UFC 234: Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum

UFC 234: Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum

The UFC heads back to Australia this weekend with a relatively top-heavy fight card that features local hero Robert Whittaker’s title defense against Kelvin Gastelum. In the co-main event, New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya will fight Anderson Silva in what should be an intriguing clash of styles.

We’re here to break down the entire UFC 234 main card to bring you the best bets and betting advice for this pay-per-view event.

Let’s get started.

Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Robert Whittaker will attempt to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship in front of thousands of screaming local fans in Melbourne, Australia. The last time he stepped foot in the Rod Laver Arena, he competed against Derek Brunson, and it turned out to be a thrilling first round of action that saw both fighters stumbling around the cage. “The Reaper” defeated Brunson and it inspired an exciting run to the title.

Now, at the top of the middleweight division, Whittaker is coming out of two intense battles with Yoel Romero. In the first one, his knee was damaged just a few minutes into the fight after Romero smashed it with a push kick. He overcame the adversity to win a decision after denying Romero’s takedowns and beating him up with heavy strikes.

Whittaker then managed to injure his hand in the second fight before somehow hanging on and winning a split decision. The second fight was much more competitive than the first, with Romero coming out of it feeling robbed by the judges after he scored some significant knockdowns.

Whittaker will be facing Kelvin Gastelum, who – like Whittaker – made a move up to middleweight after a lengthy stint as a welterweight. Gastelum has jumped all the way up into a title shot after recent wins against Michael Bisping and “Jacare” Souza. The Bisping knockout was impressive in nature, but more of a measure of Bisping’s decline and baffling decision to take a fight on two-week notice, more so than Gastelum’s meteoric rise. Moreover, the “Jacare” fight proved to be incredibly competitive, with Gastelum just making it over the line at the end of three rounds.

Best odds for Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum:

Whittaker’s a favorite in this one, and it’s easy to see why.

Anyone who can come out on top after ten rounds with Yoel Romero demands respect. There’s even the fact that Robert Whittaker might just be the greatest middleweight fighter in the history of the UFC. Now that’s something.

So, Gastelum, a guy coming off two wins over “aging” competitors, finds himself against one of the best to ever do it? How can he win?

Gastelum has a pathway or two to victory, but he’s going to need to act fast. Whittaker’s typically most vulnerable in the first round. It takes the Australian a few rounds to get going in his fights, helping to understand his opponent’s style and movements and then implement an appropriate game plan to beat them. We saw this when Brunson – not the best of strikers – clipped Whittaker and nearly finished him.

Gastelum’s going to need to rush out and make the most of his advantages in the early rounds before Whittaker’s cardio and intelligence takes over.

However, Whittaker is insanely durable. Yes, he often gets injured or harmed during fights, but he survives.

That’s why we see Whittaker outlasting Gastelum in this one to win.

Bet on Robert Whittaker to win: -229 (Pinnacle)

Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya

Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya is completely bizarre.

Adesanya has quickly become one of the most talented – and talked about – strikers in the UFC since joining last year. Rising to the occasion in all of his appearances so far, Adesanya was 2018’s breakout mixed martial artist and finds himself already close to earning a title shot against the winner of Whittaker vs. Gastelum. He ranks amongst the best in the division, yet the UFC decided to pit him against a legend of the sport who hasn’t competed in quite some time.

Anderson Silva is an all-time great and a fan-favorite, but that doesn’t exactly help you when you’re locked inside a cage in 2019. Moreover, if you’re wondering how Silva and Adesanya are matched against each other if it’s such a ‘mismatch,’ the UFC has tricked Silva into believing he’ll be awarded a title shot if he defeats Adesanya this weekend. It’s an offer “The Spider” couldn’t refuse.

Best odds for Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya:

People continue to draw similarities between Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya for many fairly obvious reasons. Stylistically, they look similar in some ways. Yes, they utilize loads of feints, spinning attacks, and unique striking techniques, but there’s a huge disparity right now when it comes to the actual attributes of these two.

Adesanya is lightning-fast and uses his excellent anticipation to read his opponent and smoothly measure a safe operating distance inside the cage. His opponents have a difficult time landing their hands on him. Silva’s going to need to turn back the clock many, many years if he wants to top Adesanya this weekend in Melbourne. However, there’s a fair chance that even the best version of Silva would fall short against “The Stylebender.”

Bet on Israel Adesanya to win by decision: +200 (Bovada)

Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon

Moreover, this is where the pay-per-view all falls apart. The third-last bout of the evening will see Rani Yahya compete against Ricky Simon in what should be an entertaining fight, albeit one between two competitors that don’t demand respect or attention of the four fighters above.

Rani Yahya has been doing some of his best work in the UFC in his last three fights, despite having been with the promotion since January 2011. Yahya has three consecutive stoppage victories to his name against Henry Briones, Russell Doane, and Luke Sanders, helping him to recover after losing to Joe Soto back in March 2017.

Ricky Simon is undefeated in two fights with the UFC and enters UFC 234 with an impressive seven-fight winning streak behind him, dating back to his time in Titan FC and KOTC. His UFC debut was a controversial one, as he finished the fight with a guillotine choke locked in but didn’t get a tap from Merab Dvalishvili when the final horn sounded. Strangely, Dvalishvili was deemed unconscious after the horn and Simon was awarded the win.

Best odds for Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon:

Rani Yahya’s dangerous submission game is the X-factor in this fight. Simon loves to scrap in a fast-pace fight and that might lead to stumbles, takedowns, and trips, eventually resulting in mat time. The longer this one is on the mat, the more Yahya’s chances of a finish increase.

We’re taking Yahya to win.

Bet on Rani Yahya to win: -105 (Bovada)

Nadia Kassem vs. Montana De La Rosa

Undefeated Nadia Kassem will look to make it two in a row in the UFC when she fights Montana De La Rosa this weekend at UFC 234.

Kassem, an athlete from Sydney, Australia, had finished all four of her first fights outside the UFC via the first-round stoppage and none of them lasted more than 90 seconds. Against Alex Chambers in Sydney, though, Kassem was taken the distance before winning a unanimous decision.

Montana De La Rosa is 2-0 in the UFC after first appearing during The Ultimate Fighter Season 26, where she lost to eventual champion, Nicco Montano. De La Rosa scored submission wins against Christina Marks and Rachael Ostovich, to make it three submission victories in her last three professional fights.

Best odds for Nadia Kassem vs. Montana De La Rosa:

We haven’t seen a whole lot from Nadia Kassem through her professional career to date, and there’s not a lot to suggest she can hang in there with Montana De La Rosa if this fight hits the mat. There’s also not enough evidence that indicates she can keep it upright and out of danger.

De La Rosa is a decent takedown artist who will be looking to get this one to the floor and lock up a submission – that’s if a KO/TKO victory doesn’t come before it though.

Bet on Montana De La Rosa to win: -242 (Pinnacle)

Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey

Jim Crute is the latest Australian prospect to crash the UFC’s roster. He made a name for himself on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series by smashing Chris Birchler in the first round. That KO/TKO win earned him a spot in the big leagues and he started with a bang against Paul Craig at UFC Fight Night 142, where he earned a kimura submission win.

Crute was originally scheduled to face Ryan Spann this weekend, but a change of circumstances has led to him needing to prepare for Sam Alvey instead.

Sam Alvey is a heavy-hitting southpaw fighter, who was training for a fight with Gadzhimurad Antigulov. He welcomes the challenge here against the Aussie prospect and is certainly excited to compete on his first-ever pay-per-view main card.

Best odds for Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey:

Crute is also a powerful, lightweight fighter with extremely devastating top game and decent kickboxing ability. When he secures a top position, he rains down heavy ground and pound and has excellent submission ability to top it all off.

Alvey’s left-handed cross might cause problems for Crute who was training for Spann, and that combined with his knockout power could be a recipe for disaster for the Australian.

Crute fought to a close fight with Paul Craig, who seemed levels below most other fighters in the division when inside the cage.

This one is a winnable fight for Alvey, and we’re taking the underdog in this one.

Bet on Sam Alvey to win: +110 (Bovada)

UFC 234 fight card

UFC 234 begins on ESPN+ from 6:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, February 9.

UFC 234 Main Card on PPV (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya
  • Rani Yahya vs. Ricky Simon
  • Nadia Kassem vs. Montana De La Rosa
  • Jim Crute vs. Sam Alvey

UFC 234 Preliminary Card on ESPN+ (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 am GMT)

  • Dong Hyun Ma vs. Devonte Smith
  • Austin Arnett vs. Shane Young
  • Kai Kara-France vs. Raulian Paiva
  • Teruto Ishihara vs. Kyung Ho Kang
  • Lando Vannata vs. Marcos Rosa
  • Jalin Turner vs. Callan Potter
  • Wuliji Buren vs. Jonathan Martinez

UFC Fight Night 144: Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes

UFC Fight Night 144: Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes

The UFC will head back to Fortaleza, Brazil, this weekend for a fantastic Brazilian-focused fight card with many legends and rising stars.

In the main event of UFC Fight Night 144, Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes will meet for the second time. The winner of this high stakes bantamweight fight will emerge as the next contender for the UFC Bantamweight Championship. TJ Dillashaw currently holds that title.

The co-main event will feature featherweight legend Jose Aldo, who will be defending his spot in the 145-pound division against the fast-rising Renato Moicano.

Join us as we preview the fights at UFC Fight Night 144 and provide our best bets for the event.

Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes

Raphael Assuncao has never quite been in a position to demand a title shot, but he definitely will be if he wins this fight against Marlon Moraes.

Assuncao has been a dominant force in the UFC’s bantamweight division, dropping just one fight in the last eight years; that defeat was to current champion, TJ Dillashaw. Since losing to Dillashaw at UFC 200, Assuncao has worked his way to four more impressive wins against the likes of Aljamain Sterling, Marlon Moraes, Matthew Lopez, and Rob Font. Despite looking like the top contender in the division, the UFC instead decided to book him against Moraes once more.

