UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks & Predictions: Holm vs. Aldana
Bet of the Card: (2u) Fight to Go the Distance @ +150 (to Return 5 Units)
Main Card Middleweight (185lb) Bout – Approx. Start time: 10:45 p.m. EST.
- Dequan Townsend has gone the distance in 4 of his last 6 fights, and 9 of his 11 pro losses have come by decision.
My bet of the card for this week is on Townsend vs. Todorovic to go the distance (to go all three and be decided by a judges’ decision).
Dequan Townsend has had a rough go in the UFC so far, going 0-3, with him being at least a +265 underdog in all three of his fights (per Tapology.com). This weekend it’ll be no different, as he’s currently priced as the +270 ‘dog (best price) against the UFC newcomer, Dusko Todorovic.
Todorovic is a young aggressive striker, and although that’s his style, he’s not opposed to clinch fighting along the cage, as seen in his Dana White’s Contender Series fight. When at range, he can be dangerous, but as we’ve seen from Townsend, it’ll take an absolute monster of a shot to put him down, let alone “out”.
Townsend can work well at distance by utilizing his surprisingly decent jab, but outside of that, he doesn’t seem to hold too many offensive weapons, and his power shots always look labored and telegraphed.
I expect Todorovic to dictate the pace and range of this fight. If he wants to strike from distance, then Townsend will be willing to do that, and if he wants to engage in a clinch and push Dequan back to the fence, I’m sure that’ll be available for him too. I don’t know if we see this fight hit the mat often, if at all, due to Townsend possessing fairly serviceable takedown defense, but if it does, then expect Townsend to defend and stall off his back.
All in all, I see this fight being long drawn-out and gritty, with Todorovic largely forcing the action, and Townsend succumbing to unfavorable grappling positions, yet defending well enough to keep himself out of danger and the clock ticking down. I could see an avenue for Townsend to step things up in the latter half of the fight against a fatigued Todorovic, so for that reason I like playing the fight to go to the distance, instead of playing Todorovic’s decision prop. Take this fight to go the distance, +100 and above is a more than fair price.
(1.25u) Holly Holm Moneyline @ -118 (to Return 2.31 Units)
Main Event Women’s Bantamweight (135lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 00:15 p.m. EST.
- Holly Holm will be Aldana’s toughest opponent to date, whereas Holm has fought 2 active UFC champions, 4 former UFC champions, 2 UFC title challengers, and 1 soon-to-be UFC title challenger.
My bet for Saturday’s main event is on the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight (WBW) Champion, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm.
Holly Holm has an illustrious striking background and it’s been her fighting base for the bulk of her MMA career. In recent fights however, she’s begun to implement much more of a clinch grappling approach, as well as throwing in the odd takedown. It’s a new wrinkle to her game that perhaps we’d have never suspected that she’d look upon, but as she’s gaining more experience in MMA over the years, it’d seems that she’s now able to diversify her game plans against younger and less well-rounded fighters.
Irene Aldana’s volume striking is undoubtably her most talked about attribute. She averages the highest strikes landed per minute amongst active WBW fighters (6.16), and she ranks third for most strikes landed in WBW history (774) (per StatLeaders.UFC.com). What people don’t tend to mention however, is that she also allows an outlandishly high 5.92 strikes against per minute, and she’s been out-landed on strikes by Leslie Smith (169 to 108) and Katlyn Chookagian (105 to 84), whilst only just edging out Bethe Correia (83 to 81) and Raquel Pennington (52 to 47) (per UFCStats.com). I bring this up not to downplay Aldana’s numbers and aggression, but to put stats into context, and to remind us that styles make fights. So, just because Holm fights with low-to-middling volume and Aldana is high-volume, that doesn’t mean it translates to Aldana outmatching her on strikes 2-to-1.
