Betting Guide for UFC Vegas 64
An absolute, no-holds-barred robbery took plenty of coin out of my pocket on Saturday. Dustin Jacoby's post-fight metrics were so clearly superior to get the nod via decision, but horrendous judging reared its head to down the two-legger for a second time via this reason in 2022.
I'm taking a week off the two-legger (20-10 YTD) in protest (and because this card stinks for it), but we've still got plenty of fun solo-wager betting spots on this card. I've got four straight winners I love compared to their odds.
UFC Vegas 64: Rodriguez vs. Lemos will take place Saturday from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?
Neil Magny to Win (-125; 1.0 Units)
We've seen this exact same fight for Neil Magny (-125) before.
Magny turned away high-volume, powerful striker Geoff Neal when Neal was on a 6-1 streak, and he turned him back comfortably via decision. Magny's 80" reach is just impossibly long, and don't discount his ability. He's got a +1.43 striking success rate himself and -- importantly -- adds 2.31 takedowns per 15 minutes.
Daniel Rodriguez is a tough cookie to take down (76% defense), but Magny's length will come into play on the feet here. Plus, D-Rod's insane striking numbers took a large hit in his first ranked battle. He had just a +10 striking differential, landing 47% of his strikes and defending 56%. Those are still quality marks, but Li Jingliang (+0.60 striking success rate) isn't a world-class striker.
Magny also has a substantial advantage in pedigree with three wins over currently-ranked guys to Rodriguez's one. This is a bit of a buy-low point for the UFC veteran after getting demolished -- in grappling -- by the undefeated Shavkat Rakhmonov.
Polyana Viana to Win (-128; 1.0 Units)
Unless Polyana Viana (-128) pulls guard, I can't see her losing this fight.
Now, that's a defined risk. She is so confident in her jiu-jitsu (2.5 submission attempts per 15 minutes) that it can get her in trouble ceding easy takedowns. Her 50% takedown defense greatly undersells her ability because of her willingness to accept positions.
However, this week, I don't think it'll matter. Not only does Jinh-Yu Frey not wrestle a ton (0.62 takedowns per 15 minutes), but Frey is likely scared of Viana's grappling as is. She was submitted by the less-credentialed Kay Hansen to begin her career.
In a striking match, give me Viana, too. With a two-inch edge in reach, Viana (+0.64 striking success rate) has been far more successful there than Frey (-1.01).
The fight IQ of "Dama De Ferro" is the lone concern here. If she fights responsibly, she should cruise as a short favorite in this one.
Amanda Lemos to Win (+168; 0.5 Units)
This pains me as a Marina Rodriguez supporter, but Amanda Lemos (+168) is checking too many boxes to ignore entering her second main event.
She has the components to compete in this main event. Will they all come together to actually win it? I'm not sure, but there's value here.
Lemos' 48% striking defense is her biggest analytical weakness, but at women's strawweight (115 pounds), there isn't dangerous power to punish that in most cases. Lemos hasn't been knocked out since her debut in July 2017. Plus, her defense was 66% against the dangerous, accurate Jessica Andrade two fights ago.
Lemos might really challenge Rodriguez's grappling. Quietly, Rodriguez hasn't faced a legitimate grappling threat since she knocked out Amanda Ribas after losing the first round in that fashion. Mackenzie Dern (11% takedown accuracy) and Michelle Waterson (33%) are poor wrestlers, and Yan Xiaonan (1.32 takedown attempts per 15 minutes) doesn't really try.
With a 57% takedown accuracy and coming off a submission of the aforementioned Waterson, Lemos has the best package of striking competence with a real ground threat of a Rodriguez opponent to date. In a close fight, there's value in betting on an underdog given just a 37.3% implied chance to win here.
Mark O. Madsen to Win (+186; 0.5 Units)
Grant Dawson's first foray at lightweight was a successful one. He landed seven takedowns in a dominant inside-the-distance win. The only problem is it wasn't really lightweight.
He faced Jared Gordon, who has fought at 145 pounds as recently as 2021. He's small for this 155-pound division, but now, Dawson should be immensely challenged by lightweight wrestling maven Mark O. Madsen (+186).
Madsen was an Olympic silver medalist during the 2016 games in Greco-Roman freestyle wrestling. He's been tremendous in an undefeated four-start streak in UFC, posting 3.90 takedowns on 66% accuracy.
I'm not reading too much into Madsen's 50% takedown defense given it's come on just two attempts faced. He even flipped the takedown from Vinc Pichel into part of the 5:10 of control time he secured in that fight.
Dawson's 40% takedown defense has come on just five attempts faced, too. These two aren't often met by someone willing to fight on the mat. In that event, the idea that Madsen -- the natural lightweight -- could be bigger and stronger than Dawson is very real.
It's truly a coin flip to which one of these fighters prevails with their similar styles, but these odds aren't 50-50. Take the value here with "The Olympian."
Dart Throw of the Week:
Darrick Minner by Submission (+350; 0.25 Units)
Wins aren't everything in UFC, but they heavily influence betting lines.
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke is actually a moderate favorite over Darrick Minner (+164), and I don't get it all. Nuerdanbieke's two-fight streak is nice, but his opponents to get them were a combined 3-6 in UFC outside of fights with "Wolverine."
Minner is a real player at featherweight. His dominant win over Charles Rosa (a four-time winner himself) proved as much. Recently, Minner was outlasted in a wild slog against Darren Elkins and then was dominated by the talented Ryan Hall. Those guys have 22 UFC wins between them, so anyone docking Minner for those losses is crazy.
This is the typical buy-low, sell-high matchup you see in UFC. Minner, with a higher pedigree, has slipped, and Nuerdanbieke has surged. Still, Minner's jiu-jitsu is world-class. He averages 2.8 submission attempts per 15 minutes himself, and he defended seven of "The Wizard" Hall's attempts.
Of Nuerdanbieke's 10 pro losses, 6 have come via submission. Plus, it's worth mentioning that Nuerdanbieke has 48 "pro" fights on his resume at 28 years old. Some of those submission losses came to competition well below UFC standard.
This is a small play that Minner ends up setting up a "Wolverine" trap on the mat for the seventh time in Nuerdanbieke's career.