Moreover, from Moraes’ perspective, it all makes sense.

Moraes lost his UFC debut to Assuncao but has since dominated Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling, scoring tremendous knockout victories inside the first round. Those wins came after a competitive battle with John Dodson in which he earned a split decision win.

Moraes has displayed amazing power, technique and timing in his last two fights. He was a known fight-finisher during his time at World Series of Fighting and has only now translated this ability to the UFC, where he has scored consecutive finishes against highly-rated bantamweight opponents.

The winner of this matchup will go on to face Dillashaw for the bantamweight title.

Best odds for Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes:

Assuncao’s first meeting with Moraes was a very competitive battle from start to finish. The veteran took many of Moraes’ best shots – some of which were enough to put away Rivera and Sterling – and managed to stay in the fight and use a calculated strategy to score the split decision win.

It was incredibly close, though, and the rounds could have gone either way.

Assuncao is typically a counter striker but has recently become more aggressive, perhaps with the belief he needs to be more entertaining to become favorable in the eyes of the UFC brass?  Moraes is a devastating counter striker and can land bombs on Assuncao when given a chance – the last fight is evidence. Moraes picked up steam in the final round of their first meeting and there’s an argument to be made that he’ll carry that momentum into the next rounds of their rivalry.

Look for Moraes to come away with a win in this main event.

Bet on Marlon Moraes to win: -169 (Pinnacle)

Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano

Believe it or not, Jose Aldo will be competing in a three-round co-main event this weekend.

The once long-reigning featherweight champion of the UFC is now desperately attempting to regain his right to another shot at the belt he once held. After first losing his title to Max Holloway in June 2016, he would then fail to reclaim it in an immediate rematch not that long after. Fortunately for the Brazilian veteran, he would then bounce back with a devastating body punch stoppage against Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 30. With a convincing win here against Moicano, Aldo finds himself in a peculiar position just outside the range of another shot at Holloway.

Renato Moicano is a man on a mission. Currently tearing through the 145-pound weight class, the 29-year-old Brazilian is 5-1 in the UFC. His only defeat in the UFC so far – and his professional career – was to former title challenger Brian Ortega at UFC 214. Moicano was winning the fight convincingly before giving up his neck in the middle of round three.

Best odds for Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano:

Many are quick to believe that Jose Aldo is over the hill and could be outworked by a younger, more athletic opponent. While that might hold some truth, Aldo has made an effort to hide his weaknesses by adapting his strategy to focus more on his boxing and less upon his kicking prowess. At close range, Aldo’s defensive ability combined with expert timing and power has made him a dangerous boxer – Stephens learned this the hard way by eating a powerful left hook to the body.

Moicano is a bright prospect with the capability of beating up many top-tier boxers in the division. This was proved by his win over Calvin Kattar recently. However, Moicano does have more defensive holes than his adversary in this contest, and we can only expect Aldo to piece him up when given a chance.

If Moicano blocks high with his traditional high-arm guard, watch Aldo go low to the body with heavy punches. Don’t write off Aldo just yet.

Bet on Jose Aldo to win: +110 (Pinnacle)

Demian Maia vs. Lyman Good

One of the most dominant grapplers in the history of the UFC, Demian Maia now finds himself needing to snap a terrible three-fight losing streak. After seven consecutive wins skyrocketed him to a title shot in the UFC’s welterweight division on short notice, Maia was dominated by Tyron Woodley for five rounds after failing to secure a takedown. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert was then matched against the two next-best wrestlers in the division, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman where he was outworked yet again. Maia has racked up 12 career wins by submission and 10 decision victories in his professional career.

Lyman Good is now 2-1 in the UFC after securing a dominant first-round victory against Ben Saunders at UFC 230. Saunders, who is also a submission happy grappler, was knocked out in just 1:32 by a combination of punches from the 33-year-old “Cyborg.” Good has 10 KO/TKO victories on his record and seven wins by way of decision.

Best odds for Demian Maia vs. Lyman Good:

It feels like Demian Maia has nothing more to give, but this is probably when he is most dangerous.

Maia’s striking is less than good, but it almost entirely exists as a way to set up his takedown. If the takedown isn’t there (see fights with Woodley, Usman, and Covington), his striking is helpless against the relentless attack of his opponent.

This fight ultimately comes down to whether Maia can secure the takedown.

If he can, we haven’t seen enough from Good to suggest that he can defend the submission onslaught and inevitable rear-naked choke from Maia. If he can’t, there’s an almost equal chance that Good lights him up on the feet and earns a stoppage.

Maia’s takedowns are surprisingly decent, but we’re inclined not to believe so because of recent performances. He’ll take down Good and earn a submission, and it might not take long.

Bet on Demian Maia to win: -175 (Bovada)

Charles Oliveira vs. David Teymur

Despite fighting just minutes before someone who is regarded as the best grappler in the UFC, Charles Oliveira is the UFC record holder for most submission wins in the organization. With 17 submission victories to his name from 25 professional wins, Oliveira is a brilliant fight-finisher who has only managed two decision wins in his career. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace will be looking to extend his record by submitting David Teymur this weekend in Fortaleza.

Teymur is up there with the most underrated of all fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division. Undefeated in the UFC so far, the 29-year-old Swede has three decision wins and two KO/TKO victories in the promotion so far. There’s arguably no better test right now for Teymur than the always-dangerous Oliveira.

Best odds for Charles Oliveira vs. David Teymur:

Whereas the earlier mentioned Demian Maia relies heavily on a takedown for his success, you could say that Charles Oliveira relies on a submission win more so.

Deadly in the opening stages of a fight, Oliveira attempts to wrap up his opponent and lock in a fight-ending submission. If he is unable, however, he often finds himself discouraged and up against all the odds.

David Teymur has 82% takedown defense so far in the UFC and seemingly has the defensive wrestling ability to nullify Oliveira’s grappling. As long as this one stays standing, Teymur should cruise to a victory.

Bet on David Teymur to win: +102 (Pinnacle)

Johnny Walker vs. Justin Ledet

Also on the main card is an exciting battle between Johnny Walker and Justin Ledet.

Ledet will step in as a moderate underdog at odds of +180 at Pinnacle and represents the better value bet in this matchup. Walker’s claim to fame is a quick knockout finish of Khalil Rountree. Ledet is a durable fighter who may be able to withstand Walker’s heavy hands. If Ledet can stay out of the Thai clinch, it should be one of the best bets of the night.

Bet on Justin Ledet to win: +180 (Pinnacle)

UFC Fight Night 144 fight card

The UFC Fight Night 144 main card begins on ESPN+ from 8:00 pm ET (1:00 am GMT) on Saturday, February 2.

UFC Fight Night 144 on ESPN+ (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Raphael Assuncao vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano
  • Demian Maia vs. Lyman Good
  • Charles Oliveira vs. David Teymur
  • Johnny Walker vs. Justin Ledet
  • Livinha Souza vs. Sarah Frota

Preliminary Card on ESPN+ (4:30 pm ET / 9:30 am GMT)

  • Markus Perez vs. Anthony Hernandez
  • Mara Romero Borella vs. Taila Santos
  • Thiago Alves vs. Max Griffin
  • Junior Albini vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Said Nurmagomedov
  • Rogerio Bontorin vs. Magomed Bibulatov
  • Geraldo de Freitas vs. Felipe Colares

UFC Fight Night 143: Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw

UFC Fight Night 143: Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw

At UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN, Henry Cejudo will defend his flyweight title from the current bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw. The super fight is a brilliant way to get things started over at ESPN now that the deal with FOX has concluded.

The card is relatively stacked for a non-pay-per-view event and features many fan-favorites as well as extremely competitive matchups between rising stars and debutants.

Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw

After dethroning the long-reigning Demetrious Johnson last year, Henry Cejudo is now setting out to do something that “Mighty Mouse” wasn’t able to do – defend his title from a bantamweight champion.

There had been talks of a 135-pound champion, such as Dillashaw or Cody Garbrandt, dropping down to challenge Johnson for quite some time. However, the champion would never accept the challenge.

So, straight after winning the title from Johnson, Cejudo took to the microphone and announced that he wanted to defend his title from the big guys.

TJ Dillashaw now steps in, as arguably one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today.

Best odds for Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw:

Now on a three-fight winning streak, Cejudo has become the first ever athlete to win Olympic gold as well as a UFC championship when he defeated Johnson at UFC 227.

An incredibly accomplished wrestler, Cejudo has utilized his wrestling to defeat all of his opponent’s inside the cage so far. Whether it’s offensively, by moving forward and taking his opponent to the mat or defensively to keep the fight standing, Cejudo is a highly talented grappler and has proved trouble in the UFC.

However, recently, he’s developed as a striker and is now using somewhat of a karate-style stance to outwork his adversaries. For instance, Cejudo dropped Wilson Reis in the second round with a beautiful series of punches; something unimaginable many years ago.

Both his striking and grappling will be tested by the ever-dangerous Dillashaw, who is dangerous wherever the fight ends up.

Dillashaw steps into this fight after defeating Cody Garbrandt twice in a row – the first two defeats in Garbrandt’s career. Those wins came after topping John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao, both highly rated contenders in the bantamweight division. The only recent downfall was to Dominick Cruz in 2016 when he lost his title to Cruz via split decision.

Dillashaw’s boxing should be the edge. Whether it’s the same check-hook that tagged up Garbrandt and finished him early in the fight, or another technique, expect Dillashaw to gain an edge while standing and finish Cejudo inside the distance.

Of course, Cejudo has his wrestling to lean on, but Dillashaw is a talented wrestler (for mixed martial arts standards) and will likely nullify his advantages across the board.

