UFC Fight Night Predictions and Picks: Expert Eyes 2 Underdogs and a +122 Parlay
With the UFC in full swing throughout 2021, we here at Odds Checker will be looking to have you covered when it comes to betting on MMA. As a longtime martial arts analyst and gambler, I'll be providing you with everything from technical analysis to my favorite lines in the form of parlays, props, and more for upcoming fight cards.
Last week's sheet was another winner, as we'll look to keep that positive momentum going here!
UFC Fight Night Main Event: Santos vs. Walker
The main event for UFC Vegas 38 features a fun, light heavyweight fight between Thiago Santos (-158) and Johnny Walker (+134).
It's a volatile matchup on paper, as I don't suspect the betting lines will get much wider by Saturday. That said, I do believe that the dynamic of this battle should be a fairly clear one.
If Walker can't find success with an opportunistic flying knee or right hand within the first round, then I suspect that Santos will either break the younger man down with leg and bodywork or get him out of there with a hook off the counter.
Regardless of which side you like, I suggest looking at the under 1.5 rounds (-105) as a potential hedge, as I see these two styles making for first-round fireworks.
Underdog Pick: Jared Gordon +120
In one of my more confident plays of the card, I elected to play Jared Gordon as an underdog opposite Joe Solecki.
Although Solecki's submission skills impressed me on the Contender Series, I don't believe he's been tested enough to deserve the distinction as the favorite here. More importantly, Solecki has not shown the best striking or wrestling, as most of his positional success and takedowns have come more from his opponent's mistakes rather than his own offense.
Not only will Gordon be the better striker and wrestler on paper, but this will also be his third camp with Sanford MMA – a team that has been on fire in regards to both preparing fighters and getting them wins. If Solecki fails to submit the John Danaher brown belt, then I believe that Gordon will either knock him out late or outwork him by decision.
Underdog Pick: Jamie Mullarkey +130
I don't blame anyone for not following me off this cliff at first glance, but I believe that Jamie Mullarkey is a live dog opposite Devonte Smith.
Even though I don't necessarily disagree with Smith being the betting favorite, I warn anyone overlooking the underrated Mullarkey.
Not only is Mullarkey the more experienced fighter on paper, but his resume is deceptive given that he spent a lot of his career competing at featherweight when he was arguably too large for the weight class.
Now, after moving back to lightweight and linking up with former foes like Alexander Volkanovski and Brad Riddell, Mullarkey has been quietly improving his skills over the past few years. But, more importantly, Mullarkey shows the propensity to use tools and tactics that have troubled Smith in the past, whether it be his sneaky left hook or ability to counter over the top of his opponent's jab.
Whether he can test Smith's gas tank or touch his somewhat suspect chin, Mullarkey is a dog that will fight for your money. For that reason, he earns a solid sprinkle from me.
UFC Fight Night Parlay (+122)
As I always say, parlaying is a mad man's game in MMA. That said, I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't dabble in them for fun (keyword fun). I decided to go with a chalk trio that could produce plus money for this week's parlay.
For my first leg, I went with Aspen Ladd, who faces Macy Chiasson.
Chiasson comes from a team that I greatly respect in Fortis MMA, but I suspect that The Ultimate Fighter winner's propensity to crash distance into her comfort of the clinch could cost her against Ladd. For that reason, I'll side with the fighter who is more likely to end up on top in the smaller cage – and that's Ladd.
I elected to go with the popular parlay piece in Karol Rosa for my second leg, who faces Bethe Correia. Basically, Correia is on her way out while Rosa is the better grappler with a more reliable striking output and process, as I suspect Rosa rolls via unanimous decision.
Lastly, I elected to go with Douglas Andrade to close out this parlay. The Brazilian veteran will face a fellow striker in Gaetano Pirrello, who – despite coming from a muay Thai base – will likely be overmatched by both the counters and combinations of a proven product like Andrade.
Regardless of what you're betting, good luck and bet responsibly, my friends!
And if you'd like more of my analysis, feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya' Neck Podcast.