Last weekend’s UFC Fight Night: Covington vs Lawler didn’t happen, okay? Never happened. Now, moving along, let’s get some winning picks figured out for the return of UFC FIGHT ISLAND, BABY!!!! Here is the UFC 253 Full Fight Card with picks for every fight.
UFC 253 is a very top-heavy card, with two title fights on the bill, but the rest of the card is fairly pedestrian. But that makes no difference to use in our quest for big, big bucks.
So, let’s get it on, c’mon.
All odds courtesy of MyBookie
UFC 253 Full Fight Card Picks
Israel Adesanya (-185) vs Paulo Costa
Our main event Saturday on the UFC 253 Full Fight Card is a grudge match between two unbeaten knockout machines for the UFC Middleweight Championship. You couldn’t write a better script for a thrilling fight. I’m riding with the current champ, Israel Adesanya, to go to 20-0 after Saturday, handing the Brazilian his first loss in 14 pro fights. I like the New Zealander’s reach advantage, his more diverse striking attack, and championship experience to carry the day.
Dominick Reyes (-275) vs Jan Blachowicz
With Jon Jones off to the heavyweight division, this fight is a battle for his vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. In one corner is former college football player and 12-1 MMA pro Dominick Reyes. In the other, career journeyman Jan Blachowicz, who’s on a three-fight winning streak. I’m going with “The Devastator” to capture the belt, as his only loss was to Jones and it was via a very contested judges’ decision.
Kai Kara-France (-235) vs Brandon Royval
Adesanya’s City Kickboxing teammate Kai Kara-France gets a chance to shine on the main card on Saturday night as well, in a flyweight tilt against Brandon Royval. I like “Don’t Blink” in this fight due to his superior striking and impeccable takedown defense, but the line in this one might be a tad high.
Ketlen Vieira (-190) vs Sijara Eubanks
‘Sarj’ Eubanks just fought two weeks ago in Las Vegas, now she’s back at it in Abu Dhabi, so this is very short notice for her. Considering late replacement fighters are only winning 36% of their fights this year (look for more stats like that in an upcoming UFC Betting For Dummies article I’m working on), and Ketlen Vieira has beaten a slew of top fighters before losing her first pro fight last time out, it all adds up to “Fenomeno” being my pick (that was one long-ass sentence).
Hakeem Dawodu (+110) vs Zubaira Tukhugov
My first dog of the day is Canadian kickboxer Hakeem Dawodu. First off, he holds the striking advantage over Zubaira Tukhugov, which is the single biggest factor in picking a winner of a fight. Plus, Tukhugov missed weight by four pounds for the fight – fighters missing weight this year only win 32% of the time. Plus, Dawodu has a huge reach advantage. Live dog.
Brad Riddell (-330) vs Alex da Silva
Brad Riddell is yet another City Kickboxing product, turning UFC Fight Island into a territory of New Zealand. And if my UFC 253 Full Fight Card Picks are correct (which they normally are), this is going to be a fun evening for the New Zealanders. Riddell has a distinct striking advantage and the grappling chops to win this fight, although -330 is a little steep.
Jake Matthews (-725) vs Diego Sanchez
Jake Matthews isn’t from New Zealand, but instead Australia – close enough. And he should slaughter Diego Sanchez in this fight, as he’s just plain better everywhere and is 13 years younger than the grizzled veteran.
Shane Young (-110) vs L’udovit Klein
Hey look – it’s another City Kickboxing fighter, and hey look – I’m picking him to win. Klein is a UFC newcomer, taking this fight on short notice, and missed weight on Friday. Three strikes against him there. But he’ll be the first Slovakian to fight in the octagon, so that’s something.
William Knight (+135) vs Aleksa Camur
Statistically there should be three or four underdogs coming through on this card, so I’ll roll the dice on another one in William Knight. He’s had two impressive KO victories on Dana White’s Contender Series and should be the better grappler in this fight.
Juan Espino (-300) vs Jeff Hughes
‘El Guapo’ is the superior fighter in all aspects of this fight, as well as being larger than Jeff Hughes. So, he’s got to be my pick here, despite being 40 years old and being on the shelf for almost two years.
Khadis Ibragimov (-170) vs Danilo Marques
Ibragimov was a perfect 8-0 heading into the UFC, but has lost three straight since then. I think he wins this make or break fight against newcomer Marques in the curtain jerker.
UFC Fight Night Overall Results
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