Friday 18th October 2019 at TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Main Card: 9 p.m. ET+ on ESPN2
Preliminary Card: 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Last weekend the UFC put on quite the show in Tampa. There were some showcase performances, a couple of razor close decisions, and a few shocking finishes. The unmistakeable highlights were Marlon Vera’s “Performance of the Night” worthy effort over Andre Ewell, Deiveson Figueiredo’s slick guillotine choke on Tim Elliott, as well as Mike Davis’ brutalization of poor Thomas Gifford. Oh, and not to forget Niko Price’s devastating upkick KO on James Vick. It was absolutely brutal, and well worth finding the highlight if you happened to miss it. And on top of all this, we also swept our picks on the event, pulling us in a very healthy 4.3 units of profit, for a 107.44% ROI!
Now looking to this weekend’s card, we have one of the rare Friday night UFC events. The card is very nicely stacked with a few big names and some notoriously entertaining fighters. The notables to look forward to are; Kevin Holland vs. Brendan Allen, Randy Costa vs. Boston Salmon, Deron Winn vs. Darren Stewart, and pretty much the entire main card, including the heavyweight bout starring the controversial former NFL Pro Bowler Greg Hardy. It’s safe to say that Boston should be getting one hell of an event, but enough of our preview, let’s jump into this week’s UFC picks for UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs. Weidman!
Molly McCann vs. Diana Belbiţă
Preliminary Card: Women’s Flyweight Bout – 125lbs
Molly “Meatball” McCann – Record: 9-2-0
Diana “The Warrior Princess” Belbiţă – Record: 13-4-0
Starting off our picks is one of the fighters I generally like to fade, Molly McCann.
Since joining the UFC, she’s show her grit and fast hands, but also some holes when it comes to her ground game. I like her in this bout against the UFC newcomer Diana Belbita. The Romanian Belbita looks to be very untested, with only 3 of her 13 wins coming against fighters with over a .500 record, and all four of her losses coming against fighters with winning records.
When examining her defeats, it’s pretty evident she doesn’t hold great submission defense, as pointed out by her three submission losses. And although McCann has shown that she’s not the most accomplished grappler, we’ve seen that she does pursue takedowns and ground transitions when they become available to her. McCann may never have won via submission up until this point, but there is unmistakable value for her to get her first here over the unproven and submittable Belbita.
Pick: Molly McCann via Submission – 1 Unit @ +600 (to Return 7 Units)
Yair Rodriquez vs. Jeremy Stephens
Co-Main Event: Featherweight Bout – 145lbs
Yair “El Pantera” Rodriguez – Record: 11-2-0 / #7 Ranked Featherweight
Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens – Record: 28-16-0 / #8 Ranked Featherweight
I actually broke this fight down a few weeks ago for when it was originally set up as the UFC: Mexico main event. As we all know by now, that fight was ruled a no contest following an eye poke from Yair that left Stephens unable to continue the bout, within the first 20 seconds. Circumstances have changed a little bit since then, with them now squaring off in Boston, instead of the extremely high altitude of Mexico City. Not only this, but now the fight is three rounds, instead of the initially planned five rounds. In my first breakdown I liked taking Stephens in the fight and the fight to go the full five rounds. However, now I feel like the bout being just three rounds goes less in Stephens’ favor than if it were five. I still expect Stephens to win as he’s a more polished mixed martial artist, but I like him less as a bet this time round.
What I still like though, is this fight to go the distance. The price is a far cry from the +160 that it was for their five round contest, but at -142 it still holds good value for bet. Excluding Yair’s crazy up-elbow on Korean Zombie, he’s not really shown that he’s got killer one shot knockout power, and that goes against him when facing someone as durable as Jeremy Stephens. There is a slight concern with Stephens’ fast output and vicious leg kicks, but due to Rodriquez’ evasive movement, he should be able to avoid any long close-quarters exchanges with Stephens. The best odds for this to go to decision are currently available with FanDuel, which you can access through this link.
Pick: Fight Goes the Distance – 2 Units @ -142 (to Return 3.41 Units)
Dominick Reyes vs. Chris Weidman
Main Event: Light Heavyweight Bout – 205lbs
Dominick “The Devastator” Reyes – Record: 11-0-0 / 4# Ranked Light Heavyweight
Chris “All American” Weidman – Record: 14-4-0 / #8 Ranked Middleweight
We’re now at UFC: Boston’s main event, for a fight that sees Chris Weidman step-up a weight class to make his light heavyweight debut.
The UFC have really thrown the former middleweight champ in the deep end here, against a young hungry undefeated prospect in Dominick Reyes.
Reyes has shown flashes of brilliance, as well as some concerning gaps in his game. His head kick on Jared Cannonier was pretty special and his win over OSP was quite impressive too. The concerns come in however, when looking at his fights against Jeremy Kimball and Volkan Oezdemir. In the early goings of the Kimball fight, he was taken to the mat a couple of times and looked the worse of the two in the grappling. Thankful for Reyes, Kimball’s gas tank emptied quickly, and he was able to reverse momentum and sub Kimball. The Volkan fight was different, and arguably more worry, as he was handily out-wrestled by the Swiss knockout artist. It wasn’t a great look for him, despite the judge’s giving him the suspect win.
What this tells me, is that Chris Weidman has the wrestling and BJJ tools to win this fight. Unlike Kimball and Oezdemir, he’s got better grappling stamina, and all-round better grappling skills. His durability is in question after suffering four knockout losses in his last five fights, but those have come at the hands of more skilled competitors, who also wield more fight ending power than Reyes. Physically he matches up just fine with Dominick, as he only gives up two inches in height, yet benefits from a one inch reach advantage.
The moneyline price isn’t quite what I’m looking for on Weidman, as his clearest path to victory is him wrestling Reyes to the mat and working for the submission. You can get the best odds of +500 at FOX Bet, to visit their site just click here!
Pick: Chris Weidman via Submission – 1 Unit @ +500 (to Return 6 Units)
Thank you for reading, and best of luck to all those betting the fights tonight. Let’s hope this card lives up to the bill, and make sure to comeback for next week’s UFC picks for UFC on ESPN+ 20: Maia vs. Askren!
If you enjoyed reading Christian’s picks for this weekend’s UFC, make sure to check out our picks page for all our daily betting picks. To view, simply click this link!