UFC 285 was an epic night of fights where we continued our hot run of form with a 12-2 effort, which puts us at 57-15 so far in 2023. The upcoming fight night headlined by Petr Yan and Merab Dvalishvili looks to be more volatile, and I have sided with a few underdogs which have some great betting value. Nonetheless I am confident we can continue our form despite a much more challenging card up ahead. Let’s get into it!
BEST BET #1 | JJ Aldrich H2H @$1.44
JJ Aldrich employs an aggressive pocket style of boxing which is really effective when she can keep the fight standing. That is what she will need to do in this matchup against Ariane Lipski, another aggressive fighter that throws heavy, but is more known for her offensive grappling.
I fear that Lipski will not be able to get this fight to the ground, as Aldrich’s takedown defense of 75% has held up even against a relatively strong schedule of opposition. Aldrich is coming off a loss to the uber talented Erin Blanchfield, where I did not like the game plan of trying to get the fight to the ground. Prior to that submission loss, she was on a 3 fight win streak. Lipski is 3-5 in her UFC tenure, and I believe she is in for another loss because she does not match up well against Aldrich.
JJ is the better striker and wrestler. I see her having a lot of success in close, and only see a threat in certain positions on the ground. I feel she can control this fight easily and dominate.
BEST BET #2 | Victor Henry H2H @$1.69
Tony Gravely is a powerful wrestler that has enjoyed some success in the UFC to date. His striking is improving, but in this matchup I believe the volume and diversity of attacks from Victor Henry will cause a lot of problems on the feet. I can see Gravely having some success particularly in the clinch, but even if he can get this fight to the ground, Henry is extremely crafty with scrambles and submissions.
I see Henry’s pace and output being the keys in this matchup, and the damage piling on in the later rounds for Henry to get his hands raised.
BEST BET #3 | Petr Yan H2H @$1.44
Petr Yan was once perceived as a champion that would rule over the bantamweight division for a very long time, until he was bested by Merab’s teammate in current champ Aljamain Sterling. Merab employs a grappling style just like Aljamain, but he is more of a volume wrestler and doesn’t have the same level of top control where he submits or TKO’s opposition like the champion.
I can see Merab landing takedowns on Petr, but I do not believe he will do a lot with it. Yan’s grappling has improved throughout his tenure, he is a master of boxing, and I believe he is going to land more significant strikes throughout. Although Merab can push an extreme pace throughout 15 minutes, I am really intrigued to see what his output will be like for 25 minutes against an experienced 5 round veteran in Yan.
Petr is desperate for a win, and I cannot see where he goes next if he loses another fight. I respect and acknowledge the threats the Merab can bring in this matchup, but I see Yan having the answers and inflicting more damage throughout the contest.
Value Pick #1 | Tyson Nam H2H @$2.44
Tyson Nam is a bantamweight that I view as underrated. He has super slick striking skills, with explosive knockout power, quick speed and good footwork. He must move effectively to keep this fight standing, where I believe he has the advantage over the aggressive Bruno Silva.
Silva is a prolific finisher that hunts for KO’s on the feet, but can be quite hittable when he tries to close the range. A striking veteran like Nam should be able to capitalize on this. However, if Silva can take this fight to the ground, he is very crafty and could pull off a submission.
Both these men’s records suggest they are volatile, but I still see phenomenal value in Tyson Nam and believe he has the tools to win this by KO or Decision.
Overs or Unders
Not our best week from a round totals perspective, but we look to bounce back!
Thanks for tuning in once again, I hope you all enjoy the fights this weekend! If you are having a bet this weekend make sure you do your own research and gamble responsibly.