This weekend we get a Heavyweight headliner with the sharp striking veteran Alexander Volkov (-149) going up against the hard-hitting kickboxer Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+131). Before that, we see one of my favorite prospects to bet on over the last few years in Movsar Evloev (-385) taking on the durable and scrappy Dan "50k" Ige (+320) in a pivotal fight to watch at Featherweight as well as an exciting Flyweight in Jeff Molina (-172) getting a step up in competition against Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+155) earlier in this deep fight night card.
** All Odds Provided By Stake.com Accurate as of 6/1/22 2:30pm EST **
In our Heavyweight main event, we get what should be an enjoyable, striking match between two guys with plenty of experience. Volkov is coming off a tough loss to Aspinall, who proved to be on another level than many thought that night; however, looking back at his past UFC career, he has been a consistent tough competitor at Heavyweight for many years who has used sharp striking as his path to victory. Rozenstruik has had some impressive highlight KO's, but his performances have left much to be desired as he is often very low volume and relies on his power to get wins.
Volkov should control every exchange they have as the only advantage I give Jairzinho is power, and I am willing to bet on Volkov to avoid that and do enough to either get a KO of his own or win every round. If you are on the Rozenstruik side, I would recommend playing him by KO/TKO at +205, as I believe this is his only path to victory.
Pick: Volkov -149 O/U: Over 3.5 -139
This is an excellent matchup as we see Evloev get a shot at a ranked opponent after his perfect run in the UFC thus far. Evloev has shown impressive wrestling ability to control all of his past opponents for relatively easy decision wins. Ige has impressed at times but has not demonstrated anything exceptional except his durability, and his ground game is perhaps his weakest aspect.
As the line reflects, this is a nightmare matchup for Ige, but Evloev has won all of his past UFC fights by decision, and Ige has never been finished. With that, there is a straightforward way this fight is likely to play out, and that is Evloev winning a decision that provides a much more favorable price to the ML at -164 on Stake.com.
Pick: Evloev -385 O/U: Over 2.5 -435
Here we get former TUF winner Mike Trizano taking on UFC newcomer Lucas Almeida in a Featherweight bout that should give us some good action. I believe Trizano is the much more skilled fighter in almost every aspect, and he should also have a cardio edge making him a well-justified favorite in this spot. Almeida has a very high finishing rate, and he is likely to need another if he is going to get the win here.
With four of Trizano's five UFC appearances going the distance, I am willing to bet his path to victory is on the scorecards. However, his ML price is not far out of reach and could also be brought down by pairing him with one of the other justified favorites on this card.
Pick: Trizano -222 O/U: Over 2.5 -208
This is a close fight on the line, but I would favor the fighter with more UFC experience in Botelho. Silva has plenty of experience outside of the UFC; however, she has not fought near the same caliber of opponent as Botelho. Neither fighter stands out on tape to me, so I will avoid this fight to get a better read on where each woman stands in the division.
This fight is very close, and it isn't easy to get a read on how well Silva will do in the UFC, so I will not be making a bet here, but I would take the underdog for my pick.
Pick: Botelho +102 O/U: Over 2.5 -182
Here we get a Flyweight matchup between two fighters who will be willing to stand across from each other and should have some fun exchanges. Osbourne's last win over Vergara has aged well after his previous performance and proves Osbourne is a tough fight for most in the division. Meanwhile, Adashev is coming off his first UFC win over Ryan Benoit after several tough outings where he could not translate his kickboxing experience to compete with more experienced MMA strikers.
I like Osbourne here as he has a considerable reach advantage which we saw Adashev struggle with against Sumudaerji. I will be pairing him with Damon Jackson, who I believe is one of the safer favorites on the card, to get a near-even price and make a play on this fight.
Pick: Osbourne -179 O/U: Over 2.5 -133
This Lightheavyweight fight should not last long as both men swing hard with everything. Menifield should have some significant advantages here as he has shown flashes of dominance in his UFC run with an ability to finish fights in various ways. Mozharov has power, but he has demonstrated a weakness in the grappling department, and I have no faith in his cardio to get him to the final bell.
Menifield should roll here in my mind, but he is a scary fighter to bet on after back-to-back lackluster showings, so I would much rather take a Menifield Round 1 prop at plus money or a good line on an Under.
Pick: Menifield -152 O/U: Under 1.5 -204
Here we get a rematch of a 2018 fight in which Kowalkiewicz won by decision. Neither woman has won a fight since; however, Kowalkiewicz has been more active, which, yes, means more losses, but I don't see why she is the underdog being younger, more active, and having the win over her. Herrig has only fought once since 2018, and it was a quick loss, meaning she has shown no improvement to suggest she is now more likely to win this fight than she was in their first fight.
