UFC Vegas 36: Brunson vs Till Preview

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Our UFC tipster Jeff Fox is on a hot streak, and now he is looking forward to this weekend's UFC action with some more winning picks.

Derek Brunson celebrates a UFC victory in Brazil in 2017.

The UFC is, for once, going for quality over quantity this week and are putting on a very solid ten-fight Fight Night card (instead of their typical so-so 12-15 fight affairs). This is one of the best cards (on paper) they’ve put on for awhile, headlined by a crucial top middleweight contender fight.

Perhaps more importantly, I am officially on a heater as of now, having gone 16-8 over the past two UFC cards, and 23-14 over the past three. Happy days. So why don’t you tag along with my picks this week and we’ll all make some money together?

Brunson v Till the Main Event

For the main event we have streaking veteran Derek Brunson versus one-time UFC Welterweight Championship challenger Darren Till. Despite being 37 years young, Brunson is putting together probably the best run of his career, winning four straight and six of eight. Till, meanwhile, is going in the opposite direction, only winning one of his last four and has been out of the cage since July of 2020.

One thing to note is both guys have only lost to the creme de la creme in the UFC, mostly all to former champions. Nothing but quality losses on both of their resumes. So, who is taking another quality L this Saturday? I’m thinking it’ll be Till. The only thing I really think he has going for him in this matchup is his youth (eight years younger) and his power. But I think Brunson will ride his smothering, overpowering wrestling (and his dangerous striking as well) to a victory here and put himself one step closer to his first shot at UFC gold. The underdog Brunson at 29/20 is the pick. Plus money right out of the chute!

Aspinall to Finish Spivak

The co-main event is a hastily arranged heavyweight affair between Tom Aspinall and short notice replacement Sergey ‘The Polar Bear’ Spivak. Short replacement fighters have only won 40% of the time since I started tracking this at the starting of 2020, so that’s to Spivak’s detriment. Plus, Aspinall appears to be a real player in the UFC heavyweight division, having gone a perfect 3-0 thus far, all finishes (in fact all 10 of his pro fights have come via finish). Aspinall at 20/57 is the pick here, and if you want to get cute, take Aspinall via (T)KO at 10/11. All he does is finish, after all.

Besides Brunson there are a few other underdogs I like on Saturday’s card. With a ten-fight lineup, statistically we can expect around three to four underdogs to come through. Molly McCann at 10/11 is technically an underdog in her women’s flyweight fight against Ji Yeon Kim (5/6). Kim struggles against wrestlers, and while McCann may be known more as a striker, she has a very underrated grappling game. I think the Liverpudlian is worth a splash of money.

Lock of the Week

Finally, I’m going to go against a fellow Canadian and bet Julian Erosa to beat Charles Jourdain. Erosa is the bigger man (four inches taller, five inches of reach), the more active striker, and the better grappler of the two men. While he is taking this fight on short notice, he has a wild, pressuring style that I think can overwhelm Jourdain and get himself a win on Saturday. If so, we’ll be cashing a 6/4 ticket on him.

For my lock of the week, I’m backing Modestas Bukauskas at 10/17 in his light heavyweight clash against veteran Khalil Rountree Jr. ‘The Baltic Gladiator’ came into the UFC with a lot of hype behind him but has dropped his last two fights after winning his debut. However, he is bigger and younger than Rountree and I think he can overpower him in this fight.

*Odds correct at time of writing

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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