It turns out 2021 can’t come to a close soon enough, as I’m sputtering to the finish line with my UFC picks. After a three-month plus span of hot picks, I’ve become mediocre the past few events. That all changes this week as we end the year on a high note with my UFC Vegas 45 predictions – all killer, no filler.
UFC Vegas 45 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Derrick Lewis (+115) vs Chris Daukaus
Derrick Lewis has come up short every time UFC gold was on the line, including his last fight against Ciryl Gane, but that is pretty much the only time he loses. He’s gone 4-1 over his last five fights, and I think he gets back in the win column this weekend against Chris Daukaus. While Daukaus has better striking stats, it only takes ‘The Black Beast’ one shot to turn your lights out. Until Lewis proves he’s shot as a fighter, he’s my pick in pretty much any UFC matchup. Especially for plus money.
Stephen Thompson (-250) vs Belal Muhammad
Despite the high odds, I found picking Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson to win this fight far from a given. Belal Muhammad is on the best run of his career, going 5-0-1 over his last six fights, and is five years Thompson’s junior. However, I don’t think Wonderboy is quite done yet, and his confounding style and reach advantage should couple together to earn himself a W.
Amanda Lemos (-375) vs Angela Hill
Amanda Lemos has quietly asserted herself as a legit title contender in the UFC Women’s Strawweight division, winning four straight fights, the last two via TKO. A more active striker and better grappler than Angela Hill, she should dispatch her on Saturday and run her streak to five.
Ricky Simon (-290) vs Raphael Assuncao
A classic old guard vs new guard matchup in the bantamweight division here, and I’m siding with the youngster in Ricky Simon, who is 10 years Raphael Assuncao’s junior. The fact that Assuncao hasn’t fought in a year and a half and hasn’t won a fight in over three years makes the Simon pick even clearer. Oh, also Simon is a very good, underrated fighter. That helps too.
Mateusz Gamrot (-195) vs Diego Ferreira
After coming into the UFC with plenty of hype behind him as a double champion in the Polish promotion KSW (as well as being a grappling and wrestling champ), Mateusz Gamrot promptly dropped his big show debut to Guram Kutateladze (who dat?!). He’s since righted the ship, finishing his last two opponents and looking like everything he’s been advertised to be. He gets his biggest win this weekend over Diego Ferreira.
Cub Swanson (-210) vs Darren Elkins
Two grizzled, exciting scrappers match up here in what could be the Fight of the Night. I’ll grab Cub Swanson to make it three wins out of his last four by beating Darren Elkins. He should have the striking advantage over ‘The Damage’, as long as he can avoid getting grappled up too much.
Gerald Meerschaert (-250) vs Dustin Stoltzfus
Gerald Meerschaert is an expert grappler and submission master, while Dustin Stoltzfus struggles in this realm. In fact, he lost his last fight via submission. Easy pick. If you want to bet a submission prop here, I’m not mad at it. GM3’s career resurgence continues.
Raoni Barcelos (-350) vs Victor Henry
Journeyman Victor Henry will be making his UFC debut here on short notice. Never a winning combination. And Raoni Barcelos is really good, winning five of his six UFC fights.
Justin Tafa (-350) vs Harry Hunsucker
Another #chunkyguy fight, like the main event. Harry Hunsucker hasn’t impressed much, and Justin Tafa is bigger and younger and a better striker AND a better grappler. Easy pick.
Sijara Eubanks (-175) vs Melissa Gatto
‘SarJ’ looked good in her return to flyweight last fight, winning via TKO. Assuming she has the weight cut finally figured out, I like her to be able to beat Melissa Gatto on Saturday. Not an easy pick, however.
Charles Jourdain (-210) vs Andre Ewell
Charles ‘Air’ Jourdain will have the striking and the pressure to put it on ‘Mr. Highlight’ Andre Ewell this weekend, and should be the bigger man of the two, which will help.
Macy Chiasson (+155) vs Raquel Pennington
I’m going against the numbers and taking short-notice replacement Macy Chiasson in this women’s featherweight fight. I think the fight being up a weight class from the two combatant’s normal bantamweight one will help her, and she’ll have a huge height and reach advantage. She’ll be the better striker in this fight – the key is avoiding getting grappled up against the cage too much by Raquel Pennington.
Josh Parisian (+160) vs Don’Tale Mayes
THREE #chunkyguy fights on one fight card!! Christmas has come early! Let’s get some plus money with Josh Parisian, who the stats point to as being the better and more active striker, as well as the better grappler.
Jordan Leavitt (-120) vs Matt Sayles
Matt Sayles has been absent from the UFC since December of 2019, in which time he ballooned up to 250 pounds. He used to fight at 145 pounds; this bout is at lightweight (155 lbs). The layoff, questionable conditioning, and Jordan Leavitt’s grappling make him my pick.
Overall Record: 597-453
Return on Investment: -(4.9)%
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