UFC Fight Night returns to Las Vegas and the APEX Center for another night of fights.
After a brutal card last week, where we did the reverse sweep, we got back on the horse on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, where we went 3-2 and nailed a +220 underdog.
The reverse of fortunes should be a step in the right direction as we head into Saturday’s fight card which features 13 bouts including six on the main card.
Saturday’s entire UFC fight card will be broadcasted on ESPN starting at 4 p.m. and the main card begins at 7 p.m. Eastern, also on ESPN.
Vicente Luque is coming into this fight off a brain bleed that he sustained after a loss to Geoff Neal.
You read that right.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has cleared Luque to return to the octagon 12 months after the scary injury and believes he is healthy enough to fight.
Luque was a -300 favorite against Neal last year, and would be favored here if the injury wasn’t a concern.
But he comes in as a +105 underdog opposite Rafael Dos Anjos, a grappling powerhouse at the ripe age of 38.
Coming in as a clear favorite to Saturday’s co-main event is Hakeem “The Dream” Dawodu, opposite UFC veteran Cub Swanson.
Swanson is one of the more violent fighters we have ever had in the UFC, constantly sitting in the pocket and getting into stand-up wars on the feet.
Dawodu is a stand-up fighter true and true, he has no UFC takedowns to his record.
Hakeem “The Dream” is the much higher volume striker here but the judge’s new scoring parameters give me some pause about how much volume truly matters anymore.
Swanson is surely the more violent of the two and while he might eat more shots, he also is likely to land the more damaging blows.
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Where this argument falls off for me is Swanson’s age, he turns 40 in November.
Had this fight happened three years ago, it would be tasty to back Swanson at a +170 price.
Unfortunately, father time is truly defeated and Dawodu is entering the prime of his career with fast hands and no takedowns to really be concerned about.
Dawodu hasn’t lost a straight up boxing match in his UFC career and you shouldn’t expect that to happen here.
Grab Dawodu here at a moneyline price, maybe a Dawodu + starts round 2 parlay if your sportsbook offers that kind of bet.
The official pick here is Dawodu by decision +210 on BetRivers.
In the light heavyweight division we get the former Philadelpgia police officer Chris Daukaus facing Khalil Rountree.
Daukaus was once a favorite going into a fight against Derrick Lewis, one he lost inside the first minute by knockout.
Since then, it has been all down hill for the UFC big man.
Tonight profiles as probably the best matchup that Daukaus has had in some time as Rountree is mostly a low-volume striker that can be taken down at will by opponents.
Where Daukaus should look for an advantage is in those grappling exchanges.
In truly a must-win fight for Daukaus after losing three in a row, look for Daukaus to really push the pace and get Rountree on his back foot up against the cage.
Daukaus could then opt to wrestle or clinch, a place that no one should trust Rountree at this point.
Rountree has been to plenty of decisions and while Daukaus’ chin could be completely gone, this fight has a better chance to go the distance than oddsmakers are suggesting with a ridiculous +420 line on FanDuel.
Start with the fight to start round 2 at +100 to cover your risk, and ladder the over time props from there as follows with all lines provided by FanDuel.
UFC Fight Night Vegas 78 prop bet of the week: JP Buys wins by submission in round 1 +1600 (FanDuel)
A long shot prop for your betting pleasure this evening as JP Buys faces Marcus McGhee in the bantamweight division.
Buys already comes into this fight as big underdog against a serious prospect like McGhee.
And I wouldn’t go on to say that Buys should be expected to win this fight.
Instead, this is just a value bet, as it covers most of Buys’ win condition.
He is truly a first round or bust fighter and most of his wins have come by submission and more specifically in the first round.
Buys has five wins by submission in the first round which count for all of his submission wins.
Bet this one responsibly as it is a long shot, but your money is unlikely to spent better in the sports betting market than on Buys by round one submission at this price point.