Betting Guide for UFC Long Island

Ricky Simon's opponent this weekend is undefeated, but will the UFC veteran's experience give him the advantage he needs to win?

The UFC will greet another live crowd, but this time, they'll actually be breaking in the next home of the New York Islanders. A featherweight title-elimination fight will cap what's sure to be a fun card.

UFC Long Island: Ortega vs. Rodriguez will take place Saturday from the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?

Amanda Lemos and Sumudaerji to Both Win (-149; 1.5 Units)

Ricky Turcios' historically inefficient effort dropped the two-legger to 12-7 in 2022. We'll rebound the hard way by laying some juice on this Long Island parlay.

Amanda Lemos (-400) is the largest favorite on the card, and it's hard not to back her when she has such a perfect matchup. Lemos' deficiency has been her 48% striking defense, which nearly cost her a bout against Angela Hill. Jessica Andrade's miraculous submission wasn't really something I'm pinning on Lemos' ability.

Lemos is a phenomenal offensive striker for her division, boasting 5.14 significant strikes landed per minute on excellent 57% efficiency.

Given her 88% takedown defense should thwart the efforts of Michelle Waterson to grapple, Lemos should punish "The Karate Hottie" and her poor striking defense (50%) just as Marina Rodriguez did.

The second leg was tougher, but it's hard to deny Sumudaerji (-260) against Matt Schnell, who has lost three of his last four bouts.

Sumudaerji has no analytical weaknesses to say he won't make it four in five. His +2.30 striking success rate (best on the card) showcases his preferred domain, but he's shown no issues defending takedowns (77%), either.

Matt Schnell has a similar formula, but with Sumudaerji holding better marks in striking accuracy (52%), striking defense (68%), and takedown defense, it's hard to see Schnell's path to victory other than a bizarre decision.

There is extra juice on this week's parlay, but while Shane Burgos (-210) and Miesha Tate (-174) are also in great spots, they don't have nearly the analytical advantage over their opponent that Sumudaerji does.

Ricky Simon to Win (+136; 1.0 Unit)

When two prospects are set to battle, the level of competition they've faced can mean everything.

Even though his profile isn't perfect, you can't deny Ricky Simon (+136) and his level of competition. Simon has faced five fighters who have held a ranking at some point in their career, and that's not even including multi-time UFC winners on his resume such as Rani Yahya or Montel Jackson.

Simon's also -- perhaps -- the gold standard of volume wrestling in UFC. He averages a sky-high 6.76 takedowns on 54% accuracy, so it's either him or Merab Dvalisvhilli (7.30 on 45% accuracy), but Simon beat Merab head-to-head.

It's Simon's so-so work in the striking (+0.04 striking success rate) that has him as an underdog to Jack Shore (+1.91). Shore's 84% takedown defense implies Simon won't be able to get him to the ground, but that number is fairly hollow.

Shore, the undefeated prospect from Wales, is talented with a nearly-perfect analytical profile. It should be. He's fought zero fighters that have held a ranking in UFC, and his five opponents have combined for a 5-10 record with the promotion.

Based on experience, I'm willing to take the chance at plus money that Simon overwhelms the untested prospect in the same way he has several veterans before him -- brute force.

Dart Throw of the Week: Dustin Stoltzfus by Submission (+400; 0.5 Units)

A few weeks ago, I took a dart with grappler Julija Stoliarenko, who hadn't gotten to use those skills because of a massive deficiency in skill with her first three UFC opponents. She won in the first round via submission.

I think Dustin Stoltzfus (+140) is in a similar predicament. He bent the elbow of his opponent on Dana White's Contender Series to earn his opportunity in UFC, and he got that call by landing a twister in Germany. He can absolutely grapple, but he's faced world-renown submission threats Rodolfo Vieira, Kyle Daukaus, and Gerald Meerschaert in UFC.

That trio has combined to win eight fights since the COVID break, and five of them were via submission. This week, Stoltzfus will have the edge in his primary domain, and considering the level of competition, his 1.70 takedowns and 0.70 submission attempts per 15 minutes are actually pretty solid.

Dwight Grant's 68% takedown defense hasn't been a weakness so defined that it's guaranteed Stoltzfus can get there, but it's exploitable. Grant's larger issue is just his inability to land offense. He averages 3.26 significant strikes landed per minute on wretched 34% accuracy for middleweight, and he's added less than a takedown per 15 (0.74), as well.

With potentially 15 minutes to work against the benign, inactive Grant, I'll have one unit on Stoltzfus getting this fight to the mat and controlling it, and I'll also have this half-unit flier on finishing it.