UFC 276 is almost upon us and the MMA masses are licking their chops for what figures to be another outstanding fight card. This is the 14th edition of RAPID FIRE QUICK PICKS and I dare say I feel like I’ve got a decent read on UFC 276. Unfortunately that was not the case for Vegas 57 which was a 7-5 night that lost me $50 on all of betting/DFS action. However the main event alone was well worth the price of admission and ultimately it was my Gamrot play that mitigated what could have been a very bad night so all and all I’m feeling like I got out relatively unscathed. This week appears to have some pretty juicy looks and I am all about this life so with that in mind these are my picks and my bets for UFC 276.
JESSICA ROSE CLARK-140(11-7) VS JULIJA STOLIARENKO+120(9-7-2):
I promised myself I was never taking another dog shot on STOLIARENKO and for some I am tempted to break that promise. However, ROSE CLARK is definitely the rightful favorite here. STOLIARENKO has yet to notch a victory in the UFC and while I think she could potentially do it this time around I simply cannot take a chance on her at these meager plus money odds. Nor can I pay the chalk on ROSE CLARK. This has to be a very hard pass as far picking a side but it feels like a great FGTD play. In fact that is the only play for this particular fight in my humble opinion.
BRAD TAVARES-111(19-7) VS DRICUS DUPLESSIS +101(16-2):
I am all over DUPLESSIS in this one. “StillKnocks” DUPLESSIS has been great thus far in his UFC campaign. He shows great fight IQ as well as the skills and durability to match. TAVARES is savvy veteran and he has fought a higher level of competition to this point but I believe DUPLESSIS is ready to take the step up in competition and continue his ascent towards the top of the division. This is probably going to be a close fight that will make you sweat no matter what side your on. As such DUPLESSIS makes for a great underdog play. I will be playing his ML and I might have a small play for him to win ITD.
JESSICA EYE+196(15-10) VS MAYCEE BARBER -224(10-2):
I’m gonna be on BARBER here. She is the far more aggressive fighter and she clearly has the higher ceiling. My only real concern is that her ego might get the best of her and that she might look past her opponent which is never a good look for a fighter. However, BARBER is the superior fighter in my opinion. EYE is feisty and she has the advantage in terms of experience but I just don’t see where she beats BARBER. I will be using BARBER in a 2 fighter parlay and I might take a poke at her ITD line.
URIAH HALL(18-10)+231VS ANDRE MUNIZ-259(22-4):
This is a classic striker vs grappler matchup that screams unpredictability. HALL is a fantastic technical striker that can sleep anyone in the division in the blink of an eye but MUNIZ has the grappling equivalent of a one punch KO. He too could submit anyone in the division in the blink of an eye. The question becomes who will impose their will on the night? My money will be on MUNIZ but it is more of a fade on HALL’S low volume approach. I am not overly confident about it and I see no value in the MUNIZ ML but I will be making a small wager on MUNIZ to finish by submission because that is his most probable win condition provided he can get the fight to the ground.
JIM MILLER(34-16) VS DONALD CERRONE (36-16):
I was unable to find odds on this matchup but I’m guessing that MILLER will probably be the betting favorite here. Technically CERRONE is a late replacement for Bobby “King” Green. My biggest concern here is that this will be CERRONE’s 3rd weight cut in 5 weeks due to 2 fight cancellations with Joe LAUZON. In my experience that rarely bodes well for a fighter, this is especially true for an older fighter like Cowboy. Add to that MILLER’S stellar form of late and the slight grappling advantage I expect him to have and I have to pick MILLER to win here. However I could see CERRONE catching him on the feet so I don’t think I will be betting this one. I might bet FDGTD but even that could prove to be a sketchy play so in all likelihood I will probably just pass altogether on this one and enjoy it as a neutral observer. This should be a great battle between two OG veterans of the game and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.
IAN GARRY-158 (9-0) VS GABE GREEN+141 (11-3):
I have to take the plus money dog shot on GREEN here. GARRY has shown himself to be a very promising prospect thus far but GREEN gives me those CHRIS “ACTION MAN” CURTIS vibes. GREEN is a durable fighter who throws a lot of volume and he has a sneaky good ground game. To my mind this will be the best opponent that GARRY has faced to date and I am betting that GREEN will be the one who gets his hand raised when the dust settles. I will be playing the GREEN ML and I might bet him to win by decision depending on the odds.
