the sidelines while several bouts fell through.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Nurmagomedov

Cofield: Nurmagomedov

Last fight: Beat Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 27.

Punch list: In addition to having the courage to take a fight no one else wanted, dos Anjos gets extra points for seemingly being at the peak of his career. He’s won five straight to reach title contention after six years in the UFC.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Nurmagomedov

Brewer: Nurmagomedov

Okamoto: Nurmagomedov

Seth Baczynski

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 19-10
  • Out of: Apache Junction, Ariz.
  • Betting line: +300

Thiago Alves

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 11-5
  • MMA record 19-9
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: -375

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Neil Magny at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.

Punch list: “The Polish Pistola” salvaged his UFC career after two straight losses last November. Now he’ll look to get back in the rhythm he found while on a preceding six-fight winning streak.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Baczynski

Cofield: Alves

Last fight: Lost to Martin Kampmann via third-round submission at UFC on FX 2.

Punch list: Injuries have derailed the career of the UFC 100 headliner. Alves hasn’t fought in more than two years, and 2008 was the last year where he entered the octagon on more than two occasions.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Alves

Brewer: Baczynski

Okamoto: Alves

Pat Healy

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 31-18
  • Out of: Portland
  • Betting line: +140

Jorge Masvidal

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-1
  • MMA record 25-8
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: -170

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Bobby Green at UFC on Fox 9.

Punch list: A year after seemingly making a royal first impression in the UFC, Healy finds himself on the chopping block. His submission victory over Jim Miller in his debut was overturned to a no contest for a positive marijuana test followed by two straight losses.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Healy

Cofield: Masvidal

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight For The Troops 3.

Punch list: Both lightweights spent time in Strikeforce for a couple years before the organization folded, making it surprising that they never fought before. Masvidal comes from more of a striking background to Healy’s wrestling basis.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Masvidal

Brewer: Masvidal

Okamoto: Masvidal

Alex White

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-0
  • Out of: Farmington, Mo.
  • Betting line: +130

Estevan Payan

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 14-5
  • Out of: Tempe, Ariz.
  • Betting line: -160

Featherweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: First-round submission victory over Adam Rider at Rumble Time Promotions: Rumble at the Chase.

Punch list: The newcomer worked at McDonald’s before he took up fighting, where he’s excelled in a short time. All but one of “The Spartan’s” wins have come by stoppage, with five submissions and three knockouts.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: White

Cofield: Payan

Last fight: Knocked out by Robbie Peralta at UFC 168.

Punch list: The Strikeforce import has seen a seven-fight, five-year winning streak snapped since coming to the UFC. Before losing to Peralta, Payan dropped a unanimous-decision loss to Jeremy Stephens.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: White

Brewer: Payan

Okamoto: Payan

Luke Zachrich

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 13-2
  • Out of: Cincinnati
  • Betting line: +200

Caio Magalhaes

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 186
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Betting line: -250

Middleweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Justin Gamble in the first round at Absolute Action MMA 34: Proving Ground 2.

Punch list: The Bowling Green University graduate took up fighting as a hobby, never expecting to make a career out of it. A natural propensity for grappling quickly changed things.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Zachrich

Cofield: Magalhaes

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Nick Ring at UFC Fight Night 33.

Punch list: After a lackluster UFC debut, Magalhaes has looked much-improved in pulling off two consecutive upsets. Both Ring and Karlos Vemola, whom Magalhaes submitted at UFC on Fuel TV 10, were far more experienced.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Magalhaes

Brewer: Magalhaes

Okamoto: Magalhaes

Hernani Perpetuo

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 17-3
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: +280

Jordan Mein

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 27-9
  • Out of: Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Betting line: -135

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Tommy Depret at Shooto Brazil 42.

Punch list: Perpetuo has quite the pedigree. He trains out of Nova Unaio, the most prolific smaller weight camp in mixed martial arts, and won the Shooto championship, which is nothing to scoff at in Brazil.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Mein

Cofield: Mein

Last fight: Second-round TKO loss to Matt Brown at UFC on Fox 7.

Punch list: This brings the longest time in between fights in Mein’s career. “Young Gun” needed some recovery time after Brown put a savage beating on him last April, but remains young enough to emerge as a serious threat in the division.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Mein

Brewer: Mein

Okamoto: Mein

Ray Borg

  • Age: 20
  • Height: 5’4”
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 6-0
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: None

Dustin Ortiz

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’4”
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 12-3
  • Out of: Franklin, Tenn.
  • Betting line: None

Flyweight Bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Nick Urso in the second round at Legacy Fighting Championships 30.

Punch list: When the UFC signs someone as young as 20-years-old, it’s a dead giveaway they see some serious potential. Borg turned professional straight out of high school and immediately turned heads on the southwest regional scene.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Ortiz

Cofield: Ortiz

Last fight: Split-decision loss to John Moraga at UFC Fight Night 35.

Punch list: Ortiz is part of the Duke Roufus camp in Milwaukee, which includes lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. He snagged a knockout victory in his UFC debut over Jose Maria Tome before losing the close call to Moraga in January.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun

Keefer: Borg

Brewer: Ortiz

Okamoto: Borg

Chas Skelly

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 146
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 11-0
  • Out of: Keller, Texas
  • Betting line: None

Mirsad Bektic

  • Age: 223
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 7-0
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: None

Featherweight Bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Jarrod Card at Bellator 96.

Punch list: With six wins by submission, Skelly might have the advantage on the ground. Experience is also on his side as he has three fights in Bellator spread throughout his career.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: Skelly

Cofield: Skelly

Last fight: First-round TKO win over Joe Pearson at Victory Fighting Championship 41.

Punch list: Two undefeated prospects square off in the second fight of the card. Bektic might have the edge on the feet as evidenced by three knockouts in his last four fights.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun

Keefer: Bektic

Brewer: Bektic

Okamoto: Bektic

Jack May

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’8”
  • Weight: 260
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 7-0
  • Out of: Chino Hills, Calif.
  • Betting line: None

Derrick Lewis

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 256
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-2
  • Out of: Houston
  • Betting line: None

Heavyweight Bout

UFC Fight Pass Prelim

Last fight: First-round TKO win over Carl Seumanutafa at Tachi Palace Fights 18.

Punch list: Aside from one split-decision victory, all of May’s fights have ended with him finding a knockout in the first round. “The Outlaw” was a former Division-1 college basketball player at North Dakota State University.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

Howe: May

Cofield: Lewis

Last fight: Third-round TKO victory over Ricky Shivers at Legacy Fighting Championship 18.

Punch list: A rare pair of heavyweights break into the UFC together to begin the card in O-Town. “The Black Beast” is the better known of the two, having beaten Jared Rosholt and lost to Shawn Jordan, both current UFC fighters, in the past.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: May

Brewer: Lewis

Okamoto: Lewis

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

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