SMUGGLING DUDS UFC 294 GAMBLING GUIDE
A festive trip to NYC but not with the original heavyweight main card bout fans expected, but a one we deserve, and a one which could see England get another UFC champion! Albeit an interim one.
Main Card (BT Sport)
Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira (Light Heavyweight)
As a result of injuries and pull outs, recently it’s been like pass the parcel with the UFC Light Heavyweight belt! It all comes down to this main event, which sees two absolute savages battle it our for the vacant title. Pereira’s decision to compete at his more comfortable weight class has paid off, and he will look to build on his dominant performance over Jan Blachowicz three months ago. Prochazka vacated the title just under a year ago and has been out ever since recovering from a bad shoulder injury. The self-proclaimed Samurai has assured fans he is fully recovered and better than ever, but we can’t help but think the odds are stacked against him facing someone who has not only been more active, but just happens to train under the guidance of someone (Glover Teixeira) who has taken him into deep waters before.
Sergei Pavlovich vs. Tom Aspinall (Heavyweight)
An injured Jon Jones and an uninterested Stipe Miocic means an interim belt is now on the line. Fans will be excited to see how long this one actually lasts, as both contain dynamite in their hands and don’t like to mess around. The main difference here is speed and angles, of which the humble Englishman has in abundance. Don’t be too surprised if Aspinall gets this one to the ground immediately, but this really is his time to shine, against one of the divisions scariest men! To really make a statement, he must achieve the early knockout. Bring it on!
Mackenzie Dern vs. Jessica Andrade (Women’s Strawweight)
Not so long ago this pick would’ve been much easier, but Andrade is not the force she once was and has looked like a fighter approaching the end of her UFC career. Whilst she might not be fighting to stay in the organisation, it is certainly getting that way. If Dern isn’t willing to pull the trigger and go for an early submission, this one is likely to go the distance with a very close decision.
Matt Frevola vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (Lightweight)
This one has fight of the night written all over it but a one we will probably leave off our accumulator. Both fighters are super talented and to be fair, this one could be a potential title contender decider – that’s how good they are. Fans will be treated to an all-out war in the opening rounds that we believe will finish with a submission when the pace slows down in the final round.
Diego Lopes vs. Pat Sabatini (Featherweight)
Lopes might not be able to make the durable Sabatini tap but he’ll give it a good try! We rate Sabatini very highly, so this was a tough pick to make.
Preliminary Card (BT Sport)
Steve Erceg vs. Alessandro Costa (Flyweight)
Whilst super talented, the Brazilian might just be a little too much for ‘Astro Boy’ and he could find himself seeing stars before this one ends.
Tabatha Ricci vs. Loopy Godinez (Women’s Strawweight)
Ricci has been getting the job done in recent bouts and has racked up an impressive 4 fight win streak since getting finished in her debut. We think the buck stops here against a more formidable opponent in Loopy Godinez.
Nazim Sadykhov vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (Lightweight)
The ‘Black Wolf’ to claim his next meal via knockout. On paper this is another tasty scrap to say the least!
Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Jared Gordon vs. Mark Madsen (Lightweight)
Gordon has had a bumpy old ride (literally) of late – losing a very controversial decision against Paddy Pimblett, then having to abandon his last bout against Bobby Green after taking an ‘accidental’ headbutt to the dish. He will come into the one as the favourite, but we think Mardsen takes this via a drawn out decision involving lots of take downs.
John Castaneda vs. Kang Kyung-ho (Bantamweight)
We’ll probably leave this one off the betting acca, but we’ll say ‘Sexi Mexi’ via UD.
Joshua Van vs. Kevin Borias (Flyweight)
We thought about picking Borias to cause the upset, but Van looked really impressive in his previous bout, so we’ll play it safe here.
Jamall Emmers vs. Denis Bazukja (Featherweight)
Whilst Emmers has shown glimpses of excellence, we think the Longo/Weidman fighter opens up the card in successful fashion in front of the home crowd.
UFC 295 WILDCARD BET: Sergei Pavlovich to def Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO in Rnd 1