The UFC heads back to Dallas this Saturday and while it may not be their best Texas card there are some good matchups to tune in and watch. The co-main event features TUF Alum and current women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano looking to successfully defend her title for the first time against Valentina Shevchenko, one of the most talented female fighters in the sport today. As for the main event, Darren Till hopes to begin his own legacy as he plans to knock the head off the shoulders of current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who has held the title for over two years.
Below are several props I feel have great value and a better probability of hitting than the line they are set at.
Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till
This fight is one of the toughest to predict in quite some time. Woodley isn’t the most active in-ring fighter and certainly doesn’t take risks like he used to in wanting to score the knockout. On the other hand, Till is a fighter on the rise and has his first UFC championship fight at the very young age of 25. If Woodley fights as smart as Till says he does, Woodley should no doubt look to incorporate a ton of wrestling into his game plan to lock up a win. If Woodley doesn’t do that then it could possibly be a boring striking fest with both afraid to throw in fear of being knocked out. I won’t rule out a Woodley knockout win, but it just doesn’t seem likely as it would for Till as if he wants to beat the champ a victory by (T)KO may be his best path. This just comes down to personal preference in my opinion as these two props are probably the best way for each fighter to win.
Props: Woodley by Decision (+275) OR Till by TKO (+175)
Nicco Montano vs. Valentina Shevchenko (Fight cancelled)
Just about everyone is predicting a lopsided victory here for Shevchenko this weekend and that is well justified. Shevchenko should win here in easy fashion but, how she decides to win is totally her call. While showing in several fights that she isn’t very active, Shevchenko can prove a point on the PPV stage by making an example of Montano in the co-main event. I can see her picking Montano apart on the feet en-route to a decision or even TKOing her due to an accumulation of unanswered strikes, but I’m choosing to pick Shevchenko by submission here. Shevchenko has plentiful submissions on her record as she is very underrated on the ground. Her submission victory over Pena last year was very surprising and her choke over Cachoeira earlier this year wasn’t anything too shocking but put faith back into her aggression and willfulness to win in dominant fashion. I have no doubts Shevchenko can take Montano to the mat and lock in an easy submission as Montano isn’t anywhere near her skill level on the ground. I think the safer way to bet this fight is to take the fight to NOT go the distance and maybe play small on the Shevchenko submission prop if you choose to do so.
Prop: Fight does NOT go to decision (-170) and/OR Valentina Shevchenko wins by Submission (+260)
Jessica Andrade vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
Now that there is a new champion in the division, Andrade would love to get another crack at the title. She has a chance to make it a three-fight winning streak by knocking off Kowalkiewicz this weekend. Kowalkiewicz is a very good fighter in her own right with great striking but, Andrade may prove to be too much as she is always moving forward and seems to never slow down. Andrade is a tank and I expect her to walk down Kowalkiewicz and mix in plentiful takedowns to secure the winning rounds. While decision may be the most likely outcome for this fight, I think Andrade winning by submission has some value behind it as she is a talented brown belt with seven submission wins under her name. Kowalkiewicz has been submitted twice and I don’t think she will be able to defend herself well on the ground here. Her submission losses stem from her amateur career via Joanna Jedrzejczyk six years ago, and the most recent happening last year in the first round against a real submission threat Claudia Gadelha. If Andrade would like to secure the win in a dominant fashion while pushing herself back into title contention, then she’d love no other way to do it than synching a submission victory.
Prop: Jessica Andrade wins by Submission (+335)
Jimmie Rivera vs. Jon Dodson
Despite coming off a quick knockout loss just earlier this summer, I think Rivera can quickly bounce back with a solid win over Dodson in this pivotal matchup for both fighters this weekend. Dodson has been off and on with wins and losses for several years now. It doesn’t help that despite having great speed and power he just doesn’t show it enough in aggression nor attempted strikes, thus leaving him on the wrong side of decisions more often than he’d like. Rivera can out-strike Dodson in the standup department and if he couples that with more volume and octagon control then he can win a decision in Dallas.
Prop: Jimmie Rivera wins by Decision (+116)
Best of luck and thanks for reading!