Bet of the Card: (1u) Molly McCann Moneyline @ +105 (to Return 2.05 Units)
(1u) Molly McCann via Decision @ +160 (to Return 2.6 Units)
Preliminary Card Headliner – Women’s Flyweight (125lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 3:40 p.m. EST.
- Molly McCann has landed 2+ takedowns in all 3 of her UFC wins (per UFCStats.com).
- Ji Yeon Kim yields a takedown defense percentage of just 42%, and she’s given up takedowns to Alexa Grasso, Nadia Kassem, and Antonina Shevchenko, all of whom are labeled as strikers.
All of Molly McCann’s UFC fights have more or less been decided by who is the better grappler. She’s 3-3 in the promotion, and in each of her losses she’s given up multiple takedowns, and in each of her wins she’s landed multiple takedowns. She’s not an esteemed wrestler, but when she feels like she has an advantage in the wrestling, she generally doesn’t hesitate to use it to gain the upper hand.
Almost the polar opposite, Ji Yeon Kim will try to do anything but grapple. Her 5' 7" frame and 72" reach is massive for a women’s flyweight fighter, and although she often struggles to use it effectively, it still proves problems for her opponents when she’s throwing strikes at range. When in close, Kim’s defensive wrestling leaves a lot to be desired, and her giving up takedowns against fighters who are often reluctant to grapple, leads me to believe that McCann should be able to drag her down and keep her down for decent periods.
The striking should be somewhat close, even with Kim’s range advantage, but considering I see the potential for a lot of success in the grappling for McCann, it makes her a no-brainer underdog play for me.
(1.5u) Over 2.5 Rounds @ -125 (to Return 2.7 Units)
Main Event - Middleweight (185lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 6:15 p.m. EST.
- Derek Brunson has gone to a decision in 3 of his last 4 fights.
- Darren Till has been to the scorecards in both of his middleweight bouts, including in his most recent fight, a 5 round main event against Robert Whittaker.
This is a tricky fight to call. On one side, you’ve got Darren Till, a fighter known for his striking, yet hampered by his tendency to throw with exceptionally low volume. And on the other side, there’s Derek Brunson, who is now best utilizing his wrestling skills to take his opponents down and smother them on the mat (pictured below: taking down Ian Heinisch). Of course, there is always the inherent risk that Derek Brunson will revert to his madman-style of sticking his chin up in the air, running in a straight line, and swinging frantically for the moon until either he or his opponent falls down. But, considering he seems to have settled down considerably since going to Stanford MMA, I’d like to think, at least from a betting perspective, that he’s put all of that behind him.
So, this comes down to who can best implement their gameplan, and to be honest, it’s tough to say. I tend to lean towards Till as his takedown defense and get-up game is pretty decent, and this combined with his cardio advantage makes me think that he should win the majority of the fight, especially if it goes later.
However, instead of betting his moneyline at -175, which I feel is perhaps a little too pricy to play, I actually really like taking the over 2.5 rounds prop instead. Till isn’t a notorious power puncher, which leads me to believe that even if he’s able to dominate on the feet, he won’t necessarily be able to just body bag Brunson. And, if Brunson is able to get his wrestling game going early, we’re going to see some minutes being stripped off the clock, with little threat of a finish. Brunson is 37-years-old which is a mild concern, and we have seen Till’s chin get cracked before, but providing Brunson doesn’t go back to going “full Brunson” (swinging to the death), then we should see a reasonably paced and calculated fight.
(1u) Charles Jourdain Inside The Distance @ +140 (to Return 2.4 Units)
Preliminary Card - Catchweight (150lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 2:15 p.m. EST.
- Charles Jourdain has an 11-3-1 record, with all 11 of his wins coming via stoppage (8 KO/TKOs and 3 Submissions).
- Julian Erosa has 6 KO/TKO losses (per Tapology.com).
Julian Erosa is a scrappy well-rounded underdog, but unfortunately for him, he’s got a suspect chin, and that often proves to be the deciding factor in his losses. Charles Jourdain is a slick kickboxer who throws with precision, power, and volume, and although he rarely fights to the best of his abilities, he is a perennial finisher, and sooner or later that leads to him landing a knockout, at least against lessor fighters.
I could over-complicate this breakdown, but that’s really as simple as it needs to be. Erosa will have moments in this fight, he too throws with decent volume, and his wrestling could even win him minutes in this fight. But, unfortunately for him, his chin is primed to get checked in all of his fights, and that’s not ideal when coming up against someone with the striking pedigree of Jourdain.
There are of course scenarios when Erosa manages to scrap his way to a win here, but more often than not, I see Jourdain catching him with a fight-ending blow, thus making his “inside the distance” prop a solid play at a plus number.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till / UFC on ESPN+ 49 / UFC Vegas 36 / #UFCVegas36
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Start time: Main Card: 4 p.m. EST, Prelims 1:30 p.m. EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Main Event Prediction:
Middleweight (185lbs): Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till – Till via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Main Card Predictions:
Heavyweight (265lbs): Tom Aspinall vs. Sergey Spivak – Aspinall via KO/TKO
Welterweight (170lbs): Alex Morono vs. David Zawada – Zawada via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Khalil Rountree vs. Modestas Bukauskas – Bukauskas via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Luigi Vendramini vs. Paddy Pimblett – Vendramini via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Prelim Card Predictions:
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Molly McCann vs. Ji Yeon Kim – McCann via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Jack Shore vs. Liudvik Sholinian – Shore via Decision
Catchweight (150lbs): Charles Jourdain vs. Julian Erosa – Jourdain via KO/TKO
Middleweight (185lbs): Marc-André Barriault vs. Dalcha Lungiambula – Barriault via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Jonathan Martinez vs. Marcelo Rojo – Martinez via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.