Three Not For Me: The Fights To Pass On for UFC 252

We’ve got a solid card on deck this weekend as UFC 252 is headlined by Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier.

First time reading this piece? I go through 3 fights on the upcoming UFC card that you should avoid from a betting perspective and the reasoning why. As bettors, we’re constantly looking to find our betting opportunities but identifying those spots to stay away are just as important.

**NOTE: The perspective being given in this article is from where current odds sit at the time writing. Also, my analysis in regards to passing on these fights is from a straight betting perspective. If you’re looking for sneaky props, be sure to check out some of the other content on MMA Oddsbreaker.


Virna Jandiroba (-320) vs Felice Herrig (+260)

Virna Jandiroba is looking to secure her second UFC win and Felice Herrig is making her return after missing the last two years due to a torn ACL.

This is a spot where Jandiroba should roll as I think she has Felice beat just about everywhere. Her striking is more technical, her offensive wrestling is solid and her BJJ is very strong. Here’s the issue though, Herrig’s a pretty tough girl who will come forward, throw in high volume and has been historically very difficult to finish (only finished once in her 8 pro losses). Now, despite Virna being better everywhere, her path to least resistance is in the grappling. Felice does have good TDD and Purple Belt in BJJ, but I do think there are levels to this and Virna can probably sub her if it gets there. But, if Virna decides to keep this fight upright or can’t get it to the ground, it could play closer than odds indicate.

I think the current line on Jandiroba is correct. She could come out here and look like –1000 and more than justify her price tag but that’s proven to be tough to do against Herrig, even in a win. With that, I can’t recommend a play on Jandiroba straight. I’ve also always thought that Herrig is somewhat undervalued. I don’t think she’ll ever be fighting for world titles but you know you’re getting a scrap when you step in with her. But I can’t advocate a dog shot on her here either, as it’s not a good matchup and I don’t know how she’ll look coming off of the layoff and injury.

Save your money here guys!

Herbert Burns (-290) vs Daniel Pineda (+245)

Herbert Burns is looking to extend his UFC win streak to three and Daniel Pineda is looking to play spoiler in his UFC re-debut.

There’s one big, burning question mark on this fight for me and it’s how does Pineda approach the fight? Burns is a high-level BJJ Black Belt and submission specialist to boot. Now, Pineda has been a Black Belt for a quite a few years now as well and largely looks to get fights down. So, does he want to play that game with Burns or how does he handle the ground if Burns takes him down? To Pineda’s credit, he’s pretty scrambly but I’m not sure he can scramble out of bad positions against a guy like Burns. I also didn’t think Burns would run through a guy like Evan Dunham on the ground as quickly as he did so as of right now, if fights hit the floor, I’m going to largely favor Burns. But, if Pineda is looking to avoid the grappling and keep the fight standing, the fight could play closer than odds indicate. Burns has looked shaky in the limited times the fights have remained standing and Pineda has power (KO’d Khabulaev, super tough Russian who was undefeated at the time). Burns should probably roll here but it’s tricky.

At current price, I don’t think there is value on either guy. I’ve always had an issue with laying such a chalky price on largely one-dimensional fighters, regardless of how talented they are in the individual discipline. I say that because if they can’t execute on that core competency, what then? I wouldn’t hate a play on Pineda straight but I think you’d be taking too much of a leap of faith.

I’d stay away.


Livinha Souza (-160) vs Ashley Yoder (+140)

Souza is looking to rebound after her first UFC loss and Ashley Yoder could be fighting for her job.

This fight is the epitome of the ‘Three Not For Me’ concept. I say that because I can see both girls having varying amounts of success in all areas of this fight. I do think Souza is the better fighter but despite her 13-2 pro record, she hasn’t looked great in her last two. She’s got more power than Yoder but Yoder is a longer girl who can keep a jab in opponents face and will throw in decent output. Souza’s been able to get TD’s but she’s largely a “one-trick pony”, in that all she really only has a trip from the body lock. Yoder’s a girl who doesn’t mind working off of her back but has shown decent TDD so if those TDs from Souza don’t come, we could be looking at 50/50 fight on the feet. On the ground, Yoder’s pretty scrambly as well so I’m not convinced Souza just gets her down and “insta-subs” her. I’m picking Souza but she’s got a lot of holes she needs to sure up in her game if she wants to compete at the top of the division.

As current odds sit, I think it’s slightly too high on Souza but one of those situations where there isn’t enough value to bet the dog. As touched on, Souza isn’t a girl I want to back right now, especially at chalk. In terms of Yoder, based on her style, she’s found herself in a lot of close fights and despite a BJJ base, she hasn’t submitted anyone since 2016. Similar to the Burns/Pineda fight, I think a bet on Yoder is just throwing your money up and hoping it lands on the right side.


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Written by Luke Lampe - Sparring with Reality Betting

Writer/Fight Connoisseur
Contributor @mmaoddsbreaker
UFC Betting Advice

Follow on Twitter: @SWR_Betting

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