UFC 119 gambling fans will have their choice of a defending heavyweight champion in Mir and a charismatic fan favorite in Filipovic in this UFC 119 betting matchup.
Sports-Gambling opened with Mir as a -220 favorite and with Filipovic at +180.
Mir is currently ranked 6th in the world heavyweight rankings and has lost 2 out of his last 3 bouts. He won the UFC Interim heavyweight championship in December of 2008 at UFC 92 when he defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
He was scheduled to fight Nogueira in a rematch but the Brazilian couldn’t answer the bell due to injury issues so “Cro Cop” Filipovic got the call on short notice and took up the challenge.
His title bout win over Nogueira has been somewhat tarnished as it was later discovered that Nogueira was hospitalized with a Staph infection for 5 days leading up to the bout. r was dismissive of the problem saying that “Fans don’t want to hear warriors complaining that that they almost died of Staph infection or anything else. It’s sad and pathetic.”
His main motivation with the UFC119 odds is to get back into title contention with a decisive win.
Mir is coming off an embarrassing knockout loss to Shane Carwin at UFC 111 on March 27 at the 3:48 mark of the first round. Mir is paying the price in some respects for his younger days when he was able to get by on raw talent rather than hard work and skill development.
While “Cro Cop” Filipovic is among the most popular fighters with the UFC 119 lines he has also been much more about hype than substance and has not beaten a top 10 heavyweight since 2006. He has irritated Mir by complaining that he has had only 5 weeks to get ready for this bout on short notice.
Mir again had a colorful response saying that “I’ve gone to Disneyland, taken time off, and continued to train as hard as I should. That way, I won’t be 100 percent either.”
Mir’s knockout loss to Brock Lesnar in July of 2009 also lingers in his memory and with those handicapping the UFC 119 gambling board. He has packed on 25 pounds of muscle since then in the attempt to become a power hitter.