Bet of the Card: (2u) Nina Ansaroff Moneyline @ -120 (to Return 3.66 Units)
Nina Ansaroff vs. Mackenzie Dern
Main Card - Women’s Strawweight (115lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 3:45 p.m. EST.
- Mackenzie Dern has a takedown accuracy of just 5%, with her only takedown landed coming in her UFC debut, 5 fights ago (per UFCStats.com).
- Nina Ansaroff lands more strikes per minute than Dern (4.81 vs. 3.74), whilst also absorbing fewer strikes per minute (3.55 vs. 3.81) (per UFCStats.com).
Against Virna Jandiroba, Mackenzie Dern showed some serious improvements with her striking, but despite that, I’m still not convinced she can compete with Ansaroff whilst the fight is standing. Ansaroff is one of the best maintainers of range in the strawweight division, her straight shots and movement makes her a tricky outing for all but the very top of contenders in the weight class, and I can see that creating a host of problems for Dern (pictured below).
Of course, it’d be impossible to overlook the fact that Mackenzie Dern is the most credentialed BJJ practitioner ever to compete in women’s MMA (WMMA), and that is to be respected at all times. That being said, her takedowns are still very much a work in progress, meaning that she often needs her opponent to make the ill-advised decision to either take her down, or simply follow her to the mat. You’d think, “who in their right mind would do that?”, but two of her last three wins can be directly attributed to that… remarkable. Putting that aside, Ansaroff has displayed solid fight IQ and game planning throughout her UFC career, which can only be helped by having her wife, the WMMA G.O.A.T., Amanda Nunes, in her corner.
There is some concerns that Ansaroff is now 35 years-old and returning to the cage in short order after her maternity leave, but she looks to be in great shape, and she’s always appeared to be the consummate professional. I think if we’re to see Dern pull of the win, she’s going to need to put on a career performance, or Ansaroff to uncharacteristically give up takedowns to someone who isn’t a strong wrestler. Providing that can be avoided, Ansaroff should really roll on the feet, and in doing so, cruise to the win, and look like outstanding value in the process. I don’t mind taking Nina Ansaroff’s decision prop for a slightly juicer line, but I lean towards playing it safe and taking her moneyline in case she’s able to put away Dern.
(1.5u) Over 1.5 Rounds @ -142 (to Return 2.556 Units)
(0.5u) Will the Fight Go the Distance? – Yes @ +235 (to Return 1.675 Units)
Da Un Jung vs. William Knight
Preliminary Card – Light Heavyweight (205lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 12:30 p.m. EST.
- Jung and Knight have only 4-combined fights under the UFC banner, and within that short sample size, they’ve gone over 1.5 rounds 3 times.
Both these fighters boast resumes with plenty of finishes on them. That normally isn’t a good sign when looking to bet an over, but I’m backing on each guy’s toughness to get them into the later stages of the fight.
William Knight has strength and power, but for a light heavyweight, he lacks height and range, (Height: 5'10", Reach: 73.0"), and especially when compared to the lofty, Da Un Jung (Height: 6'4", Reach: 78.5") (per Tapology.com). I can see this leading to Knight being tentative when at range with Jung, and looking upon his wrestling to get the fight to the mat, thus nullifying the size disparity. When on the ground, we’ve seen Knight get aggressive and chase the finish, but I trust Jung’s durability to see him weather the storm, as well as Knight’s fight IQ to not exhaust himself before the midway point of the fight.
Should the fight stay standing for the most-part, there would be the added risk of a finish, but I’m not convinced it’s enough to warrant the over 1.5 line as both Jung and Knight are capable strikers, who shouldn’t be at any serious disadvantage against the other.
As I always note when I bet overs on the heavier weight classes, there is an increased volatility due to the added knockout power each guy possesses, but whenever you’re getting a decent price on an over 1.5 rounds prop between durable fighters, it’s often a spot worth playing. Take the over 1.5 rounds prop here, and a smaller shot on it going the full distance at over 2-to-1.
(1.5u) Over 2.5 Rounds @ -142 (to Return 2.556 Units)
Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland
Main Event - Middleweight (185lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 5:45 p.m. EST.
- Marvin Vettori (pictured below) has been to a decision in 7 of his 8 UFC bouts.
