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UFC Orlando Predictions

UFC Orlando Predictions

UFC Orlando is STACKED. This is a very, very good and deep Fight Night card the promotion is bringing to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida this Saturday night. The main event sees a long-time welterweight stalwart going up against an up-and-comer (sorta). Here are my UFC Orlando predictions.

 

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UFC Orlando Predictions

All odds courtesy of WynnBet

Stephen Thompson (+135) vs Kevin Holland

UFC Orlando Predictions

Yep, I’m taking a 39-year-old who hasn’t won in two years and hasn’t fought in almost a year in the main event, as a big underdog. But even in the twilight of his career, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson is a very difficult matchup and a master of keeping distance on his feet. And it’s hard to put a lot of trust in Kevin Holland, as he tends to be inconsistent. Give me the dog money and let’s hope Thompson isn’t totally ready for the glue factory yet.

Rafael dos Anjos (-580) vs Bryan Barberena

I thought long and hard about getting wild and taking massive underdog Bryan Barberena in the co-main event, but cooler heads prevailed. But, while I expect former champion Rafael dos Anjos to use his superior grappling and rely on his far better resume to beat ‘Bam Bam’, I’m not going anywhere near a -580 line for him in this fight.

Matheus Nicolau (-400) vs Matt Schnell

Matheus Nicolau has won five straight fights, against some very tough competition, and hasn’t lost a fight since July of 2018. 6-1 overall in the UFC, he’s a legit contender at flyweight. Matt Schnell can be a tricky guy to face, but anytime he’s fought the top of the division, he’s lost. Add in that Nicolau is younger and a better striker, and you get yourself a -400 line.

Sergei Pavlovich (-215) vs Tai Tuivasa

Speaking of legit contenders, Sergei Pavlovich is just that up in the heavyweight division. After dropping his UFC debut to Alistair Overeem (tough welcome to the UFC there), he’s won four straight fights, all via knockout. With a seven-foot wingspan, he’ll have a nine-inch reach advantage over Tai Tuivasa. Look for Pavlovich to snipe his way to another knockout here.

Jack Hermansson (-195) vs Roman Dolidze

Roman Dolidze is stepping into this fight on less than two weeks’ notice. Not good. Late replacement fighters have only won 29% of the time this year, and 36% overall. And Jack Hermansson is a tough opponent, solid in every aspect of the sport, and the first real elite fighter Dolidze has faced. Just when I write Hermansson off, he pulls off a win. He better not cross me up again this time.

Kyle Daukaus (-220) vs Eryk Anders

UFC Orlando Predictions

While I was premature writing off Jack Hermansson in the past, I don’t think the same can be said for Eryk Anders. Loser of two straight, with only one win in his last five, he’s going to be at a severe grappling and age disadvantage against Kyle Daukaus. Hopefully Daukaus’s chin isn’t shot after getting knocked out in his last fight, because Anders does have some power.

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Philip Rowe (+120) vs Niko Price

Let’s get in on another dog in Philip Rowe. He’s won two straight fights, both via TKO, and opponent Niko Price gets hit a lot. Price has also been out of the cage for over a year, and will be at a four-inch reach disadvantage in this matchup. Plus, ‘The Fresh Prince’ has finished all nine of his MMA wins (five knockouts, four submissions).

Emily Ducote (-120) vs Angela Hill

Angela Hill is a popular fighter, but her popularity outstrips her performances in the cage. Emily Ducote is a far more talented fighter who is also nine years younger. A winner of four straight, and former Invicta champion, she hasn’t tasted defeat since November 2019. And she’s capable of things like this:

Scott Holtzman (-155) vs Clay Guida

Yes, Clay Guida is still in the UFC. And I seriously considered taking him in this fight, as Scott Holtzman is pretty much the same age as him (two years younger). But ‘Hot Sauce’ is far more active striking, is a solid grappler like Guida, and has fought far tougher opponents as of late – Guida has basically only beaten fighters far past their prime recently.

Marc Diakiese (-325) vs Michael Johnson

One of those “past their prime” fighters that Clay Guida did beat is Michael Johnson. Marc Diakiese has been on a tear of late, really leaning heavily into his strong, underrated grappling. And he’s seven years younger than ‘The Menace’. Oh – and Diakiese can crack a little bit.

https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1506088686701608960

Jonathan Pearce (-495) vs Darren Elkins

Age matters in this sport, especially at lower weight classes, and Jonathan Pearce is eight years younger than Darren Elkins. He’s won four straight, is a more active striker than Elkins, and is a better grappler. JSP is the pick.

Amanda Ribas (-110) vs Tracy Cortez

UFC Orlando Predictions

I’m a little concerned about Amanda Ribas making flyweight her home, especially in this matchup against a former bantamweight. But the level of competition Ribas has faced compared to Tracy Cortez is striking. The Brazilian has only lost to elite female fighters. Plus I feel she’s better than Cortez at Cortez’s strength – grappling.

Natan Levy (-195) vs Genaro Valdez

I like Natan Levy’s strength of schedule better than Genaro Valdez’s. And Valdez got totally outclassed in his UFC debut against Matt Frevola (I guess there’s no shame in that). Levy came into the UFC as a highly thought of prospect – I think he makes it two straight wins on Saturday night.

Francis Marshall (-165) vs Marcelo Rojo

Francis Marshall really opened some eyes on last season of Dana White’s Contender Series, beating a very game Connor Matthews. Marcelo Rojo has been finished in two straight fights (his only two in the octagon), was badly outstruck in both, and is 11 years older than ‘The Fire’ Marshall.

Yazmin Jauregui (-325) vs Istela Nunes

In the opener, I like undefeated prospect Yazmin Jauregui to run her record to 10-0 by beating Istela Nunes. She’s seven years younger, a more active striker, and a better grappler, and Nunes has yet to win in the UFC (0-2).

 

 

Overall Record: 906-619

2022
Record: 300-165
Earnings:  -($550.22)
Return on Investment:  -1.2%

 

 

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Jeff Fox is the evil genius behind https://moneymma.substack.com. His work has also appeared in SLAM, Athlon Sports, FIGHT! & Fighters Only magazines, SI.com, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other fine establishments across the globe.

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