UFC 266 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bet

Alexander Volkanovski (L) punches UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway in their title fight during UFC 245. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

Alexander Volkanovski (L) punches Max Holloway during UFC 245. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

We’re back with our UFC 266 pay-per-view predictions. The UFC 266: Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview our favorite matchups, including updated odds and free expert betting predictions.

 

UFC 266 Main Event Prediction

 

Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega

 

UFC Featherweight Championship Bout

 Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

This weekend’s UFC pay-per-view will play host to an incredible line-up, including two championship bouts and the return of Nick Diaz. The available odds are gifting us in the featherweight title main event, with the champion Alexander Volkanovski continues to be underrated.

Alexander Volkanovski (22-1-0) has already earned respect; in my opinion, defeating Max Holloway in consecutive fights should’ve gifted the featherweight champion with limitless praise. However, it doesn’t seem to be the case when looking at this week’s available odds and Volkanovski’s media presence.

Brian Ortega (15-1-0) is the proud owner of a 1st degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and with 45% of his career wins stemming from a submission finish – now you know why.

Having already competed in a championship bout versus Max Holloway, it would seem that Ortega’s run at gold was postponed upon losing this contest. However, the Californian native made a quick turnaround when putting a stop to “The Korean Zombies” win streak – earning himself another championship fight.

 

Volkanovski vs. Ortega Fight Analysis

 

Martial arts enthusiasts have been waiting around for this matchup to take place, initially scheduled for March; Covid-19 forced us to be patient.

Now that it’s eventually arrived, I’ve had time to ponder on the skillset of each fighter, and I’m struggling to give Brian Ortega a significant chance of dethroning the champion.

Ortega will need to fight the perfect fight, and because his takedown setups are relatively weak, it’s hard to believe this contest will play out on the ground. This is where Ortega will find his best success, but taking and keeping Volkanovski down won’t be simple; a lack of offensive wrestling and elite takedowns leave Ortega little room outside of pulling guard on the champ.

Overall, Volkanovski is an ideal champion; he’s talented in all positions – defensively or on the attack. Ortega’s submission offense held a lot of significance in reaching the top of the division, but his submission rate has fizzled since getting here.

I anticipate Volkanovski outsmarting Ortega on the feet, alternating between calf kicks and outside leg kicks to match the switching of stance his opponent will most likely use. These attacks will be followed with boxing combinations, and when Volkanovski’s offense begins with punches, he’ll be sure to reverse the script and end them with low kicks.

 

UFC Pick: Alexander Volkanovski to Win ML (-170) at DraftKings [1.70u returns 1u profit]

 

 

UFC 266 Co-Main Event Prediction

 

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Lauren Murphy

 

UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship Bout

 Saturday, September 25, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas

 

The co-main event of the evening could be classed as bullying by the UFC matchmakers, simply because anybody in the women’s flyweight division is going to find themselves entirely outmatched by the champion.

Valentina Shevchenko (21-3-0) is the most talented martial artist in women’s MMA, and despite losing to Amanda Nunes, I genuinely believe her skillset is more refined, precise, and dangerous. A twenty-pound difference in weight is the sole reason I think Nunes found success, and if the third fight ever takes place – I’d expect Shevchenko to gain her revenge.

Lauren Murphy (15-3-0) is a fighter at heart, there isn’t much technicality to describe her skillset, but this flyweight contender knows how to scrap. With that said, she’s receiving a title opportunity because Shevchenko has already cleared out any other significant name from the top five rankings.

When analyzing this fight, the most challenging task is deciding how Shevchenko will win – whether by TKO or submission.

Incredible offensive and counter striking combinations, a tight technique with excellent fundamentals, an absolute sniper with the left straight that’s complemented by a grappling game that’s second to none. The clinch work of Shevchenko is phenomenal, headlock takedowns, inside trips, and then, of course, her top-control is near unstoppable.

Will she take a neck and choke, an arm and snap, or will she crucifix her opponent and TKO her way to victory? Perhaps a head kick knockout disguised with the initial body kick? Who knows, so I’m taking Valentina inside the distance.

 

UFC Pick: Shevchenko to Win Inside the Distance (-227) at Bet365 [2.27u returns 1u profit]

Bellator 266 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Yoel Romero taunts his opponent during a fight in 2019. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images/AFP

Yoel Romero taunts his opponent during a fight in 2019. Joe Scarnici/Getty Images/AFP

 

We’re back with our Bellator 266 main card predictions. The Bellator 266: Yoel Romero vs. Phil Davis main card Bellator MMA Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview our favorite matchups, including updated odds and free expert Bellator betting predictions.