Take Dillashaw to win.

Bet on TJ Dillashaw to win: -191 (Pinnacle)

Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder

Ex-NFL star Greg Hardy has racked up three consecutive wins to start his professional career and now finds himself making his UFC debut on the biggest stage in recent UFC history – the first-ever event on ESPN.

Hardy will be up against Allen Crowder, who lost his own UFC debut against Justin Willis in December 2017.

Best odds for Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder:

Hardy has picked up three first-round wins, all in the first minute. Two of these wins occurred during Dana White’s Contender Series, which is currently a stepping stone to the UFC.

With almost unparalleled athleticism in the UFC’s heavyweight division, Hardy is going to be a threat to ranked competitors in the future. But not right now. Hardy’s effectively a rookie mixed martial artist who has leaned on raw power and explosiveness to carry him over the line in all of his bout so far. With relentless forward pressure, pace and aggression, Hardy has stormed out of the gates in all of his bouts.

Unfortunately for Allen Crowder, he doesn’t appear to have the required tools to slow down a quickly advancing opponent. With relatively slow strike speed and poor defensive awareness, Crowder was repeatedly tagged while moving backward against Willis in his first UFC bout.

Whereas Crowder was landing with some strikes, he didn’t have the same impact as his opponent was. Expect the same in this fight as Greg Hardy lands with monstrous attacks and gets rid of Crowder inside the first round.

Bet on Greg Hardy to win: -519 (Pinnacle)

Gregor Gillespie vs. Yancy Medeiros

Gregor Gillespie, one of the best prospects in the UFC, is up against his toughest test to date when he meets Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night 143.

Undefeated in his 11-fight career, Gillespie has proven to be one of the most exciting and highest-potential additions to the UFC’s roster in the last couple of years. Joining the organization in late 2016, Gillespie has now won five-straight and all last four wins via stoppage.

Medeiros was recently on an impressive three-fight winning streak of his own and was climbing through the UFC’s welterweight rankings before running into Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 126. Medeiros was finished in the first round early last year and all of his work against Alex Oliveira, Erick Silva, and Sean Spencer was untied.

Best odds for Gregor Gillespie vs. Yancy Medeiros:

Yancy Medeiros is a striking-focused fighter with a poor chin and a tendency to get clipped. Against Gillespie, we should expect reckless striking exchanges from the very start. This will favor Gillespie, who has a superb chain takedown wrestling game and an ability to control the fight on the mat.

Once there, expect him to pin down Medeiros and work him over with brutal ground and pound.

Bet on Gregor Gillespie to win: -519 (Pinnacle)

Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz

The flyweight division might be disappearing sooner or later, but Joseph Benavidez is sticking around.

One of the best fighters in the UFC not to win a title, Benavidez will be fighting against Dustin Ortiz this weekend.

Dustin Ortiz is on a three-fight winning streak dating back to mid-2017 and has since defeated Hector Sandoval, Alexandre Pantoja and now Matheus Nicolau. His win over Nicolau was most impressive, as he dismantled the talented flyweight inside the first round with a well-timed head kick and punches.

Benavidez recently returned to winning form by defeating Alex Perez in the first round at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in November last year. That win helped him get back to track after losing a split decision to Sergio Pettis in the middle of 2018.

Best odds for Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz:

Joseph Benavidez is regarded as a near top-tier talent in the UFC’s flyweight division. Equally well-rounded, Benavidez is a tricky opponent whether he is standing in front of you or down on the mat. With his experience, he brings a calm and composed level of focus with him at all times. Unfazed by strikes and a fight that isn’t going his way, he’s masterful at finding a way to win.

Ortiz might be regarded as a middle-of-the-road fighter, but he is bound to be a tougher test than Alex Perez, Benavidez’s last opponent. Relatively quick on his feet, Ortiz moves around and attempts to control the center with occasional forward pressure. Feinting and dipping his head to either side, he’ll eventually step forward and launch bombs. He’ll also change up his attacks by using kicks to the head or punches.

Benavidez is a deserving favorite, but not by this much. Ortiz is coming off a big win against Matheus Nicolau and might extend his winning streak. At these odds, it’s worth a stab.

Bet on Dustin Ortiz to win: +190 (Bovada)

Paige VanZant vs. Rachael Ostovich

Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich are set to square off in what should be a thrilling female flyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 143.

Best odds for Paige VanZant vs. Rachael Ostovich:

This fight is Paige VanZant’s to lose. She’s better at all aspects of mixed martial arts and has distinct advantages in the striking aspect of this contest. Ostovich does have the occasional ability to grab a dominant position on the mat – such as taking the back or mount – and could potentially hold control enough to win a round or two, but VanZant should do enough to scramble out of position and get back to working Ostovich with kicks.

It’ll be in the later moments of this fight (think rounds two and three) where VanZant takes over and earns the victory.

Bet on Paige VanZant to win: -160 (Bovada)

Glover Teixeira vs. Karl Roberson

Glover Teixeira gets a short-notice opponent in Karl Roberson to replace Ion Cutelaba at UFC Fight Night 143.

Best odds for Glover Teixeira vs. Karl Roberson:

Once regarded as one of the most dangerous light heavyweight competitors out there, Glover Teixeira has declined recently – and it all began with that stunning first-round knockout at the hands of Anthony Johnson. Probably most renowned for his boxing and jiu-jitsu abilities, Teixeira has recently lost fights in a multitude of ways. Against Alexander Gustafsson, he was boxed up for the majority of the fight before being dropped with a thunderous series of punches late in the contest.

That’s where Roberson will have the most significant advantage in this fight. If it hits the mat, he might find himself being mauled just like how Jared Cannonier was against Teixeira. However, if he can keep upright against this opponent, Roberson has a remarkable power and boxing advantage that will help him over the line.

Teixeira’s aging and Roberson is a rising star. Although it’s short-notice, Roberson had been training alongside Corey Anderson recently and will be in shape.

Take him to win.

Bet on Karl Roberson to win: +100 (Bovada)

UFC Fight Night 143 fight card

UFC Fight Night 143 begins on ESPN+ from 6:00 pm ET (10:00 pm GMT) on Saturday, January 19.

UFC Fight Night 143 on ESPN+ (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw
  • Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder
  • Gregor Gillespie vs. Yancy Medeiros
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz
  • Paige VanZant vs. Rachael Ostovich
  • Glover Teixeira vs. Karl Roberson 

Preliminary Card on ESPN+ (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Donald Cerrone vs. Alexander Hernandez
  • Joanna Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski
  • Alonzo Menifield vs. Vinicius Moreira
  • Mario Bautista vs. Cory Sandhagen

Early Preliminary Card on ESPN+ (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)

  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Te Edwards
  • Belal Muhammad vs. Geoff Neal
  • Chance Rencountre vs. Kyle Stewart

UFC 232: Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

UFC 232 Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

The UFC travels to Los Angeles on late notice this weekend for an epic end-of-year pay-per-view event.

UFC 232’s main event is a highly anticipated rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. And although that fight is certain to draw all of the attention in the build-up to the event, we can assure you that the rest of the card is definitely worth your time.

Let’s get into it.

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson first threw down all the way back in 2013.

At the time, Gustafsson was an underrated light heavyweight fighter from Sweden who entered the fight as a significant betting underdog and was primarily given no chance against one of the greatest fighters the sport has ever seen.

By the end of their 25-minute war, Gustafsson had gained tremendous levels of respect from audiences worldwide as he pushed Jones to the limit like no one else before him. It was proven that Jones had weaknesses after all and Gustfasson had exposed them for the world to see.

Despite a tight and competitive unanimous decision victory for Jones, fans have been hanging on to the hope of a rematch between these two fighters ever since then.

At UFC 232, it will all be decided.

Best odds for Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson:

The odds have tightened up significantly since the first time, but Jones is still the heavy favorite here at UFC 232.

The first time around, it was Gustafsson’s boxing ability that proved to be the difference maker for him. Landing straight punches to the head and stiff shots to the body, Gustafsson won two of the five rounds. This time, Jones has made an effort to tighten up his boxing defense while also improving his punching ability.

However, we predict that the deciding factor in this fight, once again, is Jones’ leg kicks. With Gustafsson walking forward to land hands on Jones, we’re expecting Jones to connect cleanly with his feared oblique kick that pushes toward the lead knee. If he can land this with the same success he did in the first fight; a depleted Gustafsson will eventually give in when the later rounds come around.

Bet on Jon Jones to win: -285 (Bovada)

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs. Amanda Nunes

Not to be forgotten, the co-main event of UFC 232 is a headline-worthy fight between two of the greatest female mixed martial artists in the history of the sport.

Amanda Nunes, the UFC’s 135-pound champion, will be stepping up to face the reigning featherweight champion (145-pounds), who is better known as Cris Cyborg.

Best odds for Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs. Amanda Nunes:

Cyborg hasn’t found a worthy competitor in the UFC – or anywhere else for that matter – in the last couple of years. A powerful and skilled striker, Cyborg has destroyed her opponents with ease. Whether it’s a tactful effort against Holly Holm over five rounds or a destructive beatdown like against Yana Kunitskaya, Cyborg has always found a way to win.

Moreover, Amanda Nunes has been dominating everyone in her path, as well. Rising to fame by smashing Ronda Rousey in less than a minute, Nunes has since defended her title twice more and looks to be almost unbeatable in the bantamweight division.

Still, despite her success against bantamweight fighters such as Valentina Shevchenko and Raquel Pennington, Cris Cyborg is a notable step upward. Nunes’ counter-striking approach might not be best suited to a matchup with Cyborg. Cyborg’s constant forward pressure and heavy hands will test Nunes’ otherwise excellent chin and durability.

We respect her desire to move up and challenge the champion – and she’s definitely the most worthy competitor out there today – but Cyborg is on an entirely different level right now.

