Our UFC picks are on fire with all three of the confident picks hitting last week! This week we will be betting three confident picks, one parlay, and one major value underdog for UFC on ESPN+ 31.
Vicente Luque -170
Jump on this one now before Luque ends up a -250 or higher like I think he should be. Randy Brown is a great fighter and has had a highly successful and exciting UFC career so far, but Luque is a future top 5 fighter in my opinion and is just a step above Brown skills-wise. Luque will have a pretty big size disadvantage but I think his counters will give Brown trouble and not allow him to establish his range. The frustrating thing about Luque is on paper he is better than almost everyone he has fought yet he seems to always have 50/50 fights especially against the guys he should destroy. That makes this a bit of a risky bet, but at -170 these odds are too sweet to pass up.
Jonathan Martinez -200
Same as the Luque bet, you’ll want to jump on this one before odds get out of hand. He’s taking on longtime UFC veteran Frankie Saenz who is just 2-4 in his last six and at 39 years old he has to be close to hanging them up. Martinez is a cautious and calculated striker who prefers his kicks on the lead and his hands on the counter. He keeps a high and tight guard and will walk opponents down with feints and non-committed strikes to force the opponent to react, and then step back and counter. Where he does struggle is on the ground but Saenz has historically had trouble getting opponents to the ground so I don’t see that being an issue. This is my most confident pick of the week and with where odds are going it seems many agree with me.
Joanne Calderwood -145
My original Pick was Timur Valiev, but an injury forced him out of the fight just two days before. So, we are going with my next most confident pick in “Dr. Kneevil” Joanne Calderwood. She is taking on longtime veteran Jennifer Maia who is a respectable 2-2 since joining the UFC in 2018. Not much to say about this one other than Calderwood is much better on the feet and Maia probably needs to take this to the ground to grind out a win. But I think Calderwood’s footwork allows her to stop the takedowns coming her way and pick up a decision victory.
Dog of the Week
Cody Durden +285
There is nothing better than finding a value underdog when making UFC picks. There isn’t much footage of Durden which is probably why he is such a big underdog. But from what I have seen across his MMA and kickboxing bouts, this should be a much closer fight then odds are suggesting. He has a great understanding of range and rhythm on the feet and I was impressed with how he simultaneously mixes his striking and grappling. He can win the fight anywhere and is pretty evenly matched with Chris Gutierrez, so as the biggest underdog of the week there is no way I’m passing this one up.
Parlay of the Week
Edmen Shahbazyan, Kevin Holland, Gerald Meerschaert +233
This week we are parlaying three favorites to get just over double our money. Although he is still young and green in the sport, Shahbazyan has all the makings to be the UFC’s next superstar. Kevin Holland is fresh off a first-round knockout victory earlier this summer while his opponent Trevin Giles has been disappointing since joining the UFC in 2017. Holland also took former title challenger Thiago Santos to a decision in his first UFC fight which is impressive enough and he has only gotten better in the years since. Meerschaert on the other hand has never stood out to me and he is coming off a TKO loss just a few months ago, but he is taking on the 39-year-old Ed Herman who at this point only has a big right hand and a decent clinch game against the cage.
Kevin Wilson is a freelance MMA writer who specializes in pre-fight breakdowns and analysis. He has been an MMA fan since 2007 and has been writing about combat sports since he was 17 years old. His work can be found on Sherdog, MMA Today, and now MyMMANews!