 

Bellator 266 Main Event Prediction

Phil Davis vs. Yoel Romero

Bellator Middleweight Bout

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at SAP Center in San Jose

 

Bellator MMA returns to action this weekend, and the highly anticipated debut of Yoel Romero is upon us. However, it won’t be plain sailing for the Cuban native as he’ll face the talented Phil Davis.

Phil Davis (22-6-0) has already accomplished great heights in the Bellator cage, “Mr Wonderful” has remained as a top-five contender since his debut back in 2015.

Davis’ journey into MMA began through an impressive high-school and college wrestling career, leaving the mats with a boastful 112-17 record and four NCAA titles to his name.

Yoel Romero (13-5-0) is most known for his time spent fighting the highest level of competition in the UFC, and now the former Olympic wrestler will test his skills in Bellator MMA.

Unlike most martial artists, Romero didn’t venture into the fight game until his early 30s, but a freestyle wrestling background that saw him claim a silver medal in the Olympics was a solid background to stem from.

When joining the UFC, Romero headed straight to the top, an 8-fight win streak saw him earn multiple championship opportunities, but he seemed to fail at the final hurdle. His recent MMA record is 1-4 from his previous 5, but the competition he faced was a championship level of opponents.

 

Romero vs Davis Fight Analysis

 

More often than not, when two high-level wrestlers are matched up, a striking battle plays out. And this is precisely what I anticipate happening this weekend in San Jose.

We believe that a punch-for-punch style of a fight will favour Phil Davis, a 79″ reach and his diverse striking skillset has been prominent during his Bellator career.

As Romero reaches the age of 45, it isn’t easy to put faith in him. Especially when you consider the long layoff he’s been on. A significant time away from MMA compiled with one of Bellator’s former light heavyweight champions isn’t the most idealistic debut for the Cuban native.

Romero is a tough SOB; there’s no denying that. But when we break down this contest from a technical standpoint where it’s most likely going to be a striking game plan on both ends, it’s difficult to not side with “Mr Wonderful” in ruining Romero’s Bellator debut.

Bellator 266 Best Bet: Anthony Smith to win @ -115 with 5Dimes (1.15u returns 1u profit)

Bellator 266 Co-Main Event Prediction

Neiman Gracie vs. Mark Lemminger

 

Bellator Welterweight Bout

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at SAP Center in San Jose

 

The name Gracie will live on forever in MMA history, and this weekend’s Bellator event will play host to one of the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu specialists in Neiman Gracie.

Neiman Gracie (10-2-1) has spent a lot of his MMA career fighting for the Bellator promotion, and an 8-2 record is evidence that his elite BJJ offense has proved its worth. Seven of his eight wins have finished via submission; it doesn’t take a genius to anticipate the threats he’ll present

Mark Lemminger (12-5-0) has shown questionable takedown defense on countless occasions, including his previous fight versus Demarques Jackson. Sure, he pulled off the second-round stoppage, but the grappling of Gracie is expected to overwhelm the American this weekend.

This upcoming bout isn’t offering much value on Gracie, and this shouldn’t be a surprise given his submission reign. With that said, you could increase your value by playing Gracie to win by submission because it’s highly likely that the fight will end through this method.

Bellator 266 Best Bet: Neiman Gracie to win @ -280 with BetOnline (2.80u returns 1u profit)

UFC in Vegas 37 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Anthony Smith (L) of the United States in Jacksonville, Florida.   Alex Menendez/Getty Images/AFP

Anthony Smith (L) of the United States in Jacksonville, Florida. Alex Menendez/Getty Images/AFP

 

We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 37: Anthony Smith vs. Ryan Spann main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview our favorite matchups, including updated odds and free expert betting predictions.

 

UFC in Vegas 37 Main Event Prediction

 

Anthony Smith vs. Derek Brunson

 

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout

 

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 11:05 PM ET at the Apex Centre

 

Next weekend’s main event of the evening will put #7 ranked light heavyweight Anthony Smith, and his opponent #13 ranked Ryan Spann compete for a greater UFC ranking.

 

Anthony Smith (35-16-0) has already earned his stripes in the MMA world, having competed professionally since the tender age of 19. Now, aged 33, it could be argued that “Lionheart” is in the fighting prime of his career.

 

Ryan Spann (19-6-0), fighting out of Fortis MMA, has ripped through the UFC light heavyweight rankings since joining the promotion in 2018. A 5-1 record for the company is now gifting him with an opportunity to break into the top-10 rankings.

Smith vs Spann Fight Analysis

 

Next weekend’s main event is showcasing two of the largest light heavyweights in the division, the octagon will be rocking, and this bout is guaranteed to deliver fireworks.

 

Spann primarily works behind his striking output; a well-versed set of combinations and an extremely long reach has assisted him in dictating the pace during most of his striking battles. With that said, Spann’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt is underrated; eleven of Spann’s nineteen stoppages were caused via submission – most notably, his vice grip of a guillotine choke.