- Kevin Holland has only been finished twice in his 27-fight career (twice by submission), and Marvin Vettori has never been finished in his 20-fight career.
The last time Marvin Vettori fought (vs. Jack Hermansson in a five round main event), I had the over 2.5 rounds prop as my bet of the card and it cashed. Hitting the over in that fight wasn’t smooth sailing after Vettori had Hermansson in some early trouble following a knockdown in the first round, but with that being Vettori’s first knockdown in the UFC, it certainly wasn’t your typical showing from the Italian. He is an extremely calculated multi-tool fighter. He’s well-rounded and presents problems for his opponents on the mat, in the clinch, and whilst striking. The fact that he’s never been finished is a testament to his defensive skills, as much as it is to his ever-improving cardio, grit, and toughness.
Kevin Holland is having a very “Kevin Holland year” thus far. Just three weeks ago he faced Derek Brunson in the biggest fight of his career, and he gave the fight away by playing up to the cameras and talking throughout the fight to maintain his “Big Mouth” moniker. It was a disappointing but not unsurprising performance from Holland, and although I don’t expect him to replicate his antics, I expect the fight to play out in a very similar way. Brunson took Holland down at will, and although Holland looked dangerous on the feet, he also showed a lot of glaring weaknesses in regard to his stance and takedown defense. Many have Holland labeled as a power puncher, but his finishes are more of a result of lazer-like precision and his opponent’s defensive deficiencies.
I expect to see Vettori either stay all the way out (at range) or all the way in (inside the clinch). At distance, he can manage the range and angles of Holland’s shots, and in close, he can push Holland back to the cage or take him down. Holland may be able to deny some of Vettori’s offensive grappling, but with him stepping up here on short notice, a mere 3-weeks removed from his fight against Brunson, I’d be stunned to see him put on an anti-grappling masterclass.
When on the mat, Vettori should almost always occupy the top position. I’d expect to see Holland using a much more active guard than he did against Brunson (i.e. looking to get back to his feet or throwing up submission attempts), but I don’t see him having much success against someone with Vettori’s heavy top game. The result of this, will likely lead to a lot of time being burned off the clock with not a lot happening, which is an ideal situation when you’re betting on the over.
Of course, there are scenarios where either guy could clip the other with a hard shot, but given that we’ve never seen either guy hurt from strikes, it seems highly unlikely. I do think Vettori is live to get a submission in this fight but with his conservative style and the fact that Holland generally stays safe off his back, I’d lean towards a potential Vettori submission coming in the latter half of the fight. For all these reasons, I’m taking the over 2.5 rounds prop in this fight, at a very modest -142.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland / UFC on ABC 2 / UFC Vegas 23 / #UFCVegas23
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, March 10th, 2021
Start time: Main Card: 3 p.m. EST, Prelims Noon EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on ABC/ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN/ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland Main Event Prediction:
Middleweight (185lbs): Marvin Vettori vs. Kevin Holland – Vettori via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland Main Card Predictions:
Featherweight (145lbs): Arnold Allen vs. Sodiq Yusuff – Yusuff via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Kyle Daukaus vs. Aliaskhab Khizriev – Khizriev via Decision
Middleweight (185lbs): Julian Marquez vs. Sam Alvey – Marquez via Decision
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Nina Ansaroff vs. Mackenzie Dern – Ansaroff via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Mike Perry vs. Daniel Rodriguez – Rodriguez via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Vettori vs. Holland Prelim Card Predictions:
Lightweight (155lbs): Jim Miller vs. Joe Solecki – Solecki via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Scott Holtzman vs. Mateusz Gamrot – Gamrot via Decision
(W) Bantamweight (135lbs): Norma Dumont vs. Erin Blanchfield – Erin Blanchfield via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): John Makdessi vs. Ignacio Bahamondes – Bahamondes via Decision
Heavyweight (265lbs): Yorgan De Castro vs. Jarjis Danho – De Castro via KO/TKO
Bantamweight (135lbs): Jack Shore vs. Hunter Azure – Shore via Submission
Featherweight (145lbs): Jordan Griffin vs. Luis Saldaña – Saldana via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Da Un Jung vs. William Knight – Knight via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Impa Kasanganay vs. Sasha Palatnikov – Kasanganay via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.