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UFC 270 Prelims: Star-Making Performances

Lesser-Known Contenders Could Deliver Finishes

UFC 270’s preliminary portion features a showcase of contenders the average UFC fan may not have heard of. Find them as sizable favorites on the UFC odds where they could deliver some impressive performances.

  • Date: January 22, 8 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA, United States
  • Watch on: ESPN2

UFC 270 Prelim Picks

Rodolfo Vieira vs Wellington Turman

    • Moneyline: Wellington Turman +175, Rodolfo Vieira -220
    • Round Totals: Over 1½ (-140), Under 1½ (+110)
    • Weight Class (Rounds): Middleweight (185 lbs) (3 Rounds)

Rodolfo Vieira is the submission specialist in the UFC and he gets a tailor-made matchup in Wellington Turman. Vieira (8-1-0) was on the wrong side of one of 2021’s biggest upsets. But he has learned his lesson: don’t burn out too quickly. Fortunately, he won’t need it too much here.

UFC 270 Prelims: Star-Making Performances

Turman (17-5-0) is another Jiu-Jitsu specialist but is levels below Vieira. He is also unthreatening on his feet and someone whose method to victory, “lay and pray”, plays into Vieira’s hands. He should win this easily and instead of laying 2-1 juice on him, bet online on the under or on a prop for him to win by submission.

Pick: Under 1½ (+110)

Raoni Barcelos vs Victor Henry

    • Moneyline: Victor Henry +325, Raoni Barcelos -450
    • Round Totals: Over 2½ (-105), Under 2½ (-125)
    • Weight Class (Rounds): Bantamweight (135 lbs) (3 Rounds)

We already broke down this delayed fight and not much has changed other than Victor Henry getting some extra weeks of prep time. That won’t alter his destiny too much as Raoni Barcelos is the best-kept secret in the division.

Barcelos (16-2-0) is a complete fighter and can finish fights on his feet or on the mat. While Henry (21-5-0) is a tough customer that has fought respectable competition, he is a notch below Barcelos. The Brazilian should win this one easily and going by the the totals, it should be before round 3. Go with that on the online sportsbook.

Pick: Under 2½ (-125)

Ilia Topuria vs Charles Jourdain

    • Moneyline: Charles Jourdain +375, Ilia Topuria -550
    • Round Totals: Over 1½ (-140), Under 1½ (+110)
    • Weight Class (Rounds): Featherweight (145 lbs) (3 Rounds)

The only bad thing about this prospect versus prospect fight is that one has to lose. At -550, Ilia Topuria should make short work of Charles Jourdain as he is coming in on a last-minute notice. Topuria (11-0-0) is an unbeaten monster who is a proficient grappler and a hard-hitter.

Jourdain (12-4-1) is at a stylistic disadvantage here as he is a striker who does his best work at range. Topuria won’t give him that chance. He will smother him and pummel him en route to a finish. The best UFC bet here is a prop on Topuria to win via a finish (-165) but taking a shot at the under 1.5 rounds is also sweet.

Pick: Under 1½ (+110)

Jack Della Maddalena vs Pete Rodriguez

    • Moneyline: Pete Rodriguez +245, Jack Della Maddalena -325
    • Round Totals: Over 1½ (-105), Under 1½ (-125)
    • Weight Class (Rounds): Welterweight (170 lbs) (3 Rounds)

Jack Della Maddalena and Pete Rodriguez make their UFC debuts in what should be a showcase fight for the former. Della Maddalena (10-2-0) thrilled both Dana White and the fans in the Contender Series by putting a beating on Ange Loosa.

This Aussie is tough as nails and will eat whatever Rodriguez (4-0-0) throws at him to outlast him and win, likely via a finish. Rodriguez is no slouch either but he’s coming in on short notice and has too small of a window for victory. But laying 3-1 on Della Maddalena’s UFC debut is rough. Instead, take a shot that this one goes past the halfway point.

Pick: Over 1½ (-105)

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