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UFC Vegas 61 Quick Picks and Betting Guide

by | Sep 25, 2022 | Fight Preview

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We are back for another Apex card which is basically a “layover” before we head into yet another break week. I went 7-6 on my RFQP predictions first Vegas 60 and basically broke even on all of my betting/DFS action but perseverance is key when it comes to snapping losing skids so with that in mind I'm gonna push forward and trust that I will get back to the desired results sooner rather than later.  

Once more from the top this is the 24th edition of RAPID FIRE QUICK PICKS and these are my picks as well as my actual bets for UFC Vegas 61. 

TABITHA RICCI-205(7-1)VS JESSICA PENNE+175 (14-7):

I'm going with RICCI here. She is the younger, more well rounded  fighter and I think she has a significant wrestling advantage. However, PENNE has pretty good jiujitsu and decent striking skills so if RICCI doesn't come with her “A” game it could be very problematic for her. PENNE will be the bigger more experienced fighter so she could conceivably give RICCI a vet lesson here but I have to go with the younger more dynamic fighter in this match up so RICCI is my pick. I still haven't decided if I'm going to be betting her at chalk but if I do it will probably be as one half of a 2 fighter parlay. I also think this fight will go to the judges scorecards so I'm considering a modest play on FGTD and RICCI by decision.

CHELSEA CHANDLER-110(4-1) VS JULIJA STOLIARENKO -110(10-6-1): 

CHANDLER is a relentless bully and she's very aggressive. It would not surprise me to see her prevail in her UFC debut but she's only had 5 pro fights. I'm not overly confident about betting her in her UFC debut against the far more experienced STOLIARENKO who is also a relentless bully when she's at her best. It took STOLIARENKO 4 fights before she was able to notch her first UFC victory but I have to believe that she has finally found her Octagon legs and that she will be able to deal with whatever the newcomer throws at her. STOLIARENKO is way more experienced here. She has good jiujitsu and she can end fights very quickly. I'm surprised that this fight is lined as a true pick 'em. Maybe I'm undervaluing CHANDLER because I haven't seen her at the UFC level and because I don't like betting debuts.  STOLIARENKO has more than 3 times the number of pro fights under her belt. I have to go with the veteran here. I will be playing her ML and hope that she shows Chandler that there are levels to this. 

RANDY COSTA-295(9-6) VS GUIDO CANNETTI+245(6-3):

I'm going to be on COSTA in this matchup. He's had some durability and cardio issues in his last two outings but I think he will be able to impose his will against CANNETTI. As far as technical advantages go these two are pretty evenly matched. They both have good striking but COSTA probably has the better jiujitsu. For me it comes down to age and strength of schedule. CANETTI is a 40 something bantamweight and I think this will be a significant step up in competition for him compared to his last fight with Chris Mouthino. To my mind COSTA has way more upside and he should be able to dispatch the aging CANNETTI before the final bell. I will be using him in a two fighter parlay and I will be betting him to win by KO.

BRENDAN ALLEN+115(19-5) VS KRYZSZTOF JOTKO -135(24-5):

IF this fight hits the ground it should be ALLEN all day but If it stays on the feet JOTKO will probably dance his way to a decision. I'm leaning to JOTKO winning another boring JOTKO decision by avoiding the takedown and picking ALLEN apart from the outside but I won't be betting on it because ALLEN is really good at imposing his game when he's on. He has excellent jiujitsu and he can hold his own on the feet but JOTKO is almost like a point fighter who uses footwork and distance management to cruise to the scorecards. I'm tempted to take the plus money dog shot on ALLEN but I don't know what version of him will show up on fight night so this has to be another hard pass for me.

ALEKSEI OLEINIK+155(60-16-1) VS ILIR LATIFI-180(15-8):

I absolutely love OLEINIK. This guy is an aging veteran that can never be counted out and he is an assassin that has a wide variety of submissions he can use to get it done. We're talking about a guy who has 77 fights and he has managed to win most of them by finish so he is always live but he is getting pretty old at this point and father time is undefeated as they say. I I want to bet him here but I don't think I will. I think this is a very winnable fight for OLEINIK. He will have a size advantage over LATIFI and LATIFI's strength is his wrestling game which means that he will probably look to take OLEINIK down where OLEINIK could catch him in a multitude of submissions. HOWEVER, LATIFI will probably have a slight striking advantage and I'm pretty sure he will have a significant cardio advantage so this one is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty. It is important not to bet with our hearts and I'm not sure I can be unbiased here because I'm a huge fan of “the boa constrictor” OLEINIK. If I decide to actually bet this fight I will probably take the dog shot on OLEINIK and I will be betting him to win by submission (probably a scarf hold choke) but I'm going to pick LATIFI to get it done because I think the youth and cardio advantages he has can't be ignored but I will absolutely be cheering for OLEINIK.

MAXIM GRISHIN-170(32-9-2) VS PHILLIPE LINS+145(15-5):

I was going to take a small plus money dog shot on LINS here but something is keeping me off of it.  I had completely written him off after his poor showing in his first two UFC fights but he looked much better in his last outing against Marcin PRACHNIO so it wouldn't surprise me if he managed to pull off the upset here. However I just think GRISHIN is the better fighter and my gut tells me he is the right side in this one. He has way more high level experience and I still don't fully trust LINS, even if he is the PFL million dollar tournament winner. Again I'm going to work from the notion that there are levels to this and for my money GRISHIN is at least one level above LINS. I'm not saying LINS has no chance but I do think GRISHIN is the more proven commodity so I'm picking GRISHIN but I still haven't decided if I'll be laying the chalk on him.

