After a choppy January, the UFC is back to weekly Saturday night cards. Only having two UFC events in one month is nasty business, but now that it’s back it felt like it never left. There’s a sneaky good card coming this way Saturday night, and like every UFC card, it’s prime gambling territory.
Best Bets on the Card
Mike Trizano to win against Hakeem Dawodu (+150):
Value is the big one here. On paper, Mike Trizano and Hakeem Dawodu should be on a similar level. Both have faced similar levels of competition, Dawodu has more losses but that’s because he has more experience. +150 is a pretty sizable underdog for a matchup as unpredictable as this one. With his only loss coming a weight class up to a good fighter in Grant Dawson, Trizano seems like a great bet for Saturday night.
Chidi Njokuani to win against Marc-Andre Barriault (-115)
This is not an easy UFC debut for Chidi Njokuani. It is obvious why he is getting such a difficult debut in the form of Marc-Andre Barriault. It is well known Njokuani is a tough night out for anybody, and that’s not just because of his win on the Contender’s Series. Njokuani had a seven-fight run in Bellator and racked up a decent record, only losing when his grappling weakness reared its ugly head. Njokuani is dealing with a dog in Marc-Andre Barriault. However, if he can make it a striking match he will have every advantage.
The odds are close (as they should be) but for now, Njokuani is resting at a slight favorite. It’ll be hard not to root for the veteran making his octagon debut this late into his career, especially in the wake of Chris Curtis‘ success (he was in a nearly identical situation).
Bryan Battle to win against Tresean Gore (+140)
Anyone who watched TUF is dying to see this fight. Bryan Battle went from the last pick on TUF to winning the whole show, picking up multiple impressive wins as the underdog in the process. On the other hand, Tresean Gore was one of the favorites to win it all from the beginning. Gore did his part in making it to the final fight against Bryan Battle but unfortunately had to pull out due to injury.
This fight was originally scheduled as the TUF final, but Gore pulled out due to injury. However, due to Battle’s win in the final, the UFC brass promised they would rebook the fight.
Gore is a heavy hitter, but he also can fight patiently. He showed his ability to win via quick finish or drawn-out decision through two fights on TUF.
Battle showed flashes of awesome action fighting and a deep bag of submissions. Battle will push the pace against a patient Tresean Gore and look to break him down before closing in for the finish. Gore hasn’t had the chance to prove how he handles fighters like Bryan Battle, he only has a 4-0 pro record (excluding his wins on TUF). He doesn’t have a very deep amateur career either, only going 3-1 in that stage of his career.
Battle had a longer amateur career (8-1-0) and a longer pro career (7-1-0) to this point. Another important point to note is that Bryan Battle’s nickname is ‘Pooh Bear’. The origins of that nickname are relatively unknown, but any gambler with a shred of experience would never fade a guy with an awesome nickname. Saturday night, ‘Pooh Bear’ will show who the real utimate fighter is.
Shavkhat Rakhmonov to finish Carlston Harris (-115)
Shavkhat Rakhmonov is the UFC’s best-kept secret at the moment. He is a welterweight who is very tall for the division at 6’1″ with dominant striking and grappling. He made his UFC debut against Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira which should be challenging, but it wasn’t for Rakhmonov. He easily submitted the veteran.
Don’t get it twisted, Carlston Harris is no slouch. Just like Rakhmonov, Harris has two fights in the UFC, and both of his UFC fights were impressive in their own right. This is Shavkhat Rakhmonov’s biggest test in the UFC so far, but he should be expected to pass with flying colors. Rakhmonov is a name MMA fans should get used to hearing.
Nick Maximov to win against Punahele Soriano (+160)
Nick Maximov is responsible for what is possibly the most impressive DWCS win in the history of the show. Maximov is a middleweight who took a fight against a heavyweight on late notice and grappled his way to a UD win. The willingness to take on a guy two weight classes up on late notice is very telling about who he is as a person: he shows up to fight. After being snubbed of a contract off of the contender series, Maximov patiently awaited a chance in the UFC. When he got his chance, he made the most of it by winning a UD in a solid performance.
Maximov now will have to replicate that success against Punahele Soriano. Soriano has great boxing and heavy hands, but in his last fight, it seemed that Brendan Allen was able to expose grappling/cardio weaknesses that have plagued Soriano for a while.
Whenever someone who trains with the Diaz brothers is involved, you can bet on the fact that he has unbelievable cardio. If Maximov can drain Soriano’s energy and take some pop off of his punches expect to see him close in and suffocate his opponent.
Let us know how these bets play out and comment if you have any other great bets!
Follow me on Twitter @Jimsam26 for more Combat Sports news and discussions. Also, make sure to follow @OT_Heroics for all of your sporting needs. Don’t forget OTHeroicsMMA for all things MMA.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images