This week the UFC gives us a Bantamweight headliner from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, between Cory Sandhagen -196 and Yadong Song +155. This card also features some sure-fire action at Middleweight between Chidi "Bang Bang" Njokuani and Gregory "Robocop" Rodrigues as well as Andre Fili -130 and Bill Algeo +102 in a match of high pace Featherweights.
All Odds Provided By Stake.com Accurate as of 1:10 AM EST 9/16/2022
This is an excellent display of striking in the stacked Bantamweight division. Cory Sandhangen is very dynamic and has shown an impressive ability to use his volume and power to outstrike opponents. He has also fought the division's most challenging tests in champion Aljamain Sterling and top contender Petr Yan. Yadong Song is a great boxer coming off back-to-back highlight knockouts and an impressive showing against Casey Kenney.
I favor Sandhagen in this matchup, but I feel like we are in for a whole five-round fight, and I will bet over 3.5 rounds in this one.
Pick: Sandhagen O/U: Over 4.5 -159
Here we get a banger at Middleweight between two knockout artists of the highest order. Chidi Njokuani has caught the attention of many with his tremendous knockout power that has led to him winning his first two UFC fights in round one. Gregory Rodrigues also has serious power, as he displayed his last time out, but he is a well-rounded martial artist overall.
I will take Rodrigues here as I think his striking is a bit cleaner, and he has more ways to win this fight.
Pick: Rodrigues O/U: Over 1.5 -139
This is an excellent matchup at Featherweight between two fighters with similar skill sets. Andre Fili has shown a wide range of skills, from slick striking to a solid wrestling game. Bill Algeo is a very high-pace fighter with great cardio and good grappling defense, as he showed to survive early against Herbert Burns.
I am picking Fili here as I think he is a bit better everywhere with more power striking, and if someone is to control the fight using grappling, it will be Fili. I am also taking the over 2.5 to go along with that as I believe both men have the cardio to easily go three rounds.
Pick: Fili O/U: Over 2.5 -238
Here we see the UFC debut of Joe Pyfer, who was the first to get a contract on the current season of Dana White's Contender Series. Alen Amedovski has had a tough run in the UFC, losing his first three. Joe Pyfer impressed Dana White with his knockout enough to earn a contract and inspire the famous "be Joe Pyfer" speech.
I will pick Pyfer here, although I will caution those looking to bet him at this price as he still has a lot to prove at this level of competition.
Pick: Pyfer O/U: Over 1.5 +149
This is a good one at Heavyweight. Tanner Boser is a tough guy with fast hands, especially for his size, but he has struggled with wrestling. Rodrigo Nascimento is a good grappler who is not afraid to stand; however, he has been finished when trying to strike with good competition.
I will lean with Boser in this one as I believe his speed advantage will be enough for him to overwhelm Nascimento; however, the grappling of Boser is a significant concern, and I can't trust him with my money.
Pick: Boser O/U: Under 1.5 +108
Fun one here at Middleweight between some scrappy veterans. Anthony Hernandez is a fun fighter with good grappling and cardio. Marc-Andre Barriault is gritty and will put pressure on the whole fight.
I've got Hernandez here as I do not believe Barriault will be able to grapple against him effectively, and the striking will be close.
Pick: Hernandez O/U: Over 2.5 -114
A great matchup of two very high-level grapplers at Featherweight. Damon Jackson has won fights against tough grapplers like Charles Rosa and has always looked alright in standup. Pat Sabatini has dominated in the UFC early in his career, using his very strong wrestling game to control opponents easily.
I like Sabatini in this one, as I have been very impressed by him thus far. Both men are outstanding grapplers, so I do not see either man getting finished, so I will play Sabatini by decision.
Pick: Sabatini O/U: Over 2.5 -222
Here we get a good matchup at Welterweight. Trevin Giles has been given two very tough matchups in a row, which has resulted in two stoppage losses, but he has looked great at times, especially in the Dricus Du Plessis fight. Louis Cosce has a lot of quick finishes outside of the UFC, but he struggled in his last fight when forced to go longer.
I will pick Giles here as he is much more proven at this level, although I am not confident enough to bet this with him coming off finish losses, and the time off for Cosce may have solved his cardio issue.
Pick: Giles O/U: Over 1.5 -152
This is an exciting matchup at Bantamweight. Aspen Ladd has shown tremendous potential at times; however, she gets stuck in fights, whether she doesn't throw enough strikes or gets controlled on the ground. Sara McMann is one of the most experienced wrestlers in the division, although she is over forty years old.
I will lean with Ladd here as I can't trust McMann at her age, although I am not eager to bet Ladd in this spot.
Pick: Ladd O/U: Over 2.5 -179
Here we see the UFC debut of Denise Gomes as she comes in as a short-notice replacement. Loma Lookboonmee is mainly a kickboxer capable of grappling, although she is not outstanding in any category. Denise Gomes is a boxer with several wins by knockout over her short career, and she has also competed in a grappling event this year.
I will lean with Lookboonmee as she has the edge in experience and has more ways to win.
Pick: Lookboonmee O/U: Over 2.5 -294
Here we see the UFC debut of Daniel Zellhuber at Welterweight. Trey Ogden has a well-rounded skillset, and I thought he won his debut over Jordan Leavitt, although he did not look good and missed opportunities to win the fight more definitively. Daniel Zellhuber makes his debut as an undefeated finisher from Dana White's Contender Series.
Although I think Ogden is better than people give him credit for, I will still take Zellhuber to win this fight.
Pick: Zellhuber O/U: Under 2.5 -125
This is a good matchup between two UFC veterans at Flyweight. Mariya Agapova has had her ups and downs in the UFC and has struggled against grapplers. Gillian Robertson has also had her ups and downs, although she has fought better competition and is a very talented grappler.
I am taking Gillian Robertson in this matchup as I think her grappling advantage will be too much and result in her getting a submission win.
Pick: Robertson O/U: Under 1.5 +128
This is a good step up in competition for Javid Basharat, who has shown to be a solid prospect in the stacked Bantamweight division. Tony Gravely is a solid fighter who has picked up some great experiences over his career. Javid Basharat has clean striking and a solid submission game and has also proven to have solid cardio.
I've got Basharat in this one as I think he is prepared to take on a fighter with no clear holes to take advantage of, but he will be in a close fight here.
Pick: Basharat O/U: Over 2.5 -112
Here we see Cameron VanCamp move down to Lightweight for what was scheduled as his original debut before a cancelation. Nikolas Motta is a powerful puncher, but he has lived and died by that power with several wins and losses in round one. Cameron VanCamp had a tough debut when he stepped up to take on Andre Fialho on short notice but given a much better matchup this time, and he may have a chance to show his grappling game, which earned him three straight submissions before his first UFC fight.
I think VanCamp is being underrated because of his poor debut, as this fight is much more even than the odds indicate.
Pick: VanCamp O/U: Under 2.5 -189
Cory Sandhagen Yadong Song Over 3.5 -200* (Odds Unavalible at Stake.com)
Andre Fili -130
Andre Fili Bill Algeo Over 2.5 -238
Pat Sabatini by Decision +125 (Odds Unavalible at Stake.com)