Bet on Cris Cyborg win: -241 (Pinnacle)

Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa

Carlos Condit needs to snap a terrible losing streak and will have his chance to do so against former lightweight contender Michael Chiesa this weekend.

Chiesa is coming off two consecutive losses to Anthony Pettis and Kevin Lee and has now decided to move up 15-pounds to the welterweight division. Without the need to dehydrate and cut weight to make the 155-pound category, Chiesa plans on being stronger and more competitive in this new division.

There’s arguably no more significant test for him for his welterweight debut than former title challenger, Carlos Condit. Despite losing all four of his most recent bouts, Condit hasn’t looked entirely out of place. Sure, a quick submission defeat to Demian Maia wasn’t ideal, and neither was being outclassed by Neil Magny. But a tough fight with Robbie Lawler and a near-finish in the first round against “Cowboy” Oliveira suggest that Condit isn’t done just yet. He’s declining, but there’s still some to give.

Best odds for Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa:

Condit excels in a matchup that stays standing. Despite what many fans believe, Chiesa might not be the right guy to test his takedown defense at this stage. We’re expecting a fast and scrappy fight and this should swing the odds in Condit’s favor more than a slow and grinding grappling match.

If Chiesa gets Condit down, his rear-naked choke will probably end up sinking in sooner than later. However, we’re banking on Condit’s ability to stay upright and outpower Chiesa for three rounds at UFC 232.

At these odds, it makes for a great bet.

Bet on Carlos Condit to win: +150 (Bovada)

Ilir Latifi vs. Corey Anderson

Another light heavyweight clash that features on the UFC 232 main card will see Ilir Latifi up against Corey Anderson.

Both fighters are enjoying a decent patch of form and have managed to each string two consecutive wins together.

For Latifi, he’s becoming somewhat of a streak-breaker having just ended Tyson Pedro’s unbeaten career and then managing to snap Ovince Saint Preux’s resurgence.

Anderson has been up against older, proven talent and came away with unanimous decision wins.

Best odds for Ilir Latifi vs. Corey Anderson:

Latifi, a heavy-hitting wrestler, has proven to be too dangerous for most opponents when the fight hits the mat. With incredible strength and size, Latifi is a monster in top position and a difficult man to overcome.

Anderson is relatively well-rounded but has been exploited on the feet, highlighting a low-standard of defense. That’s precisely the area we’re counting on Latifi to expose at UFC 232.

Bet on Ilir Latifi to win: -141 (Pinnacle)

Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski

Chad Mendes vs. Alex Volkanovski is a featherweight battle that may have title implications for the winner.

Having torn through the 145-pound division since his arrival, Volkanovski called out Mendes after defeating Darren Elkins and has now got his chance to prove he is worthy of a top rank in the division.

Mendes is a former title challenger who has been inside the UFC’s octagon with some of the best featherweight fighters to ever do it.

Best odds for Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski:

Volkanovski is a unique talent inside the UFC’s featherweight division. He brings almost unparalleled levels of strength for this small weight class with him and uses this to dominate his opponents on the mat.

However, it could be an entirely different story against Mendes, who has elite level wrestling. Volkanovski is confident in his wrestling ability as well and has managed to defeat Jeremy Kennedy and Darren Elkins, but Mendes is another level.

Volkanovski is in with a chance, but these odds are way too good to pass up on for those betting on Chad Mendes.

Bet on Chad Mendes to win: -155 (Bovada)

Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris

Getting the main card started is a heavyweight fight between Andrei Arlovski and Walt Harris.

Arlovski’s somewhat of a career resurgence has come to an end after losing two consecutive fights. He’ll now be looking to bounce back against Harris, who has had mixed results of his own lately.

Best odds for Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris:

Although Arlovski is losing more than winning lately, the majority of his defeats have been against top-tier talent in the heavyweight division. His chin hasn’t completely packed it in yet, either, and he’s managed to stay strong against proven finishers such as Tai Tuivasa despite taking some cracking shots.

However, he lacks the required athleticism and power to get over the line against Walt Harris at UFC 232. Harris is explosive and has an impactful right-hand shot that could be enough to end Arlovski’s night.

These odds seem generous for Harris, a rising contender in the division.

Bet on Walt Harris to win: -165 (Bovada)

UFC 232 fight card

UFC 232 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, December 29.

UFC 232 Pay-Per-View Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson
  • Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino vs. Amanda Nunes
  • Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa
  • Ilir Latifi vs. Corey Anderson
  • Chad Mendes vs. Alex Volkanovski
  • Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris

FS1 Prelims (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Cat Zingano vs. Megan Anderson
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Petr Yan
  • BJ Penn vs. Ryan Hall
  • Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Ewell

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)

  • Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis
  • Curtis Millender vs. Siyar Bahadurzada
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Montel Jackson

UFC on FOX 31: Lee vs. Al Iaquinta

UFC on FOX 31: Lee vs. Gaethje

The UFC’s last FOX-focused show will air this weekend in Milwaukee as Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta headline UFC on FOX 31.

Kevin Lee vs. Al Iaquinta

Kevin Lee, a rising lightweight star, will get a chance to secure victory over Al Iaquinta in a rematch of a fight from February 2014.

Lee steps into the cage this weekend after a big win over Edson Barboza in April. That win was a return to form to the 26-year-old who had only recently failed in his quest for an interim title against Tony Ferguson.

Iaquinta returns after his inspiring performance against Khabib Nurmagomedov earlier this year. The 31-year-old from Long Island stepped into the main event against arguably the most feared fighter in the UFC on a few days’ notice and managed to last the distance. Although he lost a unanimous decision, Iaquinta gained many fans and some favor in the eyes of the UFC.

Best odds for Kevin Lee vs. Al Iaquinta:

Despite losing the first fight against Iaquinta, Lee will enter this fight as a significant betting favorite. Hinting at major improvements to his game and a new approach to training, the bookmakers believe that Lee has a considerable edge in this main event.

Moreover, that’s a fair assessment considering that while Iaquinta is aging and seemingly less focused on his mixed martial arts career, Lee has grand ambitions to work his way to the top and claim the title.

However, there’s a lot more to it than that.

An Iaquinta dropped Lee with a left hand in round one of their first fight and mostly outworked him while standing in rounds one and three. In round two, Lee secured an excellent takedown to take the fight to the mat and attempt to finish Iaquinta with a rear-naked choke.

Now, Lee’s striking has improved to a point at which we’d believe he has a small edge over his opponent in this fight for as long as it stays standing. Moreover, on the mat, Lee’s jiu-jitsu has improved significantly as to suggest he would have a greater chance of submitting Iaquinta this time.

We’re betting on Kevin Lee to win this weekend in what should be an exciting main event.

Bet on to Kevin Lee to win: -305 (Pinnacle)

Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker

This matchup is just as good as the main event. Striking phenom Edson Barboza will take on the up-and-coming 155-pound fighter, Dan Hooker.

Hooker has thrown himself right into the mix of top lightweight fighters after managing an impressive four-fight winning streak since moving up from featherweight. A six-fight stretch of fights that saw him win three and lose three was enough to encourage the 6’0″ (183cm) fighter to move up a division. He’s since secured four excellent stoppage victories and is working his way up the rankings.

Barboza is one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC. Renowned for his highlight-reel finishes including a spinning wheel kick stoppage of Terry Etim, Barboza has secured wins against a list of proven talent in the UFC through his many years of competition. Recently, however, a couple of difficult matchups against top-level wrestlers including Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov have seen him struggle to stay off the mat and utilize his striking techniques. He’s now on a two-fight losing streak.

Best odds for Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker:

Finally, Edson Barboza is back inside the cage with a fighter who will likely stand across from him and not rely on takedown attempts.

Barboza excels in this type of matchup, and we believe that he’ll beat up the lead leg of Hooker while also tagging him with a check left hook on occasion. Hooker is defensively sound and will evade most of Barboza’s spinning attacks while drawing out counters, but he doesn’t have the offensive output that can help him win rounds against such a savvy striker.

If Hooker tries to take this to the mat, as he did against Marc Diakiese, he’ll have a hard time achieving a dominant position considering Barboza’s adequate takedown defense.

We can see Barboza winning a clear unanimous decision and will confidently support him at the current odds.

Bet on to Edson Barboza to win: +107 (Pinnacle)

Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis

Sergio Pettis’ time in UFC’s 135-pound bantamweight division begins this weekend when he takes on Rob Font in Milwaukee.

The Duke Roufus trained fighter is moving back to where he first began. With Roufus proclaiming that Pettis is a much stronger fighter in the 135-pound category and not when fighting at 125-pounds, it’s clear that his camp is entirely geared toward him making a run in this division.

Font will be looking to bounce back after a unanimous decision defeat to Raphael Assuncao earlier this year. That loss came just one fight after an impressive KO/TKO victory over highly-rated Thomas Almeida at UFC 220.

Best odds for Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis:

Font might be one of the most underrated fighters in the bantamweight division. Of course, that’s a natural result of his less than superb performances of recent memory. Those results have led us to almost forget his presence as a great striker and a serviceable grappler.

Pettis will undoubtedly be stronger and more powerful in his return to the division, but it’s hard to find an area of the fight in which Pettis matches up favorably.

We’re going to be taking Rob Font to get the win.

Bet on Rob Font to win: -165 (Bovada)

Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira

Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira opens up the main card with what is sure to be an exciting fight between two very familiar names in the UFC.

Miller has been competing in the UFC since 2008 and is still a constant feature of the promotion considering his entertaining fighting style that has seen him involved in many back-and-forth wars over the years. Most recently, Miller snapped a terrible four-fight winning streak by picking up a win over Alex White in the first round.

Oliveira brings it every time he enters the UFC’s Octagon and is currently enjoying consecutive wins for the first time since 2015. Undefeated in 2018, Oliveira has secured memorable submission wins over Clay Guida and Christos Giagos.

