Dana White’s Contender Series 35 takes place on Tuesday, November 17 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the betting odds for the event, and MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a look at the opening odds below.
Opening Odds For Dana White’s Contender Series 36
Nick Maximov -275
Oscar Cota +215
JP Buys -260
Jacob Silva +200
Pauline Macias -150
Gloria de Paula +120
Sherrard Blackledge -200
Tucker Lutz +160
Chelsea Hackett -205
Victoria Leonardo +165
Here are my initial thoughts on the Opening Odds For Dana White’s Contender Series 36:
- At heavyweight, we have Nick Maximov (5-0) against Oscar Cota (11-2). The 22-year-old Maximov has won all five of his pro fights by stoppage since making his pro debut in 2019. As for Cota, the 36-year-old Mexican is a 10-year veteran of the sport and he has fought a few notable names along the way for promotions such as Combate. However, he was submitted just two fights again against Jay Silva in Golden Boy MMA. Against a guy like Maximov who knows how to finish the fight on the ground that could be serious trouble. I like Maximov a lot in this spot. Although he’s not as experienced, I believe he will finish this fight on the ground.
- At middleweight, we have JP Buys (8-2) against Jacob Silva (6-3). The 24-year-old Buys is a South Africa native who is a veteran of LFA and EFC and he riding a four-fight win streak into this bout. All eight of his pro wins have come by stoppage. His wife, Cheyanne Buys, recently signed with the UFC after winning on Contender Series. As for Silva, the 32-year-old American had a six-fight winning streak snapped in the summer with a loss on Contender Series. However, he put on a good showing and got invited back. I think this looks like a matchup that Buys should get his hand raised in, but Silva having that recent fight helps.
- At women’s strawweight, Pauline Macias (4-0) takes on Gloria de Paula (4-2). The American Macias has won all four of her pro bouts. As for de Paula, the 25-year-old Brazilian is just 4-2. She did win her last fight, but it was over a year ago. My lean is to Macias to win a decision.
- At lightweight, Sherrard Blackledge (5-0) and Tucker Lutz (10-1) both fight again after winning their Contender Series fights over the summer but being passed over for a deal. The 27-year-old Blackledge impressed in a decision win over Cameron Church, while the 26-year-old Lutz has won his last 10 fights in a row including a decision win over Chase Gibson on Contender Series. I think Lutz is being undervalued here and I think this spot is a dog-or-pass situation.
- Finally, Chelsea Hackett (3-0-1) takes on Victoria Leonardo (7-2) at women’s flyweight. The 21-year-old Hackett has won her last three fights after the young Aussie opened her career with a draw. As for Leonardo, the American is far more experienced with fights in Bellator and Invicta FC against better competition, but not a ton of success. Notably, she has been knocked out before and I think the UFC is setting up Hackett here to get a knockout win.