The UFC heads back to the Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada for this weekend’s fight night card. Headlining the card is a rematch over five years in the making between Vicente Luque and Belal Muhammad and while the card may be lacking star power there are still plenty of intriguing match ups sure to entertain. We take a look at my three best UFC bets on this week’s card below.
UFC Fight Night Betting Tips
Vicente Luque vs Belal Muhammad
This bout is not only a rematch of an earlier clash but one that could produce the next title contender. With rematches it is always best to go back and analyse what happened the first fight and then assess what has changed since.
The pair first met back at UFC 205 in 2016 and the fight was over just after it started meaning there isn’t much tape to analyse. Both men swung with everything they had and Luque landed a left hook on Muhammad’s jaw shutting the lights out just over a minute in.
Since then, ‘Remember the Name’ has been on a solid run in the UFC, with his only loss since the defeat to Luque being at the hands of Geoff Neal. Muhammad also has shown a more patient and structured approach in recent years focussing on his wrestling and lateral movement.
There has been a lot of hype on Luque for many years now and I am not as sold on him as most. His slick skills have taken out Michael Chiesa and Tyron Woodley so it cannot be discounted that he is a legitimate threat and possible title contender but realistically he is a bang or bust type of fighter.
The way I have it is Luque needs a finish in round 1 or 2 to take the win and if Muhammad fights behind his wrestling, uses his footwork and puts the pace and pressure on Luque I believe he can take this fight.
Belal Muhammad to win
Pat Sabatini vs TJ Laramie
Much like backing Aljamain Sterling last week, I am on a big underdog here as people are putting too much weight on TJ Laramie’s last fight.
Laramie was finished in under a minute in his UFC debut by Derrick Minner but I still have high hopes for the 24-year-old. Every one of Laramie’s professional losses has led to a vastly improved fighter next time he stepped into the cage.
His opponent Pat Sabatini is a promising fighter but I believe he may struggle to deal with the pace and pressure of Laramie.
While I believe Sabatini should still be favourite and is likely get the win, I have Laramie priced as a slight underdog around $2.50 as he has all the tools to cause trouble. At the $4.50 pricetag I just have to back Laramie for value if nothing else. vv
Istela Nunes vs Sam Hughes
I really like Istela Nunes here as Sam Hughes has been picked apart on the feet in her UFC career by lesser strikers than Nunes.
Nunes may have gone down to Carnelossi last time out but the wrestling took its toll as did the three-year layoff, gassing out late in the second and into the third.
While Hughes’ wrestling is definitely her avenue to success, I don’t see her being able to get Nunes down consistently if at all. Nunes now has shaken off the ring rust and will be able to register her first UFC win here with a mix of counters and power punches.
Istela Nunes to win