In order to avenge his most celebrated loss (to Jon Jones in March at UFC 128), he must first avenge another one when he takes on the UFC 134 betting odds this week – his 2007 upset loss to Forrest Griffin in his UFC debut.
Rua is at -250 on the UFC 134 betting odds menu at the Bodog Sportsbook and most observers feel he will rebound from his battering at the hands of Jones to claim an eventual title rematch. The former PRIDE champion’s last four wins have all come via strikes as he cemented his reputation as one of the light heavyweight division’s premier punchers.
Griffin (+195 on the MMA lines) looked like his career was on the rocks after losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 101. It was his second straight one-sided loss, but he rebounded with wins over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin.
Griffin’s game plan is to come forward and force Rua to backpedal, but that is easier said than done. Reports also have Griffin considerably overweight and facing a tough weight cut to make 205 pounds. If that happens, his stamina will be affected and his game plan of blitzing Shogun for three rounds will be in peril.
This card is UFC’s first run to Brazil since 1999 and features a primarily Brazil vs USA theme. A Rua win moves him back into position to fight for the title (Rashad Evans gets the next title shot, and Rua would likely have to add another win against a top contender to merit the rematch with Jones).
The popular Griffin may hopelessly fall down the rankings with a loss and face an uphill struggle to regain the light heavyweight belt he won at UFC 86 against Quinton Rampage Jackson.
The Bodog Sportsbook has all your MMA betting lines for this week’s UFC 134 card.