ROBBIE LAWLER-127(29-15) VS BRYAN BARBERENA+113 (17-8):
This was going to be a hard pass for me in terms of an actual wager but I’m picking BARBERENA to edge it out by the slimmest of margins and as such I’m going to take a small plus money dog shot on him. This is more of a numbers play than anything else. BARBERENA is an absolute dog in there and he comes on strong late in fights so I feel like I have to side with him against an aging LAWLER especially at plus money. This is not a knock on the legendary LAWLER by any means because he is the rightful favorite here but this is kind of bet I’d make 10 out 10 times because of the plus money that the bookies are hanging on BARBERENA. This one has potential FOTN written all over it.
BRAD RIDDELL+104 (10-2) VS JALIN TURNER-115 (12-5):
I’m gonna be on TURNER in this one but admittedly that is based largely on recency bias. I expect this to be a very close fight that will likely see the judges scorecards but I think TURNER will be the bigger more powerful man and it would not surprise me to find out he has a speed advantage. RIDDELL is a gamer and he will fight tooth and nail for your money but I believe TURNER will prevail in this spot and he is more likely to find the finish if there is a finish to be had. MY pick is TURNER but I will probably just pass on this one because RIDDELL is a very live dog that simply cannot be counted out.
PEDRO MUNHOZ+221(19-7) VS SEAN O’MALLEY-249(15-1):
Here we are again on the cusp of another installment of the ‘SUGA’ show. As per usual O’MALLEY is a sizeable favorite and I expect that quite a few people will be looking to fade him in this spot but I am not one of them. That said I don’t think I will be laying the chalk on him either. MUNHOZ is an experienced veteran and his leg kicks may well prove to be problematic for O’MALLEY. I do think O’MALLEY is the right side here though. He is an outstanding striker who has consistently proven the doubters wrong and while he does have good jiujitsu I think MUNHOZ will probably have the advantage on the ground but I don’t know that that will be enough. My pick is ‘SUGA’ but at these odds I can’t play him against an experienced fighter like MUNHOZ. Although I might decide to play him to win by KO come fight time.
SEAN STRICKLAND+113 (25-3) VS ALEX PEREIRA-124(5-1):
This is the toughest fight to handicap on the entire card in my opinion. I fully expected STRICKLAND to be the favorite though so I might have to take the plus money shot on him. He is the vastly more experienced MMA fighter and he has faced far superior competition. I also think STRICKLAND will probably have a grappling advantage here which makes him a very tasty underdog play. I have some very real concerns because PEREIRA is a way more vicious striker that is always live for the KO but he’s still very green in his MMA career and has yet to face a test like STRICKLAND. I would not be the least bit surprised to see PEREIRA win a striking battle but I will be playing the STRICKLAND ML and I might have a small play on him to win by Decision.
ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI-177 (24-1) VS MAX HOLLOWAY+161(23-6):
There is a very good chance that the 3rd time could prove to be the charm for HOLLOWAY but I simply cannot bet against ALEXANDER ‘THE GREAT’ VOLKANOVSKI. Both of these guys are next level athletes that have shown themselves to be tremendously gifted fighters but VOLKANOVSKI has leveled up since becoming the 145lbs champion and he appears to be getting better every time out. I personally think HOLLOWAY won the second fight but of course that is debatable. If these 2 fought 10 times I expect the results would be very different each time so as much as I would like to bet this one, I feel like the best play here is to pass altogether. My pick is VOLKANOVSKI but based on the odds this is clearly a Dog or pass scenario.
ISRAEL ADESANYA-333(22-1) VS JARED CANNONIER+295(15-5):
This is an intriguing main event in that CANNONIER has a decent size and power advantage but in terms of speed and pure striking acumen there are very few (if any) middleweights that can stand up to ADESANYA. However if CANNONIER manages to clip him the way Kelvin GASTELUM did it could very well be lights out for IZZY so while ADESANYA is very much the rightful favorite in this spot it is not inconceivable that he could be dethroned come Saturday night. That said I do believe that ADESANYA’s striking and takedown defense will ultimately win him this fight. CANNONIER has the puncher’s chance and he might have a slight grappling advantage so there is always a chance he could replicate Jan BLACHOWICZ’s game plan and win a decision over ADESANYA but I think ADESANYA will probably find the KO or at very least win a striking based decision. My pick is ADESANYA and if I decide to bet this one I will play him to win by KO.
This is a very promising slate of fights in every aspect. It has big name star power, betting/DFS value and it should be an outstanding card from an entertainment perspective. I am very excited as we move into international fight week for 2022 and I expect that this card will deliver in spades. If you are a fight fan this is must see TV so I highly recommend earmarking Saturday night for what should prove to be tremendous viewing pleasure. However if you miss out on watching the fights for whatever reason be sure to check out my full card recap article right here at WE WANT PICKS.
As always fade me or follow me at your own peril and above all enjoy the gift that is mixed martial arts at the very highest level.