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UFC Fight Night: Picks of the Litter

Upcoming Card a Free Event for a Reason

If UFC 270 was a filet mignon, then Saturday’s UFC Fight Night is a rump roast. These UFC Fight Nights have been unappealing, especially to the casual online gambling fan. So to save you the trouble of going through these nobodies, we highlighted four fights outside of the main event that are worth watching or betting online.

  • Date: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
  • Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
  • Watch on: ESPN+

Best Fights in Another Drab Fight Night

Punahele Soriano vs Nick Maximov

  • Moneyline: Nick Maximov +160, Punahele Soriano -200
  • Round Totals: Over 1½ (-160), Under 1½ (+130)
  • Weight Class (Rounds): Middleweight (185 lbs) (3 Rounds)

As far as co-main events go, Punahele Soriano and Nick Maximov have no business being in it. These guys are prelim fighters at best. But, hey, these 185ers can throw down and that’s what Soriano (8-1-0) does. He marches opponents down while slinging heavy leather.

UFC Fight Night: Preview Live Stream, Odds, Picks & Predictions 2022
REY DEL RIO / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Soriano’s one-dimensional approach, while entertaining, is prone to get exposed when he faces an opponent that can mix it up. Enter Maximov (7-0-0). Coming from the Nick Diaz school (probably why he got this co-main event), Maximov is a tough wrestler that will absorb Soriano’s best shots and then grind him out to a close decision.

Pick: Nick Maximov +160

Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Carlston Harris

  • Moneyline: Carlston Harris +175, Shavkat Rakhmonov -220
  • Round Totals: Over 1½ (-140), Under 1½ (+110)
  • Weight Class (Rounds): Welterweight (170lbs) (3 Rounds)

Shavkat Rakhmonov is the prospect to watch in this event. The Kazakh is unbeaten (14-0-0) and has buzz-sawed through Michel Prazeres and Alex Oliveira, two Brazilian veterans who have lasted in the UFC for over six years each. One does not simply strangle two grizzled Brazilians.

Carlston Harris is no slouch, though. This Guyanese vet is unbeaten in his last five fights and finished his two UFC opponents. Harris (17-4-0) would be a solid bet on the UFC betting lines as an underdog. We still give Rakhmonov the edge. However, an early finish is plausible given how aggressive both are.

Pick: Under 1½ (+110)

Julian Erosa vs Steven Peterson

  • Moneyline: Steven Peterson +245, Julian Erosa -325
  • Round Totals: Over 2½ (-130), Under 2½ (Ev)
  • Weight Class (Rounds): Featherweight (145 lbs) (3 Rounds)

Speaking of potential finishes, look no further than the main-card curtain jerkers: Julian Erosa and Steven Peterson. We’re not excited about Erosa’s (26-9-0) price here and Peterson (19-9-0) is not the type of fighter to upset “Juicy J.” Given their styles, though, a finish should materialize.

Eight of Erosa’s last nine fights were finished and seven went under the 2.5 round mark. Peterson isn’t much of a finisher and his spinning back fist is as fluky as they come. But Erosa has one of the worst chins and he’s hittable. Betting the under is one of the best UFC bets.

Pick: Under 2½ (Ev)

Marc-Andre Barriault vs Chidi Njokuani

  • Moneyline: Chidi Njokuani -110, Marc-Andre Barriault -120
  • Round Totals: Over 2½ (-165), Under 2½ (+135)
  • Weight Class (Rounds): Middleweight (185 lbs) (3 Rounds)

We now go into the middle of the prelims to unearth a potential gem: Marc-Andre Barriault takes on Chidi Njokuani. The pair are experiencing career resurgences, though their styles couldn’t be any more different.

Barriault (13-4-0) is a Canadian grinder who will mix it up and edge his opponents. If it goes to the ground, he’ll try to take top position and pound it out. Njokuani (20-7-0) has redeveloped his game and is now finishing fights in the first two rounds. While his endurance has been a lingering issue, he may not need three rounds to get Barriault out.

Pick: Chidi Njokuani -110

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