Best odds for Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira:

Charles Oliveira might be too good across the entire board in this contest. A submission specialist, no one in the division wants Oliveira on their back. While standing, he is relentless, unorthodox and extremely powerful.

Miller will be tested by Oliveira’s size, power, and speed, especially when considering that Miller is slowing down of recent. However, there’s one aspect of the fight that cannot be measured adequately, and that’s Miller’s incredible ability to manage and command fights through three rounds of action.

Oliveira might need a finish to get the win over Miller, but fortunately, that’s a probable outcome considering Oliveira’s fantastic submission ability.

Take Oliveira to win.

Bet on Charles Oliveira to win: -300 (Bovada) (Pinnacle)

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UFC on FOX 31 fight card

UFC on FOX 31 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, December 15.

UFC on FOX 31 Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Kevin Lee vs. Al Iaquinta
  • Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker
  • Rob Font vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira

FS1 Prelims (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Zak Ottow vs. Dwight Grant
  • Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Andrea Lee
  • Drakkar Klose vs. Bobby Green
  • Joaquim Silva vs. Jared Gordon
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Gerald Meerschaert

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)

  • Dan Ige vs. Jordan Griffin
  • Adam Milstead vs. Mike Rodriguez
  • Zak Cummings vs. Trevor Smith
  • Juan Adams vs. Chris De La Rocha

UFC 231: Holloway vs. Ortega

UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega

This weekend sees the UFC head back to pay-per-view with a fantastic fight card that features two superb title fights.

Max Holloway will defend his UFC Featherweight Championship from Brian Ortega in the main event. And in the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko will compete for the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship in a duel with Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

We’ve broken down all of the main card fights taking place at UFC 231 this weekend to bring you the best betting advice online.

Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega

Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega might be one of the best title fights of 2018.

With Holloway riding a remarkable 12-fight winning streak in the UFC and having recently captured the UFC Featherweight Championship, he’s set to be the biggest challenge to date for Brian Ortega, who is undefeated after 14 fights.

Best odds for Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega:

Max Holloway enters this one as a slight betting favorite but is arguably the considerably higher skilled mixed martial artist.

Brian Ortega is a superb fight-finisher who continually finds a way to win fights, even in those contests in which he is struggling. A talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Ortega possesses one of the nastiest squeezes in the game and has strangled any opponent who gives up their neck. Moreover, on the feet, Ortega has developed into a dangerous striker with heavy hands and consistent forward pressure.

He’ll be tested by Holloway, who is to be considered nothing other than one of the most intelligent strikers in the UFC today. Masterfully dissecting the defense of his opponent, Holloway kicks into gear in the middle rounds before eventually overrunning them with a high volume of strikes. With extreme precision and by inflicting damage that accumulates quickly, Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis were the last two fighters to succumb to Holloway’s pressure.

Ortega doesn’t have high-level wrestling or an ability to take an opponent to the mat. All of his recent submissions have come via way of grabbing the neck of his opponent in the clinch or making the most of an opportunity after being taken down. He’s without a clear pathway to victory against a fighter who is nothing short of world-class while standing and striking inside the UFC’s octagon and that’s why we’re confidently betting on Max Holloway to win this fight.

Bet on Max Holloway to win: -125 (Bovada)

Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk are set to exchange strikes for the fourth time in their careers this weekend, but for the very first time in mixed martial arts competition.

Shevchenko, who was initially scheduled to fight for the UFC Women’s Flyweight Championship against Nicco Montano earlier this year before Montano withdrew due to complications, will now get her chance to compete for the title. This time, Jedrzejczyk will the fighter standing across from her.

Best odds for Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk:

  • Valentina Shevchenko: -360 (Bovada)
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk: +290 (Pinnacle)

Valentina Shevchenko looks to have found her best fit in the UFC’s 125-pound division. After losing a 135-pound title fight with Amanda Nunes in September last year, Shevchenko made the drop down to the newly created division and took on Priscila Cachoeira in her debut. Entering the fight as a -1000 betting favorite, Shevchenko looked every part the better fighter and gave her opponent a brutal beatdown. However, Shevchenko’s best work came earlier in her career against the likes of Holly Holm and Julianna Pena – two fighters who are significantly bigger and stronger than her upcoming opponent.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk is a former champion of the UFC women’s strawweight division and successfully defended her title five times after winning it against Carla Esparza back at UFC 185. At one stage, Joanna looked to be one of the most dominant athletes in the sport today. That was until Rose Namajunas dethroned the champion with a stunning first-round KO/TKO finish in November 2017.

Now, after losing to “Thug” Rose a second time, Joanna has bounced back in a big way with a decisive victory against Tecia Torres at UFC on FOX 30.

Shevchenko might be bigger and stronger, but she’s unusually inactive at times during a fight and is known to give away close split decisions to opponent fighters. Jedrzejczyk is a decision-winner who can fight at a high pace for five rounds. At these odds, Jedrzejczyk makes for an excellent bet.

Bet on Joanna Jedrzejczyk to win: +290 (Pinnacle)

Alex Oliveira vs. Gunnar Nelson

One of the most underrated fights coming up this weekend is an exciting welterweight showdown between Alex Oliveira and Gunnar Nelson.

“Cowboy” Oliveira had won six of his last seven fights and enters this weekend on a roll, whereas Nelson is returning for the first time since July last year when he was knocked out by Santiago Ponzinibbio in the first round.

Best odds for Alex Oliveira vs. Gunnar Nelson:

In many ways, this is an intriguing matchup that could go either way. Unsurprisingly, the odds for this fight are tight with Gunnar Nelson coming in as only a slight favorite.

On the feet, Oliveira might have a minor advantage considering his lengthy and bouncy style will help him move forward and land cleanly on a relatively defenseless Nelson.

But if this fight hits the mat, it’s Nelson who will likely have the significant advantages. “Cowboy” is indeed dangerous from some areas and has a great submission game but he allows too many advances and Nelson is superb at transitioning by slicing through the guard of an opponent. The rear-naked choke will likely be there for Nelson.

We will side with the underdog, Oliveira, here in what should be a very close fight.

Bet on Alex Oliveira to win: +110 (Bovada)

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak is a matchup between two very entertaining featherweight fighters.

Dawodu recently had his seven-fight undefeated streak snapped by Danny Henry in his UFC debut but did bounce back strong against Austin Arnett earlier this year.

Bochniak has dropped three of his five fights in the UFC but gained some favor with the organization after a Fight of the Night winning performance in defeat to Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Best odds for Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak:

While the Zabit Magomedsharipov proved to us that Bochniak has heart, determination, and some offensive ability, it also showed many of the holes in Bochniak’s defensive ability.

It’s these defensive lapses that Dawodu will likely take advantage of in this fight as he’ll look to eat up the lead leg of Bochniak with kicks before eventually turning on the gas and overrunning him in the middle and late rounds.

Bet on Hakeem Dawodu to win: -164 (Pinnacle)

Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos

Jimi Manuwa and Thiago Santos are scheduled to fight in a brilliant light heavyweight fight that will likely not last three rounds.

Best odds for Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos:

At first glance, this would appear to be a 50/50 battle between two guys with great knockout power – so it’s a little bizarre that the odds are favoring Santos so heavily.

Manuwa walks forward and uses his excellent boxing ability to work the head and body of his opponent, especially when against the cage. This pressure might be too much for someone like Santos who likes to stand in the open and exchange long-range kicks and punches. When moving backward, Santos’ best weapons are nullified.

We’re confident that there shouldn’t be this much separation between Manuwa and Santos and will happily take Manuwa at underdog odds.

Bet on Jimi Manuwa to win: +175 (Bovada)

Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff

The #3 ranked Claudia Gadelha will take a step down at UFC 231 in a battle with #11 ranked Nina Ansaroff to get the main event started.

Best odds for Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff:

Fresh off a win against Carla Esparza, former title challenger Claudia Gadelha will now attempt to make it two wins in a row. Gadelha is an impressive high-pace fighter with excellent wrestling ability. She was also very close to defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk to become the UFC women’s strawweight champion on two occasions. A win here would surely put her next in line to face the winner of Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade.

Nina Ansaroff is now on a three-fight winning streak and hasn’t experienced defeat in the last two years. Most recently, she’s coming off big wins against Angela Hill and Randa Markos and will inevitably rise the rankings if she manages a win this weekend.

Gadelha takes plenty of damage in her fights, and it’s a question of whether she can withstand the striking for Ansaroff. If Gadelha can come out and secure big takedowns and maintain top control, it should be a comfortable night.

Bet on Claudia Gadelha to win: -310 (Bovada)

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UFC 231 fight card

UFC 231 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET (10:30 pm GMT) on Saturday, December 8.

UFC 231 Pay-Per-View Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
  • Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Gunnar Nelson
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Kyle Bochniak
  • Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos
  • Claudia Gadelha vs. Nina Ansaroff

FS1 Prelims (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jessica Eye
  • Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders
  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Gilbert Burns
  • Devin Clark vs. Aleksandar Rakic

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (6:30 pm ET / 10:30 pm GMT)

  • Brad Katona vs. Matthew Lopez
  • Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira vs. Jesse Ronson

UFC Fight Night 142: Junior Dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa

The UFC travels back to Adelaide, Australia, for the second time in its 25-year history this weekend.

UFC Fight Night 142 is the event of choice, and it will feature a fantastic heavyweight duel at the top of the card with Junior Dos Santos defending his spot against Tai Tuivasa.

Also on the card is several talented fighters from Australia and New Zealand.

The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 1, and will air on FOX and UFC Fight Pass.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa

Junior Dos Santos has returned, and he’s on the pathway to a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship. However, he’ll first need to move past Tui Tuivasa who has looked outstanding since arriving at the 265-pound division last year.

