We are back to the Apex Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend for a card that is headlined by a titanic Light Heavyweight clash between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka. Also on the card is fan favourite Cub Swanson facing kickboxing sensation Giga Chikadze and takedown machine Merab Dvalishvili also features on a stacked main card. We take a look below at some key match ups on what looks like a prosperous betting card.
Where this fight is just plain peculiar is a year ago Reyes went close to beating arguably the greatest fighter of all time in Jon Jones. He then fell to current champion Jan Blachowicz where he was a prohibitive favourite. Now he comes into this fight as the underdog against a fighter with one Octagon appearance. Prochazka hasn’t lost since 2015 and has been on a knockout spree since then. I do however have to side with Reyes and especially with the current odds available. Reyes athletic ability is clear for all to see. If he can stay out of trouble early, which I am confident he can, expect him to dominate Prochazka more and more as the fight goes on. Reyes also has a relatively good ground game, although he rarely shows it, and it is an area where Prochazka has very little understanding. I expect some hairy moments early from a confident Prochazka but fully expect Reyes to take over as the fight continues. I don’t mind the chances of a Reyes submission too due to Prochazka’s lack of grappling knowledge and at a price well above what I rate it as being.
K.B Bhullar is a great underdog in my books but it will likely look ugly early. Andreas Michailidis was 7-1 in his last eight fights before entering the Octagon, where was knocked out in a short notice fight against Modestas Bukauskas. Bhullar lost in under two minutes in his UFC debut but I see this as a fight of who is fundamentally more flawed and that is Michailidis. While Michailidilis could just end the night in the opening exchanges he still has low level boxing and a notoriously poor gas tank. Bhullar is usually quite durable and can keep a pace for 15 hard minutes. If this gets to the stool at the end of round 1 expect by a couple minutes into round 2 Michailidis is out on his feet and Bhullar has his way with him. While there is admittedly an area of risk to this pick, at over $3 it is great value. A small wager on a late knockout for Bhullar on a gassed opponent also is also worth a dabble.
I am a big fan of Loma despite a back-and-forth UFC tenure to date. I expect Lookboonme to dominate the exchanges on the feet and she is also the stronger wrestler of the two. Lookboonme looks a safe pick.
Luke Sanders is better than what his record suggests. He is 3-4 in the Octagon with his submission defense failing him on three occasions and getting knocked out by Andre Soukhamthath in the other which is admittedly appalling. However in all those fights he looked in full control before suffering defensive lapses. Luckily for Sanders it shouldn’t matter against Colares who is very average and doesn’t have the finishing prowess to make Sanders brain fades matter. Back Sanders to get back in the win column.
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