UFC Vegas 50 takes place this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and is headlined by a pivotal light heavyweight matchup between one-time title challenger Thiago Santos and rising prospect Magomed Ankalaev. The rest of the fight card is filled with competitive fights, many of which promise to provide a lot of action.
Let’s take a look at some of the best bets available on the card. All odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Karl Roberson over Khalil Rountree Jr., -135
One of the most exciting fights on paper of the evening, this bout figures to be contested almost exclusively on the feet. Both Roberson and Rountree are explosive strikers, but Roberson should have a number of clear edges. The former Glory kickboxer has a better command of range, is faster, and has the more proven chin, having taking shots in the past from Jerome LeBanner. He also has the edge in diversity of attacks and can even wrestle and grapple some, if he chooses. Meanwhile, Rountree figures to to be the bigger and more powerful man, but that power comes at the cost of his gas tank, and he’s been known to overextend in pursuit of landing a big shot. While you can never count out a man as powerful as Rountree, the number of small edges for Roberson all add up to a significant advantage for him — and make Roberson a good value bet.
Terrance McKinney over Drew Dober, +145
Though McKinney is best known for his 7-second KO of Matt Frevola in his UFC debut, the reality is that McKinney does his best work on the ground — a fact which lines up well against the somewhat questionable takedown defense of Dober, who gave up takedowns to a rocked Brad Riddell. McKinney stepping in on short-notice does give me some pause here, however he fought just three weeks ago and the stylistic change Dober is having to adjust to should even things out. I like McKinney to use his grappling to win outright, and so think he has good value at plus money.
Song Yadong over Marlon Moraes by KO/TKO, -110
The decline of Marlon Moraes is one of the more shocking things to happen in MMA in recent years. Once thought to be the best bantamweight in the world by some, Moraes has seemingly fallen off a cliff the last few years, going 1-4 in his last five fights with his lone win being a questionable split decision, and his four losses all coming by knockout. Though he’s only 33, it appears that Moraes’ chin has abandoned him and he’s lost a step athletically, which has played havoc with his game. That’s a tough place to be against an athletic dynamo like Yadong, who is still not even in his prime yet. Moraes’ chin simply can’t hold up in a firefight anymore — and that’s what Yadong is going to bring.
Alex Pereira over Bruno Silva by KO/TKO, -135
Pereira is arguably the most acclaimed kickboxer to ever compete in the UFC, having won the middleweight and light heavyweight titles in Glory, and holding the notable distinction of being the only man to ever knock out Israel Adesanya. Pereira is highly advantaged on the feet against anyone other than Adesanya, and though Silva is a BJJ black belt, he has never attempted a takedown in the UFC, preferring to lean on the absurd power in his hands to win fights. That’s a recipe for disaster, and Silva’s porous striking defense will open up plenty of opportunities for Pereira to close the show.
JJ Aldrich over Gillian Robertson by Decision, +200
Aldrich vs. Robertson is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup and one of the closest fights on the card on paper. If Robertson can get takedowns, she’s going to win, and if she can’t, she’s going to lose. She’s not a great wrestler though, and Aldrich has been pretty good at fending off takedowns, so I favor Aldrich by the slimmest of margins. It’s really a coin flip fight, and so getting Aldrich at plus money has value, however there’s much more value in the By Decision Prop. Aldrich hasn’t finished a fight since 2016 and Robertson is pretty durable. Taking the prop is an extra bit of value and a good line.
Parlay of the Week
Magomed Ankalaev over Thiago Santos (-600)
Simply put, Ankalaev is better than Santos in every facet of MMA. He’s a more technical kickboxer with a bigger toolbox to draw from, and he’s also an excellent wrestler and clinch fighter. Add in that Santos has not looked the same since blowing out both his knees against Jon Jones, and this should be one-way traffic.
Pereira/Silva Under 2.5 Rounds (-400)
This fight is a classic Get-Or-Get-Got battle. Both men are big finishers and have clear routes to victory. Either Pereira gets the knockout (the most likely outcome) or Silva perhaps puts his black belt to use and gets a submission. Either way, this one is finishing quickly.
Mazo/Maverick Fight To Go To Decision (-250)
In contrast, Sabina Mazo and Miranda Maverick are extremely likely to go to the cards. Six of Mazo’s nine career wins are by decision and, more importantly, she’s only been stopped once. Meanwhile, Maverick only has one finish in her last five fights and has never been stopped.
Parlay these three bets together for +104 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
Sabina Mazo over Miranda Maverick by Split or Majority Decision, +1600
Maverick is the second biggest favorite on the entire card, and honestly, that’s somewhat insane. Though she’s a much better athlete than Mazo, she’s regressed in her most recent outings, and Mazo is much longer and a much more active striker. If Mazo can stave off some of Maverick’s takedown attempts, this fight gets close in a hurry. I’m envisioning a scenario where Mazo stuffs the takedowns early and builds a lead but Maverick finds with her takedowns midway through the fight, making Round 2 a swing round.
Not that many bets this week. A lot of competitive fights with pretty well set lines. Still, we had a great week last week and hopefully we keep building that momentum with a big Saturday this week.
Good luck y’all, and gamble responsibly!
All information in this article is provided to readers of MMA Fighting for entertainment, news, and amusement purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader to learn and abide by online gambling laws in their region before placing any online sports betting wagers.