Fresh off of UFC 293 and one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, the UFC heads into Las Vegas with a rematch of the other gigantic upset this year, Alexa Grasso submitting Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 285. Taking place on Mexican Independence Day, Noche UFC features six Mexican fighters and a couple more boasting Mexican heritage, all capped off by Grasso-Shevchenko 2. Let’s take a look at the best bets this weekend.
As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Alexa Grasso, +145
Well, well, well. We’re back again. Just six months ago I was going All-In on Valentina Shevchenko and watching Alexa Grasso rip the heart right out of my chest. Now we get to do it again. Only this time, I’m learning from my mistakes.
Heading into UFC 285 I was supremely confident in Shevchenko because there was every reason to be. She’s the more technical striker, the more physically imposing fighter, and the better grappler. Except come fight night, she wasn’t. Grasso matched Shevchenko’s physicality, out-boxed her, and ultimately took the back and choked her out. Yes, Shevchenko won most of the fight, but it was far from a runaway at any point. Now they are rematching and the person who won the first one is an underdog? Color me intrigued.
Shevchenko is 35 years old and has been fighting for over 20 years (legitimately, her MMA debut was in 2003). She has at least 133 fights to her name and probably more than that, not to mention all the training sessions and sparring she’s done. That’s SO MUCH FIGHTING. Honestly, it’s a nearly incomprehensible amount of combat to put one’s body through and eventually, the bill comes due. Unfortunately, I think that time is now for Shevchenko.
Alexa Grasso to Win by Decision, +350
I’m going to level with you: there aren’t a lot of straight bets this week that are reasonable. Eight of the 11 fights on the card feature favorites at -200 or higher. Because of that, we’re double dipping on Grasso this week because while I think a straight play on her is fine, this prop is a better bet.
There was nothing fluky about Grasso’s submission win, but it’s also not like that came after dominating ground work by the champion. Shevchenko spun, Grasso knew that was coming, hoped on the back and finished. Exceedingly well done but not exactly replicable, particularly with Shevchenko now aware that it’s a possibility. Six of Grasso’s eight UFC wins have come by decision and that remains by far the most likely way Grasso wins. Picture a flyweight version of Leon Edwards vs. Kamaru Usman 2, where Shevchenko becomes increasingly desperate for takedowns that Grasso defends while out-working her on the feet.
Jack Della Maddalena to Win by Decision, +300
In the co-main event, money keeps pouring in on JDM and I’ll admit, that’s a touch concerning. Maddalena is coming off a stunningly bad performance that saw him eke out a win over Bassil Hafez despite showing some of the worst fight I.Q. I can remember. Now he’s facing a supremely dangerous fighter in Kevin Holland. That being said, JDM is the superior boxer and hopefully took a lesson from the Hafez fight, and will stick to his strengths. Even so, Holland is insanely durable, having only been stopped once in his career with strikes (a fourth-round corner stoppage against Stephen Thompson) despite fighting against guys like Thiago Santos at middleweight. Jack “Hammer” Della gets the job done but doesn’t get the finish.
Lupita Godinez to Win by Submission or KO’TKO/DQ, +140
This is a set up fight for Loopy to get a dominant win on Mexican Independence Day. She’s a -440 favorite after all. The price on Loopy getting a finish is so low because she only has two in her entire career but this is less about Loopy and more about Elise Reed. Reed is cannon fodder here and in each of her three career losses, Reed has been finished. This is perfect matchmaking and a good price for a stoppage win from Godinez.
Parlay of the Week
It’s Mexican Independence Day and we have a handful of Mexican fighters competing as favorites this weekend. Do I honestly need to explain this one. Come Saturday, what could be more fun than donning the red, green, and white and cheering for all of these fighters to represent their county and your bank account? Also, they’re all probably going to win.
Daniel Zellhuber, -278
Fernando Padilla, -250
Lupita Godinez, -440
Edgar Chairez, -250
Parlay these six bets together for +227 odds.
Parlay of the Week
Raul Rosas Jr. by KO/TKO/DQ in Round 2, +2000
Rosas Jr. is coming off a tough performance against Christian Rodriguez in April, but here’s the thing: Rodriguez is actually good! I’m not sure the same can be said about Terrence Mitchell. Every time he’s faced legitimate opposition, Mitchell has been melted. The same seems likely this time around.
Unfortunately, the books are all juiced up on submission and first round props as those are the historical trends for Rosas, but Mitchell is actually a decent grappler so I think he can put forth some resistance on the mat. That means that though Rosas will be in control, he won’t find the submission in the first round, and come round two, instead he’ll focus on ground-and-pound to secure the win.
Mixed bag last week with our results but more importantly, we learned a valuable lesson: nobody knows anything! A bunch of really smart people all felt that Sean Strickland had no realistic shot at winning and instead he dominated. MMA is impossible. Bet at your own risk because really, we’re all just throwing darts in the dark here.
Until next week, enjoy the fights, good luck, and gamble responsibly!
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