With this possibly being my last betting article with this site, let’s go out with a bang, shall we?
COVID cancellations aside, I would say that we did quite well in regards to the quality content and winning tickets we’ve put out over the past year, as it’s been an absolute pleasure to provide helpful analysis for UFC events. So, without further, ado…
UFC Vegas 20 is headlined by a fun pairing of heavyweight strikers, as Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+225) meets Ciryl Gane (-265) inside of the Apex.
Although I cashed on a big underdog last week in Derrick Lewis, I’m admittedly not as confident in the underdog offering in the headlining spot this Saturday. Sure, Rozenstruik and his check left hook will be live for as long as he’s standing, but I suspect that the smaller octagon brings about more clinch opportunities for Gane.
Not only is Rozenstruik poor at dictating and defending clinch scenarios from happening, but Gane – whose background is in muay Thai – seems to come to life inside of this space. For that reason, I’m officially picking Gane to find a submission (which is a prop that is currently being listed in the neighborhood of +450) by the middle rounds.
As I’ve learned in the past few main events, predicting the totals can be dangerous (especially with the “over 1.5 rounds” currently being listed in the -210 range). So, for that reason, I suggest either sprinkling lightly on the underdog or passing in this spot – as I believe this bout will provide useful information for both fighters that can be utilized in the future.
The co-main event in Las Vegas features a fun light heavyweight affair between Magomed Ankalaev (-350) and Nikita Krylov (+290).
Despite Ankalaev being inflated from his opener at -240, I can’t say that I disagree with the public sentiment in this spot.
Ankalaev has been someone I’ve been high on since seeing him on the Russian regional scene. The Dagestani southpaw has a Master of Sports in Sambo and is a Greco-Roman wrestling champion who movies incredibly well on the feet and carries fight-changing knockout power.
Nevertheless, Krylov represents both opportunism and aggression well, as Ankalaev can’t afford to disrespect his opposition this Saturday.
Despite Krylov’s UFC experience, the Master of Sports in karate and hand-to-hand combat is just 28-years-old. And even though he may be known for his more spastic finishing abilities, the Ukrainian product has demonstrated an ability to fight against type in recent outings (going to a decision in his last 2 fights).
That said, I’m not sure that Krylov will make it to the scorecards here, as I see Ankalaev being able to capitalize on his aggression with a first-round stoppage from strikes. If you, too, are sold on this fight ending early or are looking to hedge for a Krylov win, then I suggest looking at the “under 1.5 rounds,” which currently sits at +130 if you’re searching for some plus-money coverage.
Straight play: Thiago Moises +165
Despite being burned by Thiago Moises in his last outing, I find myself backing him here opposite Alexander Hernandez (-190).
Although I’ve supported and cashed on Hernandez in the past, I was genuinely surprised to both see him open and get steamed as the favorite in this matchup. Don’ get me wrong: Hernandez is an athletic force early who can grind if he needs to. However, I suspect that Moises may be a bad stylistic fit for the Texan.
Not only is Moises a durable fighter who has never been stopped as a pro, but he is also a credentialled Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with opportunistic submissions that could either capitalize or give pause to Hernandez’s wrestling abilities. Moises has had past issues with southpaw strikers, but Hernandez – especially since working with Factory-X Muay Thai – appears to be really embracing his orthodox stance (which could open him up to the Brazilian’s calf kicks).
For those reasons, I’ll side with Moises to survive the storm and find a winning formula in the process – as I play the money line for coverage.
Straight play: Mayra Bueno Silva -140
Although I’m a huge fan of Montana de La Rosa (+120), I’m not sure that the odds are representative of her chances of winning this fight.
De La Rosa is another fighter who has seen improvements since shifting training camps over to Factory-X Muay Thai, but I still don’t like how her boxing-centric approach from the orthodox stance stacks up with a calf-kicking Brazilian on paper.
Training out of the famed Chute Boxe academy under UFC lightweight, Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira, Mayra Bueno Silva shows a similar style and aggression to her stablemates when fighting on the feet. And though Silva may only officially have a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it hasn’t stopped her from collecting the arms of multiple black belts and UFC fighters alike.
De La Rosa certainly has a path if she can lean on her wrestling chops and execute a smart, grinding game plan, I’m just not so sure she’ll be able to do it against a strong and skilled athlete like Silva. Whether you like the favorite or the underdog, I say stick to the money line and kick for coverage (especially given the inflated overs attached to this fight).
Regardless of what you’re betting, bet responsibly, my friends!