The debut of the UFC’s “Fight Island” went down last weekend in Abu Dhabi without a hitch, and UFC 251 was also quite lucrative for my picks – overall I picked 6 from 6 in my MansionBet betting preview. The action continues this week with two UFC events – a rare midweek Wednesday night intoThursday morning (UK time) card, followed by the traditional Saturday night offering.
We’ll concentrate on Wednesday’s festivities first, UFC Fight Night 172: Kattar vs Ige, which is the weakest of the two cards (Saturday’s card will be headlined by a UFC Flyweight Championship fight). While the card lacks star power, especially with the co-main event of Pedro Munhoz and Frankie Edgar being postponed to a future event, it does possess quite a few betting underdogs that I have my eye on. So, let’s zero in on some live dogs for Wednesday.
‘Dog to Win in the Main Event
Look no further than the main event, pitting featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige against each other. While Kattar will have a slight size advantage and is the far harder hitter and better finisher, I’m thinking Ige is worth a look at
47/20*. Kattar gets hit more often than he dishes it out, so that is a positive in Ige’s favor, plus the Hawaiian will have the wrestling advantage. Kattar is very good at stuffing takedowns, but he isn’t impermeable, and I’m thinking Ige might be able to get him down a couple of times and eek out a victory. It might be worth a splash at those favourable odds.
Mr Wonderful to Upset the Odds
I’m also liking another featherweight underdog in Cody Stamann. ‘Mr Wonderful’ just fought last month, getting a victory over the always tough Brian Kelleher (and less than two weeks after the sudden death of his younger brother). He’s currently sitting at
11/10 for his Wednesday tilt against Jimmie Rivera. Rivera looked like a world beater upon his debut in the UFC, but has only gone 1-3 in his last four fights, including losing his last two. He could be ripe for the picking. Rivera is hard to take down, which is normally Stamann’s preferred path to victory, but Stamann’s fought tough wrestlers before and got the job done. Look for this one to go the full 15 minutes, as neither man tends to finish his opponent within the distance.
Fishgold v ‘Flash’ Gordon
I honestly didn’t realize this in advance, but my third underdog is yet another 145-pounder, Chris Fishgold. Fishgold faces Jared ‘Flash’ Gordon on Wednesday, in a bout where Gordon will be without his normal coaches and cornermen due to a positive COVID-19 result. That’s one advantage to Fishgold. The main advantage, however, is his superior wrestling – he lands almost five takedowns per 15 minutes of action, and looks for 1.5 submission during that time on the groudn. Gordon, on the other hand, is only successful fighting off takedowns 57% of the time. The Liverpudlian currently sits on the board at
23/20 to Gordon’s
5/8. That’s it, technically, for the underdogs, but there is one fighter on the board at basically a pick ‘em number that piques my interest.
‘Meatball’ to Make Minced Meat of Brazilian
‘Meatball’ Molly McCann, another Liverpudlian no less, is at
5/6 for her women’s flyweight fight against Taila Santos (
10/11). The Brazilian will have the size advantage (one inch of height and a whopping six inches of reach), but McCann will have the experience on her side. She was a champion in Cage Warriors, and is 3-1 in her nascent UFC career, winning her last three. Santos, meanwhile, dropped her only UFC fight. McCann should also be the superior wrestler and grappler, so if she can make this fight a ground one, she should come out on top.
*All odds correct at time of writing.