The UFC returns to Long Island, New York, this weekend, and with that comes a card full of crazy fights to break down. Headlined by Featherweight standout Brian Ortega -169 taking on Yair Rodriguez +133 and Shane Burgos -175 going against the Canadian Charles Jourdain +137, we have plenty of all-action battles that are difficult to predict.
All Odds Provided by Stake.com Accurate as of 10:30 PM EST 7/13/2022
This will be a great main event between two of the top Featherweights in the world. Brian Ortega has proven to be very well-rounded with world-class Jiu-Jitsu and a striking game that earned him a win over The Korean Zombie. Yair Rodriguez is a very tricky striker who throws lots of kicks but has shown an apparent weakness in the wrestling department by being outwrestled by Max Holloway, which cost him his last time out.
This is a close fight, and I was very tempted by Yair at plus money, but I will take Ortega as he has more ways to win this fight. At the right price, the Ortega by submission prop could provide great value.
Pick: Brian Ortega O/U: Over 4.5 +111
A quick turnaround here for Amanda Lemos, who looks to get back on track against the fan favorite veteran Michelle Waterson. Waterson has been around for a while and has fought the division's big names. Lemos has big power for a Strawweight which helped catapult her to a main event spot in her last fight; though that did not go her way, she has proven to be one of the top finishers in the division.
I believe Lemos wins this fight as she has all the advantages she needs, from size to power, to win and finish this fight. We have seen Lemos hurt or finish almost every one of her UFC opponents, and I will take a chance on her to get it done inside the distance this weekend.
Pick: Amanda Lemos O/U: Under +180
This should be a competitive striking match at Welterweight. Li Jinliang is coming off his fight against Khamzat Chimaev, which is fresh in many people's minds; however, he is still a very talented boxer with a knockout over Santiago Ponzinibbio. Muslim Slikhov is a flashy striker on a five-fight win streak.
This fight could go either way, but I like the durability of both men, with neither having been knocked out. With that, I will take the over 2.5 rounds in this fight and avoid picking a side.
Pick: Muslim Salikhov O/U: Over 2.5 -159
A good matchup here at Flyweight. Matt Schnell has a very dangerous ground game, with many of his wins coming from his submission skills, although he has been knocked out or hurt several times in the UFC. Sumudaerji is a long striker with knockout power, but all his pro losses are by submission.
This is a tough fight to call, but one thing I am very confident in is that it will not go to a decision, as both men are horrible matchups for one another. I will lean with Schnell as a pick because I believe this line should be closer.
Pick: Matt Schnell O/U: Under -164
I cannot wait for this fight as we get two of the best action fighters in the UFC going head to head. Shane Burgos is a long, tough-as-nails boxer coming off a great showing against Billy Quarantillo. Charles Jourdain is all-out action when he fights and has put on some great showings in his last few performances.
This is another significant step up for Jourdain, and I think he may struggle against a striker the caliber of Burgos, along with the reach advantage. The number on Burgos has come down below -200, which I felt was correct, so I am willing to bet him at this price.
Pick: Shane Burgos O/U: Over 2.5 -122
Here we get the Flyweight debut of former champion Miesha Tate as she takes on former title challenger Lauren Murphy. Lauren Murphy is coming off a tough loss against the current champion Valentina Shevchenko, and despite her win streak before that, I have a hard time betting on her. Tate is making a move down to Flyweight after a loss, she has looked decent in her latest showings, but I do not like backing fighters moving down in weight.
I will side with Tate here as I think she has Murphy beat everywhere; however, this line is much wider than I expected it to be. With that, I am not willing to bet Tate at this price and am almost tempted by the Murphy side at this point, but I will stay away.
Pick: Miesha Tate O/U: Over 2.5 -312
This is a hard-hitting Middleweight matchup. Soriano is coming off a couple of losses where he was out grappled; however, he has the power to knock out almost anyone, as he has shown before those matchups. Lungiambula let his last fight go after hurting Cody Brundage badly and falling into a guillotine, but he still showed his power even in that loss.
This line is pretty wide, so I think it's a dog or pass situation, and I will pass on this one. Soriano is an excellent prospect with well-rounded skills, and I think he probably gets the win.
Pick: Punahele Soriano O/U: Under 1.5 +137
This is a fantastic matchup of young fighters in the deep Bantamweight division. Ricky Simon is very well-rounded, and we have seen him compete against names at the top of the division. Jack Shore has been one of my favorite fighters to back over the last few years, as I loved him as a prospect on his rise to the rankings, using his dominant grappling to nullify most opponents.
This is a tough fight to call, and my first instinct was to back one of my guys in Shore; however, Ricky Simon is just too good to be an underdog in this fight. The line has already shifted toward Shore, and I think the price on Simon is too good to pass up.
Pick: Ricky Simon O/U: Over 2.5 -244
This is an exciting clash at Featherweight between two men with very different styles. Algeo has gone the distance in each of his UFC showings so far, surviving and coming back from some difficult spots. Herbert Burns has not gone to a decision yet in his UFC career and is known for his grappling and high pace.
There are a lot of things that clash when looking at this fight, and for that reason, I'm going to avoid betting on it. I will pick Bill Algeo here as he has never been submitted, and I believe he can survive an early burst.
Pick: Bill Algeo O/U: Over 2.5 -105
This line has slowly moved all week, with a lot of love coming in on Jung. Dustin Jacoby is on an impressive win streak, and he has gotten there by out striking opponents and defending the takedowns. Jung has good wrestling but lost striking battles to fighters like Sam Alvey.
I think Jacoby wins this fight, and I made a mistake by playing it too early and missing out as the line has continued to move in Jung's direction. If you can get plus money on Jacoby, take it.
Pick: Dustin Jacoby O/U: Over 2.5 -135
Here we get a matchup between two Middleweights who have had struggles lately but are each well-rounded martial artists. Dwight Grant is coming off a knockout loss relatively recently, but he still has a lot of power and is moving up from Welterweight for this fight. Stoltzfus has been given three tough matchups coming into the UFC, resulting in a tough stretch; however, he has not looked as bad as his UFC record would suggest with some very competitive fights.
I have difficulty backing either of these fighters with my money as they have shown their flaws. I will pick Stoltzfus as I think he has the tools to win this fight and get his first UFC to win.
Pick: Dustin Stoltzfus O/U: Under 2.5 -120
To start the afternoon, morning even for some, we get the UFC debut of Emily Ducote against much more experienced Jessica Penne. Penne is an excellent grappler and has plenty of UFC experience to her credit. Emily Ducote comes into her debut off two stoppage wins with a great head-kick highlight to her name.
I think this comes down to whether or not Jessica Penne can grapple, and I believe she will. However, there is no bet from me here because I feel there are better spots on the card.
Pick: Jessica Penne O/U: Over 2.5 -185
Shane Burgos -175 Ricky Simon +128 Dustin Jacoby -101
Ortega by Submission +235 Amanda Lemos Inside The Distance +215 Li Jingliang Muslim Salikhov Fight Goes The Distance -125 Matt Schnell Sumudaerji Fight Doesn't Go The Distance -152