The octagon returns to the States this weekend after a banger of a show in London. UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Daukaus takes place in Columbus, Ohio, and features a heavyweight main event between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. Here are my UFC Columbus predictions to get you into the money on Saturday.
UFC Columbus Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Curtis Blaydes (-400) vs Chris Daukaus
After a few weeks of evenly matched (on paper) main events, we’re back to big mismatches atop the cards. This one is very simple to break down – Curtis Blaydes is a next-level MMA wrestler, and Chris Daukaus will not be able to keep him off him and will probably struggle to get up once ‘Razor’ takes him down. The man who has only lost to Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis gets another win on Saturday.
Alexa Grasso (-240) vs Joanne Wood
The co-main event pits two top-ranked women’s flyweights headed in opposite directions. Joanne Wood has lost two straight, three of four, and four of six. Things aren’t going to get much better on Saturday, as Alexa Grasso is eight years younger and has won two straight and three of four. She’s winning this striking battle.
Matt Brown (-110) vs Bryan Barberena
Saturday features three fighters in their 40s, including the 41-year-old ‘hometown’ hero Matt Brown. I like him to win this pick ’em welterweight fight against Bryan Barberena. This is a good matchup for him, as I think he has both the striking and grappling advantage against ‘Bam Bam’.
Askar Askarov (-375) vs Kai Kara-France
Next, we move to a defacto #1 contender’s fight in the flyweight division. Askar Askarov is an elite wrestler and has already faced and beaten most of the top fighters in the weight class. While Kai Kara-France is a great striker, he won’t be able to utilize it much while on his back with Askarov on top of him.
Ilir Latifi (-239) vs Alexey Oleinik
While the 38-year-old Ilir Latifi is no spring chicken, he’s still six years younger than the oldest fighter in the UFC, Alexey Oleinik. Oleinik has lost three straight fights, and with this being pro MMA fight number 77 for him, I think he’s pretty much done. Latifi should be able to grind out a W.
Viacheslav Borshchev (-165) vs Marc Diakiese
‘Slava Claus’ Viacheslav Borshchev is part of the impressive group of newcomers to enter the UFC off last season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He won his UFC debut by knockout, and I expect him to beat Marc Diakiese, who has dropped two straight. I don’t know what the ceiling is for Borschchev, but Diakiese isn’t it.
Neil Magny (-240) vs Max Griffin
This is a fairly tough one to pick, as Max Griffin has looked good as of late. However, so has veteran Neil Magny, winner of four of five. He has four inches of height and reach over Griffin, and should be the superior grappler as well.
Karol Rosa (-220) vs Sara McMann
Now I’m picking against the oldest female in the UFC, former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, Sara McMann. Karol Rosa should be able to pick her apart on the feet and has good wrestling defense as well.
Chris Gutierrez (+120) vs Danaa Batgerel
Time to get in on some plus money. While Danaa Batgerel has scary power, I like ‘El Guapo’ Chris Gutierrez’s well-roundedness and hot streak he’s been on against better competition than Batgerel.
Aliaskhab Khizriev (-650) vs Denis Tiuliulin
Denis Tiuliulin steps into this fight between debuting UFC fighters on short notice. He’s also lost five times on the regional scene in only 15 fights and doesn’t look to be on Aliaskhab Khizriev’s level – undefeated in 13 pro fights.
Manon Fiorot (-450) vs Jennifer Maia
My favorite prospect on this card is Manon Fiorot. Her striking should light up former title challenger Jennifer Maia as ‘The Beast’ continues her rise up the women’s flyweight rankings.
Matheus Nicolau (+108) vs David Dvorak
I’m liking underdog Matheus Nicolau as a live dog in his flyweight fight against David Dvorak. The striking, the grappling, the experience – he has it all over Dvorak.
Luis Saldana (-110) vs Bruno Souza
The curtain jerker is another pick ’em fight. I think Luis Saldana has the advantage everywhere this fight goes and is also slightly bigger, so he’s the pick.
Overall Record: 680-492
Return on Investment: 3.8%
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