 

Anthony Smith is an all-around martial artist through and through, owning eighteen KO/TKO stoppages and fourteen finishes by submission. It’s sometimes challenging to pin-point Smith’s most dangerous asset because his skillset can end fights almost anywhere, whether standing or grounded.

 

Despite Ryan Spann owning a significant amount of submission finishes, “Lionheart” is the owner of a BJJ black belt which is naturally incomparable to the lower-level blue belt around the waist of Spann.

 

Smiths’ ability to transition and diversify his submission attempts will give him a ground advantage that should outclass his opponent.

 

Smith can undoubtedly give Spann a run for his money in a striking battle, but to remove the dangers in this contest, I’d expect him to force Spann into a grappling war. And if the plan pulls through, I envision the experience and fight IQ of Anthony Smith preventing Spann from finding success in their main event bout.

 

UFC Vegas 37 Best Bet: Anthony Smith to win at -165 with BetMGM [1.65u returns 1u profit]

 

 

UFC in Vegas 37 Co-Main Event Prediction

 

Ion Cutelaba vs. Devin Clark

 

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout

 

Saturday, September 18, 2021 – 11:05 PM ET at the Apex Centre

 

The UFC showcases the heavier weight classes next weekend, and UFC in Vegas 37’s co-main event is no exception. Another light heavyweight battle is set to occur when Ion Cutelaba and Devin Clark attempt to reclaim their positions in the win column.

 

Moldovan native Ion Cutelaba (15-6-1) has allowed a judges’ scorecard to dictate his fight results just twice during his 22-fight professional career. So, when we highlight that Cutelaba is rarely involved in a dull contest, you have a great reason to believe it. A potent grappling offense complimented by vicious punching power is nothing short of a walking highlight reel.

 

Devin Clark (12-5-0) has been slightly more conservative during his professional MMA career, but a workhouse attitude and an endless gas tank have assisted Clark in overcoming some fierce adversaries.

 

This upcoming bout is interesting; Clark has often relied on a heavy grappling gameplan to strike against the cage or on the ground to raise his hand. However, Cutelaba Is a well-established Greco Roman wrestler.

 

Cutelaba’s cardio is always a concern, but I can’t envision Clark finding the success he’s relied on during so many encounters working for him against the Moldovan.

 

UFC Vegas 37 Best Bet: Ion Cutelaba to win at -135 with Draftkings [1.35u returns 1u profit]

UFC in Vegas 36 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Darren Till. (Photo by RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Darren Till. (Photo by RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

 

 

We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 36: Darren Till vs. Derek Brunson main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview next weekend’s favourite matchups, including updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.

 

UFC in Vegas 36 Main Event Prediction

 

 

Darren Till vs. Derek Brunson

 

UFC Middleweight Bout

 

Saturday, September 4, 2021 at the Apex Centre

 

This weekend’s main event of the evening will see #6 ranked middleweight Derek Brunson and his opponent #8 ranked Darren Till compete for UFC rankings supremacy.

 

Derek Brunson (22-7-0) has been building his MMA resume which is now boasting a 4-fight winning streak and a comfortable position in the top-10 UFC middleweight rankings. A dangerous wrestling skillset has assisted Brunson in defeating some of the top prospects the 185lb division has to offer.

 

Darren Till (18-3-0) is suffering from an opposite trajectory of his opponent this weekend. A 1-3 record from his previous four bouts has put the Englishman on the worst streak of his career. Till was once a hot prospect himself, entering the UFC with an undefeated record and continuing that trend until he competed for the UFC welterweight championship. This matchup handed Till his first professional loss, and since then, his winning ways have evaporated.

 

We’re about to witness a clash of styles this Saturday afternoon in a cliché striker versus grappler matchup. The Muay Thai base of Darren Till is faced with an elite wrestling background of Derek Brunson. The question is, which fighter can find utilize their forte and remove their opponents’ primary weapon?

 

Darren Till has fought some of the strongest wrestlers the welterweight and middleweight divisions have to offer, and outside of a questionable get-up game, his sprawling defense of incoming takedowns has proven to be an attribute we can rely on.

 

Brunson hasn’t fought any top-10 middleweights during his 4-fight winning streak; his actual test will come this weekend when he’s faced with a dangerous striker that owns a strong takedown defense.

 

The blueprint for Darren Till has been laid out by current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya – keep a distance, sprawl the takedowns, and pick Brunson apart with kickboxing combinations. Till owns excellent distance management, and throughout his recent losses, his patience has sometimes cost him. However, that same patience could be the winning factor in this bout, and I believe that Darren Till can remind the critics why he spent the majority of his professional career undefeated.

