This week’s UFC event is headlined by a Featherweight barnburner as Edson Barboza meets Giga Chikadze. This week’s card also hosts a pair of The Ultimate Fighter 29 Finale fights as Bryan Battle faces late replacement Gilbert Urbina and Brady Hiestand squares off against Ricky Turcios.
This week’s selections all have plenty of fat in their prices so we only need one to hit for a profitable Fight Night. You can find the full preview below.
The main event is a fascinating Featherweight clash between two of the scariest kickboxers in the UFC. Edson Barboza was on a slide before moving down to Featherweight where he has since gone 2-1, the most recent being an impressive and devastating knockout of Shane Burgos. His opponent Giga Chikadze made his UFC debut in 2019 and is a perfect 6-0 in the Octagon. His last two bouts have failed to last the first round with Chikadze absolutely demolishing both Cub Swanson and Jamey Simmons.
From a betting standpoint this is a risky fight to wager. Both men are incredible kickboxers who love fighting at range and chopping legs. I personally believe Chikadze should probably be favourite in this fight which does tempt me to back him outright. He will have the better gas tank of the two and in my opinion is the better striker although only slightly. If he can close the distance into boxing range, I expect he can take control of the fight as in close quarters Barboza has shown he is vulnerable in the past.
The odds about the fight to go the distance also have a bit of fat in it as both men are likely to have a health respect for the other and therefore, I doubt they will recklessly close the distance. For the above reasons I recommend a very small wager on Chikadze by decision. I cannot wait for this fire fight as it is sure to be a fantastic showcase of mixed martial arts striking.
Sam Alvey has lost his last six fights and while I rarely would ever wager on a man on a terrible skid, I am going to back him in against Wellington Turman. Alvey needs to win this to keep his UFC career afloat and I expect him to be going all in with his training camp. Wellington Turman is young but still for mine isn’t UFC calibre. He has been knocked out in both his UFC bouts in the first round and I can’t see why he will be able to turn it around against Alvey’s sharp boxing counters. I am backing in Smiling Sam to win by KO in round 1.
Mana Martinez was on a five-fight knockout streak when he booked his place on the Contender Series. Unfortunately for Mana that outing proved unsuccessful as he was beaten by third round submission by Drako Rodriguez. Since then, he has put two knockout wins together in a combined 92 seconds to book his place in the UFC. He steps into this fight on short notice and Guido Cannetti should be cussing out Mario Bautista who was forced to withdraw after testing positive to Covid.
This is honestly a horrific match up for Cannetti. Martinez has ridiculous power and he meets a 41-year-old brawler who has mediocre technique and a chin that is long gone. Expect Martinez to land a ferocious hook in the opening minutes that shuts Cannetti’s lights out. I seriously do not know how the bookies have a round 1 knockout over $4 but I will happily take it.
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