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UFC Vegas 66: Two Interesting Fights To Play

by | Dec 12, 2022 | Fight Preview

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Coming off the heels of UFC 282 we are now marching right into UFC Vegas 66. This event will obviously be taking place at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card is set for December 17th, 2022 and features a main event of Jared Cannonier versus Sean Strickland. The prelims will start at 4pm eastern and roll right into the 7pm eastern start time for the main card.

As far as the card itself goes, I would consider it to be right on par with the pay-per-view that just passed, potentially even slightly better. While it won’t be one of the more notable slates of the year, it should still be more than adequate to finish off the year.

In this preview we will be taking a look into two of the more compelling fights on the card, providing insight into those fights, and potentially listing a few bets that make sense – or would make sense if I was an actual sports bettor. So let’s get going and jump into my favorite prelim fight on the card.

 

CHEYANNE VLISMAS (-190) vs. CORY MCKENNA (+160)

As much as everyone else hates dealing with women’s MMA, I actually love it. I think with the risk of the knockout generally removed from the equation it can sometimes be easier/safer to predict. Of course there are times where that isn’t the case, but in my opinion the amount of times a female fighter just throws away a fight plan or demonstrates poor fight IQ is no more prevalent than the male fights.

Here we have two young stars in the sport being matched up against one another. I think it was Miranda Maverick who said that she doesn’t understand the matchmaking in the women’s divisions and I tend to agree. Putting Cheyanne Vlismas and Cory McKenna against one another this early in their career is essentially killing the buzz of one or the other. This would be the second UFC loss for the losing fighter in this matchup and that will likely stall the hype train for that party.

In this matchup we have a clash of styles with Cheyanne Vlismas being the striker and Cory McKenna being the wrestler/grappler. Whoever can impose their will and fight the fight in the style they prefer is likely to emerge victorious.

Cheyanne Vlismas comes into this fight having shown herself to be quite a handful to deal with on the feet in her last fight against Mallory Martin. She landed over 130 significant strikes in that contest and knocked out Gloria De Paula with a kick in the fight before that. Cheyanne’s only loss came to Montserrat Conejo where she was dominated by head and arm throws. It is important to note that the types of takedowns she was beaten by are not the same type of takedowns that she will be seeing against McKenna. In fact aside from that fight she hasn’t been taken down in 10 attempts. 

On her feet Vlismas is very solid and produces a great amount of volume and pressure. Vlismas is currently holding about a two to one favorable strike differential and an impressive 62% striking defense. Simply put, if she can manage to keep this fight standing, it should be a long night for Cory McKenna.

Cory McKenna is more of a wrestler and grappler, however she has proven she can strike a little bit as well. In her previous UFC fights she has managed to find the win against everyone except Elise Reed. In that loss she achieved three takedowns along with nearly four minutes of control time, but ultimately lost a split decision after being out struck.

If Cory can come into this fight and find success in the grappling, potentially get the fight to the ground, she will make the line here look silly. That is really what makes this fight interesting, the difference in styles should be the key.

When it comes to picking a winner between Cheyanne Vlismas and Cory McKenna, I think I will be siding with the favorite Cheyanne Vlismas, but when it comes to betting there are many other more attractive options available for this fight than a straight moneyline wager.

Here are some of the bets that I think would be worth entertaining when it comes to this contest. Please be aware that many of these are BETOnline exclusives. If you don’t currently have a BETOnline account you can receive an instant deposit match using one of the links on this site.

ROUND PROP – OVER 2.5

This line will probably be quite a bit inflated because it is one of the most historically successful bets when it comes to Women’s MMA. You may be more inclined to parlay this together with something else than to bet it straight. That should increase your payout to a satisfactory amount.

CORY MCKENNA – INSIDE THE DISTANCE/DECISION NO ACTION

The reality is that while Cheyanne is the more skilled striker in this matchup, McKenna has a stronger likelihood of achieving a finish. She can find a finish through ground and pound or via submission if she can get this fight to the mat. If she doesn’t get the fight to the mat then it will likely go to a decision in favor of Vlismas which would void the bet. The only way we lose money here is if Cheyanne Vlismas gets a finish of her own. Not impossible, but not exactly something I would be overly worried about.

CORY MCKENNA – BUY A ROUND (+3.5 POINTS)

The way this bet works you are essentially awarded a round on the scorecards. So if Cory McKenna can manage to win just one round on each Judge’s card, the bet would cash in the event of a decision. You would also win this bet in the event of a McKenna finish. This bet pairs nicely with the previous inside the distance bet because that bet gets voided in the event of a decision and this one gives a boost to get McKenna over the finish line in that circumstance.

 

DAVID DVORAK (+200) vs. MANEL KAPE (-240)

I was very surprised to see the line this wide when it comes to this contest. In fact, I was assuming that Dvorak would be the slight favorite instead of a decent sized underdog. There very likely could be some recency bias involved here with Kape finishing his last two opponents in spectacular fashion.

David Dvorak is an excellent, and extremely technical striker. He also does a great job keeping the fight standing and at range by using effective leg kicks. The one area that is a bit concerning is that he seems to lack true power in his strikes, and wins more on points than anything else.

Manel Kape is also a striker but when it comes to the eye test is less technical than Dvorak and instead relies more on athleticism and explosiveness. Kape definitely holds the power edge in this matchup and that will make him a threat at any point throughout the fight. The biggest question mark for Kape in the past has been how he allows his opponents to set the tone of the fight but in fairness we are talking about Alexandre Pantoja and Matheus Nicolau when it comes to that breakdown – those losses age pretty well.

My expectation here is that we have a slower paced striking battle between these two, and I expect the deciding factor to be hittability (I just made that word up). Kape is the more hittable fighter and it should show on the scorecard if Dvorak can manage to stay conscious for the full three rounds. Here are some of the bets that I would consider for this contest;

DAVID DVORAK – MONEYLINE

As a two to one underdog in a fight where I firmly believe he is the more technically sound fighter, it wouldn’t be a horrible shot to take for anyone. Even if it’s just a sprinkle. If you wanted to have a bit more safety you could certainly use the +3.5 points exclusive on BETOnline instead, the line will be less favorable, but you will have a bit of help on the scorecards.

MANEL KAPE – INSIDE THE DISTANCE/DECISION NO ACTION

This is another fight that plays very well for a decision no action bet. Kape is the more likely to finish in this contest, especially if he wins. Depending on how the odds breakdown you might even be able to hedge this bet with a Dvorak by decision bet. 

 

ENJOY THE EVENT & HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY

Above all else, remember to enjoy the sport. This card should be very entertaining and I could think of several worse cards to end the year with. We are experiencing a bit of transition with writers on the website so you might see more content from me along the way to fill the gaps, but rest assured we are looking for actual sports bettors to provide you with their insights.

Have a great holiday season and enjoy celebrating whatever holiday it is that you celebrate with your loved ones. Wishing you many blessings into the new year and hoping that you win all the money to enhance your bankroll before the year ends. 

Josh Allen

Contributing Analyst

Hey everyone! My name is Josh Allen, no relation to the FNP guys. I am a proud father, freelance web designer, and future gulag spades champion. I am a fan of the NFL and the UFC. I do a little part time analysis work for the latter. Take whatever you read from me with a grain of salt as I am far more fan than anything else. Do your own research and make your own decisions. I am not a financial advisor and take no responsibility for your plays.

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