We’re on the heels of UFC Vegas 11 where we saw Colby Covington put on a dominant performance over Tyron Woodley. This week at UFC 253, we’ve got two titles up for grabs. We’ll see a new Light-Heavyweight Champion be crowned as Dominick Reyes takes on Jan Blachowicz. In the main event, someone’s “O” has to go to as Israel Adesanya will be defending his Middleweight strap against a surging Paulo Costa.
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.
Let’s jump into it!
Shane Young (-125) vs Ludovit Klein (+105)
Shane Young is seeking his 3rd UFC victory and Ludovit Klein is stepping in on short-notice to replace Nate Landwehr.
This fight really comes down to if Young can cut off the cage and keep his output high against a guy like Klein? Klein has very good range management, which allows him to really set the tempo of his fights. If Young can’t close that distance effectively, I see him getting picked apart from the outside. Important to note, Young’s striking defense isn’t the best which is why I’m putting a lot of emphasis on the “effective” nature above. But if he can, Young probably wins this fight on volume.
I feel the line is correct with a slight lean to Young. Where I think Klein is actually the technically more proficient fighter, I have a few concerns as to why I’m not backing him or giving him better odds. First, his strength of competition hasn’t been the best and he’s taking this fight on short-notice. I’m always very hesitant to back short-notice fighters in this climate, stylistics aside, because if their cardio isn’t on point, it could negate some of the fighter’s better attributes. Ultimately, if you got in on the early line on Klein around 40% indication, that was probably the play here.
I would sit back, watch this one and assess Klein’s game.
Zubaira Tukhugov is seeking his 5th win in the UFC and Hakeem Dawodu is looking to extend his winning streak to 5.
This is a super intriguing matchup as both guys present styles that could pose issue for one another. The looming question in this fight for me is how does Dawodu deal with the wrestling of Tukhugov? I think it’s fair to say that this is the best wrestler that Dawodu has ever faced as well. We saw Bochniak get in on his hips pretty easily despite Dawodu never getting controlled for any extensive periods of time. So, in this spot, if he is taken down, how quickly can he work back to his feet? On the flip side, Tukhugov is pretty low-volume and I really value the striking prowess of Dawodu. If Tukhugov isn’t able to have the wrestling success, I like Dawodu to out-strike him over the course of 15 minutes.
The pick em line is correct here in my estimation, as the fight really just comes down to who can get off on their game. I somewhat understand the Tukhugov action given the wrestling component of this fight but even then, he’s found himself in a lot of close fights historically. If your backing Dawodu, I think you’re making a pretty big assumption that’ll he’ll be able to stay upright for extended periods of time. With there being looming questions going into this bout, I would need at least +122 for bet consideration on either fighter.
I’d save your money here and assess the TDD game of Dawodu to get more questions answered going forward.
Kai Kara-France (-240) vs Brandon Royval (+200)
Kai Kara-France is looking to put together back to back wins and Brandon Royval is seeking his second UFC win.
From a stylistic standpoint, this is a very winnable fight for Kara-France. He’s shown solid TDD and is the better striker in this spot. Royval is a guy who will throw caution to the wind on the feet as he’s fine with being taken down. Really where Royval has had the most success has been on the ground with his scrambling and BJJ pedigree. But in this spot, I don’t see Royval having much success in the grappling as I don’t think he’ll be able to get the fight down (or keep it there). With that, we should largely see a striking affair. In that, Kai should win this fight as he’s the better striker and Royval leaves himself very open when coming forward.
I feel line is a bit high on Kai but there isn’t enough value to take the dog shot on Royval. However, Kai has consistently shown to accept the back foot which can look optically poor in the eyes of the judges. In this matchup, that has to be taken into consideration against a guy in Royval who I assume who will come forward pretty aggressively. But, the kicker is as noted above, Royval’s striking defense is poor and that right hand of Kai is going to be there all day. Kai hasn’t KO’d anyone in the UFC but does back a punch for the division. I largely attribute his lack of finishes to the durability of his past opponents but KO from him is very live in this spot.
Ultimately, I can’t advocate a Royval bet because Kara-France’s game limits the main core competency of Royval’s game (the ground). If you’re backing Royval, you’re hoping he beats Kara-France at his own game – not a ledge I want to step out on.
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