The UFC train keeps right on rolling this weekend with UFC Long Island on Saturday evening. The main event is a featherweight bout between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez that may well determine the next challenger to Alexander Volkanovski’s 145-pound title. While that bout is taking up all the headlines, the rest of the card is filled with compelling and/or important matchups across multiple divisions. Let’s take a look at the best ones to place wagers on.
As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Yair Rodriguez +155
I’m going to be honest with you, this bet is as much about my dislike of Ortega as it is about my belief in Rodriguez. Ortega is the most difficult kind of fighter for me to assess, because in practically every single one of his fights, he loses the majority of the bout before pulling off an epic comeback. I continue to be surprised when he does it, because it simply shouldn’t happen with the regularity that it does.
Ortega’s striking defense relies heavily on having a great chin, and his offense can oftentimes seem listless up until he becomes the most predatory damn grappler in the sport. Given that, I always believe he’s going to lose, and this time is no different. Rodriguez is the better and more diverse striker, and it seems like he’s finally developing into the fighter everyone projected he would become. I won’t be at all shocked if Ortega goes full Brian Ortega and snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. But at underdog odds, give me “El Pantera.”
Ricky Simon, +145
This was one of the easiest bets on the card for me to make. I think Jack Shore is an excellent prospect, and I put a lot of stock in being undefeated (not knowing how to lose honestly counts for a lot in MMA). But he in no way should be this big of a favorite. This is the definition of a 50-50 fight. Both men push a high pace, both men chain wrestle and can grapple their asses off, and both men appear to still have their best years in front of them. I honestly don’t know who will win this one, but at these odds, the value is on Simon.
Herbert Burns, +170
This is another value bet. God love Bill Algeo, but he really shouldn’t be a -200 favorite over someone as talented as Burns. Algeo is certainly the better striker of the two, and if he can keep this fight standing, he will very likely win. That’s a huge if for a man who’s given up 22 takedowns in five fights inside the UFC. Yes, Algeo is pretty tough to hold down, but Burns is an accomplished BJJ player and a serious threat once it hits the mat. And since Algeo also has six career losses by submission, there’s some value in this line.
Miesha Tate by Decision, -110
Betting on a fighter making her divisional debut is always a risky proposition, but in this case, I’m going to make an exception. Miesha Tate isn’t just any fighter, and Lauren Murphy is not exactly the type of fighter who punishes you on the margins. Tate is the former bantamweight champion and coming off a hard-fought loss to Ketlen Vieira, who it turns out is pretty good at fighting. She’s also the more powerful striker of the two, the better grappler, the better athlete, and given that she looks absolutely shredded heading into this fight, I like Tate’s chances to get her hand raised. That being said, Tate has never been the best finisher, and for whatever deficiencies Murphy may have, she’s tougher than a $2 steak. Only one person has ever finished her, and that was Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth round. I think she can last 15 minutes with Tate.
Matt Schnell vs. Su Mudaerji Under 2.5 Rounds, -150
I got this bet directly from my cohost on No Bets Barred, Conner Burks, who convinced me that despite all logic and reason, betting the Under on a flyweight bout was a smart choice, and he was able to do so for a few reasons. First, this bet would have hit in four of Schnell’s past six fights, and in two of Mudaerji’s four. Second, the style matchup here seems to favor a finish. Both guys come out going hard, and with Schnell’s questionable chin and Mudaerji’s questionable submission defense, one of these dudes is getting got.
Parlay of the Week
Shane Burgos, -165
My general stance on parlays (aside from thinking they are bad and you shouldn’t do them) is that I only parlay bets when they are around -250 or higher odds. At that point, the payoff on a straight bet is so much smaller, you can just tie a few of those together and shortcut the wager. However, I’m breaking my rule this week, because if there is one undeniably certainty in life, it’s that Burgos is beating Charles Jourdain this weekend.
Here’s a little stat for you, Burgos is 6-0 when fighting in the state of New York. You know where Long Island is? New York, baby. That’s right, when he’s in his home state, “Big Apple” Burgos is unbeatable, and he happens to be in his home state this weekend. Add in that he’s the more diverse striker and throws more volume, and this man is moving to 7-0 on Long Island.
Lauren Murphy vs. Miesha Tate Over 2.5 Rounds, -335
As mentioned above, neither of these women are particularly great finishers, and both are highly durable. In fact, in their collective 48 fights, this bet would only have failed in eight of them. In fact, the most recent time Under 2.5 Rounds hit for either woman was when Tate lost the bantamweight title to Amanda Nunes, back in 2016. Before that, you’d have to back to 2013 when Murphy was fighting on the regional scene.
Parlay these two bets together for +108 odds.
Long Shot(s) of the Week
Michelle Waterson To Win By Split or Majority Decision, +1400
In the co-main event, Michelle Waterson takes on Amanda Lemos in a bout that’s it’s hard to feel too confident in predicting. Waterson is getting old, has lost more than she’s won lately, and will be significantly smaller than Lemos, but Lemos hasn’t looked very good in recent outings either. She barely squeaked out a split decision over Angela Hill and then got run over by Jessica Andrade in April. What I’m saying is, this fight could be a weird one and with Hill having won two split decisions in the past, I’m taking a flyer on this one.
Brian Ortega to win by Submission in Round 3, +1800
All of the Ortega by Submission + Round props are pretty juicy lines, but I decided I’d take a shot on this one, because like I said above, the man knows how to win out of nowhere, and he’s done it four times in the third round, not counting the near submission of Volkanovski in that round as well. This is worth a small shot.
Make sure you check out No Bets Barred this week, as it’s quite possibly our best episode yet. Other than that, enjoy the fights, good luck, 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.