After a rollercoaster of a fight week, the UFC returns to Las Vegas, Nevada; our new main event features MMA legend Nate Diaz +115 taking on Tony Ferguson -135 in a matchup between fan favorites that saves the day. The changes on this card will also see Khamzat Chimaev -556 and Kevin Holland +420 have a chat in the octagon to settle their feud from the week and plenty more interesting matchups to bet on.
All Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 9:55 PM EST 9/9/2022
We get a dream matchup for many in our main event as two of the most violent men in the sport take center stage. Nate Diaz gets a much better matchup here, where he will likely get to show his clean boxing more than expected. Tony Ferguson also gets what is probably an easier matchup as he was slated for a dangerous knockout artist and now gets to impose his pressure-based style on someone unlikely to hurt him.
I am taking Tony Ferguson in this one, and for me, it is a matter of motivation as, coming into this, Tony was still attempting to compete with top contenders. At the same time, it feels like Nate has resigned to getting out of his contract, win or lose. I like the over 4.5 in this matchup, as both men have historically been as durable as they come with exceptional cardio.
Pick: Ferguson O/U: Over 4.5 -127
The backstage brawl at the press conference has resulted in this being a fun matchup after the Chimaev mess on the scale led to him being out of the Nate Diaz matchup. Chimaev is as elite a wrestler as there is in the sport, and he has also shown elite cardio and toughness after his last showing. Kevin Holland is an excellent striker who can compete at a high level in that aspect; however, his ground game has been an issue and will continue to be unless he improves against the sport's best.
I've got Chimaev here as this is a nightmare matchup for Holland, who has struggled with grapplers in his career and gets this matchup with absolutely no preparation.
Pick: Chimaev O/U: Under 1.5 +120
This is a weird one as we see two men with a sizeable weight difference agree to meet on very short notice. Li Jingliang is a durable and powerful boxer which showed in his last fight, becoming the first to finish Muslim Salikov by knockout. Daniel Rodriguez is a big Welterweight, as evidenced by his need for a Catchweight here, but he also comes in with excellent boxing and an ability to wear on his opponents.
I am going to pick Rodriguez here as he did not have to cut the weight in what is already a very close matchup. I also favor the over 2.5 as neither man has been knocked out in their career.
Pick: Daniel Rodriguez O/U: Over 2.5 -152
Here we see a matchup with some title implications at Bantamweight. Irene Aldana has some quick stoppage wins, showing she is more dangerous than most in the division. Macy Chiasson is coming off a win at Featherweight, where she leaned on her grappling to get a close win as she looked outmatched in the standup.
I've got Aldana in this one as I believe she has a massive advantage in the striking department and will keep it there long enough to win this fight. Pick: Aldana O/U: Under 2.5 +155
This is an absolute firefight at Lightheavyweight. Johnny Walker was once touted as a threat to Jon Jones due to his crazy power, but issues with durability and defense have halted his momentum and leave him an underdog in this spot. Ion Cutelaba is wild to a fault, as he showed in his last fight, making a crucial error for the sake of aggression which cost him the fight.
I understand why everyone has jumped ship on the Johnny Walker hype train as I have made a fair amount of bets against him; however, this price is off as Cutelaba is not deserving of being this size a favorite over someone as dangerous as Walker.
Pick: Walker O/U: Under 1.5 -169
Fun matchup here between two action fighters at Featherweight. Canadian Hakeem Dawodu has done some solid work in the UFC and even gave Movsar Evolev a solid test at the end of their fight. Julian Erosa is a pressure fighter who can melt his opponents with a high pace style and slick submission ability.
I like Dawodu here as I do not believe the pressure of Erosa will be enough to stop Dawodu from landing his shots.
Pick: Dawodu O/U: Over 2.5 -125
This is another showcase for Jailton Almeida as one of the top prospects in the UFC against recent Dana White's Contender Series contestant "The Pleasure Man" Anton Turkalj. Almeida is a dominant figure coming off his flawless win over Parker Porter at Heavyweight, where he showed his insane grappling strength. Anton Turkalj is coming off his decision win on the contender series, which did not get him signed initially as he showed a lack of striking and was forced to grapple all fight desperately.
This is an easy pick, as Jailton Almeida has shown he is clearly ready for the next step in competition. Dana White recently determined that Anton Turkalj was not ready for a contract, let alone this level of fight. I am betting the inside the distance, which sits at a steep price, but I feel there is no way Almeida does not finish this fight as he is better everywhere.
Pick: Almeida O/U: Under 1.5 -169
Here we get a solid Middleweight matchup. Jamie Pickett showed a lot of potential coming into the UFC with well-rounded finishing ability; still, he has struggled against good competition and is coming off a first-round loss. Denis Tiuliulin is making his second UFC outing here; he is a striker who has struggled with submissions.
I've got Pickett in this one, as although neither guy has impressed me, Pickett has spent more time fighting high-level competition and has more ways to win this fight.
Pick: Pickett O/U: Under 2.5 +106
This should be electric as every Chris Barnett fight is. Jake Collier is a solid Heavyweight who has traded wins and losses over his last few. Chris Barnett made a name for himself with his massive spinning knockout, which was a result of his flashy style, although he has not looked good against better competition.
I am picking Collier here as he is much more skilled and has a better frame for the division. This line is way too wide to bet for a Heavyweight fight, as anything can happen.
Pick: Collier O/U: Over 2.5 +107
A rare women's Featherweight matchup finds its way onto this card. Norma Dumont has looked excellent at times with wins over Felicia Spencer and Aspen Ladd, although her last time out, she struggled with clinch control which cost her the fight. Danyelle Wolf comes in very inexperienced in MMA with a background in boxing.
I'll take Dumont here, but there is no reason to bet on this fight as the line is wide, and we do not know much about the level of Danyelle Wolf.
Pick: Dumont O/U: Over 2.5 -213
Here we get a fun one at Bantamweight. Chad Angheliger showed his toughness in his last fight, coming out with a late finish in a close battle. Heili Alateng is coming off his first UFC finish with a quick knockout showing his powerful striking.
I've got Alateng in this one as I think his striking is a bit cleaner, although the later stages of this fight may favor Angheliger.
Pick: Alateng O/U: Over 2.5 -179
This is a close matchup at Strawweight early on the card. Elise Reed has been active this year, showing her boxing ability but still struggles against wrestlers. Melissa Martinez is a UFC newcomer; she is a solid striker with good movement.
I am going to lean with Martinez here as although I think this matchup will be all striking, which is good for Reed, I like the mobility and activity of Martinez more.
Pick: Martinez O/U: Over 2.5 -263
A Welterweight banger to start the card as both men look to bounce back from hard-fought losses. Darian Weeks has been put in some big spots early in his UFC run and has handled things rather well despite losing against very tough competition. Yohan Lainesse is a very powerful knockout artist.
I like Weeks here as he has proven very difficult to finish, and when Lainesse cannot get the finish, he has struggled in past fights.
Pick: Weeks O/U: Under 2.5 -141
Irene Aldana -182
Jailton Aldmeida -588
Nate Diaz Tony Ferguson Over 4.5 -127