UFC on ESPN+ 19: Joanna vs. Waterson Picks & Event Preview
Saturday October 12th 2019 at Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida
Main Card: 8 p.m. ET+ on ESPN+
Preliminary Card: 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+
This week the UFC finally heads back to America following its numerous trips around the world. Last week they stopped off in Australia for UFC: 243. It was a show that pretty much piled all of its eggs into one basket with its blockbuster main event. Of course it provided a few exciting moments along the way, most notably the Fight of the Night bout: Brad Riddell vs. Jamie Mullarkey, as well as Yorgan De Castro and his beautiful walk-off KO on Justin Tafa.
We now look onwards to this weekend’s card and what it has in store for us. At face value it doesn’t seem too wild, but to give it credit, there’s plenty of fun fighters and close contests to offer the potential for a really entertaining night of fights. It’s also worth pointing out that both McKenzie Dern and Kron Gracie are returning to the cage, so it’ll be very intriguing to see how they get on. My personal bout to watch out for is Eryk Anders vs. Gerald Meerschaert, both guys generally stir up some fantastic fights, so to see them collide will be a sceptical.
I’m going to start off by saying that I won’t be breaking down this card’s main event due to the rumors around Jedrzejczyk’s weight cut. News broke that she wouldn’t make weight, and because of that they were looking at other options for the fight. But just last night she proclaimed she didn’t foresee any issues going down, so it’s really up in the air. At this moment in time, I’d guess that the fight will go ahead whether she misses weight or not. But until we see how she looks on the scales it’s difficult to know what kind of condition she might be in for fight day. With that being said, we’ve still got plenty to discuss, so let’s jump in for this week’s picks for UFC on ESPN+ 19: Joanna vs. Waterson!
Preliminary Bantamweight Bout – 135lbs
Marlon “Chito” Vera – Record: 16-5-1
Andre “Mr. Highlight” Ewell: 15-5-0
Kicking-off our prelim parlay is Marlon Vera. He’s matched up with Andre Ewell, a guy who’s most well-known for just edging out the ghost of Renan Barão via split decision. Since then he’s seriously underwhelmed in the UFC. He got dominated and subbed by hot prospect Nathaniel Wood, and beat Anderson dos Santos, largely due to a lack of fight IQ from dos Santos.
“Chito” is notoriously a slow starter in fights and this often results in him losing first rounds to competition he should be rolling through. That being said though, he always comes on strong later on in fights and typically that sees him go onto finishing his opponents.
I’ve got Vera winning this one pretty handily. There’s a decent skill gap all round, and a more substantial one in their ground games. Sadly no props are available at the time of writing this, but when they come out, look to grab some Vera via sub if you can get it at around +150. Thankfully though, his moneyline price is more than worthy of making our parlay.
First Leg of Prelim Parlay: Marlon Vera @ -162
Preliminary Flyweight Bout – 125lbs
Deiveson “Deus da Guerra” Figueiredo – Record: 16-1-0 / Ranked: #3 Flyweight
Tim Elliott – Record: 15-8-1 / Ranked: #6 Flyweight
The second and final leg of our parlay is Deiveson Figueiredo. He’s a ferocious striker, with good wrestling and a decent ability to get back to his feet.
Tim Elliott is wrestler with a fairly good submission game, and that is his clear path to victory against the Brazilian stand-up artist. But given that we just saw Figueiredo dismantle a better BJJ practitioner in Alexandre Pantoja, and lose, but still handle Jussier Formiga’s ground game, I don’t see Elliott having much success with his grappling.
I expect the Brazilian to tee-off on Elliott and stuff most of his takedown attempts throughout the fight. I’m undecided on whether Figueiredo will be able to stop Elliott with strikes due to Elliott’s toughness, but I do expect him to win this bout in a definitive manner, even if it goes to the judges.
Second Leg of Prelim Parlay: Deiveson Figueiredo @ -187
Two Leg Prelim Parlay: Vera + Figueiredo – 2 Units @ +148 (to Return 4.96 Units)
Preliminary Card Featured Welterweight Bout – 170lbs
Niko “The Hybrid” Price – Record: 13-3-0
James “The Texecutioner” Vick – Record: 13-4-0
This prelim bout will be our final bet of the card. This fight sees the ever entertaining Niko Price welcome James Vick up to the UFC welterweight division.
Both guys are entering this one off the back of knockout losses, with Vick currently riding a three fight losing streak. It’s almost crazy to think that at one point in time Vick was saying that no one was willing to fight him, and now his UFC career could well be in jeopardy.
Niko may not be the most technical guy in the world, but the guy has heart, heavy hands and a decent chin. Those for me are the keys to victory for him against Vick. Vick’s good when moving forward and landing with volume at range, but now fighting against someone with the same 76 inch reach, he’s not going to be able to utilize his height as well as he once did at lightweight.
Vick’s grappling is interesting as it’s decent enough to get finishes in the UFC, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen him really trying to implement it into his fights.
I’ve got Price winning this via KO against the chinny James Vick. Fifteen minutes seems to be a long time for Vick fighting against anyone with power and reach, I think Price gets him out of there early.
The props aren’t quite available just yet to take the KO or round 1 prop for Price, but with the moneyline sitting at -150, I don’t expect his KO prop to yield any increased value. Take him today on the ML, and perhaps look to play him in round one if you can grab it at around +175 to +200 (when it’s available).
Pick: Niko Price – 2 Units @ -150 (to Return 3.33 Units)
Well that’s it for this week’s UFC picks! It’s rather odd not having anything in the main card, especially the main event. Nevertheless, let’s hope for a decent night of fights, and some profit to go with! See you next time for more UFC picks for UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs. Weidman!
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