UFC Fight Night Predictions: Can Jan Blachowicz Get Back to His Winning Ways?

UFC Fight Night predictions and picks for Saturday night from handicapper Ben Rajavuori. Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic is set to be a good one. Who will win? Who else should you be betting tonight? Find out here
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UFC Fight Night Predictions: Can Jan Blachowicz Get Back to His Winning Ways?

The former light heavyweight champ is back after losing the belt last year to Glover Teixeira. Jan Blachowicz is certainly set to get a shot at the belt once again if he can win this fight. Alexander Rakic, on the other hand, will most likely get a shot at the belt next with a win. Current champion Glover Teixeira and challenger Jiri Prochazka fight next month at UFC 275 to decide the undisputed champ, with the winner of this fight likely getting a shot at the winner of that fight in a few weeks. Can Jan get back to the title fight, or will Rakic get his first shot with a win tonight?

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UFC Fight Night Predictions

Jan Blachowicz ML @ +170 (Bet $100 to win $170)

Click here for Jan Blachowicz vs. Aleksandar Rakic odds

This is a fight against two of the most skilled grapplers and calculated strikers in the division. Rakic has a skilled kicking game that he has used to throw opponents off and uses it to set up his powerful strikes. However, Jan is an excellent defensive striker, and he proved that in his title fight against Israel Adesanya. Jan was the bigger fighter, but still, that title fight was the most uncomfortable we have seen Izzy on the feet in a long time. Both men are very calculated fighters who do not over-pressure or over-exert, so we could see a slower-paced fight tonight. I think this style of fight favors Jan since Rakic is the younger and more explosive fighter.

I expect Jan to come into this fight with a game plan to stop Rakic's kicks and take timed entries into grappling exchanges. Jan is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt who can control you in grappling exchanges for extended periods of time. I don't expect Jan to control Rakic entirely, but I think he has enough offensive grappling and stays busy enough on the feet to edge this one out on the scorecards. This line is too high on one of the highest-skilled grapplers in the division, and I love the value on the former champ tonight.

Get the latest UFC odds, for this card and more, by clicking here

Ryan Spann ML @ +200 (Bet $100 to win $200)

Ryan Spann By Submission @ +850 (Bet $100 to win $850)

Click here for Ryan Spann vs. Ion Cutelaba odds

Two offensive powerhouses will collide tonight in the co-main event when Ryan Spann and Ion Cutelaba square off in the octagon tonight. Ryan Spann is 19-7 with 16 of those wins by finish (five knockouts and eleven submissions), while Ion Cutelaba is 16-6 with 14 of those wins by finish (twelve knockouts and two submissions).

Ion Cutelaba has always been a fast starter and is the more well-rounded fighter of the two, which is why the line is high on Cutelaba in this one, as he's a -230 favorite. Cutelaba has fought the toughest in the division, and even though most were losses, it's still experience. Spann hasn't fought as tough of a schedule, but he's still on his way up, and he has fought some tough opponents, just no one as tough as Cutelaba. This will be his toughest test yet, but I like the value on him at this line.

Cutelaba comes out firing and fades as the fight goes. He is most dangerous in the first round. This is evident by the round line on this fight, as the under 1.5 round line on this fight is juiced to -145 depending on your book. Spann hasn't proved to be the most durable fighter in the division, but he has shown good movement and striking defense. I think Spann can weather the early storm to ultimately set up his takedown. Spann will be the larger fighter in this one and will have a four-inch height and reach advantage. I expect him to use this size and, if he survives the first round, get Cutelaba to the mat once he is tired and get his back. Spann is an underrated grappler whose most common method of victory is a submission, which is due to his size and strength. Cutelaba has also shown to be prone to submissions and has two losses by submission in the UFC, both later in the fight after he started to tire. It's a long shot, but I like the value on this line for Spann to get Cutelaba to tap tonight.

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Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.

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