Everybody’s favorite Tuesday night action is upon us again. Dana White’s Contender Series is back for Week 3, live from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It seems that anybody who wins on this year’s edition of the show (and even one who didn’t) is a lock to win a contract. Regardless of who walks home with a big win, we’re here to help you pick up some wins at the bookmaker.
Dana White’s Contender Series – Week 3 Predictions
Jailton Junior (+160) vs Nasrudin Nasrudinov
Jailton Junior is an absolute monster when it comes to that killer instinct that you look for in fighters. A lot of top experts expected him to get the call straight to the UFC and not even need the Contender Series. However, he finds himself here against someone who will probably want to strike with him in Nasrudinov. While that’s what the Russian may want, I actually think Junior will be the more well-versed striker. He also will clearly be better than Nasrudinov if it does hit the mats. I think it may be the Russian bias that has Nasrudinov as the favorite here because I think Junior takes this wherever it goes. Consider this the top play for the night.
Mo Miller (-275) vs Brandon Lewis
This matchup is a classic striker versus grappler affair. Lewis has some really dexterous kicks and likes to use them on their own or to end combinations. Miller, on the other hand, loves to slam people on their heads. He’s not one of those wrestlers that just enjoys the takedowns against the cage. Instead, he times his shots well and finishes with high angled slams. In fact, his last fight ended via slam in LFA – a fight that went viral and likely got him the shot on this show. While I think that the kicks of Lewis can cause Miller some issues, I don’t think he can do so consistently enough to gain any real momentum. Expect Miller to get some really flashy takedowns and make the boss man very happy.
Caio Bittencourt (+300) vs Albert Duraev
Picking a +300 underdog here is a bold move, but it’s more so where I see the value on this line rather than the fact that I think Bittencourt has the best chance to win. Instead, I see that Duraev has been cracked a few times on the chin. All of his losses have come by KO and it just so happens that Bittencourt has got some pretty mean punches. More than likely Duraev is going to try to overwhelm Bittencourt with takedown attempts, and that may be his path to victory. However, at the current price, you’re better going dog or pass here. Bittencourt has good finishing instinct and is worth a look here if you’re feeling lucky. Plus, the Contender Series has been trending well for sizeable underdogs.
Lukasz Brzeski (-255) vs Dylan Potter
This is a Contender Series fight featuring a late-notice replacement in Dylan Potter. Potter is game and can hang with some really tough guys, but he’s really not a heavyweight. He typically fights at light heavyweight and in the few heavyweight fights he’s had, he’s only weighed in at 212lbs or so. With that being said, I still don’t love the number attached to Brzeski here. He’s got good wrestling, but he does tire kind of quickly. He should have loads of advantages in this fight and I’m having trouble finding a way for Potter to win (other than maybe exhaustion). Still, a -255 line doesn’t instill confidence for me.
Jack Della Maddalena (-155) vs Ange Loosa
The matchmakers knew what they were doing when they put these two up against each other. Both of them are going to be swinging for the fences and one of them just might hit it out of the park. It’s exactly what you would want to see from a Contender Series fight. Where I see the difference being made is that Della turns up the pressure a bit better than Loosa does. While trying to find his groove, Loose sometimes gets backed against the cage. Although he has been able to swing his way free in the past, I’m not sure the Aussie will let him off the hook as easily. I think regardless of who wins, this should be non-stop action. That style of fight will favor Della and I expect him to get a finish in this one.
Jasmine Jasudavicius (+100) vs Julia Polastri
Jasudavicius is coming off a three-fight run in CFFC (one of the leading regional promotions) that saw her fight for the title against eventually UFC-signee Elise Reed. While the judges saw the fight for Reed, most people watching agreed that Jasudavicius should have gotten the nod. The way she did it is with some incredible reach for the flyweight division. Standing 5’7″ with 69″ of reach, she’s always going to have advantages in the striking department. Polastri is going to be ceding 5″ of height and 6.5″ of reach in this one. The way Jasudavicius fights using her length, I think Polastri is going to have some trouble. While there are some steep prices on this Contender Series card that I may stay away from, I do really like the even money comeback on Jasudavicius here.
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