This weekend the UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for a Lightweight headliner between the former Champion Rafael Dos Anjos +175 taking on electric kickboxer Rafael Fiziev -233. This card also features multiple standouts from the last season of the Ultimate Fighter to bet on in Tresean Gore -137 and Ricky Turcios -204 and much more.
All Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 8:00 PM EST 7/7/22
The new guard has arrived at Lightweight, and another one of its bright young stars gets the main event spot here, with Rafael Fiziev getting his biggest test to date in the form of the former UFC Lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. Fiziev has looked very good in his last few performances, and to me seems like he is getting better as he did not seem to have as much of an issue in the third round against Brad Riddell as he did against Bobby Green. Dos Anjos will have a chance in this fight, especially if it gets to the later rounds, as he should have a significant grappling advantage.
This fight is a good test for Fiziev, but I think it is the perfect time to give him a five-round fight which he has gone through several camps for after his late pull-out giving me hope his cardio will be improved even further. I have difficulty seeing how Dos Anjos will handle the speed of Fiziev during striking exchanges early, and I see this being too much for Dos Anjos to overcome.
Pick: Fiziev O/U: Under 4.5 +116
The co-main features a Middleweight bout with one of the newer prospects on the scene in Borralho, who caught many people's attention with his last win. Borralho is well-rounded offensively with excellent striking and top game, but he has issues regarding his defense. Petrosyan is a good striker, but he will not have any clear advantages in this fight to take advantage of.
Before his last win, I have not been overly high on Borralho, but I think this is a good matchup for him, so I will pick him to win. No bet from me here, as the price is not to my liking.
Pick: Borralho O/U: Over 1.5 -161
Another week and another Nurmagomedov with a steep price tag. Said Nurmagomedov is coming off a very impressive quick stoppage of Cody Stamann and has shown he is ready for a step up in competition at Bantamweight. Silva has power, but he will be at a speed disadvantage, and his age will not make that easier to overcome.
I like Nurmagomedov, but the price makes it difficult to find value here.
Pick: Nurmagomedov O/U: Over 2.5 +102
Here is a fun Heavyweight matchup as we see both guys coming off tough first-round losses. Vanderaa made a horrible mistake in his last fight going to the ground with a submission artist; however, he should not have to worry about that as he will likely have the advantage in both standing and grappling. Sherman is back in the UFC after taking a short-notice matchup in his last fight that did not pay off; however, it did earn him another opportunity after he was cut following some unimpressive showings prior to this.
Vanderaa is better everywhere, but he is nothing spectacular, and this is Heavyweight, so I do not plan to lay that price in this fight.
Pick: Vanderaa O/U: Over 2.5 +132
A fight between sliding veterans here as Nina Nunes returns in this Flyweight matchup. Calvillo is coming off three straight losses, the last two being stoppages, with her last win coming over the now-retired Jessica Eye. Nunes has only had one round of action over the previous few years, and she was finished in it; however, that was brutal matchmaking giving her Mackenzie Dern in her return fight, and I expect her to have a much better chance in this fight.
I will side with the underdog as Nunes was on a good run before some tough matchups and a layoff, and I have seen nothing from Calvillo to suggest she is worth being a favorite at this stage in her career.
Pick: Nunes O/U: Over 2.5 -238
A good one here at Lightweight with two men coming off very different showings. Johnson comes into this one off a huge KO win that he badly needed to turn things around. Mullarkey took a tough loss to Jalin Turner last time, but the odds were close going in, indicating the potential Mullarkey has shown.
Although Mullarkey is a big favorite coming off a loss, I will back him here as I do not believe Micheal Johnson is good enough to win this fight without a big knockout shot. The Moneyline is tough to play on its own, so I will combine Mullarkey with Ricky Turcios to get a better price on both.
Pick: Mullarkey O/U: Over 2.5 +140
Here we get the return of The Ultimate Fighter winner Ricky Turcios taking on the Canadian Aieman Zahabi. Zahabi is coming off a massive win in which he had a lot of pressure on him to win, and he delivered in the first round with a big knockout win. Turcios is a very active pressure fighter who will be the one pushing the pace of this fight with his strong cardio and a well rounded skillset.
I am taking Turcios here as I think his pressure will be too much for Zahabi over three rounds. The Moneyline price is steep, so I'll pair Turcios with Mullarkey to get a better price on both men.
Pick: Turcios O/U: Over -172
This is a Flyweight matchup with the older Shevchenko sister taking on another veteran in Courtney Casey. Shevchenko has been finished in back-to-back fights and gets a nice step back from the tough contenders she has fought recently. Casey is coming off a much-needed win in her long up-and-down UFC career.
I'll pick Shevchenko here, as I like the matchup against Casey, with the grappling unlikely to be an issue. No bet on this one as the price is steep, and Shevchenko has shown flaws that make her tough to back.
Pick: Shevchenko O/U: Over -233
This is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup as we see the wrestler in Brundage take on Ultimate Fighter standout Gore. Brundage will need to get this one to the ground where he should have an advantage, as he was hurt badly in his last matchup but won by desperately getting it to the ground with a guillotine. Gore is a strong striker; however, he doesn't throw much volume, which costs him in his last fight.
I favor Gore slightly in the matchup as I think he can keep this fight standing and land a knockout shot. I like the under in this matchup, as I could easily see Gore landing a KO or Brundage finding a Sub.
Pick: Gore O/U: Under 2.5 -106
Here we see Onama as the biggest favorite on the card against UFC newcomer Armfield in a rematch of their amateur fight. Onama has serious power, having finished every one of his pro wins. Armfield has not fought the most impressive competition up to this point and is moving up in weight for this short-notice matchup.
Onama should not only have the experience edge, but he should be much larger as he has fought up at Lightweight, with Armfield having fought as low as Bantamweight. I can't justify playing a favorite that large, as there is no return, but I see no value in the underdog.
Pick: Onama O/U: Over 1.5 -135
Here we get a Lighheavyweight matchup between two men who badly need a victory. Nzechukwu has heavy hands, and if this one stays standing, he is likely to score a KO victory. Roberson has decent grappling and is live to get a submission in this fight if he can get it to the ground.
I will lean with Nzechukwu as I think he will be able to defend the grappling enough to get a KO, or Roberson will run out of gas. Despite the pick, I will not bet on this one as I have difficulty trusting either fighter with my money.
Pick: Nzechukwu O/U: Under 1.5 +170
Here we get a fun one to start the night as Ronnie Lawrence looks to build on his impressive UFC run thus far. Lawrence is a very high pace wrestler who will look for takedowns repeatedly and can grapple for a complete three rounds with no issue. Kakhramonov is a solid striker, but he is not the strongest wrestler, although he does have a decent submission game that earned him his last win.
I like Lawrence here as I think he is an excellent prospect, and this is a good matchup for him with a reasonable price. This price has increased a bit during the week as many people are high on Lawrence, but I believe there is still value.
Pick: Lawrence O/U: Over 2.5 -196
Fiziev ML -233
Lawrence ML -137
Brundage Gore Under 2.5 -106
Mullarkey/Turcios Parlay +109