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]

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]

UFC in Vegas 34 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions & Best Bets

UFC 244 Till v Gastelum

 

We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 34: Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum 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 34 Main Event Prediction

Jared Cannonier vs. Kelvin Gastelum

UFC Middleweight Bout

 Apex Centre

This weekends main event of the evening is accompanied by #5 ranked middleweight Jared Cannonier, and his opponent #10 ranked Kelvin Gastelum.

Kelvin Gastelum (17-7-0) has grown from a boy into a man fighting the UFC’s elite. Making his first appearance on The Ultimate Fighter reality show in 2012, he was just 21-years-old when stepping into the UFC octagon.

In recent years, a well-rounded skillset hasn’t paid off for the Californian native, as he’s riding the worst losing streak of his career (1-4). However, we must recognise that Gastelum has been fighting some of the stiffest competition the middleweight division offers.

Former heavyweight and light heavyweight competitor Jared Cannonier (13-5-0) has seemingly found his calling inside the middleweight division; a considerable weight cut has paid off because he’s riding the best win streak opposite to Gastelum of his career (3-1).

The matchup itself is intriguing; Cannonier has relied on his knockout power, but Gastelum has never been stopped via strikes. A power puncher versus a man whose durability is yet to be tested will surely deliver a main event worthy contest.

With that said, I struggle to rely on Cannonier finding the button and finishing Gastelum. In a five-round matchup, the cardio and output of Gastelum seem the most likely route to victory. Cannonier struggled during the third round when facing Robert Whittaker; now, he’s faced with a potential 25-minute fight. Sure, Gastelum will give up a significant size advantage, but when hasn’t he gave up these attributes In the middleweight division?

Gastelum owns the two’s more well-rounded martial arts skillset, including a wrestling offense that could cause Cannonier some issues. In addition, he’s the betting underdog, and recency bias doesn’t win wagers.

UFC Vegas 34 Best Bet: Kelvin Gastelum at +130 with DraftKings [1u returns 1.30u profit]

UFC in Vegas 34 Co-Main Event Prediction

Mark O. Madsen vs. Clay Guida

UFC Lightweight Bout

There’s no denying that Clay “The Carpenter” Guida is a mixed martial arts legend; having competed for the previous 18 years, we cannot question his in-octagon experience. But at the age of 40, it’s hard for any fighter to continue amongst the up-and-coming martial artists and provide the same output.

Mark O. Madsen is no spring chicken himself. Still, at 36-years-old the former Olympic wrestler has only competed in 10 professional MMA bouts, therefore, giving him a much greater ceiling on the longevity scale.

The problem for Guida is that he loves to wrestle but is facing an Olympic level wrestler; his usual gameplan will be thrown out the window. Also, Madsen owns a nasty guillotine, and if Guida wants to change levels and attempt his typical takedowns, he will be met with a strong pair of arms around his neck. Guida has been susceptible to choke attacks on several occasions, and he often struggles when faced with solid grapplers. The Greco Roman wrestling background of Madsen could be “The Carpenter’s” worst stylistic matchup, giving me confidence that the Danish-born wrestler will walk out the victor.

UFC Vegas 34 Best Bet: Mark O. Madsen to win at -155 with DraftKings [1.55u returns 1u profit]

UFC 265 Fight Card Preview, Predictions & Best Bets

Tecia Torres celebrate her victory. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

Tecia Torres celebrate her victory. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

 

The UFC 265: Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane & the pay-per-view main card UFC Odds are available. Read on for our complete betting guide and preview on this weekend’s UFC main card matchups, including updated odds and our free expert betting predictions.

 

UFC 265 Main Event Prediction

Ciryl Gane vs. Derrick Lewis

UFC Interim Heavyweight Title Bout

Toyota Center

[Read more...]

UFC in Vegas 33 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bet

Uriah Hall of Jamaica talks to his corner. Alex Menendez/Getty Images/AFP

Uriah Hall of Jamaica talks to his corner. Alex Menendez/Getty Images/AFP

 

UFC in Vegas 33 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions & Best Bets We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 33: Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland 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 33 Main Event Prediction

Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland

UFC Middleweight Bout

 Apex Centre in Las Vegas

This weekends main event of the evening will see #9 and #11 ranked middleweights battle it out to continue their winning streaks, respectively. Both Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland possess the striking offense that could well provide fans with a knockout of the night award.

Having spent the previous eight years on the UFC roster, Uriah Hall has suffered setbacks but is now riding a 4-fight win streak. Owning knockout power from all angles, it will be a delight to witness the Jamaican born kickboxer attempt to climb closer to a championship-worthy ranking.

Following a near life-ending motorcycle accident, Sean Strickland has returned to the UFC octagon and began to gain a stride in the middleweight division. Also riding a 4-fight winning streak, Strickland has defeated the competition with a composed and precise boxing output.

While Hall delivers his best work moving backwards, Strickland is more comfortable pressuring the opposition, which will leave us on the edge of our seats when the first-round bell rings.

The question is, who’s skill set will reign supreme? Hall is known as a slow starter, whereas Strickland is quite the opposite. The issue’s I find when breaking down Strickland is his inability to cover his chin, a beautiful set of boxing fundamentals is, unfortunately, exposing to counter strikes – something that Hall could quickly capitalise on.

Despite believing that Strickland will be winning this fight on output alone, it’s hard to guarantee he won’t get rocked, dropped, or knocked out with a 25-minute time limit. For this reason, I’m going to side with Uriah Hall finding the button at some stage of the fight.

UFC Vegas 33 Best Bet: Uriah Hall by KO/TKO at +333 with BetMGM [1u returns 3.33u profit]

 

UFC in Vegas 33 Main Card Prediction

Cheyanne Buys vs. Gloria de Paula

UFC Women’s Strawweight Bout

Based on her output and aggressive nature, I find it challenging to ignore Cheyanne Buys in this weekend’s women’s strawweight bout.

Gloria de Paula is the more technical striker of the two, with a less than desirable grappling skill set. She does prefer to strike, training out of Chute Box Diego Lima; this is no surprise. A background in Muay Thai assists Paula in striking at a distance, but her problems will arise when attempting to keep Buys at a range where she can comfortably land her strikes.

Cheyanne Buys was a promising prospect after an impressive Dana White Contender Series debut, but an authoritative ground game from Montserrat Ruiz cost her a debut loss.

Buys likes to box inside the pocket, an area of the stand-up battle I believe she can excel. She does tend to clinch on occasions, which I’d like to see her avoid and focus on delivering significant strikes

through her aggressive boxing style. With that said, I do anticipate Buys being the stronger grappler of the two, and after witnessing Paula having no answers for a grappling offense versus Jihn Yu Frey, this could be another path to victory for Buys.

A high output of strikes and a willingness to pressure forward in all rounds should give Cheyanne Buys enough respect to earn a nod from the judges’.

UFC Vegas 33 Best Bet: Miranda Maverick to win @ -165 with BetMGM [1650u returns 1u profit]