UFC in Vegas 31 Pick’ Em: Fight Card Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Islam Makhachev.  Mike Lawrie/Getty Images/AFP
Islam Makhachev. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images/AFP


We’re back with our UFC in Vegas Fight Night predictions. The UFC in Vegas 31: Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises 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.


Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises


UFC Lightweight Bout


Saturday, July 17, 2021 – 11:35 PM ET at the Apex Centre


The most avoided fighter in the lightweight division has finally found a worthy opponent. Islam Makhachev (19-1) doesn’t own a padded record like certain impressive MMA professional records; he owns some of the highest-level grappling since the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov. And just to make things worse for the opponents who face him, Khabib can often be found in Makhachev’s corner – giving him the coaching advice most fighters would dream of.


It’s frustrating that #9 ranked Makhachev cannot find an opponent with a greater ranking than his own, but can we blame them? The dominant skillset of the Dagestan native will be complex for most fighters in the lightweight division to contend with, but the man needs to fight – and that’s where Thiago Moises steps in.


#14 ranked Thiago Moises could certainly put his name on the map this weekend; a victory over Makhachev would undoubtedly boost his stock – but that’s easier said than done.


The exciting factor that Moises brings to the table would be his ability to fight off his back. As a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, you can often find Moises giving strong wrestler’s a hard time on the ground with his submission attempts.


With that said, it is hard not to favour Makhachev in all areas. Moises does pose specific threats within the striking realm and of his back, but we should face facts – Makhachev is priced between -700 and -900 (at some bookmakers) for a reason. The problem lies in finding value.


Neither man have fought a five-round, twenty-five-minute fight before, so their capabilities heading into championship rounds are unknown. With this in mind, it’s hard to judge whether Makhachev will overcome the durability of Moises, which hasn’t failed him across nineteen pro bouts.


As Makhachev has proven to be a complete danger, it isn’t easy to judge, but we’ll take our chances with Moises and his chances of surviving past three rounds.


UFC Vegas 31 Best Bet: Over 3 and a ½ rounds at -187 with William Hill [1.87u returns 1u profit]



Miesha Tate vs. Marion Reneau


UFC Women’s Bantamweight Bout


Saturday, July 17, 2021 – 11:35 PM ET at the Apex Centre 


The long-awaited return of former UFC champion Miesha Tate is upon us, and with a long history in martial arts, she should have a great chance at victory versus her selected opponent this weekend.


Now, concerns are surrounding Tate that we should highlight. She hasn’t fought in five years, and she is returning against a veteran fighter who’s remained constantly active during her time working for ONE Championship. The excellent news for Tate, she’s fighting a 44-year-old fighter who’s riding a 4-fight losing streak.


Marion Reneau should own the striking advantage this weekend, but her technical abilities have not proven to be the most desirable even then. Past fights have shown her lack of grappling defence, favouring Tate’s return and her chances of walking out the winner.


Tate will be looking to pressure Reneau against the cage and force her grappling into the fight, an offense I believe she can impose when studying Reneau’s previous attempts at avoiding this route. Reneau may find some success in the stand-up, but I anticipate Tate delivering a heavy wrestling-based gameplan across fifteen minutes.


UFC Vegas 31 Best Bet: Miesha Tate at -130 with William Hill [1.30u returns 1u profit]

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