Upsets come few and far between when it comes to big UFC events. There is no bigger event than this much-anticipated rematch between heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, the UFC’s most fearsome knockout artist. I like the underdog for Miocic vs Ngannou II betting.
But that’s not all. I’m taking another sizable underdog right before the main event as these UFC betting odds are a bit off and ripe for picking.
- Date: Saturday, Mar. 29, 10 p.m.
- Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, USA
- Watch on: Pay-per-view
Miocic Outgrinds Ngannou Again
Weight Class: Heavyweight Championship (265)
Rounds: Five (Main Event)
Odds: Stipe Miocic Ev, Francis Ngannou -130
Just like their first fight, the defending champion Miocic will be the underdog per the UFC lines. And just like the first fight, Miocic will use his wrestling to grind Ngannou out for a solid albeit boring victory.
That’s okay. We like “boring” when picking our fighters. Miocic is coming from two grueling victories against Daniel Cormier in which he not only outstruck but out grappled the former Olympian.
Ngannou, to his credit, has not surrendered a takedown since he fought Miocic. But that’s also because he’s flatlined all of his opponents. The Cameroonian-French slugger has fought for less than three minutes during his four-fight winning streak.
The consensus here is that Ngannou either knocks Miocic out within three rounds or Miocic once again grinds him out to the scorecards. All Ngannou needs is to connect. He doesn’t even need to do it cleanly as his power is so immense that a slight touch could render Miocic unconscious.
However, Ngannou could hardly do that in their first fight. He landed 21 significant strikes in 25 minutes because he spent most of his time on his back or pushed up against the fence. By the time the fourth round rolled in, he looked like he’d run a marathon.
The way I see it, there is as much chance as Miocic utilizing a similar gameplan to win as Ngannou finally touching Miocic. Ngannou may have worked extensively on his wrestling, but there is no going against a wrestler of Miocic’s caliber.
Miocic turns Ngannou back one more time. Catch him now while you’re getting an even return.
Miocic vs Ngannou II Betting Pick: Stipe Miocic Ev*
Woodley Tries to End Losing Streak
Weight Class: Welterweight (170)
Odds: Tyron Woodley +200, Vicente Luque -260
I know what you’re thinking: how can I side with a fighter who has looked totally washed in his last three fights? The former welterweight champion, Woodley, has been dominated for 15 straight rounds. But there is some online betting value on Woodley here.
Luque is not the same type of fighter as the ones Woodley has faced. The Brazilian is a legitimate striker and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player. He has a handful of Performance Bonuses for his slick finishes. But he is not a wrestler who constantly pressures at an intense work rate like a Colby Covington or Kamaru Usman.
Woodley will also be the better wrestler here, something he hasn’t been since he submitted Darren Till not long ago. Luque has also shown some vulnerability against heavy wrestling attacks. Leon Edwards, a striker, took him down three times and he also gave up takedowns in each of his last two fights.
Now Luque still won those two fights, but his opponents are not in the caliber of Woodley. I think talks of Woodley having one foot out the door and being a shopworn fighter are a bit exaggerated. He may not be the same fighter he used to be, but he has enough left.
I like for Woodley to mix up his wrestling attack and neutralize Luque’s offense for an upset.
Pick: Tyron Woodley +200
O’Malley Starches Almeida
Weight Class: Bantamweight (135)
Odds: Thomas Almeida +235, Sean O’Malley -315
The “Suga Show” returns as the highly touted prospect, O’Malley returns in a tailor-made fight for him. Thomas Almeida was at one point also a blue-chipper until his flaws were exposed and he couldn’t quite overcome them.
This is a fight between two strikers. It could even be Fight of the Night if it lasts long enough, but it is almost guaranteed to produce a Performance bonus for the winner. That should be O’Malley. He has a two-inch reach advantage and has a fluid and unpredictable style.
Almeida is dangerous and can land bombs if O’Malley stands in front of him. He shouldn’t be counted out entirely. But he is very hittable and has a frail chin. A few good shots from O’Malley and that could be it for him.
O’Malley should cash as a sizable favorite here. Throw him in a parlay and find props that this fight does not go to decision.
Pick: Sean O’Malley -315
*All odds are subject to change