Best odds for Junior Dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa:

After returning from a suspension from USADA, Junior Dos Santos got right back on track with an impressive victory over Blagoy Ivanov in July this year. That win somehow continued Dos Santos’ unbelievable stretch of alternating wins and losses in his last nine fights. The Brazilian had not won consecutive fights since 2012 when he defeated Frank Mir via KO/TKO not long after defeating Cain Velasquez via KO/TKO in 64 seconds.

Dos Santos is a highly-skilled boxer and proven veteran of the heavyweight division and will undoubtedly be Tuivasa’s toughest test to date.

The 25-year-old Australian has been an excellent addition to the UFC’s heavyweight category and is now riding what is tied for the second-longest winning streak in the division. It’s difficult enough to win two fights in a row – as Dos Santos’ record suggests – but Tuivasa has managed to win three fights in the UFC and extend his undefeated streak to ten.

In his last fight, a heavyweight war with Andrei Arlovski, Tuivasa’s streak of nine first-round KO/TKO victories came to an end. The experienced Arlovski weathered all of Tuivasa’s best shots and managed to crash him some of his punches in return.

That fight proved that Tuivasa might not be able to walk through the top-tier fighters in the division in the same way he has done against others. Dos Santos is indeed a more polished boxer than Arlovski and will likely cause even more difficulty for the Australian for as long as this stays standing.

Whether by decision or inside the distance, we see Junior Dos Santos shutting down the rise of Tai Tuivasa this weekend.

Bet on Junior Dos Santos to win

Mauricio Rua vs. Tyson Pedro

An intriguing light heavyweight co-main event will see Mauricio “Shogun” Rua battle Tyson Pedro in a three-round fight.

Best odds for Mauricio Rua vs. Tyson Pedro:

Mauricio Rua needs to bounce back, and he’ll have a chance to do so against the relatively inconsistent Tyson Pedro. Rua had surprisingly managed to turn his career around recently until eventually being smashed by Anthony Smith in his last fight.

Pedro also needs a win after a disappointing effort against Ovince Saint Preux. The Australian managed to damage his opponent early in the fight but confusingly chose to shoot in for a takedown rather than keeping his distance and peppering Saint Preux with more heavy shots. He was eventually submitted and lost a fight that he arguably should have won.

There’s a lot to dislike about betting on Tyson Pedro considering his questionable decision making, but he should have a sizable advantage in this one against the aging heavyweight. Expect Pedro to run through him with ease.

Bet on Tyson Pedro to win

Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis

Mark Hunt will make what is expected to be his final walk to the UFC’s octagon this weekend. He’ll be up against Justin Willis in yet another fight between the big boys of the promotion.

Best odds for Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis:

Mark Hunt will be looking to return to form after suffering defeat in his most recent two bouts. After being out-grappled by Curtis Blaydes in Perth, Australia, he was then submitted by Aleksey Oleinik in Russia.

Hunt is best-known for his walk-off knockouts, strong chin, and ability to stand and trade with the best in the heavyweight division. Having stood toe-to-toe with some of the best ever to do it, the fans in Australia will be hoping to see another powerful knockout finish from Hunt.

As Hunt wraps up his career in the UFC, Willis is one who is looking to make a name for himself in a surprisingly competitive 265-pound division. Enjoying a seven-fight winning streak, Willis has now earned three victories in the UFC. Willis trains with an elite team at American Kickboxing Academy alongside the current division champion, Daniel Cormier, and is making major improvements every time we see him compete.

Like fans all over the world, we’d love to see Hunt get the job done but it’s an unlikely task against the fast-rising heavyweight contender. We believe Willis will outwork Hunt through three rounds to score a decision.

Bet on Justin Willis to win

Jake Matthews vs. Tony Martin

Australian talent Jake Matthews will look to keep moving through the division this weekend when he meets Tony Martin in Adelaide.

Best odds for Jake Matthews vs. Tony Martin:

Jake Matthews has been on a roll since moving up the welterweight division. Now 3-0 as a welterweight with wins over Bojan Velickvocic, Jingliang Li, and Shinsho Anzai, Matthews – much like other fighters who have made a move up a division in recent times – has rejuvenated his career after a two-fight losing streak. Matthews is a frequent competitor on the fight cards in Australia and won a Fight of the Night award for his efforts against “The Leech” in Perth in February.

Just like Matthews, Tony Martin has been outstanding in his new home at welterweight after moving up from the 155-pound division. With wins over Keita Nakamura and Ryan LaFlare, Martin is just a couple of big wins away from being a ranked competitor in the 170-pound category.

Tony Martin is a big ask for the Australian welterweight. With superb pressure, a devastating right hand, and excellent counter striking skills, we are expecting Martin to time Jake Matthews coming in and frequently land his shots. It might take Martin a while to get going, but once he does this fight should become a difficult one for Matthews.

Bet on Tony Martin to win

Jim Crute vs. Paul Craig

Fresh after a big win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Jim Crute will make his UFC debut against Paul Craig.

Best odds for Jim Crute vs. Paul Craig:

Jim Crute is a new breed of Australian fighter coming from the Oceanic region. With excellent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu skills and polished striking, Crute has been a feared competitor in the Australian regional circuit. Although expected to steamroll his opponent on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, it took Crute a little while to get going. Once he shifted into gears, however, he used his powerful striking to overwhelm his opponent and earn the victory.

Craig is now 2-2 in the UFC after a last-second triangle choke victory against Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Fight Night 127. That win helped him recover from a disappointing two-fight losing streak against Tyson Pedro and Khalil Rountree. Craig is especially crafty on the mat and has earned all of his last six victories by way of submission. However, that’s an unclear path to victory for him in this fight considering Crute’s ability as a grappler.

Crute is equally dangerous while standing and on the mat. A knockdown might earn himself the chance to secure a top position where he’ll rain down heavy shots on Craig for as long as the referee allows it to last.

Bet on Jim Crute to win

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UFC Fight Night 142 fight card

UFC Fight Night 142 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET (11:00 pm GMT) on Saturday, December 1.

FS1 Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Junior Dos Santos vs. Tai Tuivasa
  • Mauricio Rua vs. Tyson Pedro
  • Mark Hunt vs. Justin Willis
  • Jake Matthews vs. Tony Martin
  • Jim Crute vs. Paul Craig

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (7:00 pm ET / 11:00 pm GMT)

  • Suman Mokhtarian vs. Sodiq Yusuff
  • Yushin Okami vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
  • Wilson Reis vs. Ben Nguyen
  • Mizuto Hirota vs. Christos Giagos
  • Elias Garcia vs. Kai Kara-France
  • Keita Nakamura vs. Salim Touahri

UFC TUF 28 Finale: Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman

UFC TUF 28 Finale Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman

The first of two brilliant UFC events this weekend is the TUF 28 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This event will wrap up what has been yet another exciting season of The Ultimate Fighter. The event will also feature many intriguing bouts from a variety of weight classes in the UFC.

Headlining the action is an outstanding main event that will see Rafael Dos Anjos battle with Kamaru Usman in a significant welterweight fight.

The TUF 28 Finale begins on Friday, November 30, and we’re here to break down all of the main card and bring you the best odds and bets for this event.

Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman

Rafael Dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman find themselves just outside the range of a welterweight title shot. A win here will help one fighter earn another big-name fight while the other might be forced to work their way back up the rankings yet again.

Best odds for Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman:

Dos Anjos vs. Usman is everything a fight fan could want.

A former UFC lightweight champion, Dos Anjos has looked terrific since moving up to welterweight. Managing a winning streak of three, Dos Anjos scored notable wins over Tarec Saffiedine, Neil Magny and then Robbie Lawler. Those performances were more than enough to grant him a fight for the UFC Interim Welterweight Championship earlier this year.

However, Dos Anjos would experience his first defeat since his days at lightweight and ended up falling short to Colby Covington in a five-round affair. Dos Anjos was tested by Covington’s extreme pressure and grappling-focused gameplan.

Many believe he could be in for a similar experience against Kamaru Usman this weekend.

Undefeated in his last 12 fights, Usman has lived up to his name by becoming a nightmare for the UFC’s welterweight division. He’s now in the best position of his mixed martial arts career and a win Dos Anjos might be all that stands between him and a title shot.

Let’s not write off Rafael Dos Anjos’ chances just yet. Covington brought an extreme level of intensity to the cage against Dos Anjos and overwhelmed him with pressure and forward movement.

Can Usman bring this level of pace and pressure? Maybe not at the same level that Covington did.

Yes, Usman will most likely have his moments in the grappling exchanges by pinning Dos Anjos to the mat for periods and pushing him against the cage, but we also need to consider that “RDA” will have more time in this contest to do the things that make him so dangerous. From a distance, we can only expect Dos Anjos to piece up Usman.

Will it be enough? At these odds, it makes for a terrific bet.

Bet on Rafael Dos Anjos to win

Pedro Munhoz vs. Bryan Caraway

Also on the main card is a bantamweight matchup between Pedro Munhoz and Bryan Caraway.

Best odds for Pedro Munhoz vs. Bryan Caraway:

With three losses already in the UFC, it’s easy to forget that Pedro Munhoz is a rare talent in the bantamweight division. He only recently had his four-fight winning streak snapped by a split decision loss to John Dodson. That defeat was his second split decision loss in the UFC, with another coming against highly-rated Jimmie Rivera earlier in his career. The other defeat? One to Raphael Assuncao, as well. Munhoz has time and time again proved that he is only just under the top-tier of fighters in the division and bounced back in a big way with a win over Brett Johns at UFC 227.

He’ll be up against Bryan Caraway, a fighter who is difficult to evaluate at times. On some nights, he can hang in there with the best of them, and he managed to earn a split decision victory over Aljamain Sterling just two fights ago. However, then he lost a split decision at UFC 222 against Cody Stamann and lost all momentum in his climb through the ranks. This feels like a must-win for Caraway.

