Josh Koscheck (15-4) is evidently getting paid a handsome bonus to hype his upcoming championship title fight against current WW UFC champion Georges St-Pierre (20-2). His trash talking about one of the blandest MMA athletes to date is amazingly abundant. One can wonder if spending so much energy developing animosity towards the charismatic equivalent of cardboard will affect his upcoming title shot.

It seems oddmakers might have thought along those same lines as they came up with their own for the Dec. 11th event in Montreal. Koscheck is a heavy underdog to GSP, entering the Octagon at +325, St-Pierre at -425. The likelihood of witnessing Koscheck land his recently trademarked right overhand fastball to his opponent’s cranium seems fairly well appraised in this case.

St-Pierre’s game plan will be straightforward, looking to counter Koscheck’s chin testing joust and take him to the ground. He might even come to do that repeatedly for three rounds or so to tire Koscheck’s arms and get them stiff enough to begin to entertain the idea of keeping the fight standing, later in the fight.

MMA fans who remember the last Penn v. St-Pierre tussle might be in for a repeat, St-Pierre almost having said as much in interviews leading up to the contest. Everything but the bit about Koscheck building enough lactic acid in his arms to force him to drop his guard and box him, St-Pierre having already mentioned as much in his post Penn 2 fight interview. GSP’s conditioning and wrestling will remain his biggest assets, having completely forfeited the ability to outfox his rival at this point of the game.

To sum it up, forecasting a coupling spectacle similar to that seen on Wild Kingdom for about three rounds and a deafening homespun uproar following GSP’s UD win announcement won’t make for hefty returns, but blue chips come at a price.

The lead up bout to the headliner will feature two fighters who will duke it out for the right to be declared relevant in the HW division. The towering Dutch jitz specialist Stefan Struve (20-4) will be pitted against another wall of a fighter, the undefeated 6’ 7” American Sean McCorkle (10-0). The latter’s main claim to fame consists of permanently injuring Pride and K-1 star Mark Hunt in their respective UFC debut last September.

Both lanky fighters have leveraged their height advantage to submit more than half of their opponents. If ego gets in the way, fans could be treated to an intensive ground match. Lines favour the Dutch (-160) against McCorkle (+130). Those odds afford a good payout for Struve enthusiasts.

On paper, the LW clash between Jim Miller (18-2) and Charles Oliveira has a high potential for being awarded the Fight of the Night award. Odds have them close, the BRA jitz specialist favoured (-140) over the American (+110). Their pedigrees make it very likely the fight will hit the ground where Oliveira will have a slight advantage. Miller’s mettle will get seriously tested throughout the engagement. Oliveira by UD is likely, but handsome payouts are afforded either way with these odds.

Another contender for the FOTN award consists of the other LW bout featured on the main card, this one opposing Joe Stevenson (31-11) to Mac Danzing (19-8-1). Both veterans will strive to earn a decisive victory to stay within long reach of a title shot. Desperation could translate into a very exciting scrap. Stevenson, the former UFC LW champion, is considered the heavy favourite (-300) against Danzig (+220).

The first fight scheduled for broadcast on the main card will see Thiago Alves (17-7) return to the Octagon to avenge recent consecutive losses to the UFC WW division’s top competition (St-Pierre and Fitch). The Brazilian Pit Bull will be given a golden opportunity to rebuild his confidence against John Howard (14-5), an opponent who appreciates brawling as much as he does. Alves edges his rival in every aspect but will likely rely on his Muay Thai to attempt to end this contest prematurely. Odds unsurprisingly favour Alves (-300) over Howard (+220).

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