The UFC is back tonight with a stacked 14-fight card headlined with a heavyweight title eliminator between Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes.
As the main event was rebooked from a fallout in November, so where multiple other fights on the card. Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov was rescheduled from January, Jared Vanderaa vs. Sergey Spivak was rescheduled from December and Drako Rodriguez vs. Aiemann Zahabi was rescheduled from December as well, just to name a few.
Some awesome fights I have yet to name are, Nate Landwehr vs. Julian Erosa, Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena and Derrick Minner vs. Charles Rosa. These are all fight of the night worthy bouts. I’d also put Jared Gordon vs. Danny Chavez in that category.
I think the UFC’s matchmakers did an unreal job with this card. Yes, it’s very unpredictable, but stylistically almost all these bouts are fun and competitive. There is the classic veteran against rising star, in Aspinall vs. Arlovski or the classic clash of styles in the striker vs grappler matchup between Vieira and Kunitskaya. Overall this will be a great night of fights.
On the gambling side of things, I feel like a few fights are closer that the odds say. Emmers vs. Skelly, Daukaus vs. Oleinik and Vieira vs. Kunitskaya. Chaz Skelly is a badass, +200 is decent value he’s in this fight. Oleinik is a savvy vet, if he avoids the big punch he can gas Daukaus out. Kunitskaya is a former title challenger, she should get a bit more love. With this being said I still favor their opponents.
For my full card plays and props check out my twitter @_CobyW.
1. Casey O’Neill -160
We are for sure taking a slight risk here playing the undefeated, 23-year-old UFC debutant. With that being said I feel like she is the far more well-rounded grappler. The 5-0 O’Neill was originally set up to fight to fight the #3 ranked Lauren Murphy instead of the 4-4 Dobson originally. Dobson could have the advantage in the striking game, however its close. Dobson has been known for being bad at defending takedowns. O’Neill has to pace herself, fight smart and play to her advantages. It won’t be easy against the always tough Dobson, but I expect the debutant to get the win by decision, which is +125.
2. Chris Daukaus by KO -150
This is another risk play, but it’s called gambling for a reason. This also I feel is less risky than O’Neill because we have a bigger sample size to analyze these two heavyweights. Daukaus is one of the rising prospects in this division and fighting Oleinik, who’s a vet of 74 pro MMA fights prior to this one, is a great test. Oleinik has fought some of the best for sure, however since 2017 he is 6-4 and all 4 of those losses have been via KO within a round and a half. Daukaus (10-3) has 9 wins by way of KO and is 12 years younger than the 43-year-old Oleinik. Although Oleinik is has 46 of his 59 wins by way of submission, Daukaus had been promoted to a BJJ black belt prior to his last fight so he should be skilled enough to defend. I see Oleinik try to shoot for the takedowns early, hopefully Daukaus can defend them and eventually land the kill shot and sleep the submission specialist.
Honorable Mentions: Phil Hawes -120, Nate Landwehr -120