UFC 152: September 22, 2012 Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario UFC Welterweight Contender Lance Benoist (-165) Profile: Lance Benoist (6-1) is a Midwestern grappling specialist with six years of experience inside an MMA cage. He went 5-0 on the Midwest circuit with four submissions and a head kick knockout, which garnered the attention of the UFC. In his debut against Matt Riddle at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger, he took home the money for Fight of the Night honors. The 24-year-old fell to his next opponent Seth Baczynski via spilt decision at UFC on FX 3, but he has a long career ahead of him and looks to bounce back in a big way. UFC Welterweight Contender Sean Pierson (+135) Profile: Canadian Sean Pierson (12-6) has had a long and unspectacular career. Beginning in 1999, Pierson toured the Canadian MMA scene, amassing a 10-4 record with a 100 percent finish rate. He moved to the UFC on short notice to take on Matt Ridddle at UFC 124 and got the unanimous decision win. The 36-year-old would go on to drop his next two to Jake Ellenberger via KO and Kim Dong-Hyun by UD. Pierson finally got back into the UFC win column with a unanimous decision grinder over Jake Hecht at UFC on FX 3. He offers a solid skill set and ring generalship, but his fighting days are numbered due to his age. Opening UFC 152 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Benoist a slight -165 favorite (bet $165 to win $100) against Pierson, who opened as a +135 underdog (bet $100 to win $135) according to the MMA odds. This matchup is a clear case of up-and-coming fighter against grizzled veteran with Benoist coming in 12 years younger than Pierson and with half as many wins. Pierson does have an advantage of fighting in front of his hometown fans in Toronto, which could sway the bout in his favor the longer it goes. Two of Pierson’s last three wins have resulted in unanimous decisions in his favor, and three of his past four overall have also gone the distance after 11 of his first 14 ended in the first round. Benoist has seen his last two fights go to the judges as well, including the split-decision loss to Baczynski back in June. He will likely try to push the pace early on knowing the longer the bout goes, the more it could favor the local fighter.
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