Kamaru Usman by TKO (+335)
Usman’s hands have improved under the tutelage of Trevor Wittman and I believe we saw some of those improvements in his previous fight with Gilbert Burns. This is pretty much a money grab for Usman as the first fight last summer did very good PPV numbers and Usman handidly defeated Masvidal by a unanimous decision. Masvidal is not the only one who dealt with the short notice because Usman did too, switching opponents is not an easy task last minute and I think the better preparation and steady improvement in his stand-up helps Usman even more. Usman may want to make a bigger statement here in this rematch and while the price shows that possibility, I don’t see the harm in throwing a dart in this finishing possibility. This is just a small value play and I would not be surprised at all if Usman wins another unanimous decision here in even more dominant fashion
Weili Zhang wins by Decision (+170)
This is a great stylistic matchup for both fighters in terms of a standup affair. I think Namajunas has the better striking and she sits behind a very tough jab as well. I’m curious to see how Zhang deals with the jabs and combos from Namajunas as she struggled with Joanna’s combos the later the fight progressed. Namajunas also has to deal with the power and strength of Zhang. The conditioning battle comes down to who can set their pace first and maintain that pace. I ultimately have to side with the champion here as I think her power and speed should give Namajunas issues throughout the fight and I expect her to control the distance and find success in the clinch work.
Valentina Shevchenko wins by Unanimous Decision (+205)
Shevchenko can cruise to a relatively easy decision here with no issues I expect. Joanna laid out the blueprint several years ago on the best way to beat Andrade which is just circling around, avoiding her power, and picking her apart. Andrade is constantly moving forward and throwing with full effort in trying to land bombs to knock out her opponents. Shevchenko is very quick on her feet, excellent at countering, and could mix in takedowns if she wishes to keep Andrade guessing. Shevchenko could catch Andrade with a counter and hurt her as she is swinging wildly. But I am leaning that Shevchenko just picks her apart through an easy decision victory.
Uriah Hall wins by TKO (+225)
It is very easy to see how much of a declined fighter Weidman has become. His brightest days are far behind him and he probably should have retired off his last win, which in many viewers’ eyes was quite possibly his worst performance ever. This is simply a huge fade on Weidman as he struggled against Akhmedov and his cardio has diminished so much. He is clearly a shell of himself and I cannot see him taking the power shots from Hall and surviving to a decision. I’m picking Hall by (T)KO here as it has some pretty good value behind it. If Hall can avoid the early takedowns and break down Weidman then it is his fight to lose. I expect Weidman to start gassing already by the end of the first round and that just helps Hall’s efforts to keep it on the feet and try to score a knockout victory.
Thanks for reading and best of luck!