JESSE RONSON+125 (21-11) VS JOAQUIM SILVA-145(11-3):

I think SILVA is the right side in this one but full disclosure: I am not a big fan of RONSON's. I feel like he's a mediocre fighter at the UFC level. I bet on him in his last outing which was his first fight after a USADA suspension and he just didn't look right at all in that one. On the other hand SILVA is a very well rounded fighter with excellent jiujitsu skills and I feel like he is the far superior fighter here. I could be way off but I think this is SILVA all day. RONSON could very well come out and put on a beatdown on SILVA but I will be playing the SILVA ML and I will probably use him in a two fighter parlay.  

JOHN CASTANEDA-205(19-5) VS DANIEL SANTOS+175(10-2):

I wanted to be on SANTOS here because of the plus money and because I think he will have a much better showing in his sophomore UFC outing but after watching a bunch of tape on these two I don't think I'm going to do it. This looks like it'll be a very close fight. I think SANTOS has a slight striking advantage while CASTANEDA has a slight edge when it comes to wrestling but these are two evenly matched fighters. The experience and strength of schedule favor CASTENADA so he is the rightful favorite here but there's no way I'm going to bet on him at chalk in this spot. This is a dog or pass scenario but I don't have enough confidence in the dog to bet on him. I just haven't seen enough of him at the UFC level, so even though I expect he will have a much better showing in his sophomore outing I don't know if it will be enough to get it done against the more experienced “sexi mexi” CASTANEDA. This has to be another pass for me but if HAD to bet this fight I would take the dog shot on SANTOS. That said I will pick the more experienced CASTANEDA for the win but I'm not confident either way which is why this is a complete stay away for me.

SUDIQ YUSSUF-700 (12-2) VS DON SHAINIS+500(12-3):

Based on what I've seen from SHAINIS he has a pretty good chin and big power in his hands but he really shines when he takes his opponents to the canvas and brutalizes them with ground and pound. Once he gets the fight to the ground he has excellent control and top pressure. I just don't know that he's going to be able to do it to YUSSUF. “SUPER” SUDIQ has excellent boxing and he too has big power in his hands. He also has a huge edge in strength of schedule since he's been fighting at the UFC level for almost 5 years now. I don't agree that he should be -700 here because if he gets taken down by SHAINIS he could have a very bad night but I expect that he will be able to defend the takedown attempts and outbox the newcomer. He might even be able to finish SHAINIS here. Again there's no way of knowing for sure until we see how SHAINIS looks at this level. I'm not betting a +500 debuting fighter against a stud like YUSSUF.  This has to be another hard pass for me because there are too many unknowns surrounding the newcomer but I'm firmly on the YUSSUF side in terms of a pick and if I had to GUESS (emphasis on GUESS) I'd say he gets it done by Decision.

RAONI BARCELOS(16-3)VS TREVIN JONES(13-8):

I have to go with BARCELOS here. He has elite stand up skills and he's a jiujitsu ace with excellent wrestling.  BARCELOS is the definition of a well rounded fighter. JONES is also very skilled in all aspects of MMA but he's not on the same level as BARCELOS. That said, BARCELOS has not fared very well in his last two outings and I have to wonder if his age is becoming a factor. I also think JONES will be the more powerful striker here so I'm not ruling out a potential KO from him if he manages to catch BARCELOS clean. I could see JONES pulling off the upset here. I got stung when I bet against him in his debut against Mario Bautista so I'm not exactly rushing to lay the chalk on BARCELOS but I will have a small play on BARCELOS by decision here. I'm going to trust that he can outpoint JONES and avoid getting knocked out. This is by no means a gimme fight for BARCELOS so I will be proceeding with caution here. 

RANDY BROWN-280 (15-4) VS FRANCISCO TRINALDO+235 (28-8):

I'm all over “rude boy” BROWN in this spot. He's the superior fighter here.  He has a striking advantage as well as the jiujitsu advantage and he's the younger longer fighter in this matchup. TRINALDO is an experienced veteran who has big knock out power but I think he will slow down and prove to be far less of a threat the longer this fight goes. I wouldn't be completely surprised if TRINALDO managed to find a knock out here but to my mind that would be somewhat of an outlier. I think BROWN wins this fight at least 75-80% of the time so I will look to parlay him with another favorite in order to get closer to even or plus money.  I like “rude boy” a lot here, hopefully he won't lay a turd on fight night. 

MACKENZIE DERN (12-2) VS YAN XIANON (15-3): 

This is a striker VS grappler match up but I think that DERN'S jiujitsu skills are off the charts. She has the equivalent of a one punch KO when it comes to her submission ability and she has shown herself to be a very game striker so I'm not sure she'll be completely helpless while this fight is taking place in the feet. If this fight plays out entirely at striking range there is no denying that XIANON will have the advantage but in DERN'S last outing against Tecia Torres she held her own and she almost got a standing Kimura. Her submission skills cannot be overstated. Her biggest challenge is getting fights to the ground but I think she can hit a variety of submissions from almost anywhere. I might be way off here but I think this is DERN all day and I think that if she gets any kind of opportunity she will capitalize and end the fight. I'm going to play DERN at chalk and I will take a small stab at her submission prop. 

I think this card will absolutely deliver the goods. There are 14 fights and a lot of them are very closely lined for good reason so it should be very entertaining. Beyond that I'm hoping it will be a profitable evening but this is gambling at the end of the day so there are no guarantees. All we can do is make the reads and hope we are on the right side of the outcomes.

As always fade me or follow me at your own peril and above all enjoy the fights.

Frank Jodouin

Contributing Analyst

I started betting on fights in 2016, and have watched every single fight on every live event for almost seven years running. To put it plainly, I am a fight junkie, and Dana White is my dealer. I write content because I'm so passionate about this sport and I am honored to be a member of the We Want Picks team. I love to talk fights and share the knowledge I have accrued over the years as I continue to learn about the greatest the sport on planet earth.

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