After a rare week off, the bright lights will be back on above the octagon on Saturday as the UFC returns with UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland, aka UFC Vegas 47. I’m hitting on 55% of my picks in the early going this year, so I need to step it up to get back up to my minimum 60% hit rate. It all starts right here with my winning UFC Vegas 47 predictions.
UFC Vegas 47 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Sean Strickland (-225) vs Jack Hermansson
Don’t let the crazy things he says distract you from the fact that Sean Strickland is a damn good MMA fighter. And he’s on the best run of his career, winning five straight to bring his UFC record to a very impressive 11-3. Jack Hermansson is no match for Strickland on the feet, which is where I think ‘Tarzan’ will be able to keep the fight. Strickland makes it six straight on Saturday night as he edges closer to a title shot.
Nick Maximov (+160) vs Punahele Soriano
Let’s roll the dice on a Nick Diaz protege and grab underdog Nick Maximov in the co-main event. He had a successful UFC debut, making him a perfect 7-0 to start his young career. He’s got the youth and reach on his side, and I think he’s a good enough wrestler to put it on Punahele Soriano.
Shavkat Rakhmonov (-250) vs Carlston Harris
Back to the chalk, as I’m taking impressive prospect Shavkat Rakhmonov to win in his welterweight fight against Carlston Harris. ‘Nomad’ is another undefeated fighter, going 14-0 thus far, with all of his wins coming via finish (seven knockouts, seven submissions). While he’s known for his grappling, he also has underrated striking. He can win this fight no matter where it takes place.
Brendan Allen (-400) vs Sam Alvey
This is Sam Alvey’s third opponent lined up for his fight, as his first two backed out, the most recent just this past Tuesday. Now young prospect Brendan Allen jumps in on less than a week’s notice, and the fight has been moved up to light heavyweight. Alvey has gone 0-6-1 over his last seven fights, while Allen is nine years younger, a better striker and grappler, and has gone 5-2 in his UFC career. Easy pick.
Bryan Battle (+128) vs Tresean Gore
The original Ultimate Fighter 29 Finale finally takes place this weekend, as an injury to Tresean Gore caused him to pull out of the actual finals, which Bryan Battle ended up winning. Battle looked very good in that TUF finale fight and is a far better grappler (and more experienced) than Gore. I’m liking that plus money.
Julian Erosa (-300) vs Steven Peterson
It took this, his third stint in the UFC, for Julian Erosa to put it all together, but he seems to have done just that, winning three of his last four fights. He’s a pretty wild fighter, but is a finisher of the highest order, winning 11 fights via knockout and 12 via submission. He also has a pretty substantial size advantage over Steven Peterson.
Miles Johns (-188) vs John Castaneda
Miles Johns is one of the best young bantamweight fighters in the UFC, so I’m happily snatching him up at this fairly advantageous number. He should have both the striking and grappling advantage over the inconsistent John Castaneda.
Hakeem Dawodu (-180) vs Michael Trizano
We’re about to go on a big run of Canadian fighters here, starting with ‘Mean’ Hakeem Dawodu. The former kickboxer is going to outstrike Michael Trizano and has a couple of inches of reach to do so with. I’ll back my fellow Canuck in this one.
Chidi Njokuani (-105) vs Marc-Andre Barriault
And just like that I become a traitor and pick against Quebec’s Marc-Andre Barriault. Debuting veteran Chidi Njokuani looked really good on Dana White’s Contender Series and he should win what hopefully will be an exciting striking battle.
Alexis Davis (-230) vs Julija Stoliarenko
I kind of want to fade both of these fighters, but I’ll pick another Canadian, once again, in Alexis Davis. Julija Stoliarenko has yet to win a UFC fight over two runs in the organization (she’s 0-3) and she relies on grappling to win the fights she does win, which is where Davis excels.
Jailton Almeida (-400) vs Danilo Marques
Jailton Almeida was one of the most impressive performers on the aforementioned Dana White’s Contender Series and is a well-polished, all-around excellent fighter. He should dispose of his first UFC victim, Danilo Marques, this weekend, and probably via finish.
Phillip Rowe (-135) vs Jason Witt
Phil Rowe is a better striker than wrestler Jason Witt, and get this, is five inches taller and has 10 (!!) inches of reach advantage over him! While Witt’s wrestling can be impressive, I see Rowe using that reach to keep him from getting in on him.
Denys Bondar (-270) vs Malcolm Gordon
I’ll go against the final Canadian on the card, and take highly-touted flyweight prospect Denys Bondar in his UFC debut. ‘Psycho’ has finished all 14 of his pro wins, a very rare feat for a lighter-weight class fighter.
Overall Record: 617-466
Return on Investment: -18.8%
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