UFC Vegas 31 was a perfect night from all standpoints, going 10/10 on fight picks, and hitting every single recommended bet in the article last week. No time to celebrate, let’s make some more money!
Hannah Goldy vs Diana Belbita is the perfect example of a fight I would like to avoid when looking for betting opportunities. Both are young prospects, with a small sample size in their UFC performances thus far. Additionally, neither fighter has a UFC win on their record and hasn’t shown skills to feel good about playing them at an even-money price. Belbita opened as a +150 underdog and has since moved to near even, value on the line is lost, and there is no current bet on this fight.
Sijara Eubanks is making her return to 125, while Elise Reed, the CFFC Strawweight Champion, is taking this fight on short notice, and up a weight class. While Reed should have the speed and striking advantage, Eubanks should be much bigger and have an advantage in grappling. It is tough to trust the cardio of Eubanks dropping down weight as such a prohibitive favorite, and while it’s tempting to place a small bet on the debutante, there is no official play here.
Kyler Phillips made a huge statement in his last victory, with a win over the very tough Song Kenan. Now a prohibitive favorite in his next match-up, -290 is a fair price, given that he is taking a large step down in competition. Paiva fought at 135lbs before coming to the UFC, returning now after multiple failed weight cuts to the 125lbs division in his octagon run so far. Paiva lacks the power and defensive awareness that Phillips faced his last time out, and Phillips should win this fight no matter where it ends up taking place, whether it be from range or testing their grappling.
Miranda Maverick is a consummate professional, showing a high level of self-awareness in every interview and in the octagon once the fight plays out. Ever improving her Muay Thai, Maverick still needs to work more on head movement and avoiding the big overhands and straights from her opponents. I think she holds a huge advantage in this specific fight against Maycee Barber due to her maturity, willingness to fight the game plan, and overall physicality. Barber struggles against fighters she can’t bully around, and Maverick will be controlling every aspect of the clinch and wrestling in my book. Barber may find initial success but will wear down from the pressure and physicality of Maverick as the fight continues. I would play Maverick all the way up to -200, fire away!
Ian Heinisch has faced an extremely tough level of competition in the UFC and has proven wholly durable and willing to stick to his game plan. The cardio of Heinisch, as well as his ability to grind opponents and stick to wrestling when appropriate, makes for a comfortable play on Heinisch. Imavov has shown solid skills, and an overall well-rounded attack, but does not stand out in any area as significantly better than Heinisch. Additionally, Imavov has shown he tends to gas out in the Jordan Williams fight and get wobbled on the feet, and displayed poor fight IQ in the Phil Hawes fight. Heinisch is a nice piece to close out the 3-leg parlay at +288.
- Puna Soriano (-110)
Puna Soriano comes into the octagon undefeated so far in his career, putting together a couple of impressive first-round knockouts in the UFC. Soriano has shown defensive capabilities, good hips to stuff takedowns, a deep wrestling background, and huge power coming down the pipe to stifle his opponent’s offense. Brendan Allen should be outmatched on the feet, and Soriano should be able to negate the grappling coming back his way. Soriano by finish or decision both seem possible, so take the money line straight up.
- TJ Dillashaw (+152)
TJ Dillashaw returns from a two and a half year layoff, to face off against bantamweight title contender, Cory Sandhagen. Dillashaw, a former champion, taxed his body making 125lbs to face Henry Cejudo, getting caught using EPO for his troubles. Being priced as this big an underdog, given his pedigree, is reason enough to want to fade Sandhagen. Additionally, Dillashaw should be able to use his wrestling to secure rounds if he can’t win from range against the experienced kickboxer. Dillashaw seems like a good place to find a value play because the general UFC fan detests him, Sandhagen is a popular fighter, and finding Dillashaw at this price of +152 feels like a steal. Hammer away!
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