The UFC is bringing fight night action back to the Apex with a phenomenal main event clash between Lightweights Rafael Fiziev -161 and Mateusz Gamrot +127. I went over every fight on this card and gave my picks and best bets, so let's get into it.
Odds provided by Stake.com accurate as of 9/22/2023 4:30 PM EST
Two young Lightweights engage in a clash of styles here as we see the striker vs. grappler play out yet again. Rafael Fiziev is one of the most high-level kickboxers in the UFC with insane speed and power, although his cardio has sometimes been a weak spot. Mateusz Gamrot is a very high-paced wrestler with incredible chain wrestling that he has used to earn a win over the highly touted Arman Tsarukyan.
I'll take Gamrot as the underdog here as I see his wrestling and cardio advantages as enough to take him despite Fiziev's striking edge.
Pick: Gamrot O/U: Over 4.5 -119
Ranked Featherweight contenders look to get their name back into the top of the division here. Bryce Mitchell is a dominant wrestler who has been able to take down and control many of his UFC opponents; he is coming off a very ugly loss to Ilia Topuria. Dan Ige is a super durable power puncher with a solid ground game, although higher-level grapplers have been able to control him at times.
I've got Mitchell to win a decision here, as I see him using his wrestling to control Ige for three rounds. I like the decision play for value here, as Ige has never been finished as a pro, and Mitchell has gone to decision in all but one of his UFC wins.
Pick: Mitchell O/U: Over 2.5 -227
It's a Strawweight rematch here between two exciting veterans. Marina Rodriguez is a good striker who can compete with the best in the division in that department; however, she has lost her last two, being finished and grappled, leaving some questions to be answered here. Michelle Waterson-Gomez makes her second appearance this year after losing a close split decision to Luana Pinheiro; she has been a fan favorite for years with a kick-heavy style and solid grappling.
I see this going very similar to their first fight, except only three rounds this time; Rodriguez will win a striking match at range comfortably. For that reason, give me Rodriguez to win a decision, as I still don't see her finishing Waterson.
Pick: Rodriguez O/U: Over 2.5 -385
A fun fight goes down here between two rising Welterweights. Bryan Battle looks to continue his run at Welterweight here after a stellar knockout win over Gabe Green his last time out; he has shown finishing power, although I worry about his gas tank and defensive wrestling. AJ Fletcher is a solid wrestler with decent boxing as well; however, he has struggled when facing true UFC-caliber opposition.
I'll lean toward Battle as my pick, but I'm having a hard time seeing how this one consistently plays out.
Pick: Battle O/U: Over 2.5 +102
A Featherweight firefight opens up the main card here. Charles Jourdain is a very exciting and high pace striker with a solid submission game as well. Ricardo Ramos gets back in the octagon after some weight-cutting trouble here; the last time we saw him, he scored a highlight knockout over Danny Chavez with a spinning elbow.
I'll pick Jourdain here as he has the better gas tank and durability to go with his experience edge.
Pick: Jourdain O/U: Over 2.5 -125
It's a good clash of well-rounded Bantamweights here in the feature prelim. Miles Johns is a solid fighter with good power and wrestling, although his volume can sometimes be on the lower end, and he is very inactive. Dan Argueta has been fun to watch during his short UFC run thus far, showing a high pace and well-rounded attack.
I've got Argueta here as I think he is better everywhere and will have a significant pace and cardio advantage.
Pick: Argueta O/U: Over 2.5 -172
Two veteran Welterweights looking to get back in the win collum square off in this one. Tim Means is a tall, long striker who has stayed active throughout his career and held up well. Andre Fialho is a power puncher with several nice highlights, although his defense is not great, which has resulted in him being knocked out in three straight fights.
I'm on Means as the underdog here as I have always felt Fialho is overrated and have cashed betting against him in each of his last three, so I will go again here.
Pick: Means O/U: Over 1.5 -147
An intriguing matchup of Middleweights. Jacob Malkoun has had success over his UFC run with a smothering grappling attack that has nullified the attack of many opponents, including highly ranked Brendan Allen. Cody Brundage is an aggressive wrestler who jumps at any opportunity to get a finish, either with his hands or submission, even if it puts him in a compromising position.
I see Malkoun staying safe in this one and dominating from the top or a clinch position for three rounds.
Pick: Malkoun O/U: Over 2.5 -122
Heavyweights collide here early on the card. Jake Collier enters this on a three-fight losing streak on which he has not looked great, losing to less than top-level competition. Mohammed Usman continues his run after winning his season of The Ultimate Fighter, he has shown power in his hands and a good wrestling attack when he needs it, but his striking volume can be low.
I'll take Usman here as I see him having the power and wrestling edge he needs to dominate this matchup.
Pick: Usman O/U: Under 2.5 -104
Bryce Mitchell by decision
Marina Rodriguez by decision