UFC 279 was one of the craziest fight week’s in history, but there’s no rest for the MMA fandom as the world’s leading fight promotion is back this weekend with another offering at the UFC Apex, UFC Vegas 60. In the main event, Cory Sandhagen looks to retain his place in the bantamweight title conversation when he takes on Song Yadong in a fight that promises fireworks. Outside of the main event, there are 13 other fights on the card, and that’s a lot of MMA action with a lot of betting opportunities, so let’s get to it.
As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Cory Sandhagen, -190
The main event bout between Sandhagen and Yadong appears to be straightforward. Yadong is only 24 years old and has a bright future ahead, but this is simply too big of a step up in competition for him. Sandhagen’s UFC losses have come against the top three bantamweights in the world (and one of those losses should’ve been a win). Yadong is excellent, but he’s not the best in the world, at least not yet. Unless Yadong has made a huge leap in ability, Sandhagen’s advantages in length and volume should carry the day here.
Gregory Rodrigues, +105
In the co-main event, the man known as “Robocop” takes on Chidi Njokuani in what promises to be a barnburner. Rodrigues is an accomplished grappler, but he is just as willing to brawl it out on the feet, which has nearly gotten him into trouble before. Against a kickboxer like Njokuani, Rodrigues would be wise to look for takedowns early, and that’s exactly what I think he’ll do. Njokuani is a decent defender of takedowns but he’s not great, and once Rodrigues does get it to the floor, it should be one-way traffic.
Rodrigo Nascimento, +145
Last week I advised everyone to fade Jake Collier, because he lost to Andrei Arlovski which makes him a heavyweight not to trust with your bet slips. This week, I’m saying the same thing. Tanner Boser is a much smaller favorite than Collier was, but I’m still surprised he is the favorite. Aside from losing to Chris Daukaus — who is a ranked heavyweight — Nascimento has made quick work of everyone else he has ever faced, and looked decent doing so. He’s got solid takedowns and a dangerous submission game. Boser has fine defense, but he doesn’t blow you away in any facet, and I simply think Nascimento is the more dangerous fighter and deserves to be the favorite.
Gillian Robertson by Submission, +150
Like many of the fights on this card, Gillian Robertson vs. Mariya Agapova breaks down to a simple striker vs. grappler matchup, and in this one I like the grappler. Agapova is not a great defender of takedowns, and while Robertson isn’t the best offensive wrestler, she is dogged in her pursuit of them, and once she’s on the floor, she’s a good finisher. Seven of Robertson’s 10 career wins have come by way of submission, and I think we’re in for lucky number eight.
Parlay of the Week
Joe Pyfer, -460
There’s usually a reason for a fighter to be this big of a favorite, and in this case there is: Alen Amedovski is not a UFC-caliber fighter. In his three performances in the promotion, Amedovski has landed a total of nine strikes. That’s baaaad. Pyfer will roll.
Daniel Zellhuber, -315
As with the above leg, there’s a reason Zellhuber it this big a favorite: He’s going to win. At only 23 years old, Zellhuber is a top-shelf lightweight prospect, with a 12-0 record and nine stoppage victories. “Golden Boy” can strike and grapple, and he’s going to prove too much for the game but overmatched Trey Ogden.
Parlay these two bets together for -167 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
Cory Sandhagen by KO/TKO in Round 4, +2500
The main event this weekend is going to be an all-out war for as long as it lasts, and while conventional wisdom says it will go the full 25 minutes, I’m less sure. Sure, both Sandhagen and Yadong have only been stopped once apiece, but Yadong is about to enter very different waters than he’s used to: A main event. This will be only the second time Yadong has fought 25 minutes and the first time since 2017, long before his UFC tenure. Meanwhile, this is Sandhagen’s third five-rounder in a row, and his style really excels the longer the fight goes. I think this fight is back and forth early, but Sandhagen will be able to take control and as the damage begins to pile up, Yadong will start to wilt.
After having to pull off a full-blown scramble drill following the UFC 279 shake-ups, we still managed to end up with a winning week, helped along by cashing a +330 underdog bet on Chris Barnett. That’s two in a row plus four out of our previous five. Let’s keep it rolling this weekend!
Until next week, enjoy the fights, good luck, and gamble responsibly!
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