UFC Fight Night: Smith vs Rakic was a profitable event for this column, going 8-1. But no time to rest back on our laurels, as the UFC is back at it again this week from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas with UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Sakai.
So, let’s get it on, c’mon.
All odds courtesy of MyBookie
Alistair Overeem (-150) vs Augusto Sakai
A clash of body types here, as Alistair Overeem looks like his nickname, ‘Demolition Man’, while Augusto Sakai….. doesn’t. Both men have crazy knockout power, and Sakai has never been knocked out before, but I like The Reem prevailing in this one. His high level experience is unmatched, and he’s been fighting much smarter the past few years. He’s a far more well rounded fighter, and if he can avoid Sakai’s power shots, he should get the W.
Ovince Saint Preux (-105) vs Alonzo Menifield
This fight was set to go down a couple of weeks ago before, but OSP caught COVID and the fight got scraped last minute. Here’s what I wrote at that time, and I guess I’m sticking with it (although Saint Preux is no longer at plus money):
After a brief cameo as a heavyweight, OSP is back to his natural 205-pound weight class for this clash against Alonzo Menifield. He’ll have the size advantage (three inches of height, four inches of reach), and a solid enough chin to avoid getting his lights put out by the KO artist. I like the plus money here.
Karol Rosa (-130) vs Sijara Eubanks
Tough one to pick here in the women’s bantamweight class, but I’ll go with the chalk in Karol Rosa. She’s much younger than Sijara Eubanks, and is a perfect 2-0 in the UFC and a far more active striker than Sarj.
Michel Pereira (-115) vs Zelim Imadaev
Two guys on two-fight losing skids meet up in this one, with the loser likely being forced to seek employment elsewhere. I’ll taking the flashy ‘Demolidor’ (demolisher) to get the job done, due to his higher level of UFC competition and superior striking and grappling stats.
Thiago Moises (-170) vs Jalin Turner
Thiago Moises and ‘Tarantula’ Jalin Turner have had similar success in the UFC, both with identical 2-2 records and both winning one fight, then losing the next. So something has to give here. I’m going with Moises, who is coming off a very impressive submission victory over veteran Michael Johnson.
Bartosz Fabinski (-145) vs Andre Muniz
‘The Butcher’, Bartosz Fabinski, is the pick in this prelim match. He’s a grappling machine, and Andre Muniz has shown a weakness in defending takedowns. Plus Fabinski just beat highly regarded Darren Stewart in his last fight.
Viviane Araujo (-180) vs Montana De La Rosa
I really like Montana De La Rosa as a fighter, but this matchup with Viviane Araujo is a bad one for her. She relies on her amazing grappling and jiu jitsu to get the job done in fights, and Vivi has never been taken down in the UFC, has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has never been submitted in her pro career.
Alexander Romanov (-120) vs Marcos Rogerio De Lima
‘King Kong’ enters the UFC heavyweight division with a perfect 11-0 record, and I expect it to be 12-0 come Saturday night. While his opponent, Marco Rogerio De Lima, is a nine-fight UFC veteran (5-4), he’s been submitted in all four of his losses and has very poor takedown defense. Romanov, meanwhile, represented Moldova in wrestling, has wicked ground and pound and chokes, and will be the bigger man in this fight.
Hunter Azure (-220) vs Cole Smith
While it pains me to go against a fellow Canadian, I’m picking Hunter Azure to win this battle with Cole Smith. He’s younger, longer, and just has better stats across the board, in striking and grappling. -220 might be a bit steep, however.
Brian Kelleher (-225 not posted on MB) vs Kevin Natividad
Brian ‘Boom’ Kelleher is a tough matchup for anyone, with his all-around game and ability to knockout or submit with equal ability. Add in the fact that Kevin Natividad is a UFC newcomer and is taking this fight last minute, and this should be a mountain too high to climb for him.
Return on Investment: 2.1%