After going only 6-5 last weekend at UFC Vegas 38, is my hot streak still officially alive? Sure, why not – after all, I got more right than wrong, right (don’t ask me if I won or lost money, though)?! But I plan on doing better this week at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Rodriguez (aka UFC Vegas 39). Promise, cross my heart.
It’s not the most enticing of fight cards this weekend, one in a line of not stellar (at least on paper) Fight Night events the UFC are putting on this month. The main event is a worthy main offering, but the rest of the card is a little lacking in star power. But will that affect our ability to win some money this week? Hell no!
Grappling Wizard v Jiu-Jitsu Expert in the Main Event
The main event is a women’s strawweight fight that could act as a #1 contender fight between Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez. Both women have only lost one fight in their pro careers, with Dern going 6-1 in the UFC and winning four straight, while Rodriguez is 4-1-2 in the UFC and has won two straight. With Dern ranked #4 in the UFC’s official women’s strawweight rankings, and Rodriguez sixth, a strong performance by either woman on Saturday could have them calling out ‘I got next’ for a UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship fight.
This fight comes down to whether the grappling wizard Dern can get Rodriguez down and submit her. While she’s an elite jiu-jitsu practitioner, Dern’s takedown wrestling leaves a lot to be desired, as she only lands 10% of her attempts. Plus, Rodriguez has never been stopped in a fight, let alone submitted. I’m betting on Rodriguez to be able to keep this fight a striking battle, where she is the superior fighter. Let’s get some underdog money right out of the gate – Rodriguez at 7/5 is the pick.
Easy Fight to Pick in the Co-Main Event
The co-main event is a much easier fight to pick, as welterweight ‘Rude Boy’ Randy Brown is a far superior fighter than Jared ‘Nite Train’ Gooden. In fact, Gooden surely was very close to being released from the organization before he won his last fight, moving his UFC record to 1-2. There will be no such luck this week for him, as Brown can best him on the feet or on the ground on Saturday. Brown at 5/13 is the bet to make.
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There is only one other underdog, outside of Marina Rodriguez, that I’m liking on this card. Underdogs haven’t been doing so well the past few weeks, plus this is only a 10-fight lineup, so picking only two dogs isn’t the end of the world (I hope). For my second plus money pick, I’m backing Charles ‘Boston Strong’ Rosa at 29/20 in his featherweight fight against Damon Jackson. Both men are very strong grapplers, but Jackson especially relies on it to win fights – 14 of his 18 pro wins come via submission. So, more often than not, when two strong grapplers meet up, we end up seeing a striking battle. And Rosa has better striking stats than Jackson and lands more strikes. I think he’s worth a gamble for a nice plus money payoff.
My lock pick of the week is the aforementioned Randy Brown over Jared Gooden. I’m also liking Chris ‘El Guapo’ Gutierrez at 20/57 in his bantamweight fight against Felipe Colares. This comes down to striking once again, as Gutierrez is the better plus more active striker of the two men. Plus, he’s gone 4-0-1 over his last five fights. I think he’s worthy of the “lock” designation as well this week.
*All odds correct at time of writing