The UFC is bringing PPV action to London, England, this weekend as Leon Edwards +205 and Kamaru Usman -238 are set to complete their trilogy for the Welterweight title. The action on this card goes far beyond the headliner as the co-main event features a highly anticipated Lightweight clash between Justin Gaethje +195 and Rafael Fiziev -227 that is sure to produce fireworks.
Odds provided by Stake.com accurate as of 6:00 AM EST 3/14/2023
This Welterweight title fight holds massive implications for each of these men's future in the sport. Leon Edwards shocked the world with his head-kick knockout last time these two fought, but with that, it is easy to forget his early takedown and success when striking at range. Kamaru Usman earned his title and spent years at the top, using his cardio and pacing to wear down opponents, and there is little reason to believe much about his game will change at this stage of his career.
I believe if Usman presses the action and can go forward for the majority of the fight, he will come out with the win as he had all his success with his clinch boxing against the cage and wrestling last time, so he should lean on it further this time out and not stay at the range when Edwards can do damage.
Pick: Usman O/U: Over 4.5
This Lightweight clash between strikers has fight-of-the-year potential. Justin Gaethje is known for causing chaos with his powerful striking and lack of consistent defense, often getting him into trouble even against less talented strikers. Rafael Fiziev is one of the most dynamic strikers in the UFC, with fast kicks and hands that he mixes in beautiful combinations, his cardio has been a concern in the past, but he appears to have fixed that, having earned a late finish against Rafael Dos Anjos his last fight.
I'm picking Fiziev here in what should be a wild fight as I see him as a much cleaner striker, and after seeing all the damage, Gaethje has taken with his reactions in his last fight, I'm not sure he can take Fiziev's power for three rounds.
Pick: Fiziev O/U: Under 1.5
Short notice clash of styles here at Welterweight. Gunnar Nelson gets another fight here after an inconsistent few years, but he is still a talented grappler who controlled almost all of his last fight from the back. Bryan Barberena returns here after a tough loss where he was out-grappled by Rafael Dos Anjos; he has powerful striking aside from his struggles in wrestling which usually leads to fun fights.
This is a horrible stylistic matchup for Bryan Barberena, especially on short notice, and with that, I'm going to bet Gunnar Nelson by Submission. This is his clear path to victory; if he can get this fight to the ground, I expect his submission game to be far too much for Bryan Barberena.
Pick: Nelson O/U: Under 1.5
Casey O'Neill gets a step up in competition here against a former title challenger. Jennifer Maia has competed at the top of the division for a long time, using her solid boxing and grappling ability. Casey O'Neill returns off a torn ACL here after an impressive showing against Roxanne Modafari, where she used her length to control the striking exchanges.
I'll take Maia here as the underdog as I am not sold on O'Neill quite yet, and Maia has still been able to put together solid performances against up-and-comers in her last few performances.
Pick: Maia O/U: Over 2.5
Fun Middleweight battle here between a finisher and the unfinishable. Marvin Vettori is a tough-as-nails, high-pressure boxer with a good wrestling game for the division. Roman Dolidze is a creative finisher, although he is low-volume which has led to him falling behind in several fights, like his last performance against Jack Hermansson.
I've got Vettori here as he is nearly impossible to finish, and I see that as how Dolidze wins fights, as he has had to come from behind several times before. The price on Vettori is steep, so I will parlay him with Gunnar Nelson to bring their prices down.
Pick: Vettori O/U: Over 2.5
European grapplers matchup here at Featherweight. Jack Shore moves up in weight here after a tough last showing against Ricky Simon; before that fight, he has demonstrated a smothering grappling game and solid striking basics. Makwan Amirkhani is a fast starter who is capable of snatching a submission very early in the fight, although his cardio is often his enemy.
I like Shore here as he is in the best shape of his career after moving up, and I don't see Amirkhani being able to last through the late stages of this fight at this stage in his career.
Pick: Shore O/U: Over 1.5
Hard-hitting Lightweight matchup. Chris Duncan comes in off a crazy knockout on Dana White's Contender Series, where he was nearly finished; he swings hard at all times but doesn't have much speed. Omar Morales is mainly a striker coming off a knockout loss after moving back up in weight for this late stage in his career.
This fight will be wild, and I expect a finish, so my biggest bet will be on the fight not to go the distance. I will also play Omar Morales, as he should have a speed advantage, and I believe he will be landing with much more frequency.
