in which any team can lose on any given day. The same rule applies in MMA, and those dangers are alive and well in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, which kicks off on Saturday night with a quarterfinal bout between Andrei Arlovski and Sergei Kharitonov.
Strikeforce Betting – Saturday, 10:00 PM ET
Arlovski (15-8, 11 KOs) is a familiar name for UFC betting players, as he was the heavyweight champion in MMA’s biggest company back in 2005. He left the UFC and fought in Affliction as well as EliteXC, but since then Arlovski, also known as the “Pit Bull”, has lost three straight fights, including two by knockout in the first round. It also doesn’t bode well that all three of those losses came against other fighters who are participating in this tournament. Arlovski is well versed in sambo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and he may need to get back to his roots if he wants to regain some of the confidence he has surely lost.
Kharitonov (17-4, eight KOs) may not be well known to the casual MMA betting player or fan, but he is a very versatile fighter who has fought the best of the best. Kharitonov has split a pair of meetings with Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, along with a decision win over Fabricio Werdum and a decision loss against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. In fact, the Werdum and Minotauro fights were the only ones in which Kharitonov went past the first round, so it’ll be interesting to see if how his conditioning holds up. Kharitonov has the same number of submissions as knockouts, so he isn’t just a power guy.
strikeforce picks – One aspect of this fight that we would bet 5dimes on is that this fight won’t last longer than 1.5 rounds, (-125 for over, -105 for under), and overall, Arlovski has slightly better MMA odds of -110, while Kharitonov is rated at -120. But we’re going with the underdog in this fight as the Russian has a better all-around game, and he has a lot of confidence with four wins in his last fight fights. Arlovski, as we mentioned, has lost three in a row and we’re not too confident in his chin if he takes a hit. If this fight goes to the mat, we’re also giving the upper hand to Kharitonov, who has shown that he can lock on a submission. We know Arlovski can submit fighters, but he doesn’t do it often enough. He may not be the bigger name, but he is the better fighter at this stage in their careers, so we’re taking Sergei Kharitonov when betting online this weekend.