Jones And Jackson Top UFC 135 Betting

By: Matty Simo | Tuesday, September 20, 2011

After months of controversy, light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will finally defend his title for the first time against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 135 on Saturday.  The Jones-Jackson bout headlines five fights on the main card at Denver's Pepsi Center while The Ultimate Fighter 13 winner Tony Ferguson will make his debut earlier on the preliminary card.

Live coverage of the main card will be broadcast on Pay-Per-View starting at 6:00 p.m. (ET).  The first three bouts of the preliminary card will be streamed live on Facebook with the other two shown live on Spike TV at 5:00 p.m.

Jones (13-1) is an overwhelming 525 favorite against Jackson and became the youngest champion in UFC history at UFC 128 back on March 19 when he stopped Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the third round.  He earned the title shot after former training partner Rashad “Suga” Evans was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury.

Both Jones and Evans trained together under Greg Jackson at his gym in Albuquerque, but each went their separate ways after the title fight.  Evans was next in line for a shot at the belt, although this time it was Jones who backed out with a questionable hand injury that he claimed required surgery.  Evans believed Jones did not want to fight him, and he went on register a second-round knockout of Tito Ortiz at UFC 133.

Jones did not end up having surgery on his hand and decided to make his first title defense against Jackson (32-8) following his rehab.  However, the accusations did not end there.  Jackson reported that Jones had a spy in his camp leading up to this fight, something Evans had also been accused of in the past.  Jones has since denied Jackson’s claim, adding to the drama.

Jackson is a +325 underdog and has won two straight decisions since losing to Evans at UFC 114 for the light heavyweight title on May 29, 2010.  He is a former champ who beat Chuck Liddell and Dan Henderson before losing the belt to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86.  Evans later beat Griffin for the championship at UFC 92.

The other major fight on the main card involves welterweights Matt Hughes (46-8) and Josh Koscheck (17-5).  Hughes is already a UFC Hall of Famer with the most career wins (18) but is a +300 underdog.  He was originally scheduled to fight Diego Sanchez, who withdrew after breaking his hand.

Hughes will be entering the Octagon for the first time since he was knocked out by B.J. Penn just 21 seconds into their fight at UFC 123.

Koscheck is heavy 500 favorite and has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124 last December.  He suffered a broken orbital bone in the title fight against St. Pierre and needed corrective surgery, which is the reason for the long layoff.

Other intriguing bouts on the main card include a battle of heavyweights between Travis Browne (11-0-1) and Rob Broughton (15-5-1) along with a lightweight matchup featuring Nate Diaz (13-7) and Takanori Gomi (32-7, 1 no-decision).  Browne is a 340 favorite against Broughton (+260) while Diaz is 240 ‘chalk’ vs. Gomi (+190).

Ferguson will fight veteran Aaron Riley (29-12-1) in the top fight on the preliminary card.

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