Pick: Morales O/U: Under 2.5
Debuting Lightweight meet in this one. Sam Patterson is a finisher coming off a solid showing on Dana White's Contender Series with various chokes and knockouts on his resume from his time in Brave. Yanal Ashmoz is a powerful puncher who loads up on his shots and brings a good wrestling game to go with that.
I'll lean with Patterson here as he has a much longer reach and should be able to keep his distance to avoid power shots and takedowns.
Pick: Patterson O/U: Under 2.5
Young Flyweights clash here. Muhammed Mokaev is one of the youngest fighters in the UFC, and he is also unbeaten through three fights in one year, with the promotion showing high pace chain wrestling and submission skills. Jafel Filho makes his debut here, having finished his last five opponents.
I am picking Mokaev here as he uses his usual wrestling to negate much of the finishing threat on the other side. I'll add Mokaev to my prospects parlay along with Jack Shore and Jake Hadley.
Pick: Mokaev O/U: Under 2.5
A really fun matchup between young Featherweights to watch here. Lerone Murphy has shown insane power through his UFC run, although Makwan Amirkhani controlled him through most of their fight, which raises some concern. Gabriel Santos debuts on short notice here as the LFA champion with experience against UFC-caliber talent like Elves Brener.
This is a great fight that is very close and tough to pick, but a lot of public love has shifted the odds toward Murphy, which provides a value opportunity on Santos as the underdog.
Pick: Santos O/U: Under 2.5
Middleweight finishers matchup in this one. Christian Leroy Duncan has produced some highlight finishes in Cage Warriors. Dusko Todorovic has had a wild UFC run with each of his fights, but one ended within two rounds; he has explosive power but also leaves his chin up a lot which has gotten him into trouble.
I'll go with Duncan here, as he has explosive power and could finish Todorovic at any time.
Pick: Duncan O/U: Under 1.5
Flyweight grapplers square off here. Jake Hadley got his first UFC win his last time out, showing more of what people expected in his debut with a slick choke in the first round. Malcolm Gordon comes in off a loss to Muhammad Mokaev, where he gave a very good account of himself compared to his previous fights against lesser competition; that being said, against higher-level opponents, he has been finished each time.
I like Hadley here as he is aggressive in his grappling, which will likely lead to him finding an opening for a submission. I'll add Hadley to my prospects parlay with Muhammad Mokaev and Jack Shore.
Pick: Hadley O/U: Over 2.5
Veteran matchup here at Women's Flyweight. Joanne Wood has lost four of her last five entering this one, although her last bout was against now-champion Alexa Grasso, showing she was still being matched up with top-tier competition recently despite her struggles. Luana Carolina returns from her brutal knockout loss to Molly McCann at UFC London last year; she has shown solid striking at range at times with decent grappling defense.
I'll take Wood here as this is a big step down in competition for her and a step up for Carolina, who could have looked better fighting lesser competition. That being said, I am not backing Joanne Wood with my money at this price at this stage in her career.
Pick: Wood O/U: Over 2.5
Entertaining clash of Lightweight strikers here early on the card. Jai Herbert is a long puncher coming off a solid win over Kyle Nelson and had a competitive bout with Ilia Topuria last year where he nearly finished the now high-ranking prospect. Ludovit Klein is a flashy kickboxer who has fought very well against tough competition; he has knockout power and showed skills on the ground against a tough Mason Jones.
This is a close fight, and on the money line, I would lean with an underdog shot on Herbert; however, my play for this fight is going to be Klein by knockout as Herbert has had durability issues, and I believe if Klein is going to win this matchup, it will be by knockout.
Pick: Klein O/U: Under 2.5
High-pace action is expected in this Women's Flyweight matchup to start the card. Veronica Hardy has had a tough run in the UFC, although she has shown submission skills off her back. Juliana Miller is coming off her Ultimate Fighter winning finish, where she was relentless with her grappling attack; she also has a long reach that can give opponents trouble in the striking.
I'll pick Miller here as she has the advantage everywhere the fight goes and will be aggressive and opportunistic as usual, which I expect to lead to a finish.
Pick: Miller O/U: Under 2.5
Kamaru Usman -255
Jennifer Maia +170
Omar Morales -110
Gabriel Santos +235
Chris Duncan vs. Omar Morales Fight Doesn't Go The Distance -160
Gunnar Nelson by Submission -115
Omar Morales by KO/TKO +335
Ludovit Klein by KO/TKO +275
Marvin Vettori + Gunnar Nelson -122
Jack Shore + Muhammed Mokaev + Jake Hadley -123