What a wild night UFC 261 turned out to be last Saturday night in Jacksonville, Florida. Crazy knockouts, a new champ crowned, two leg injuries – one extremely gruesome – and a wild crowd of 15,000+ in the stands. How is this week’s UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs Prochazka supposed to compete with all that?
More than likely it isn’t going to come close to being as memorable as UFC 261, but that has no bearing on it’s potential to being a profitable night for us. Oftentimes these less ballyhooed fight nights can allow for some betting lines for us to take advantage of. So, let’s get down to it.
Back the Czech Flying Monster for a KO Win
The main event pits former two-time light heavyweight title challenger Dominick Reyes against surging newcomer Jiri Prochazka. I’m all over Prochazka at
5/7 on the MansionBet board, and I think the number should be much higher than that for him (but hey – I’m not complaining). Many people feel that Reyes actually beat Jon Jones when the two met in February of 2020, which may explain why the betting line for this fight is so close. However, after the Jones loss Reyes went on to get TKO’d by Jan Blachowicz for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. And now he’s going up against another formidable striker in Prochazka.
‘Denisa’ has only fought once in the UFC, knocking out Volkan Oezdemir, but he has extensive experience outside of the organization, mostly in Japan, where he was the Rizin Light Heavyweight Champion (in Japan he was known as ‘Cheko no Kechō’ which translates to The Czech Flying Monster). He is a knockout machine, with 24 of his 27 pro wins coming via (T)KO. He enters this match on a 11-fight win streak, with 10 of those coming via various forms of knockouts.
Prochazka is also younger, has three inches of reach on Reyes, and is a more active striker. I think this all adds up to a Prochazka win, probably via knockout (you can get that currently over at MansionBet for
Big Man to Beat the Grizzled Vet
The co-main event matches grizzled veteran Cub Swanson against kickboxer turned MMA pro Giga Chikadze. After going 5-0 to begin his UFC career, this is the biggest fight yet for the former pro kickboxer (he’s 38-6 in that realm). While Swanson has seen a career resurgence of late, winning his last two fights, I don’t see him making it three straight come Saturday. Not only is Chikadze five years younger, but he’s much larger, having four inches of reach and four inches of height on Swanson. I see him taking advantage of this size discrepancy to dominate the striking battle. Chikadze at
8/15 is the pick.
I only found two underdogs I’m interested in on this 12-fight card, but the odds say there probably will be at least four that come through. I’m going with Jonathan Pearce at
8/5 for his featherweight battle against Gabriel Benitez. ‘JSP’ is taller and younger, as well as the more active striker and the superior grappler. Coming off a TKO win in his last UFC fight, I think he’s worth the roll of the dice at a number this favourable to our bank accounts.
The other live (hopefully) dog I’m backing is another featherweight fight, occurring immediately before the Pearce fight. In this one I’m riding with TJ Brown at
5/4 for his battle against Kai Kamaka III. Brown is the bigger man of the two, which tends to help, but more importantly he is the superior grappler and wrestler. I see him riding this to victory and scoring us a nice plus money win.
UFC Fight Night: Reyes v Prochazka will be shown on BT Sport 1 from 1am UK time (main card from 3am) on Sunday morning, May 2nd.
*All odds correct at time of writing.