The UFC is bringing PPV action to Salt Lake City, Utah, as pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman -357 continues his lap around the Welterweight division in a rematch against Leon Edwards +320. This card will also showcase several former champions as Luke Rockhold +300 returns against Paulo Costa -333 in what should be a Middleweight banger, and Jose Aldo +112 takes on The Machine Merab Dvalishvili -120 in a Bantamweight matchup with massive stakes.
All Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 5:00 PM EST 8/17/2022
This rematch has been building up for a while, with each man having very long win streaks. Kamaru Usman has shown off his hands a lot lately, but his main attribute is still his strong wrestling which could be key in this matchup. Leon Edwards is a very skilled striker who gave Kamaru trouble when standing in the first fight; however, he has been hurt before, and his wrestling is not on the level of Usman.
I think this fight will be close early as Kamaru tests his striking; however, I believe Leon tends to fade as the fight goes on, and I think later in the fight, Usman will have success wrestling and take over the fight. Leon will come into this fight very prepared, and it will not be an easy night for Kamaru, but I think he gets it done by decision at -111 on Stake.com.
Pick: Kamaru Usman O/U: Over 4.5 -161
This is going to be a fun one at Middleweight as the former champion Luke Rockhold returns to face knockout artist Paulo Costa. Paulo Costa is a terrifying striker with nice body shots that he throws consistently, and he has also proven challenging to wrestle. Luke Rockhold, in his prime, was a well-rounded offensive weapon with long sharp striking and great top control; he is, however, off a three-year layoff after several knockout losses, which is very concerning.
I'm taking Paulo Costa here as this is just an absolute nightmare matchup for Rockhold, and we have not seen fighters coming back in situations have any success in the past.
Pick: Paulo Costa O/U: Under 1.5 -106
This fantastic stylistic matchup will see Jose Aldo's legendary takedown defense put to the test. Jose Aldo looks refreshed at Bantamweight as he may no longer have the same explosion of a young Aldo; he still has the skills and has looked much stronger than recent opponents. Merab Dvalishvili is going to try to wrestle, and he is not going to stop, and he will not get tired doing it; this causes problems for many, but when forced to stand, I have not been impressed with Merab.
I will take Jose Aldo as an underdog here as his takedown defense has held up against much larger opponents, and he has a large striking advantage. This will come down to his cardio as if Merab can tire Aldo; that is the only way I see Aldo accepting bottom position.
Pick: Jose Aldo O/U: Under 2.5 +180
Here we get a step up in competition for the recent largest favorite in UFC history Alexander Romanov as he takes on tested veteran Marcin Tybura. Tybura is a solid Heavyweight with lots of high-level experience. Alexander Romanov has finished most of his wins dominantly, but he has yet to be tested.
I will lean Romanov here, but this price is very wide for a Heavyweight who has not fought anyone like Tybura yet.
Pick: Alexander Romanov O/U: Under 1.5
This matchup will see Tyson Pedro continue his comeback against Harry Hunsucker in a Lightheavyweight matchup. Pedro looked very impressive his last time out in a quick finish victory. Hunsucker is moving down for this fight and appears to be in great shape; however, he has struggled in his UFC run and has shown little to inspire confidence.
I am taking Pedro here as this feels like a good fight to continue building him back into contention. Pedro has a steep price, but he is good enough that I will add him to my main card parlay.
Pick: Tyson Pedro O/U: Under 1.5
This is a fun Lightweight clash that sees both men looking to bounce back. Jared Gordon is a well-rounded veteran who has fought big name like the champion Charles Oliveira. Leonardo Santos is a finisher who has also fought several solid names in the UFC, from Thiago Santos to Kevin Lee; however, he is over forty and has been finished in his last two.
I will pick Gordon here as it is tough to back Santos at this stage in his career. No bet on this as the price is wide, and it could be a close fight.
Pick: Jared Gordon O/U: Under 2.5 +109
This Bantamweight matchup features the UFC return of Lucie Pudilova taking on Yanan Wu, who looks to end her losing streak. Lucie Pudilova comes back into the UFC as a boxer with good pressure but no ground game. Yanan Wu is also a striker who has had a tough run in the UFC, losing four of her last five.
I will take Pudilova in this one, as although she did not have much success in the UFC her last time, she has at least shown that she can win in recent years enough to get another shot.
Pick: Lucie Pudilova O/U: Over 2.5 -385
Here we get a Featherweight scrap featuring contender series products Sean Woodson and Luis Saldana. Woodson is very tall for the weight class, which can give opponents trouble with the range, which he has used to his advantage. Luis Saldana is a sharp striker; however, he hesitates to throw his hands at times.
I am taking Woodson here as I do not believe Saldana has the volume to win this fight. I will combine Woodson with Miranda Maverick here for a nice prelim parlay of two of my more confident picks.
Pick: Sean Woodson O/U: Over 2.5 -159
This Flyweight matchup features a rematch between two women looking to get on win streaks. Miranda Maverick is working her way back into contention after a bit of a slip with two tough fights against tough competition. She will likely do so using a strong ground game with solid finishing ability. Shanna Young is coming off a much-needed win; however, she did need a comeback to get it and has not been impressive in any of her fights before.
Miranda Maverick is my most confident pick on the card, as she has already finished Shanna Young once, and I expect her to do it again.
Pick: Miranda Maverick O/U: Under 2.5 +100
AJ Fletcher -147 Ange Loosa +135
This is a close fight at Welterweight, with each fighter looking to earn their first UFC win. AJ Fletcher is a good wrestler with many quick submissions on his resume. Ange Loosa came into the UFC on short notice and returns here with a good camp behind him.
I will lean Loosa here as I think he is more well-rounded than Fletcher, and if he can avoid takedowns long enough, he should win.
Pick: Ange Loosa O/U: Over 2.5 -185
This Flyweight matchup features the younger brother of the champion Deiveson Figueiredo, Fransico, taking on Amir Albazi. Albazi is back after an over year and a half layoff from an impressive win where he was made to stand, although he has shown very strong grappling in his career. Figueiredo got a nice submission win his last time out, but before that, he had not put on many good showings in the UFC.
I've got Albazi in this one as I believe he is better everywhere; the layoff is of no concern as he is only twenty-eight, meaning he has likely been improving over that time.
Pick: Amir Albazi O/U: Under 2.5 +115
Aoriqileng -149 Jay Perrin +138
Here we get a good clash in this Bantamweight matchup. Aoriqileng looked good his last time out in his return to Bantamweight after several Flyweight appearances that resulted in losses. Jay Perrin is a choke specialist, with four of his ten wins coming by submission.
I will lean Aoriqileng here as it has been a long time since he has suffered a submission loss, and I believe that is Jay Perrin's best path to victory.
Pick: Aoriqileng O/U: Over 2.5 -204
A good matchup of styles to start the night at Flyweight. Victor Altamirano is a tough grappler who will wear down opponents. Daniel da Silva is known for a wild style that is fun and dangerous; however, he rarely reaches round two, and when he did, it did not go his way.
I will pick Altamirano as if Daniel da Silva does not get the early finish, I do not see a path to victory, and Altamirano has proven difficult to finish.
Pick: Victor Altamirano O/U: Under 2.5 -175
Paulo Costa -333
Jose Aldo +112
Miranda Maverick -526
Kamaru Usman by Decision -111
Parlay: Tyson Pedro, Paulo Costa, Kamaru Usman -109
Parlay: Miranda Maverick, Sean Woodson -183
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