UFC 263 was a successful event for my predictions, as I went 9-5 on the card, including hitting on three underdogs. Which brings us to this weekend’s UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs Ige, from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Inadvertently I ended up riding with quite a few live (hopefully) dogs on this card as well. So, without further ado, let’s get it on c’mon.
The main event is a featherweight clash between ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung and Dan Ige. This is a very hard fight to call, as the basically pick ‘em numbers on the board attest to (currently Jung is
21/20; Ige is
20/27). ‘Dynamite’ Dan is my pick due to his durability – he’s never been stopped in 18 pro MMA fights, despite going up against powerful strikers in the past (and taking more than his fair share of abuse at their hands and feet). He’s also won seven of his last eight, including his last fight via knockout, and has superior striking stats to his Korean counterpart. Additionally, Jung is coming off a loss in his last fight in which he didn’t look to be the fighter he used to be, so I’m counting on the wear and tear of his career slowing him down a bit in this fight.
Boa Constrictor v Polar Bear
The co-main event pits two big heavyweights in Aleksei Oleinik and Sergey Spivak – ‘The Boa Constrictor’ vs the ‘Polar Bear’. Considering Spivak is 18 years the soon-to-be 44-year-old Oleinik’s junior, he’s the obvious pick here for me at
2/5. He’s also on a nice two-fight win streak and is the superior striker.
For my lock I’m also going against a grizzled veteran and fading Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown. His opponent on Saturday, Dhiego Lima, is eight years younger than him and has won three of his last four UFC fights. He’s my pick at 20/39.
Juicy Money Underdogs
Ok, now for what you’ve been waiting for – the juicy plus money underdogs. I’ve got the dog in half of the 12 fights on Saturday’s lineup – much higher than the average of about four underdogs you’d expect on a card this size. But if we can hit on a few of them it’ll more than make up for whiffing on some others.
Let’s start with a sizable dog in Davey Grant at
33/20 for his bantamweight fight against Marlon Vera. ‘Dangerous’ Davey has lived up to his moniker as of late, winning three straight fights, the last two via knockout. He also bested Vera five years ago and has seemed to improve considerably since then.
‘Juicy J’ Julian Erosa is
5/4 on the board going up against Seung Woo Choi in a featherweight contest. Erosa is the better striker in this one and has shown a new recklessness in the cage his past few fights, which has resulted in him finishing off his opponents.
Jedi to Use The Force
Two of the best grapplers in the UFC go head-to-head in a women’s strawweight battle on the prelims. I’m backing the
11/10 underdog Kanato Murata against Virna Jandiroba. She won her UFC debut as part of her current eight fight winning streak and was a national champion in judo and freestyle wrestling in her native Japan, so she’s well prepared for this fight.
Next, in what could be a Fight of the Night, I’m taking Matthew Semelsberger at
5/4 against Khaos Williams. ‘Semi the Jedi’ has won five straight fights, the last via knockout, and has the superior striking and grappling stats in this matchup.
Finally, I like Rick Glenn at
21/20 over Joaquim Silva and, in the opener, Casey O’Neill at
5/4 over Lara Procopio.
*All odds correct at time of writing.