Betting Guide for UFC Paris
UFC est á Paris cette semaine. That's how the locals would tell you UFC is in town this week. Hey, those five years of French across high school and college finally paid off for something in my job.
UFC Paris: Gane vs. Tuivasa will take place Saturday from the Accor Arena in Paris, France. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?
Stephanie Egger and Nassourdine Imavov to Both Win
(-128; 1.25 Units)
I was far more devastated for Kamaru Usman than for my parlay two weeks ago, but nonetheless, Usman's shocking loss dropped my two-legger to 15-9 for the year.
It's a tricky week on a card without much experience, but Stephanie Egger (-340) and Nassourdine Imavov (-265) are in solid spots as two of Saturday's larger favorites.
Fresh off a controversial loss, Egger will get right back on the horse fairly close to her home country of Switzerland. In said loss, she claims she never tapped to the armbar, but the result there means far less as she was dominating her fight with Mayra Bueno Silva to that point with a takedown and top control.
Egger also has finished two UFC wins, which is why she's a massive favorite at featherweight over newcomer Ailin Perez. Perez's seven wins have come over opponents with a combined 8-13 record, so those ladies were all equal parts incapable and inexperienced.
Perez is also a natural bantamweight, so this last-minute featherweight arrangement is much more in the wheelhouse of Egger, who has competed professionally at 145 pounds.
As for Imavov, he's got glowing peripherals that indicate he should be a heavy favorite in his homeland. His 56% striking accuracy is a huge plus, and his opponent, Joaquin Buckley, has a terrible mark in that same category (34%).
Imavov's striking success rate (+2.06) also blows Buckley's (+0.32) out of the water.
Both Perez and Buckley do present athleticism and power, but on paper, not a lot of technique is coming with it. We'll lean on the steady veterans close to home to get it done.
Marvin Vettori to Win (+186; 1.0 Units)
It's not often I comfortably toss a full unit on a +186 'dog, but my guy Marvin Vettori (+186) is a special exception.
As I've said before, Vettori -- to me -- is the best middleweight in the world. His grappling-heavy approach and aggressive striking style is a terrible matchup against champion Israel Adesanya, but he's still taken Izzy to a decision twice and had his moments in those bouts.
It's fitting he'll face a former champion, Robert Whittaker, this weekend. Whittaker is really the third in this stratosphere of middleweights fresh off a tight decision loss to Izzy.
Analytically, Whittaker and Vettori are basically even. Vettori's 45% striking accuracy is slightly higher than Bobby Knuckles' (42%), but Whittaker's 60% striking defense is a small bit better than Vettori's (59%). That's even more important given this one is probably a striking match; both hold strong takedown defenses of over 75%.
While Vettori isn't in a delightful matchup here, this is just a play on value. Oddsmakers are expecting a close outcome with this fight -280 to go the full distance, and these two are very even mixed martial artists.
With that the case, Vettori shouldn't have just 35.0% implied odds that the decision goes his way. It's much closer to 50% in what is -- by far -- the best fight on Saturday's card.
Dart Throw of the Week:
Roman Kopylov by Submission (+3400; 0.05 Units)
Honestly, the underdog cupboard beyond Vettori is pretty bare, so finding a dart was difficult. But I find these odds baffling.
It's not that I think Roman Kopylov (-106) is a submission specialist. He's actually never attempted one in two UFC fights. It's that we know so little about Kopylov at this point that you can't assign a 2.9% implied probability to this one specific outcome.
Kopylov's base style is combat sambo, which involves plenty of grappling. The idea he's being given these odds to find a submission -- the kind of odds you'd see on a true boxer -- is bizarre.
Also, it's not as if Alessio di Chirico, Kopylov's opponent, is a weak grappler. He's got four career wins via submission, and he's lost just one bout -- in UFC -- via a grappling exchange gone wrong.
This isn't an overly likely outcome, but it's more likely in a close fight than the odds presented here. If Kopylov and di Chirico is indeed one of the tougher fights to call on the card, it's hard to dismiss the idea that di Chirico fades or is badly hurt at some point, which would create an opening for Kopylov to grab his neck.
A bet of 0.05 units here would pay out 1.7 units if it were to hit. Perhaps the truest "dart" I've ever fired, this seems to be worth potentially losing some pocket change in a tough-to-predict fight environment.