This week the UFC is in front of a crowd for this stacked fight night headlined by former Bantamweight champion Petr Yan -270, taking on rising contender Merab Dvalishvili +205. This card is loaded at the top with a Heavyweight scrap between Alexander Volkov +125 and Alexandr Romanov -161 in the co-main, and Nikita Krylov -179 vs. Ryan Spann +139 has been rescheduled to take place on our main card this weekend.
All odds provided by Stake.com are accurate as of 3:00 PM EST 3/10/2023
The Bantamweight main event features two very different fighters. Petr Yan is a very technical and patient striker with power in everything he throws, and he also has an underrated ground game with high-level wrestling. Merab Dvalishvili is a very high pace fighter who attempts a lot of takedowns, although he possesses very little finishing threat.
I played Yan at open to get the best line possible, and although it is more difficult to play him now at this heavy price, I still think he dominates every aspect of this fight and finishes Dvalishvili.
Pick: Yan O/U: Under 4.5 +165
Heavyweights collide here. Alexander Volkov is a long striker who can dominate at range, although he has been dominated in the grappling several times in his UFC career. Alexandr Romanov is a strong wrestler who has finished many of his opponents early in the fight, although he has shown a lack of cardio which has cost him in several fights.
I'm taking Romanov here as he will have enough of an advantage in the grappling to finish this fight early. However, the game plan for Volkov does seem simple if he can survive round one, which may lead to a live betting opportunity if Volkov is a considerable underdog after the first round.
Pick: Romanov O/U: Under 1.5 +147
What was supposed to be the Light Heavyweight main event several weeks ago will take place here, and my thoughts are mainly unchanged. Nikita Krylov has shown powerful hands and a strong wrestling game, although he has made questionable in-fight decisions. Ryan Spann is coming off a huge knockout win over Dominick Reyes, where he showed his insane power, although I am not sold on him as a contender, as his defense has left much to be desired.
I am taking Krylov here because he has more ways to win this fight, and I believe Spann still has a lot of work to do on his game.
Pick: Krylov O/U: Over 1.5 +139
An outstanding matchup between prospects here at Bantamweight. Said Nurmagomedov has a wild style that leads to many finishes, using spinning attacks and aggressive submission, although he can gas out later in fights. Jonathan Martinez has used his powerful kick game to go on his recent win streak, where he has looked like a complete fighter.
This fight is much closer than the odds indicate, and although Nurmagomedov may deserve to be the favorite, I think Martinez is a very live dog here and at this number, I'll take a small shot on him.
Pick: Martinez O/U: Over 2.5 -175
Entertaining matchup here at Light Heavyweight. Vitor Petrino is a powerful puncher who comes in having knocked out all his opponents but one in the first round. Anton Turkalj is a strong grappler who has also shown the ability to strike at lower levels.
I am taking Turkalj here as his grappling advantage, and how he fought on Dana White's Contender Series makes me trust that he will find the path to victory.
Pick: Turkalj O/U: Under 1.5 +125
Heavyweight matchup here. Lukasz Brezeski has gained a lot of size over his career, which has added power to his striking. Karl Williams is a smaller guy for this weight class, but that comes with speed, he also has a solid wrestling game.
I think Williams takes this one using his grappling advantage to wear down the bigger, slower Brezeski.
Pick: Williams O/U: Over 2.5 -123
Interesting veteran clash at Bantamweight. Raphael Assuncao is a crafty veteran with good defense and grappling although he has not looked his best of late. Davey Grant is a fun scrapper who has fought a very high level of competition.
I am going to take Assuncao here as if this goes this distance, I expect him to get his hand raised, and I believe he can avoid the finish against an also-aged Grant.
Pick: Assuncao O/U: Over 2.5 -189
Intriguing debut here at Middleweight. Sedriques Dumas comes in off a quick win on Dana White's Contender Series, where he showed his grappling and submission game, although he also has fast kicks and is good at controlling range on the feet. Josh Fremd comes in having lost his first two UFC fights, most recently to Tresean Gore in a fight where he was outstruck and out wrestled by a less experienced fighter.
I played Dumas early in the week to get a playable number, as many people were also keen to jump on this prospect; however, I have a more challenging time recommending a play on him at the current price range.
Pick: Dumas O/U: Over 1.5 -115
Hard-hitting matchup here at Bantamweight. Mario Bautista has emerged as a real threat in this division with his powerful striking and strong grappling game. Guido Cannetti has very powerful hands, although his game lacks much else, and it's tough to see him adding much at this age.
I've got Bautista here, as he should use his grappling edge to dominate this fight, although he likely also has the striking advantage.
Pick: Bautista O/U: Under 1.5 -192
Women's Flyweights are looking to gain traction face-off here. JJ Aldrich has had an impressive run of late that includes a rather competitive matchup with top contender Erin Blanchfield. Ariane Lipski has struggled with UFC-caliber competition in her run, having been finished several times.
I'm picking Aldrich here as she is on another level to Lipski; however, I see no value in playing her at this price.
Pick: Aldrich O/U: Under 2.5 +165
Good fight between Bantamweights looking to push to the next level. Tony Gravely is a wrestler with a long reach that he uses to help his striking attack. Victor Henry is a pressure-based fighter with a lot of cardio and durability.
I'll take Gravely in this matchup, and I will play his decision prop at +240 on Stake.com for even more value, as Victor Henry has never been finished in his pro-MMA career.
Pick: Gravely O/U: Over 2.5 -169
Fun matchup here at Flyweight. Tyson Nam is a powerful and durable boxer who is coming off a massive knockout of Ode Osbourne. Bruno Silva has back-to-back early knockout wins to get back on track after a tough start to his UFC run.
I think Silva wins this fight, although I give Nam much of the finishing upside. I have considered Silva by decision and Nam by knockout, but I have not played either.
Pick: Silva O/U: Over 2.5 -114
Short notice matchup here at Welterweight. Carlston Harris has had all three of his UFC fights end in the first round showing his aggressive style. Jared Gooden returns to the UFC after a strong run outside the promotion.
As much as I like Gooden, and I'm glad he's back in the UFC, I can't pick him in this scenario, but the price on Harris has no value to me either.
Pick: Harris O/U: Under 1.5 -104
Petr Yan -270
Alexandr Romanov -161
Jonathan Martinez +200
Anton Turkalj -116
Raphael Assuncao +109
Sedriques Dumas -217
Tony Gravely by decision +240