The UFC bids adieu to this dumpster fire of a year with one final event this Saturday at their UFC APEX gym. Originally named UFC Fight Night: Edwards vs Chimaev, COVID has changed it to UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Neal (both Leon Edwards and Khamzat Chimaev got the virus). Luckily for the UFC, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs Geoff ‘Handz of Steel’ Neal is a very worthy main event fight.
Wonderboy seems to be the gatekeeper to the top of the UFC’s 170-pound division – if you can get past him, you can join the elite. So that will be the task bestowed upon Neal this Saturday night. And I think he’s up to the job. Neal, currently a slight
4/5 betting favourite on the MansionBet board, has quite a few of my key factors in his favour in this fight. He’s got the striking and grappling statistical advantage, which is a huge key to picking a winner, especially the striking one. He’s also seven years younger than Wonderboy, and has won an amazing seven straight, including five in the UFC, four of them coming via finishes.
Jose Aldo vs Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera
The co-main event sees the featherweight G.O.A.T. Jose Aldo take another kick at the can at bantamweight. He’s 0-2 at 135 pounds, 0-3 in his last three fights when you include his last 145-pound bout (he hasn’t won a fight since February 2019). I’m counting on it being four straight losses after Saturday night. His opponent, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, is six years Aldo’s junior (his full name is Jose Aldo Junior, so Chita is Junior’s junior), which is a big advantage. He’s also won four of his last five, has never been finished in a pro fight, and is a finishing machine himself (six knockouts and eight submissions in 16 wins). I’ll gladly take the underdog Vera at
6/5 over the weathered veteran.
This is actually going to be a boom or bust weekend for me, as I find myself favouring quite a few underdogs on this card. Many of them are very slight dogs, as the number of fights with close odds for Saturday are currently an exceptionally large group. So, let’s get down to it and win some sweet plus money.
Boom or Bust: Underdog Betting Tips
Rob Font has always lost when he’s faced a step up in competition, which Saturday’s opponent Marlon Moraes surely is. But I’m betting against history here and taking the
6/5 live dog. Font is two inches taller and has four inches of reach on his Brazilian opponent, has won two straight, and has the striking and grappling stats in his column. Sounds good to me.
Alex Morono, at
7/4, will be going up against the legend Anthony Pettis in a welterweight clash at the APEX. But I’m riding with him as the underdog. He’s younger, slightly bigger, and has won four of his last five. Pettis has only won two of his last five and seems to not know what weight class he should be fighting in (he’s fought in featherweight, lightweight and welterweight since 2016).
Pannie Kianzad is at
13/10 in her women’s bantamweight bout with Sijara Eubanks. This despite Eubanks being a pedestrian 6-5 as a pro, and Kianzad winning her last two fights. It also helps that she’s the taller, younger fighter in this matchup as well.
While Taila Santos technically isn’t an underdog, she is a pick ‘em for her fight against Gillian Robertson (both women are currently at
20/23). Santos has crazy knockout power (10 knockouts in 16 pro wins) and has good enough grappling to fend off the submission master that Robertson is (I hope, at least).
*All odds correct at time of writing.