UFC 140 is shaping up to be a fun card with several interesting fights waiting on the night's PPV main card, starting with the opening bout between Mark Hominick and Chan Sung Jung. Both fighters have endeared themselves to UFC fans by putting on high-intensity and entertaining bouts in their short tenures following the UFC-WEC merger, and this bout promises nothing different.
Hominick is a kickboxer fighting out of the late Shawn Tompkins' Adrenaline MMA gym, and is one of the ever-rare fighters to leave the UFC on a winning note. After sandwiching a pair of wins in the UFC around a non-UFC loss, Hominick opted out of the Octagon to follow bouts at the lower weight-classes the UFC did not have at the time. Following the UFC-WEC merger and the introduction of a UFC 145 lbs. division, Hominick moved back into the world's #1 promotion.
Most recently fans saw Hominick in action taking on UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at UFC 129. Although Hominick dropped the decision to Aldo, he showed fantastic cardio and an immense heart, battling through early rounds which saw the champion cause massive swelling over Hominick's eye which nearly stopped the fight, only to find himself on the hands of a one-sided beatdown by the challenger in the final frame. Prior to the defeat Hominick was riding a five-fight winning streak which saw him pick up wins in the UFC, the WEC and even the short-lived Affliction promotion.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Hominick's primary strength is in his dangerous striking skills. In addition to his nine TKO victories in MMA, Hominick holds an unblemished record in kickboxing, with 21 victories in as many bouts. While Hominick is no slouch on the ground, with seven victories inside MMA competition coming by submission, he has also suffered the majority of his defeats through the grappling arts, and will likely opt to avoid the ground if possible against Jung.
Hominick is among the safest bets on the card, and is being picked accordingly with the strong majority in favor of Hominick leading to a +2 points bonus for successfully picking against him on MMAPlayground.com's fantasy game. In general, betting against the +2 bonuses is not the way to win long term, as the extra incentive is there for a reason -- the guy not getting it is probably going to win comfortably. If backing Hominick, he is well-equipped to earn the TKO near the mid-point of the fight, in round 2. On the fantasy betting side, Hominick sits at -345, less expensive odds than any actual book. That being said, putting money down on a bet that lopsided ensures a massive risk for any kind of worthwhile payoff, and you're likely better off leaving Hominick off your fantasy betting ticket.
Chan-Sung Jung analysis after the jump.
Nicknamed "The Korean Zombie" due to his tendency to take a licking and keep pushing forward to keep throwing, Jung recently has shown a more technical side to his game after a rocky start to his Zuffa career. Jung's fighting style has earned him back to back "of the Year" nominations at the World MMA Awards, for best fight in 2010 and best submission in 2011, both against Jackson MMA's Leonard Garcia. His twister submission won the award.
Although Jung's recent form has made him a fan favorite, it is not littered with victories. With only two victories in his last five, Jung has yet to string together consecutive wins since improving to 9-0 in March of 2009. Jung was 0-2 in the WEC, though his first loss to Garcia comes with the heavy asterix associated with the fact he clearly won the fight to everyone, Garcia's corner included, save for the gentlemen scoring it. Following the loss, Jung suffered a head kick KO to George Roop which lead to a more technical and composed Jung for his UFC debut. In that debut Jung rematched Garcia and locked on the award-winning twister, becoming the first fighter to win with the maneuver in the UFC.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Like Hominick, Jung enters the bout with a 21-fight kickboxing record to supplement his MMA experience, with a record of 15-6. Though experienced in striking, and earning a nickname with his slobberknocker bouts, Jung has shown a preference for the ground when it comes to finishing his opponents, with seven submissions against only two knockouts in his 11 wins, and is capable of submissions from on top or off his back. Although fun to watch, Jung has not always displayed the same tight, technical striking on show by his opponent.
As previously mentioned, the Jung bandwagon is empty enough for this fight to earn him a +2 bonus for anyone who correctly picks him to win this fight. On the other hand, it's 5-or-more lost points to the vast majority of players if you back Jung and he loses, which the odds heavily favor. Your best option is to stay away from Jung altogether, but if you want to hitch your wagon your best chances of adding bonus points for round and method is with a first round submission. If you're going to take the flyer, might as well go big with it. Jung will likely need to take the fight to the mat to win, and Hominick has shown without a doubt he'll be ready to go 15 minutes, so the earlier he does so the better. The latest iteration of Jung looked more sound on the feet against Garcia, but it was still Leonard "the Windmill" Garcia he was facing. If you were convinced, however, only Igor Pokrajac offers better odds, and you can do worse than putting a small bet down on a parlay of Jung with two fighters you are quite sure of in order to provide the chance for a low-risk, moderate reward boost to your fantasy bankroll.