UFC Columbus takes place on Saturday at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and is headlined by a heavyweight contest between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. It’s the UFC’s final card before UFC 273, and as has become customary for such cards, the event is low on name value and high on competitive bouts.
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.
Bryan Barbarena over Matt Brown, -115
I have no idea why this line is so close. God love Matt Brown, but he’s 41 years old and was talking about having issues with concussion-like symptoms all the way back in 2016. Barbarena may not be the fighter he once was, but he’s scrappy and hits hard, and I trust his chin much more than I do Brown’s at this point.
I was a little surprised to see the line here favor Borshchev, as Diakiese is the much more accomplished and well-rounded fighter. Yes, Diakiese has been on a a bit of a skid lately, but he’s still only 29 years old, and his losses have come against very good opposition. I think Diakiese could win a kickboxing bout off of his speed alone, and his wrestling ability gives him a clear edge.
Like the Diakiese-Borshchev fight, this flyweight contest pits a more accomplished and more well-rounded fighter against someone entering the bout with a bit of hype. Nicolau is a good counter-puncher and solid grappler, whereas Dvorak mostly makes hay with his hands. Nicolau was competitive on the feet with Manel Kape due to his counters and defense, and so given that and his wrestling, I favor Nicolau to win this fight and like the value on him at plus money.
Curtis Blaydes over Chris Daukaus by KO/TKO, -110
This is a straightforward prediction: Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the world, and Chris Daukaus is not. While Daukaus has put together a decent UFC run thus far, he has only had to defend two takedowns, and those were not from great wrestlers. Blaydes can arguably win a striking battle here just with the jab and his natural athleticism, but instead he’s going to ground Daukaus repeatedly and go to work. With five rounds to work, I like Blaydes chances to eventually get a stoppage.
It’s becoming a recurring theme on this card, but Magny is simply the more well-rounded and more accomplished fighter compared to Griffin. Magny has beaten a number of top welterweights and only lost to the upper-echelon of the division. Griffin, meanwhile, has lost against all the best fighters he’s faced. Magny’s jab, clinch work, and cardio give him a clear edge over Griffin, and given that seven of Griffin’s eight losses are by decision and 12 of Magny’s 15 UFC wins have been by decision, I like this prop bet.
Askarov is a solid boxer, but Kara-France is the faster, more dangerous striker, so this fight is going to come down to the wrestling. Kara-France has solid takedown defense and he’s a pretty good scrambler. But more importantly, he’s the better athlete. Askarov has a tendency to get lazy and has eaten some shots as a result, and I think Kara-France has a chance to deny Askarov his takedowns long enough to land a big shot on the feet and earn the biggest win of his career. At +800, it’s worth a play.
Parlay of the Week
Curtis Blaydes over Chris Daukaus, -400
As mentioned above, this should be a straightforward win for Blaydes, and while I think a stoppage is likely, there is always the chance that Daukaus hangs tough and Blaydes stays content to ride out a win round over round.
I’m shocked that Latifi is only a -200 favorite here. Oleinik is pushing 45 years old and hasn’t looked good in years. Latifi hasn’t been excellent recently either, but he doesn’t need to be to beat Oleinik, who at best has five minutes of cardio available to him. Add in that Oleinik’s best weapon, chokes, don’t figure to be very effective against maybe the most hulking neck in all of MMA, and this should be simple enough for Latifi to get his hand raised.
We’re not exactly giong out on a limb by parlaying three of the bigger favorites on the card, but I think Fiorot wins this fight nine times out of 10. She is faster, longer, more athletic, and the better striker of the two women, and while Maia is the superior grappler, she’s not a great wrestler. Fiorot should be able to keep this at distance and ding Maia up with shots, either taking a decision or finding a shot that hurts Maia and puts her away.
Parlay these three bets together for +125 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
It worked for us this past week, and so we’re gonna try and run it back this week with another fight parlay featuring women’s flyweights. Grasso has not finished a fight since 2014 and Wood has never been knocked out, so it makes sense that these odds are long. But Grasso is starting to come into her own, and at 35, Wood appears to be have lost a couple steps. In her most recent bout, Wood got dropped by Talia Santos before being submitted, and given Grasso’s increasing comfort with power shots, I think she can crack Wood early and record her first stoppage victory inside the UFC.
We absolutely crushed it this past week! Aside from nailing all of our straight bets and hitting our big underdog prop, we also cashed our Long Shot of the Week at a whopping +3500! Looking for another big weekend here before we finally have a small break in the MMA schedule.
Good luck y’all, and gamble responsibly!
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