We’re back in the money! UFC Vegas 56 went well for this column – our national nightmare is over and the mini-slump is done. Next on the docket is the first of two UFC pay-per-views in July, UFC 276 from Las Vegas. Two title fights top the card, and there isn’t a dud among the 12-fight lineup. Here are my UFC 276 predictions.
UFC 276 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Israel Adesanya (-400) vs Jared Cannonier
There isn’t much intrigue at the very top of the card, as current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya is a heavy favorite to retain his belt against challenger Jared Cannonier. ‘The Killa Gorilla’ is a nice story, cutting down from originally an out-of-shape heavyweight to a world-beater at middleweight, and he’s won five of his last six, but he just isn’t the dynamic fighter that the bigger, younger, more athletic Adesanya is.
Alexander Volkanovski (-190) vs Max Holloway
While their first two encounters were close, Alexander Volkanovski won both of them. So why would I choose against him losing this one to Max Holloway? I wouldn’t. I tend to always go with the winner of a first matchup to win the rematch because that is what happens the majority of the time. Give me the UFC Featherweight Champion Volk to retain.
Sean Strickland (-105) vs Alex Pereira
Now this one is a tougher one to choose. I’m going with the slight underdog in Sean Strickland to beat kickboxing champ, Alex Pereira. First off, Strickland is far more experienced in MMA than Pereira – 28 fights to six. Plus, he’s a more well-rounded fighter who can grind out and/or grapple his way to victory here over the striker. Make it seven straight wins for ‘Tarzan’ come Saturday.wqe4
Sean O’Malley (-334) vs Pedro Munhoz
‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley is finally getting a reasonable step up in competition in veteran Pedro Munhoz, but he’s still a very heavy favorite heading into this bantamweight fight. While Munhoz is a crafty, tough veteran who’s never been finished in a fight, he has only won once in the last five fights (albeit against elite-level competition). And O’Malley is much bigger (seven inches of reach) and younger (eight years) than him. But can the knockout artist put Munhoz’s lights out for the first time in his career?
Bryan Barberena (+100) vs Robbie Lawler
I’m really going against my Jeff ‘Chalkx’ nickname this week and am backing two underdogs in the main card alone. I don’t know why ‘Bam Bam’ Bryan Barberena is an underdog here, but I’ll take it. Robbie Lawler has won one fight in his past five – a span of five years – and that was against a totally shot Nick Diaz last time out. I’ll take the gritty, younger fighter in Barberena.
Jalin Turner (-150) vs Brad Riddell
To the prelims we go, where I’m taking ‘The Tarantula’ Jalin Turner in the featured lightweight ‘main event’ vs Brad ‘Quake’ Riddell. Half a foot of reach, four years younger, a more active striker, and a better grappler are Turner’s selling points for me in this fight.
Ian Garry (-175) vs Gabriel Green
The first of two fighters on this card called ‘The Future’ that I’m taking is Ian Garry. Bigger and younger than Gabriel Green, the 9-0 Irish prospect should get the better in the striking exchanges between the two men.
Jim Miller (-210) vs Donald Cerrone
In this battle of fan-favorite veterans, I’m going against what I wrote about rematches earlier on and I’m taking Jim Miller to beat Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. While Cowboy won their first encounter, it was eight years ago, and he has looked absolutely awful as of late. Meanwhile, Miller keeps on keeping on, winning his last two.
Dricus du Plessis (-135) vs Brad Tavares
Dricus du Plessis appears to be the real deal, finishing all 16 of his pro wins (against two losses), is a way better striker than Brad Tavares and is seven years younger. I love the -135 number we’re getting on him.
OH. MY. GOODNESS.
— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2021
Andre Muniz (-290) vs Uriah Hall
You never know what you’re going to get from the inconsistent Uriah Hall. However, you do know what you’re getting with Andre Muniz – wins and submission finishes. Hall has never been tapped out before – that may end on Saturday.
Maycee Barber (-260) vs Jessica Eye
For my second ‘The Future’ pick, I’m taking Maycee Barber. Whether or not she really is ‘The Future’ is up for debate, but she should be able to win a grimy encounter with Jessica Eye, who is 12 years older than her and hasn’t won a fight since 2019.
Jessica-Rose Clark (-182) vs Julija Stoliarenko
In the curtain jerker, I’ll take ‘Jessy Jess’ Jessica-Rose Clark. While she did lose her last fight via submission, and Julija Stoliarenko is a submission expert (eight subs in nine wins), she has yet to prove she can win at the UFC level, going 0-4 over two stints.
Overall Record: 776-542
Return on Investment: 4.3%