 

UFC Vegas 36 Best Bet: Darren Till to win at -175 with BetMGM [1.75u returns 1u profit]

 

 

UFC in Vegas 36 Co-Main Event Prediction

 

Tom Aspinall vs. Sergey Spivak

 

UFC Heavyweight Bout

 

Saturday, September 4, 2021 at the Apex Centre

 

Team Kaobon of Liverpool, England, are taking over this week’s main and co-main event as teammate Tom Aspinall (10-2-0) will join Darren Till in sharing the spotlight.

 

Aspinall owns a wealth of MMA experience, and unlike most British born and heavyweight MMA competitors, he’s rarely focused on one discipline. Instead, you’ll stumble across boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, & Jiu-Jitsu hybrid in Aspinall.

 

After turning down two UFC contract offers in the past, Aspinall finally felt ready for the UFC calibre of opponent and joined the company in August of 2020. Since that date, he’s already compiled three victories, and notably, all of them were stoppage finishes.

 

This weekend, his late-notice opponent is none other than Sergey Spivak, who has racked up quite the impressive 3-fight win streak himself. Spivak is no slouch but primarily focuses on a wrestling-based offense.

 

Aspinall is light on feet and could almost resemble the movement of a featherweight, but standing at 6’5”, 230 plus pounds, he becomes a monstrous opponent inside the cage. I anticipate the striking output of Aspinall to succeed against the challenging Moldovan; once Spivak’s grappling is overcome, he’s in for a long night of punishment.

 

UFC Vegas 36 Best Bet: Tom Aspinall to win ITD at -139 with Bet365 [1u returns 1.30u profit]

UFC in Vegas 35 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bet

Edson Barboza of Brazil looks on. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

Edson Barboza of Brazil looks on. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 35: Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview next weekend’s favorite matchups, including updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.

 

 UFC in Vegas 35 Main Event Prediction

Edson Barboza vs. Giga Chikadze

UFC Featherweight Bout

at Apex Centre

 

This weekend’s main event of the evening will see #6 ranked featherweight Edson Barboza and his opponent #12 ranked Giga Chikadze.

Edson Barboza (22-9-0) has grown a reputation as one of the most fearsome strikers on the UFC roster. The Brazilian native owns a diverse range of offensive strikes due to a background in the sport of Muay Thai.

Barboza has been delivering highlight-reel finishes and some of the most epic fights since his arrival to the UFC in 2010. And now, aged 35-years-old, he’s earned legendary status.

Giga Chikadze (13-2-0) is flying Georgia’s flag, and like his opponent this weekend, he owns a dangerous striking offense. The difference is that Giga stems from a background in kickboxing, having competed for the Glory fight promotion whilst also building an MMA record.

Attempting to predict this contest is brutal, as both men present dangers in the stand-up area of the fight game.

Barboza has some of the fastest leg kicks inside the UFC, with beautiful use of boxing combinations to match. He can often utilizes his leg strikes at range and his punches inside the pocket. He isn’t showing many signs of slowing down despite his older age, and backing anybody to beat him is always worrisome.

Giga has great high kicks, and although his boxing combinations aren’t as crisp, he throws up a nice jab to disguise his fight-ending kicks.

Instead of throwing darts and predicting a winner, the durability of both men has been solid. I’m steering towards this fight reaching the judges’ scorecards, and we can also find some decent value

UFC Vegas 35 Best Bet: Fight starts round 4 @ -135 with DraftKings [1.35u returns 1u profit]

 

UFC in Vegas 35 Main Card Bout Prediction

Kevin Lee vs. Daniel Rodriguez

UFC Lightweight Bout

at Apex Centre

There’s no denying that Kevin Lee has fought some of the stiffest competition inside the lightweight division, but with a move up to 175lbs, I struggle to see the 5’9 stature of Lee succeeding.

This weekend “The Motown Phenom” will face a 6’1 striking purist in Daniel Rodriguez, and I think we’re being gifted a beautiful set of odds.

I’m not entirely discrediting Lee; we’ve seen him throw high kicks and end fights; he does possess a vital wrestling skill set to ground opponents and remove their offense. But the problem is that Rodriguez has a trustworthy wrestling defense and the ability to get off his back; he’ll also be the exceptionally larger man with a refined striking output that Kevin Lee cannot match.

Daniel Rodriguez was stolen from his undefeated UFC record; he didn’t lose to Nicolas Dalby; he was robbed. I expect this weekend to be D-Rod’s coming out party where he finds his first notable win in the UFC. I anticipate that he’ll be excited to fight a big-named fighter like Lee and soon give a reminder that moving up a weight class isn’t easy.

UFC Vegas 35 Best Bet: Daniel Rodriguez to win @ +130 with DraftKings [1u returns 1.30u profit]