Ultimately, this is a fight in which Pedro Munzho should shine. Expect a unanimous decision victory.

Bet on Pedro Munhoz to win

Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Darren Stewart

After an impressive first-round finish on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Edmen Shabazyan now finds himself in the UFC for the first time.

He’ll be up against Darren Stewart this weekend.

Best odds for Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Darren Stewart:

Undefeated as a professional, Shahbazyan has accumulated an impressive seven-fight winning streak to start his career. Mainly competing in the CXF promotion, Shahbazyan has scored five of his first six wins over fighters with an even or losing record. However, when he met his biggest match to date in the name of Antonio Jones at the Contender Series, Shahbazyan proved that he belongs with the best in the world by scoring an outstanding ground and pound KO/TKO win after just 40 seconds.

Darren “The Dentist” Stewart is an underrated beast fighting out of London, England. With power in his hands and a chin to go with it, Stewart has overturned a three-fight losing streak at the start of his time with the UFC to go on and score two big KO/TKO wins over the likes of Eric Spicely and Charles Byrd.

Shahbazyan is going to come out with a very aggressive approach from the very first seconds of the fight. With seven first-round wins to his name, the 20-year-old has not yet seen a second round. He and Stewart will likely exchange heavy shots in the pocket, and it’s only a matter of time before one man goes down.

The public seems to be buying into the hype of the youngster with him coming in as a favorite. We’re going to lean the other way, though, and back Darren Stewart to come out on top.

Bet on Darren Stewart to win

Ji Yeon Kim vs. Antonina Shevchenko

Ji Yeon Kim steps in to replace Ashlee Evans-Smith against Antonina Shevchenko in the very first fight of TUF 28 Finale main card.

Best odds for Ji Yeon Kim vs. Antonina Shevchenko:

Antonina Shevchenko has finally made it to the UFC to join her sister, Valentina Shevchenko, after an outstanding victory at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. This Shevchenko sister made her MMA debut all the way back in 2003 but took an extended break from the sport to focus on her career as a striker.

That’s where she’ll be most dangerous in the UFC. An experienced Muay Thai fighter, just like Valentina, Antonina will likely get the better of most of her opponents in the UFC.

Ji Yeon Kim steps into the cage this weekend on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC, having bounced back from an earlier defeat in her promotional debut. Both of her wins came via the way of split decision against Justine Kish and Melinda Fabian.

Looking to play spoiler to Shevchenko’s UFC arrival will be Kim, 29, a South Korean fighter who has won two-straight under the UFC banner.

While Shevchenko might come up short against experienced grapplers in the future, Ji Yeon Kim is more likely to stand in front of her and strike. That could be a recipe for disaster, and that’s enough reason for us to take Antonina Shevchenko in this fight.

Bet on Antonina Shevchenko to win

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The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale fight card

The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET (11:00 pm GMT) on Friday, November 30.

FS1 Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Rafael Dos Anjos vs. Kamaru Usman
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • TBD vs. TBD
  • Pedro Munhoz vs. Bryan Caraway
  • Darren Stewart vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
  • Ji Yeon Kim vs. Antonina Shevchenko

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (7:00 pm ET / 11:00 pm GMT)

  • Rick Glenn vs. Kevin Aguilar
  • Joseph Benavidez vs. Alex Perez
  • Roosevelt Roberts vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Tim Means vs. Ricky Rainey
  • Raoni Barcelos Chris Gutierrez

UFC Fight Night 141: Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou

Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou

It’s all happening this weekend in Beijing, China.

The UFC is set to host another thrilling event for the Chinese fans after first visiting Shanghai in November last year. UFC Fight Night 141 will be headlined a big-time heavyweight rematch between Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 24, in China and the main card will air live on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Also on the card is a stack of Chinese talent including breakout star Song Yadong and the proven Li Jingliang who will both feature on the main card.

As always, we’re here to research the best odds and bring you all of the best bets for UFC Fight Night 141.

Let’s get started.

Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou

It’s amazing how quickly things change in mixed martial arts.

Just two years ago, Francis Ngannou scored a decisive victory against Curtis Blaydes before surging up the rankings and earning himself a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout against Stipe Miocic.

After failing in his title challenge, Ngannou then lost to Derrick Lewis in what was considered one of the most boring fights in UFC history at UFC 226.

And for Curtis Blaydes, his only career defeat came on that day against Ngannou. He has since managed to win five more bouts – including big wins over Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt, and Alexey Oleynik – to move into a prime position in the heavyweight rankings. With a win here, he’ll likely be challenging for the UFC Heavyweight Championship sooner than later.

Best odds for Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou:

Francis Ngannou is on a seemingly endless downward spiral, and Curtis Blaydes is trending nothing but upward – so it’d make sense to bet on Blaydes here, right?

Well, there’s a lot more to it than that; mainly because the bookmakers have released Ngannou as a considerable underdog. That’s a whole lot of value for a guy who previously beat his opponent.

So, what do we need to understand before UFC Fight Night 141?

Curtis Blaydes has improved a lot, but there are still several ways in which he hasn’t shown much improvement at all. For example, despite his improved feinting, movement, and offensive toolset, Blaydes still gets tagged far too often. That’s not a desired trait to have in the heavyweight division by any means. When Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem landed hard shots on Blaydes, he continued keeping on and eventually worked his way to victory despite the initial dangers.

Moreover, where is Francis Ngannou at mentally? Sure, he’s a phenom with explosive power and athleticism, but that can only carry a fighter so far in 2018. Against Derrick Lewis, Ngannou looked like a shadow of his former self and admitted to feeling the lingering effect of fear that carried over from his beating from Stipe Miocic in January.

Despite likely landing his shots on Blaydes at times, we can only expect that Blaydes will continue to walk forward and secure his takedowns. It should be enough to win him a convincing decision if he doesn’t find a way to end it earlier.

Take Blaydes in what should be one of the most intriguing matchups in recent heavyweight memory.

Bet on Curtis Blaydes to win: -210 (Bovada)

Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich

Sergey Pavlovich’s first fight in the UFC will be a tough one.

Moving on from his time at Fight Nights Global, where he was the heavyweight champion, Pavlovich will now test his abilities with the best in the UFC. He’ll be facing Alistair Overeem in a fight that could boost him right up the rankings with a win.

Overeem, who will be stepping into the cage after two knockout defeats to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou is desperately in need of a victory. To bounce back, Overeem has made a move to Team Elevation, where he is now training with the aforementioned Curtis Blaydes. It’s now time to see whether this move will help Overeem reclaim the past form that saw him win both the Strikeforce and DREAM titles.

Best odds for Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich:

There’s no reason to write Alistair Overeem off just yet, but this seems like an arduous task for the heavyweight veteran. Sergey Pavlovich is a big and strong opponent and almost exactly the type that has caused problems for Overeem recently.

The most significant talking point heading into this matchup is that Overeem’s chin isn’t as sturdy as it needs to be when facing a powerful opponent like Pavlovich. It might just take a couple of solid punches for Overeem to go crashing into the mat.

However, if we’re speaking about this fight from a technical standpoint, and not of a size, strength and power perspective, Pavlovich is seemingly miles behind Overeem.

Pavlovich parries wide and flinches at almost any offensive movement from his opponent. We’re expecting Overeem to feint and keep Pavlovich reacting before eventually crushing him with some heavy shots.

Bet on Alistair Overeem to win: +116 (Pinnacle)

Song Yadong vs. Vince Morales

Vince Morales steps into the stacked UFC bantamweight division and will take on Song Yadong in his first-ever fight with the UFC.

Song Yadong is one of China’s many rising mixed martial arts talents. While they might not have the high levels of popularity in the United States or elsewhere in the world just yet, the UFC is doing their best to give these guys and girls the spotlight they deserve.

Undefeated in his last five fights, the 20-year-old from China will be looking to continue his climb through the bantamweight division by scoring yet another stoppage victory in the UFC.

Vince Morales replaces Frankie Saenz in this main card matchup. Now 8-2 as a professional mixed martial artist, Morales recently missed his chance to enter the UFC when he was defeated Domingo Pilarte during Dana White’s Contender Series earlier this year.

Best odds for Song Yadong vs. Vince Morales:

Even on short notice, Vince Morales seems like excellent value at first glance. In the lead-up to this fight, he has spoken time and time again about how he is entirely aware that he will be considered an underdog in this fight but that he is ready to shock the world and come home with an upset victory.

Morales is a fast-paced, high-volume striker who might always be in contention for one of the UFC’s $50,000 bonuses for Performance of the Night or Fight of the Night as long as he stays standing. He’s exciting and explosive and is an excellent addition to the UFC’s roster.

But Song Yadong could already be on another level.

A natural fight finisher, Yadong has managed to stop each of his two opponents in the UFC so far. He’s also considerably more well-rounded that Morales – who lacks the same takedown defense and grappling ability – and has more ways to win in Beijing.

The best and safest bet for this fight is to take Song Yadong to win.

Song Yadong to win: -350 (Bovada)

Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada

After Elizeu Zaleski withdrew from his bout with Li Jingliang due to injury, David Zawada stepped in to fill the spot.

David Zawada had his five-fight winning streak snapped by Danny Roberts at UFC Fight Night 134, where he made his debut with the promotion. He’ll be hoping to avoid defeat in his first two bouts with the UFC when he enters the cage in Beijing this weekend.

Li Jingliang has somewhat of a cult following in the UFC. The Chinese fighter has won five of his last six bouts and returned to form against Daichi Abe at UFC Fight Night 132 by winning a unanimous decision. That victory moved him back into the winning column after Jake Matthews defeated him at UFC 221.

