Betting Guide for UFC Las Vegas

Should we back eight-time UFC winner Jonathan Martinez as an underdog this weekend, or are bettors favoring his opponent for good reason?

The UFC in Las Vegas isn't special on its own. Their Apex facility hosts the majority of cards every year. However, that's an exclusive ticket not open to a large crowd, and this Saturday, we'll have a full-size crowd short of a pay-per-view

It's because another, should-be-illegal unnamed act of idiocracy is happening at the Apex, but hey, I'll take the better venue.

UFC Las Vegas: Yan vs. Dvalishvili will take place Saturday from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?

Two-Leg Parlay

YTD: 3-4 (-1.85 units)

We are so back.

Tabatha Ricci and Marc-Andre Barriault delivered comfortable, no-sweat wins at UFC 285 to salvage what was an otherwise poor betting night. The two-legger is my pride and joy, though. I'll always take that to hit if nothing else.

Here's this week's lay.

JJ Aldrich and Davey Grant to Both Win
(+105; 1.05 Units)

I've scaled back the unit size with an odd week to craft this specific type of lay. The mid-range of favorites just isn't great.

This pairs heavy favorite JJ Aldrich (+400) with a much smaller one in Davey Grant (+156), but I see plenty of value in the two individually to slap together.

Aldrich, as the odds would indicate, is in the better spot. She's taking on Ariane Lipski (3-5 UFC) at flyweight, who has just one win over someone with a UFC win themselves. Aldrich last fought top-five contender Erin Blanchfield in her last bout, and honestly, she gave Blanchfield her toughest test in UFC thus far, landing two takedowns only to get caught in a sneaky Blanchfield choke on the second.

Analytically, Aldrich is better everywhere here. One would presume Lipski, the loser of four of five fights in which she's ceded a takedown, needs to strike here, but Aldrich's striking accuracy (45%) and striking defense (60%) are both better and she's fought tougher competition.

As for Grant, the Englishman is the latest to draw 40-year-old Raphael Assuncao, who has dropped four of his last five. Assuncao ground out a win over the fairly inexperienced Victor Henry (1-1 UFC) in his last bout, but major concerns still loom.

For his whole career, Assuncao hasn't put forth quality offense. He lands just 3.24 significant strikes per minute on 41% accuracy and has secured 37% of his takedown attempts. Both are below the division median. The offensive difference couldn't be starker with Grant winning three of his last five via knockout, and the other two fights were awarded the Fight of the Night bonus for action.

Expect these two to take advantage of their offensively challenged, veteran counterparts.

Straight Bets

Petr Yan by Decision (+120; 1.0 Units)

In this week's main event, former 135-pound champ Petr Yan (-280) battles Merab Dvallshvili, who has an eight-fight winning streak in UFC's deepest division. It's a really solid one.

Stylistically, this is a brutal matchup for Dvalishvili -- and one we've largely seen before. Merab trains with the Serra-Longo Fight Camp from Long Island, and he's teammates with Aljamain Sterling, the champion that has upwards of 44 minutes in the tank versus Yan.

Yan's takedown defense (90%) is what makes it so difficult to envision Dvalishvili winning. Without his wrestling (6.54 takedowns per 15 minutes on modest 40% accuracy), Dvalishvill's striking offense just isn't great. He lands 4.21 significant strikes per minute on 40% accuracy, which would be fine at lower ranks, but not facing the former champ.

Yan lands 53% of his significant strikes and defends 59% of his opponents'. His lethal efficiency has had him in every fight despite the decisions -- including the last against Sterling -- going against him at times.

Neither fighter has been finished in their career, and this isn't the best matchup for either to finish. Not only will Merab struggle to get Yan into a submittable position, but Merab's striking defense (58%) isn't a mark you'd project ripe for a knockout.

In an ugly grind, Yan should score more points and win.

Lukasz Brzeski to Win (+176; 0.9 Units)

At UFC Vegas 69, I had Jamall Emmers significantly favored in my stuff and felt he'd win comfortably as a +108 underdog. I'd be disingenuous to not give the latest similar example.

I've got Lukasz Brzeski (+176) favored over Karl Williams by quite a bit to the point where I feel like I'm missing something. We're working in small samples with the two Dana White's Contender Series alumni, but there still reason to believe Brzeski can win handily.

Firstly, Brzeski just dominated top divisional prospect Martin Buday and should be 1-0 in UFC. Media and fans alike agree it was one of 2022's worst decisions. Overall, Brzeski enters with a card-best +3.08 striking success rate despite having faced Buday, the toughest test for either of these two so far.

Even Williams' backers would give Brzeski the nod to strike over the grappler, but I believe in Lukasz's ability to stop Williams' wrestling. His 100% takedown defense is hollow because it's come on just one attempt, but I'd point to his grappling offense -- including a submission in his other UFC-affiliated bout not facing Buday -- as a sign of competence.

Heavyweights get tired quickly. If Williams isn't efficient with his wrestling, Brzeski will have the ability to keep this fight on the feet where he should dominate it. This line is well worth the dart at nearly two-to-one odds.

Dart Throws of the Week

Jonathan Martinez by Decision (+400; 0.25 Units)

Said Nurmagomedov shares the last name of Khabib, who is one of the best to ever do it, but they're not related, and they don't train together.

Still, I think that's had to influence the betting line here when Said's UFC tenure just doesn't scream -250 favorite over eight-time UFC winner Jonathan Martinez (+170) in his prime.

Nurmagomedov has largely battled wrestlers to this point. Five of his seven career opponents averaged at least 1.50 takedowns per 15 minutes, and they're unranked -- like all of his foes have been -- because they're not good strikers. Even that said, Said's striking accuracy (45%) is lower than Martinez's (48%), and the striking defenses (58% vs. 61%) are close enough for government work.

On the flip side, Martinez has dispatched over four straight strikers averaging less than 1.50 takedowns per 15 minutes, and there's no reach difference. Plus, Jonathan has a significant power advantage with seven career knockdowns to Nurmagomedov's one.

With a 9% takedown accuracy, I don't believe Said has the tool -- elite wrestling -- that's largely been needed to dispatch Martinez. While Nurmagomedov hasn't been professionally finished and boasts the aforementioned strong striking defense, I like the 'dog here.

Ryan Spann by Submission (+550; 0.25 Units)

I will run back my voided Ryan Spann (+132) bet from the UFC Vegas 70 main event that was canceled, but with less value on that number now than then, I wanted to spotlight this prop I had with it.

As mentioned then, Spann is a handful in both departments. His 3.43% knockdown rate is massive, and his rate of 1.80 submission attempts per 15 minutes is the best on this card for a fighter with at least two fights in their sample.

When Nikita Krylov has been submitted in four of his last six UFC defeats, alarm bells should be going off when juxtaposing Spann's offensive volume. Plus, the power would only incentivize Krylov to take things to the mat where this prop has a significantly better chance of hitting.

I'll be brief with the full write-up linked from just two weeks ago, but even if you're opposed to a shortened Spann moneyline, this is a great way to go. Considering Spann's last five bouts have ended in the first round, Spann by Round 1 Submission (+1300) could be a nice steak dinner waiting for a $10 dart, too.