Dana White’s Contender Series takes place Tuesday, August 20 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the full card, and here they are.
Dana White’s Contender Series 25 Opening Odds
Leon Shahbazyan -150
Philip Rowe +110
Jamal Pogues -125
Marcos Brigagao -115
Desmond Torres -175
Steve Garcia +135
Mallory Martin -350
Micol DiSengi +250
Ricky Steele -200
Phil Caracappa +150
And here are my initial thoughts on the Dana White’s Contender Series 25 Opening Odds:
- The main event is a battle of welterweight prospects as Shahbazyan (7-1) takes on Rowe (6-2). The 23-year-old Shahbazyan has finished all of his pro fights since making his debut in 2016, and has only lost once in his career. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak. It’s worth noting his younger brother Edmen is already in the UFC and doing great things in the middleweight division. His opponent is the 29-year-old Rowe, who has won six straight fights by stoppage after opening up his career with two consecutive losses. Both these guys finish their fights but Shahbazyan has the pedigree and I trust him more here. Give me Shahbazyan to win this fight by stoppage.
- It’s then a battle of light heavyweights as Pogues (6-2) takes on Brigagao (11-0). The The 23-year-old Pogues is a Bellator veteran who has five of his six pro wins by stoppage, including his last two wins. The 23-year-old Birgagao is undefeated since making his pro debut in 2017 with the majority of his wins coming by knockout. He’s actually fought three times already in 2019 with three knockout wins. It’s a light heavyweight bout so anything can happen but I lean towards Brigagao, especially as a small underdog.
- Next is a bantamweight bout between Torres (7-1) and Garcia (9-3). The 22-year-old Torres is a Bellator and LFA vet who has won his last five fights. The 27-year-old Garcia is also a Bellator vet who actually lost to Joe Warren back in 2017. He’s won his last two fights. I like the fact Garcia has all the experience in Bellator but Torres appears to be the better fighter and should find a way to win this fight.
- Next up is a women’s strawweight bout between Martin (4-2) and DiSengi (7-2). The 25-year-old Martin has won her last three fights by stoppage in LFA and Invicta. Her last loss came against Maycee Barber in 2017. The 31-year-old DiSengi is a Cage Warriors veteran but is only on a one-fight win streak. Martin has fought and beaten better competition and I like her quite a bit to get her hand raised here.
- And finally it’s a bantamweight bout between Steele (5-0) and Caracappa (8-0). The 31-year-old Steele was on TUF 27 and beat Suman Mokhtarian but was injured and couldn’t finish the show. He now returns after an 18-month layoff with a change to get in the UFC. The 27-year-old Caracappa is unbeaten in his MMA career with all of his pro bouts taking place in Ring of Combat. He has a notable win over Louis Gaudinot. This is the best fight on the card between two awesome prospects. I favor Steele very slightly but at dog money Caracappa could be worth a punt.