The good times kept rolling last weekend at UFC 272, as this column went 9-4 and made a buttload of money. This weekend’s UFC offering is a bit more of a difficult puzzle to solve, as there are a few matchups that are tough to pick a winner in. Nevertheless, pick a winner – 14 of them in total – I have done. Here are my UFC Vegas 50 predictions.
UFC Vegas 50 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Magomed Ankalaev (-550) vs Thiago Santos
Saturday’s light heavyweight main event pits two fighters going in opposite directions. Former title challenger Thiago Santos has only won one of his last four fights, while opponent Magomed Ankalaev has won seven straight after dropping his UFC debut. The younger man (by eight years) is my pick, as Santos appears to have trouble pulling the trigger (common among aged fighters) and his Dagestanian counterpart should be able to capitalize on it.
Song Yadong (-260) vs Marlon Moraes
Marlon Moraes is another aging fighter I am going to fade, as his last four losses (in five fights) have come via (T)KO. This weekend he’s facing a fighter nine years his junior fresh off a head kick knockout victory. While Song Yadong isn’t exactly a knockout machine, I don’t know if it takes one to put the lights out on Moraes at this point. Yadong is the pick.
Sodiq Yusuff (-260) vs Alex Caceres
Alex Caceres has looked really good as of late, winning five straight and six of seven, but ‘Super’ Sodiq Yusuff is a big step up in competition. Too big a step up in my opinion. Yusuff is going to be too fast and cracks too hard for Caceres to hang with on the feet for too long.
Karl Roberson (-130) vs Khalil Rountree Jr.
Two middling light heavyweights meet up in this main card matchup. I’ll take ‘Baby K’ Karl Roberson to win, as wrestling and grappling are his weaknesses, while Khalil Rountree Jr. is a kickboxer by trade. Roberson is also the better grappler of the two men.
Terrance McKinney (+140) vs Drew Dober
Yet another short-notice fight for ‘T.Wrecks’ Terrance McKinney, as he just fought – and won – on February 26th. But he’s been so impressive in his two UFC fights – both finishes – and with his ceiling still not yet reached, he’s a steal at +140 against veteran Drew Dober. McKinney could (will?) be the better man wherever this fight takes place.
Bruno Silva (+150) vs Alex Pereira
Two kickboxers kick off the main card, and I’m going with the more experienced (in mixed martial arts) of them in Bruno ‘Blindado’ Silva. While Alex Pereira has the far better kickboxing pedigree – being a multi-time champion in that realm – I like Silva more as a mixed martial artist and I love the 1.5 times my money being offered on him.
Matthew Semelsberger (-225) vs A.J. Fletcher
The debuting A.J. Fletcher gets himself hit too often for my liking, and Matthew Semelsberger has the power (six knockouts in nine pro wins) and skills to take advantage of this. ‘Semi the Jedi’ is my pick to win.
Gillian Robertson (-135) vs JJ Aldrich
I’m going against the stats and taking another short-notice fighter in Gillian Robertson. I’m expecting her grappling to overwhelm JJ Aldrich, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see her win via submission, if you want a juicy prop to play.
Javid Basharat (-150) vs Trevin Jones
‘The Snow Leopard’ Javid Basharat impressed on Dana White’s Contender Series, getting himself signed to the UFC, with this being his debut. I expect him to use his strong grappling skills to push his record to 12-0 after he beats Trevin Jones.
Damon Jackson (-112) vs Kamuela Kirk
I’m backing the veteran Damon Jackson in this pick ’em fight against Kamuela Kirk. ‘The Leech’ has looked very good since fighting his way back into the UFC a few fights ago, and hopefully he can use his veteran grittiness to beat his younger competitor Kamuela Kirk.
Miranda Maverick (-325) vs Sabina Mazo
Another short-notice fighter?! Seriously?! Miranda Maverick’s grappling is just too good and she’s just too physically strong for Sabina Mazo to handle, regardless of how much time Maverick has had to prepare for this women’s flyweight fight.
Dalcha Lungiambula (-130) vs Cody Brundage
I’m waffling on this pick, but I guess I’ll stick with Dalcha Lungiambula. The risk of Cody Brundage gassing him out with his wrestling is very real, but hopefully Dalcha ‘Champion’ utilizes his power and reach advantage before that takes place.
Kris Moutinho (-150) vs Guido Cannetti
I really don’t want to pick either man to win a UFC fight, but since I’m forced to I’ll take the man who is 13 years younger, Kris Moutinho, over Guido Cannetti. Age matters, especially at a lighter weight class like bantamweight. Plus, Moutinho is the more active striker of the two.
Azamat Murzakanov (-185) vs Tafon Nchukwi
In Saturday’s curtain jerker, I’ll take newcomer Azamat Murzakanov to use his strength, close-range striking, and grappling to beat Tafon Nchukwi.
Overall Record: 663-483
Return on Investment: 4.9%
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