UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs Gastelum Preview

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Our UFC betting expert is picking FIVE underdogs to win during this weekend's UFC Fight Night.

Jared Cannonier in UFC action in the ring.

The UFC octagon took a very rare week off last week, but it’s back under the bright lights in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas this Saturday once more. Unfortunately, it isn’t a very strong fight card, yet another weak offering from the UFC in a string of weak (on paper) fight cards. To make up for this, I’ll give you nothing but winning picks this week, ok?

Killa Gorilla Too Strong

The main event on Saturday is a middleweight clash between Jared Cannonier and Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier used to fight at heavyweight before he got his body into amazing shape, while Gastelum was a welterweight but couldn’t keep himself under 170 pounds so was forced up to middleweight. This is a long way of saying that Cannonier will be the bigger man here (two inches of height and six inches of reach) and should also be the physically stronger of the two.

Along with The Killa Gorilla’s size and strength advantage, he also is the better and more powerful striker of the two men. While Gastelum will be the better grappler, Cannonier should be able to negate that with his physical strength. Cannonier at 20/33 is the pick.

Olympian Going for Gold

I’ll take the chalk in the co main event as well, please and thank you. That would be Mark Madsen at 8/15 against Clay Guida in a lightweight battle. Madsen is nicknamed ‘The Olympian’ because he represented Denmark twice in the Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling, winning a silver medal in 2016. As a professional mixed martial artist, he’s gone a perfect 10-0, including 2-0 in the UFC octagon. I expect him to ride his wrestling to victory here against Guida, but it could be a tough battle as Guida still has plenty of fight left in him.

Perhaps the fight with the most consequences attached to it, outside of the main event, would be the fifth fight down on the card. It should be a de facto #1 contender fight in the flyweight division between Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval. I’ll ride with an underdog here at take Royval at 29/20. He fights like a madman in the cage and is a rare beast at 125 pounds – a finisher. He’s stopped 11 of his 12 pro victims, with three knockout and eight submission victories. He’s also the bigger and younger man in this matchup, so I think he’s worthy of our monetary investment.

Underdogs on the Undercard

Let’s identify some more live dogs, shall we. I like Parker Porter at 31/20 in his heavyweight tilt against Chase Sherman. Anything can happen in a big boy battle, so getting a number that favourable is fantastic. Porter has the striking plus the grappling to beat the inconsistent Sherman.

Domingo Pilarte is a 7/5 underdog heading into his bantamweight fight against Brian Kelleher. Despite Kelleher fighting at 145 pounds in the past, Pilarte will be the bigger man here, with a whopping six inches of height and seven inches of reach over ‘Bam’. He’s also four years younger plus a very good grappler, so I’ll ride with him in this one.

Finally, in the second fight of the night, let’s take Ignacio Bahamondes at 6/5 against Roosevelt Roberts. Bahamondes checks a lot of boxes for an underdog for me: bigger, younger, and a much more active striker than Roberts. Let’s sprinkle a bit of dough on him.

How about a prop bet to round things out? In the curtain jerker, take Ramiz Brahimaj to beat Sasha Palitnikov via submission at 9/5. All eight of Brahimaj’s pro wins have come via submission, while Palitnikov just lost his last fight via sub.

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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