Weigh-ins are in the books, and after a late scratch during them, we have an official eleven fight card for UFC Vegas 70 tomorrow, which will be headlined by a light heavyweight banger between ranked opponents Nikita Krylov and Ryan Spann.
One fight was cancelled on Thursday when Jose Johnson was forced to withdraw from his scheduled matchup against Garrett Armfield due to a medical issue. The company announced during weigh-ins that Hailey Cowan was out of her fight against Ailin Perez due to illness. That leaves us with eleven total fights for Saturday’s event with the two late cancellations.
Be sure to check out my WagerWire Quick Preview for this event and check down below the picks for my favorite fighters and bets of the weekend. With that out of the way, let’s dive right in with the OddSmokerMMA Picks & Predictions for UFC Vegas 70:
Nurullo Aliev – Aliev is 8-0 and coming off a knockout win on DWCS to earn a contract with the promotion. He’ll be ten years younger in this matchup and will also have 2″ height and 4″ reach advantages in the fight. Alves is 20-11 with 15 stoppages and will be facing UFC newcomer Nurullo Aliev this weekend. Alves is 2-2 thus far in the UFC, but his losses have both have been to some heavy hitters. While Alves is extremely dangerous in his striking and submissions, he’s been stopped in 10 of his 11 losses. Aliev is 6-0 in his career without a finish, so I think he will be able to get his hand raised here with or without a stoppage over Alves.
Joe Solecki – Solecki is 12-3 with eight stoppages and seven of them coming via submission. He’s coming into this matchup having won four of his past five fights and will be facing UFC newcomer Carl Deaton III. Deaton is 17-5 with 12 stoppages (nine submissions) and he’s been stopped in two of his five losses. Solecki will have 3″ height and reach advantages and is the better fighter everywhere, not to mention the difference in the levels of competition they have faced. Solecki is the second biggest betting favorite on this card and justifying so in my opinion. I think Solecki will be able to get this done either by decision or a late submission.
Charles Johnson – Johnson is 13-3 with nine stoppages and stepping in to face Ode Osbourne on short notice at a catchweight. Johnson is 2-1 in the UFC thus far and is coming of a KO/TKO win over Jimmy Flick last month. Osbourne is 11-5 with nine wins via stoppage and is coming off a nasty knockout in his last fight. Both of these fighters are very dangerous strikers, and neither is particularly strong with their grappling. I expect this one to stay on the feet, where I think Johnson will be able to land the bigger, harder shots throughout this fight. Osbourne has been stopped in four of his five losses, so I expect Johnson to win either via knockout or potentially via decision since he is on short notice and not on a full camp.
Jordan Leavitt – Leavitt is 10-2 in his career with seven stoppages and is coming off a loss to Paddy Pimblett in his most recent fight. Victor Martinez is 13-3 with eight wins via KO/TKO and is making his UFC debut. Leavitt has decent striking skills and is a very dangerous submission threat on the ground. Martinez has won seven consecutive fights heading into one. While Martinez has the power to find a finish, Leavitt has shown a pretty solid chin thus far in his career and has never been knocked out. I think this fight will favor Leavitt as it progresses and that he will likely be able to find a submission at some point in this fight.
Gabriella Fernandes – Fernandes is 8-1 with five stoppages and will be making her UFC debut on short notice against Jasmine Jasudavicious this weekend. Jasudavicious is 7-2 and coming into this fight off a loss. Fernandes is coming into this fight on a seven-fight winning streak, with the last three coming in LFA. Fernandes seems to be the better all-around fighter in this matchup and even on short notice I think she will be able to get this one done on the judge’s scorecards in a decision win.
Trevor Peek – Peek is 7-0 with a 100% knockout rate and will be making his UFC debut after an impressive performance on Dana White’s Contenders Series. He’ll be facing Erick Gonzalez, who is 14-7 in his career with nine stoppages, but has gone 0-2 in the UFC thus far while being stopped in both fights. Peek displayed his ability to not only put people with his power in his most recent fight, but he also showed his ability to eat strikes and keep going. Peek has double the striking volume and a clear power advantage in my opinion. I expect Peek to put this away via KO/TKO sometime in one of the first two rounds. Gonzalaz has been stopped four times in the first two rounds during his career.