With all this, I will pick Kowalkiewicz, but I am not jumping at the chance to risk my money on a girl on a five-fight skid, nor am I willing to bet on her counterpart. This fight is one to remember; even if a line is a bit weird, there is no reason to risk your money on every fight; save it for another day.
Pick: Kowalkiewicz +103 O/U: Over 2.5 -345
Here we get a Lightweight matchup between two fighters looking to bounce back from losses. This fight will likely be decided on the mat as Joe Solecki has impressive ground skills and will probably look to get this one to the mat and keep it there. Alex da Silva has had a rather unimpressive UFC run to this point after getting caught in a submission in his UFC debut and now coming off a tough loss to Brad Riddell and his lone win coming in a spot as a big favorite.
I think this is a good spot for Solecki as I believe he will be able to implement his grappling and has a decent chance to sink in a submission at any point in the fight.
Pick: Solecki -167 O/U: Under 2.5 +109
Damon Jackson has gotten a lot of attention this week, with his betting line soaring from around -280 to -600 at some books. I am kicking myself for not jumping that early line, as Jackson deserves the attention he has got with some impressive performances in his last few fights and a great matchup. Argueta is stepping up here as a natural Bantamweight, adding another factor against him in this tough short, notice matchup.
The price on Jackson has become unplayable; however, he is likely the safest play on the card to use as a parlay piece and his price to get the win inside the distance is another good option.
Pick: Jackson -500* O/U: Under 2.5 -138*
*Odds currently unavalible at Stake.com
I am surprised to see Saint-Denis in a favorite roll here as his last UFC performance was a very memorable beat down where he displayed little other than absurd toughness and his reliance on the takedown. Stolze can be taken down, but I have little faith in Saint-Denis to hold him there and submit him or win on control.
This will be a grappling vs. striking fight that I expect to go the distance which has led to some controversy, especially with the Verdict community going against the judges, so I will stay away from this one betting-wise. Still, I do believe Stolze will win this fight.
Pick: Stolze +138 O/U: Over 2.5 +103
Here we get what should be a heavy grappling matchup between the very experienced Gravely and a newer Munoz Jr, who is coming off his first UFC win. Gravely will likely look to wrestle to get the win with control and ground and pound, but he will need to defend against submissions all fight and be very cautious of the submission. Munoz Jr is a credentialed submission artist who will likely be operating from the bottom in this fight with several chances to catch Gravely in a bad spot.
This fight comes down to whether Munoz Jr can catch Gravely in a submission during one of the grappling exchanges. If he does not, I see Gravely taking home a decision; however, I believe Munoz Jr will get the sub.
Pick: Munoz Jr +114 O/U: Under 2.5 -139
This is a great matchup and a big one for both fighters at Flyweight as we see Molina get a step up in competition against a more battle-tested opponent in Zhumagulov. Molina has been on a great run and has looked better each time out, and I feel he is getting a perfect matchup at the right time to display his skill set. Zhumagulov has failed to reach expectations in his UFC run largely because of tough competition, but still, his only win comes in a spot where he was a significant favorite, and it is hard to back him in another tough spot.
The ML price on Molina is a tough sell as it was at better odds earlier in the week, and the market has settled at this number; however, I have paired him with Blanchfield earlier on the card to bring his price down near even and make a play on Molina to win this fight.
Pick: Molina -172 O/U: Over 2.5 -204
Here we see UFC newcomer Fakhredinov come in a big favorite with an impressive record; however, once you look at that record, you see he has a recent win against a 3-3 fighter suggesting his competition is as low level as it could be to this point. Michailidas will be his toughest test by far as he has a solid amount of UFC experience, so I am not sure Fakhredinov justifies this price tag.
I will be paying close attention here despite not making a play as we have little information about Fakhredinov, and this matchup should tell a lot about his skillset.
Pick: Fakhredinov -270 O/U: Under 1.5 +119
Blanchfield comes into this one a big favorite, and for a good reason, as she is coming off a very impressive win over Miranda Maverick, which has put her in position as a top prospect for the Women's Flyweight division. Aldrich is coming in on a three-fight win streak of her own, but none were as impressive as Blanchfield's last win, and she has done little to impress before this run.
The price on Blanchfield is tough, but I am going to combine her with some more moderate favorites on the card to bring their price down, as I am very confident in her getting the job done to start the night.
Pick: Blanchfield -500 O/U: Over 2.5 -294
Straight Bets: Volkov -149
Props: Evloev By Decision -164 (Best Bet)
Parlays: Molina/Blanchfield -112 Osbourne/Jackson -115
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