UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises Preview

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MMA expert Jeff Fox brings us his top pick for UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises (aka UFC Vegas 31)

Islam Makhachev

After the chaos and excitement that comes with a Conor McGregor octagon appearance, the UFC was bound to suffer a letdown this weekend. But, even taking this into account, UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Moises (aka UFC Vegas 31) is quite a lackluster fight card. Losing the original main event of Cory Sandhagen vs T.J. Dillashaw surely didn’t help matters.

But if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – the quality of a fight card doesn’t have to affect our ability to make money on it. So, I’ve got nothing but winning picks for you for this weekend’s event, promise, cross my heart.

Islam Makhachev vs Thiago Moises

Saturday’s makeshift main event is a lightweight affair between Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises. Makhachev has the makings of a future UFC champion, having won seven straight fights and eight of his nine battles in the big show. His grappling is at an elite level, plus he’s got the striking stats in his favour in this fight against Moises. While Moises is a very solid 4-2 in the UFC, 15-4 overall, and has never been finished in a fight, he’s in over his head this weekend. Makhachev at 2/17 is the pick.

Miesha Tate vs Marion Reneau

The co main event sees the return of MMA icon and former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate. In her five years away from the UFC she’s had two kids and worked in a corporate role for ONE Championship. Now, still with the competitive itch, she returns to the UFC as an almost 35-year-old mommy. Yet, she still is a massive nine years younger than Saturday’s foe, Marion Reneau.

Assuming Tate’s skills haven’t drastically deteriorated in her time on the sidelines, she should win this fight. Her grappling is too strong for Reneau in what is to be her retirement fight. Tate at 5/7 is the bet to make.

Billy Quarantillo vs Gabriel Benitez

As per usual, I’ve got a few underdogs for you, but I did find this card quite chalky while making my picks for each fight. Let’s start with Billy Quarantillo at 13/10 in his featherweight fight against Gabriel Benitez. Benitez has struggled mightily to make the 145-pound featherweight limit, so he’s fought at lightweight for his past couple fights. Billy Q is also a more active striker and a better grappler. I think these factors make him a live dog for us.

Sergey Morozov vs Khalid Taha

My other underdog pick is down a weight class at bantamweight. Sergey Morozov dropped his UFC debut, but he entered the UFC as a highly decorated fighter, being a champion in M-1 in Europe. He’s also a very strong wrestler and grappler, which has been Saturday’s opponent, Khalid Taha’s, kryptonite. Morozov at 5/4 seems like a solid betting investment to me.

Miles Johns vs Anderson dos Santos

How about a ‘lock’ now (like there is such a thing in gambling)? I’m staying with the bantamweight division for it and taking one of the division’s brightest young prospects, Miles Johns 8/15. The one known as ‘Chapo’ is a sparkling 11-1 (2-1 in the UFC) as a pro and is coming off a knockout win in his last fight. Fighting out of the highly respected Fortis MMA camp in Dallas, Texas, Johns is nine years younger than his foe this weekend, Anderson dos Santos. Johns is also a better and more active striker than ‘Berinja’, who is a not so stellar 1-2 in the UFC.

Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stoltzfus

My MMA Gambling Podcast co-host Daniel Vreeland likes Rodolfo Vieira as his lock, for what it’s worth, at 5/12 for his fight against Dustin Stoltzfus at middleweight. The elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner gassed out badly in his last fight and got tapped out, but we’re not counting on that happening against Stoltzfus.

Jeff Fox offers expert insight into the world of MMA & UFC betting from his years of experience in the industry. His work has appeared in publications such as SI.com, St Louis Post-Dispatch, SLAM, Fighters Only Magazine & FIGHT!, among many others. Jeff shares his UFC betting tips with MansionBet readers on a weekly basis.

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