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UFC 116 Preview: Lesnar-Carwin Anchors the UFC’s Fourth of July Weekend

On Saturday, July 3rd, the UFC holds their annual fourth of July weekend card, always a big draw in terms of PPV numbers. Like last year, Brock Lesnar remains the main attraction to which the company is pinning their hopes of high PPV buyrates. This card marks Lesnar’s return to the promotion following a reportedly life-threatening bout with diverticulitis. Indeed, many pundits felt that Lesnar might be done in the world of mixed martial arts – and indeed, any professional competition. Waiting for him is the undefeated new interim champ, Shane Carwin. Carwin faced Frank Mir for the interim title at UFC 111, where he bludgeoned Mir into unconsciousness in the first round. He will be the first opponent for Lesnar that actually matches up in terms of size and strength. None of Carwin’s opponents have made it out of the first round.

Betting fans know that Lesnar vs. Carwin is a tough call. The athleticism, speed and wrestling of Brock could very well leave Carwin without an answer to the question of how to handle the UFC champ. Conversely, one shot from Carwin could very well end Lesnar’s night – especially given how poor Lesnar has looked at times on the feet. While Lesnar’s crushing power cannot be understated, he clearly does not like getting punched in the face. If Frank Mir can make him sweat with a couple of knees from the clinch, and Randy Couture can frustrate him with dirty boxing, Carwin could remove him from consciousness with one well-placed shot. Sports betting fans know that this fight will come down to how well Carwin can deal with Lesnar’s skillset, and how well Lesnar can avoid punishment. Going down the card, Matt Brown takes on Chris Lytle in a rematch that has fireworks written all over it. Online sports betting fans can expect both fighters to throw away any semblance of game planning, and engage in a display of rock ’em sock ’em for the enjoyment of fans. I like Lytle to once again beat Brown. He has more experience, durability, cardio, and a better ground game. Look for “Lights Out” to put an end to Brown’s night with strikes in the second.

In other action on the card, Chris Leben steps in for an injured Wanderlei Silva against Yoshihiro Akiyama. Leben is just two weeks removed from his cat-smashing of the A-train, and will look to frustrate the sexiest man in mixed martial arts, turning the fight into a slugfest. While online betting fans can’t question Leben’s heart, it is tough to see him winning this fight. Akiyama has shown a great chin in previous fights, and has a level of grappling that Leben cannot match. I like Akiyama to take this fight in an exciting decision win. While I don’t see either fighter being stopped in this fight, I think Akiyama beats Leben soundly in all areas of the fight. UFC 116 goes down Saturday, July 3, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric’s work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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