Best odds for Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada:

The hype around Li Jingliang has slowed down a little since losing to Jake Matthews not that long ago. It was never blown out of proportion, but many were confusing Jingliang’s excitement factor with supreme fighting skills and abilities. He’s very powerful for the division, but there are many opportunities for an opponent to exploit.

David Zawada might be the type of opponent to do so. He’s relatively explosive, fights with a fast-pace and is always coming forward. Zawada somehow manages to throw everything with power all while staying relatively sound defensively. Although he lost his UFC debut to Danny Roberts, he was incredibly close to securing a D’Arce choke in the third round and looked the part throughout the entire fight.

This should be a well-matched, even fight. We’ll be taking the underdog, David Zawada to score the victory.

Bet on David Zawada to win: +127 (Pinnacle)

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UFC Fight Night 141 fight card

UFC Fight Night 141 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 3:00 am ET (7:00 am GMT) on Sunday, November 25.

UFC Fight Pass Main Card (6:30 am ET / 10:30 am GMT)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Sergey Pavlovich
  • Song Yadong vs. Vince Morales
  • Li Jingliang vs. David Zawada

UFC Fight Pass Prelims (3:30 am ET / 7:00 am GMT)

  • Song Kenan vs. Alex Morono
  • Hu Yaozong vs. Rashad Coulter
  • Wu Yanan vs. Lauren Mueller
  • Weili Zhang vs. Jessica Aguilar
  • Yan Xiaonan vs. Syuri Kondo

UFC Fight Night 140: Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

UFC Fight Night 140: Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

The UFC heads to Buenos Aires, Argentina, this weekend for a UFC Fight Night event headlined by Neil Magny and Santiago Ponzinibbio.

Magny, who is ranked #8 in the welterweight division, will defend his spot from the rising Ponzinibbio (rank #10).

There are also several more interesting battles on the main card, including Ricardo Lamas vs. Darren Elkins, the return of Cynthia Calvillo, and Khalil Rountree’s next fight after stopping Gokhan Saki.

UFC Fight Night 140 will take place at the Estadio Mary Terán de Weisson on November 17, 2018.

We’ve done all the research and analysis for you before this event begins.

Here are our best bets.

Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio would be a great co-main event in 2018.

Unfortunately, for the sake of the fans in Argentina, it’s the main event of UFC Fight Night 140.

Magny enters this main event on an impressive two-fight winning streak, the first since early 2016. In December 2017 he scored a unanimous decision victory over Carlos Condit after entering the fight as a slight underdog. He then backed it up with a convincing win over Craig White at UFC Fight Night 130 in May this year.

Ponzinibbio is on quite a roll right now. Undefeated since June 2016, the Argentinian has now won six consecutive fights and dismantled tough competition such as Gunnar Nelson and Mike Perry along the way.

Many feel that Ponzinibbio is destined for a top-5 spot in the UFC’s official welterweight rankings.

Best odds for Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio:

At first, these odds seem a little wide.

Magny is a proven competitor with wins over Kelvin Gastelum, Johny Hendricks, and Condit in the last couple of years. However, there’s a fair argument to be made that he caught Hendricks and Condit in their worse years. Those two, along with a win over short-notice replacement opponent White, make up for all of Condit’s most recent three victories.

But let’s not take too much away from Magny. He’s dangerous wherever the fight ends up and is particularly good at bodying around opponents inside the clinch while landing vicious knees and other strikes.

Ponzinibbio is a dangerous guy who is always ready to unload the tremendous power in his hands. With his arms out wide and circling left to right, Ponzinibbio eventually waits for his chance to commence a powerful combination of wild punches.

This style has worked for him time and time again, even against opponents with a similar style to Magny.

Ponzinibbio is a deserving favorite, but the line seems a little too wide. Even more generous is the odds for Magny to win inside the distance. We’ll be counting on the underdog bet to come through big.

Bet on Neil Magny to win inside the distance: +650 (Bovada)

Ricardo Lamas vs. Darren Elkins

Believe it or not, Darren Elkins’ impressive six-fight winning streak came to an end.

He’ll be looking to redeem himself and get back in the winning column immediately against Ricardo Lamas in Argentina.

Best odds for Ricardo Lamas vs. Darren Elkins

Through his 25-fight career, Ricardo Lamas has never dropped two fights in a row until now. Josh Emmett starched lamas in December 2017 in what was viewed as a considerable upset at the time. In his next outing, he was matched against the tough Mirsad Bektic and dropped a split decision. While many might consider Lamas to be way past the days that saw him climb to a title shot against Jose Aldo in 2014, that’s not necessarily true.

Darren “The Damage” Elkins lives up to his name, but it’s mostly because he’s on the receiving end of the damage. Fans will recall Elkins being beaten up by Bektic for two rounds before eventually scoring a third-round finish in what was an epic comeback victory. It all came to an end, though, when Alex Volkanovski crushed Elkins with overwhelming pressure and grappling dominance at UFC Fight Night 133.

Elkins is the better fighter by a wide margin, and we expect him to secure a victory inside the distance.

Bet on Ricardo Lamas to win -223 (Pinnacle)

Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Johnny Walker

Fresh after scoring the biggest knockout of his career, Khalil Rountree finds himself in a strange matchup against UFC newcomer, Johnny Walker.

Best odds for Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Johnny Walker:

After capturing the attention of fans during The Ultimate Fighter 23, Rountree earned himself a spot in the UFC. However, he suffered defeat in his first two fights inside the UFC’s Octagon – against Andrew Sanchez and Tyson Pedro – and was in desperate need of turning things around. Well, he has.

Now, Rountree is on a remarkable three-fight winning streak that is capped off by a stunning first-round knockout of Gokhan Saki back at UFC 226. With heavy hands and decent boxing technique, Rountree is a problem on the feet.

Johnny Walker now enters the UFC after impressing on Dana White’s Contender Series 2018. With a three-round unanimous decision over Luis Henrique da Silva, Walker is the latest of light heavyweight fighters to join the ranks and will do so with a six-fight winning streak behind him.

Walker is a huge dude with surprisingly decent clinch technique, devastating elbows, and serviceable ground game. He’ll be a fascinating test for Rountree, but we see nothing other than Rountree getting the finish in the first round.

Bet on Khalil Rountree to win by KO/TKO: -130 at (Bovada)

Cezar Ferreira vs. Ian Heinisch

Ian Heinsich will be making his UFC debut this weekend on short notice.

He’ll be up against Cezar Ferreira, a six-year veteran of the UFC who is currently riding a two-fight winning streak.

Best odds for Cezar Ferreira vs. Ian Heinisch

Ian Heinisch impressed on Dana White’s Contender Series and was one of four victorious fighters to earn a call-up to the UFC that day earlier this year. The 30-year-old smashed Justin Sumter with devastating elbows from top position to secure the finish. That win marked his third in a row and came just one fight after claiming the LFA interim middleweight championship in May this year.

Cezar Ferreira has won five of his last six bouts and most recently locked in an arm-triangle choke finish against Karl Roberson in May. Ferreira’s last defeat was February last year when he lost to the surprisingly tricky Elias Theodorou in a three-round bout.

Ferreira is a deserving betting favorite in this contest. Heinisch has shown a tendency just to storm forward and throw a devastating overhand right. If it lands, Ferreira might go out. However, that’s a big if. Take the favorite.

Bet on Cezar Ferreira to win: -150 (Bovada)

Guido Cannetti vs. Marlon Vera

Guido Cannetti and Marlon Vera will both be attempting to extend their winning streak to two this weekend at UFC Fight Night 140.

Best odds for Guido Cannetti vs. Marlon Vera

Guido Cannetti will step inside the cage for the third time this year after he was forced to sit out for over two years following a failed drug test by USADA.

Marlon Vera has since lost some momentum after his spectacular finishes over Brian Kelleher and Brad Pickett back in 2017. He most recently returned to form against Wuliji Buren at UFC 227.

Cannetti is a crafty kickboxer with lots of power in his strikes. There’s not much confidence on either side of this fight, so we’ll be backing the underdog to be victorious as a +EV play.

Bet on: +265 (Pinnacle)

Cynthia Calvillo vs. Poliana Botelho

Poliana Botelho will look to make it three in a row in the UFC against returning Cynthia Calvillo.

Best odds for Cynthia Calvillo vs. Poliana Botelho:

Since joining the UFC late last year, Botelho has managed big victories over Pearl Gonzalez and then Syuri Kondo. The Kondo victory was a stunning 33-second KO/TKO finish via a nasty body kick and punches.

Calvillo will be back in action for the first time since December 2017 after USADA suspended her for a violation. She looked to be a rising star in the division, with three-straight wins to her name, but most recently dropped a unanimous decision to Carla Esparza at UFC 219.

Botelho is ridiculously strong for this women’s division. Backed by good striking and a serviceable grappling game, Botelho makes for an excellent play at UFC Fight Night 140.

Bet on Poliana Botelho: -135 (Bovada)

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UFC Fight Night 140 fight card

UFC Fight Night 140 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET (11:00 pm GMT) on Saturday, November 17.

FS1 Main Card (10:00 pm ET / 2:00 am GMT)

  • Neil Magny vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
  • Ricardo Lamas vs. Darren Elkins
  • Khalil Rountree vs. Johnny Walker
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Ian Heinisch
  • Guido Cannetti vs. Marlon Vera
  • Cynthia Calvillo vs. Poliana Botelho

FS1 Prelims (8:00 pm ET / 12:00 am GMT)

  • Michel Prazeres vs. Bartosz Fabinski
  • Alexandre Pantoja vs. Ulka Sasaki
  • Humberto Bandenay vs. Austin Arnett
  • Laureano Staropoli vs. Hector Aldana

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims (7:00 pm ET / 11:00 pm GMT)

  • Devin Powell vs. Jesus Pinedo
  • Nad Narimani vs. Andrson dos Santos