The UFC gives us a Featherweight banger between Sodiq Yusuff and Edson Barboza to headline this week's fun fight night card from the Apex. This card also features a close Bantamweight matchup between Christian Rodriguez and Cameron Saaiman that should produce can't-miss action. I went over each fight on the main card and gave my prediction, so let's get into it.
Odds provided by Stake.com accurate as of 8:45 AM EST 10/13/2023
Hard-hitting Featherweights clash in our main event this week. Sodiq Yusuff returns to action here after a year off since a quick win over Don Shainis; he is a powerful puncher capable of keeping a good pace as long as the fight goes. Edson Barboza has made a career off of being a knockout artist, and he still has that power, although as he has aged, he has been less consistent and may have a hard time going deeper into fights.
I'm picking Yusuff to get a late stoppage, as I think he will hold up better in a good fight where both guys find success.
Pick: Yusuff O/U: Over 3.5 +123
Flyweight veterans square off here in the co-main event. Jennifer Maia has stayed near the division's top for a long time with her solid boxing and wrestling attack, good defense, and durability. Viviane Araujo looks to bounce back after losing three of her last four, all against top-contending competition, although she could have looked better no matter the level.
I believe Maia is the rightful favorite here and should have Araujo covered wherever the fight goes.
Pick: Maia O/U: Over 2.5 -476
Highly touted Bantamweight prospects collide here, looking to take the next step. Jonathan Martinez is a tall, long striker with heavy kicks that he throws at all levels; he is also very defensively sound, as he showed in his last fight against Said Nurmagomedov. Adrian Yanez is a phenomenal boxer who looks to remind people how dangerous he is after losing his last fight in a big test against Rob Font.
I'll lean with Yanez here as I feel he will have the higher volume and can win exchanges in close.
Pick: Yanez O/U: Over 2.5 +114
It's a Middleweight clash of styles in what should be a wild fight here. Michel Pereira has been forced to move up in weight here after another miss on the scales; it will be interesting to see how his wild style translates up a weight class as he relied on his big power and did not have strong cardio when at Welterweight. Andre Petroski steps up on short notice here; he is a strong and talented grappler with improving striking; he is very dangerous early, although his cardio is sometimes questionable.
I'll go with Petroski here as he will have a significant edge in the grappling, which Pereira has yet to face; also, Petroski is much more of a natural Middleweight.
Pick: Petroski O/U: Under 2.5 -119
Here we get a rematch at a Catchweight between two Flyweights who suffered a controversial end to their first fight just weeks ago. Edgar Chairez is a tough brawler with a good submission game both offensively and defensively, as he showed against the very talented Tatsuro Taira, where, despite the loss, he was nearly able to finish that fight as a significant underdog. Daniel Lacerda has been very exciting during his UFC run, which is why he is still here, as he has yet to produce wins, although he was looking good early in the first edition of this matchup.
I'll go with Lacerda at this price as he proved to have some advantages early against Chairez, and I don't know why this price has gotten wider going into the rematch.
Pick: Lacerda O/U: Over 1.5 +150
Young and skilled Bantamweights open the main card in this must-see matchup. Christian Rodriguez returns off his huge upset win over Raul Rosas Jr. he showed his fantastic grappling in that fight, as well as his cardio and durability. Cameron Saaiman is a very impressive prospect with a well-rounded game, including high-volume striking and a good offensive grappling attack.
I've got Saaiman as the underdog here as he has an advantage in the striking and good enough grappling to either win there or force a stand-up match.
Pick: Saaiman O/U: Over 2.5 -179
Cameron Saaiman +125