Mike Malott – Malott is 8-1-1 and has a 100% stoppage rate in his victories. All nine of his fights other than the draw have ended inside of the first round. He’s 2-0 in DWCS/UFC fights and absolutely nuked Mickey Gall in his most recent fight. He’ll be facing Yohan Lainesse in this fight. Lainesse is 9-1 with six wins via KO/TKO and was knocked out in his UFC debut after gassing out early in the second round. Both of these fights are very dangerous; however, Mallot is the much more well-rounded fighter in my opinion. While Lainesse might be able to extend this one out of the first round, I still expect Malott to pick up the win via stoppage.
Tatiana Suarez – Suarez is 9-0 with six stoppages and making her long-awaited return to the octagon after an injury-riddled layoff that has lasted over three and a half years. She’ll be facing 12-7-1 Montana De La Rosa in this matchup. De La Rosa is a dangerous submission threat, but she isn’t great on the feet. That may be an issue here against Suarez, who has 100% takedown defense thus far in the UFC and also sports a striking differential that’s better than 3:1 in her favor. De La Rosa might make this competitive early, but once Suarez settles in, I think will clearly be the better fighter in this matchup. Suarez is the biggest betting favorite of the card and justifiably so. I expect her to get this one done via stoppage sometime in the second or third round.
Augusto Sakai – Sakai is 15-5-1 with 11 wins via KO/TKO and he’ll be looking to bounce back from a brutal four-fight losing streak when he faces Don’Tale Mayes this weekend. Mayes is 9-4 with six stoppages and coming off a No Contest (Mayes lost a decision, but it was overturned due to opponent suspension). Although Sakai is coming into this one on a losing streak, his loses were to some of the top fighters in the division and ones who are levels above Mayes. I expect both fighters to be a little cautious early on, but Sakai should land the bigger and more damaging shots in this one. I like Sakai to get back in the win column via a late KO/TKO or decision win.
Andre Muniz – Muniz is 23-4 with 19 stoppages and 15 of them coming via submission. He’s 7-0 in DWCS/UFC fights and will be facing 20-5 Brendan Allen this weekend. Allen is a dangerous fighter in his own right, with 16 stoppages and eleven of them by submission. Allen has won three in a row and five of his last six overall. He will be the taller fighter by 1″, however, Muniz will have a 3″ advantage in reach. Allen is 10-0 in the first round, so I expect the first five minutes to be competitive. However, I think Muniz will be able to catch Allen at some point in the latter rounds of this fight and get him out of there via submission.
Ryan Spann – Spann is 21-7 with 18 wins via stoppage and 12 of them coming via submission. He’ll be facing 29-9 Nikita Krylov in the main event of this card. Krylov is equally as dangerous, with 26 of his wins coming by stoppage and 15 of them by submission. Definitely expecting this one to be over with relatively quick, as both fighters are also prone to being finished themselves. Spann will have the 2″ height and 1.5″ reach advantages here. Both fighters are 3-2 in their last five, however, Spann is 11-2 in his last 13 fights and 7-2 in the UFC. Krylov has gone 10-7 in the promotion so far. Spann claimed after his most recent victory that he was finally taking his training seriously, and it’s hard to doubt after his last couple of performances. I think Spann will be able to land the harder shots in this one and will likely pick the win via club and sub. Krylov has been submitted in six of his nine losses.
My four favorite fighters to get the job done on this card are Tatiana Suarez, Andre Muniz, Ryan Spann and Trevor Peek. I also really like Joe Solecki and Mike Malott in their matchups on this card. I’m including my WagerWire parlay of the week, which consists of Suarez Inside the Distance, Muniz by submission, and Spann ML. If you would like to get a head start on UFC 285 next weekend, I would also recommend adding Jon Jones to any plays that you would like to carry over between the two events. Adding Jones ML to the parlay below brings the odds to around +1900 for four legs.
As always, for the “safer” alternative to this parlay, consider running each bet separately or tuning things back (ML or Double Chance for Muniz or Under 2.5 rounds for Spann/Krylov, etc). Trevor Peek ML and Peek by KO/TKO are my next favorite bets.
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