I see this fight playing out closely on the feet, with Holly Holm maintaining the distance against Aldana and thus narrowing Aldana’s volume edge. When in close, I expect Holly to utilize the clinch and force Aldana up against the cage and work on her short shots to the body and head. Aldana has an unbelievable takedown defense percentage of 93% (per UFCStats.com), but that’s distorted due to the level of her previous opposition, and I don’t expect this to hold up against Holm. Should Holm get this to the mat, it could prove difficult for Aldana to get back to her feet, and it’s possible that by the time she does so, she may have already dropped the round in the judges’ eyes. I’ve got Holm winning this on the judges’ scorecards following a tough back-and-forth fight. But considering that Holm has killer high kicks and a wealth of five round experience, she also has the upside of finishing the fight inside the distance too.
(1u) Yorgan De Castro via Decision @ +400 (to Return 5 Units)
Co-Main Event Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start time: 11:45 p.m. EST.
- Yorgan De Castro yields better fight metrics than Carlos Felipe in significant (sig.) striking accuracy (41% v. 36%), sig. striking defense (54% vs. 51%), and takedown defense (75% vs. 57%) (per UFCStats.com).
- Carlos Felipe hasn’t been finished in his 9-fight MMA career, and his last fight was a decision loss.
My final bet of the card is on the UFC’s only Cape Verdean fighter, Yorgan De Castro, to win via decision.
De Castro’s moneyline currently sits at -250 (best odds), and although I would feel slightly uncomfortable laying that kind of juice on him straight, the same can’t be said for his +400 decision prop.
Yorgan has some big fight-ending power in his hands, but he’s also a capable range fighter. In his last fight against former-NFL Pro Bowler, Greg Hardy, he showcased some fantastic movement and leg kicks. He was able to glide in and out of range effectively and land with good frequency against a much bigger and more athletic opponent. Unfortunately for De Castro, he picked up a foot injury following an impressive first round, otherwise it looked as though he might have been able to go on and win the fight, either by leg kick TKO or via decision.
Carlos Felipe is also a striker, but unlike De Castro, he’s slow, plodding, and throws without much technique. Perhaps I may be a little harsh with my criticism of him, but even as far as disappointing UFC debuts go, his performance against Sergey Spivak was truly horrendous. They went toe to toe for the opening couple rounds, with Spivak seemingly winning both (at least on my scorecard). The third round was a complete mauling however, with Spivak taking Felipe down multiple times and out landing him on strikes: 114 to 1. There was a lot to be concerned about with Felipe’s performance, but undoubtably the most concerning was that he was being out-struck early by Sergey Spivak, a fighter who until then, was considered potentially the heavyweight division’s worst striker.
One thing I will credit Felipe with, if nothing else, is his desire to fight. Throughout the Spivak fight, he was willing to throw-down, and even as he was getting dominated in the third round, he was still giving it everything to get back to his feet. With this in mind, and the fact that he has no other recorded defeats to his name, I have to look towards Yorgan winning this via decision. De Castro looks to have a significant striking edge, and unless he lands a huge bomb or puts on a merciless leg kicking masterclass, then this one should be set up on a plate for De Castro to out-volume Felipe and claim a pretty clear decision victory.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana / UFC on ESPN 16 / UFC Fight Island 4 / #UFCFightIsland4
Location & Venue: Flast Forum, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Date: Saturday, October 3rd, 2020
Start time: Main Card: 10:30 p.m. EST, Prelims 7:30 p.m. EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN/ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana Full Fight Card Predictions
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana Main Event Prediction
(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana – Holm via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana Main Card Predictions
Heavyweight (265lbs): Yorgan de Castro vs. Carlos Felipe – de Castro via Decision
(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Germaine de Randamie vs. Julianna Peña – de Randamie via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Dequan Townsend vs. Dusko Todorovic -Todorovic via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana Prelim Card Predictions
Bantamweight (135lbs): Kyler Phillips vs. Cameron Else – Phillips via KO/TKO
Welterweight (170lbs): Carlos Condit vs. Court McGee – McGee via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Charles Jourdain vs. Joshua Culibao – Jourdain via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Jordan Williams vs. Nassourdine Imavov – Williams via KO/TKO
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Loma Lookboonmee vs. Jinh Yu Frey – Lookboonmee via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Casey Kenney vs. Heili Alateng – Kenney via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Jessin Ayari vs. Luigi Vendramini – Vendramini via Submission
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.