Betting Guide for UFC Florida on 5/16/20
The UFC is back again on Saturday, for the promotion's third event in eight days.
This one is headlined by a heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris. This fight was originally booked as the headliner for UFC Fight Night in D.C., before Harris dropped out due to the tragic events surrounding his daughter. Overeem is looking to rebound from his knockout loss to Jair Rozenstruik that night, while Harris will now be returning for his first fight in 10 months.
In the headliner of the prelims, Matt Brown will be attempting to take sole ownership of the UFC's KO/TKO record. His 11 KO/TKO wins currently has him tied with Anderson Silva, Anthony Johnson, and Thiago Santos for the most in company history.
FanDuel Sportsbook currently has Harris and Brown as underdogs heading into these fights, as well as odds on the other nine bouts on this card. Here are the bets that have me feeling good:
Walt Harris (-178) vs Alistair Overeem (+150)
This is a big matchup in the heavyweight division as the eighth and ninth-ranked fighters square off. Harris is looking to build on his current four-fight win streak (though one was overturned to a no-contest), while Overeem is looking to rebound from a devastating KO loss in his most recent outing.
The loss on his record is a disservice to how well Overeem performed in his fight with Rozenstruik, as Overeem actually dominated the action for most of the fight. He landed 70% of his significant strikes, compared to just 42% for Rozenstruik, and added two takedowns while allowing none. He was winning the fight on the judge's scorecards before being knocked out by one punch in the final four seconds of the fight.
Heading into Saturday's main event, Overeem carries a significant advantage over Harris in both striking accuracy (62% to 38%) and takedown accuracy (53% to 33%). He will need to avoid catching another knockout punch, as Harris has ended each of his past two fights inside the first round. But Overeem certainly has the ability to come out on top in this one.
With the value of being a +150 underdog, I'm going to put my money on Overeem in this one. His +320 line to win by KO/TKO also provides value. Harris officially has six UFC wins by KO/TKO, so if you're keen to betting on him, the value is at -110 by KO/TKO.
Miguel Baeza (-205) vs Matt Brown (+172)
This is a classic old school vs new school matchup, as 27-year-old Miguel Baeza steps up in his second UFC fight to take on 39-year-old Matt Brown, who makes the octagon walk for the 26th time.
Baeza is undefeated in his professional career, with a decision win on Dana White's Contender Series to go along with a second-round TKO in his lone UFC fight. On the other side, Brown is riding a two-fight win streak, after losing five of his previous six fights.
Both of these fighters are active on the feet, with Baeza averaging 4.26 significant strikes landed per minute and Brown sitting at 3.75. Brown is more active in the wrestling department, averaging 1.64 takedowns per 15 minutes, but Baeza has defended 100% of the takedowns attempted against him in his short UFC career.
The two wins on Brown's current streak both came against fighters well past their prime and he has not won a decision since 2012. All eight of his wins since then came inside the distance (either by KO/TKO or submission), so his most likely avenue to victory in this one will be finishing a fighter who has never been finished before.
Even at -205, the numbers are in Baeza's favor, and I like a bet on him to finish this one inside the distance as well.
Anthony Hernandez (-108) vs Kevin Holland (-108)
This one is lining up to be a war, as both fighters are landing over 4.00 strikes per minute, with an identical 54% striking accuracy rate. Holland holds an 8% edge in striking defense rate. In the grappling department, Hernandez averages 5.21 more takedowns per 15 minutes, with a big edge in both takedown accuracy (66% to 33%) and takedown defense (85% to 48%).
In his last fight on the regional circuit, Hernandez defeated Brendan Allen, who owns a win over Holland. The UFC has shown belief in Hernandez by giving him the main event slot on the prelims in both of his fights with the promotion.
At even odds, Hernandez looks like a great bet to win this fight.
Mike Davis (-220) vs Giga Chikadze (+184)
(UPDATE: Mike Davis has been replaced by Irwin Rivera for the bout against Giga Chikadze.)
If you've been following the UFC recently, you've likely seen the video of Mike Davis' demolition of Thomas Gifford in his most recent fight. Davis stepped up on four days notice and went on to land 62% of his 222 significant strikes thrown, while only absorbing 36% of Gifford's 242. Davis also landed both of his two takedown attempts and picked up a third-round KO victory in a fight where many wanted Gifford's corner to throw in the towel.
Davis' only two losses on his professional record came to Sodiq Yusuff (undefeated in the UFC) and Gilbert Burns (slated to fight former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley later this month). Chikadze is 2-0 in the UFC, but his opponents have a combined 2-6 UFC record.
This fight marks a big step up in competition for Chikadze and Davis looks more than prepared to get the job done. Davis to win at -220 is the bet to make here.