Last week’s UFC 214 was the biggest card of the year and it didn’t disappoint with Jon Jones scoring that huge 3rd round KO of Daniel Cormier to get back his belt. I had Jones and Cyborg as favourites, but my underdog plays of Maia and Cerrone came up short, which was disappointing. This week the UFC heads to Mexico City for a Fight Night card that features some interesing Mexican prospects including Brandon Moreno and Alexa Grasso.
I have 3 plays for this card, which I will break down below. I’ll be using the best odds being offered from any of our recommended betting sites for each of my picks on this card. Let’s get into it.
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Sergio Pettis vs Brandon Moreno
Pettis is a big name with some very technical striking in the flyweight division, but I see this as a very tough match-up for Sergio. I don’t think Pettis has the power to keep Moreno on the outside with Moreno likely willing to take a shot to close the distance and try to get this fight to the mat. Moreno is coming off a very impressive second round submission win over Dustin Ortiz, who has been one of the top flyweights in the world for years. Moreno looked great from start to finish in that fight and I really think, at the young age of just 23, Moreno is one of the more legitimate prospects in the entire UFC.
Pettis is by no means an easy out, and he has looked increasingly good standing up in his last few fights, but I think the lack of fight finishing weapons will ultimately be his undoing in this fight. Moreno won’t be outmatched on the feet and if this fight does go to the mat I think he has a great chance of getting the sub.
Play: Moreno 1.70
Rashad Evans vs Sam Alvey
Evans has now lost 3 in a row and this is another very tough fight for him against a guy who can put his lights out quickly with one punch. Evans just lost to Dan Kelly via decision, and Kelly lost to Alvey by first round KO. MMA math doesn’t usually work, but I think the Kelly match-up was much better for Evans, who should be looking to avoid big time finishers at this point in his career.
I expect Alvey to catch Evans with a fight ending bomb while Evans attempts to close the distance for a takedown. Alvey is very patient and has great timing, albeit with relatively low output. Look for him to avoid the takedowns and find a home for his strikes at some point in this one.
Play: Alvey 1.63
Alexa Grasso vs Randa Markos
Markos looked very solid in her last fight, which was a win over Carla Esparza, but I’m not ready to get too excited about that performance. She came in with a great game plan for Carla, which was basically fighting out of a very low wrestling stance in order to prevent Carla to get takedowns, which is really Carla’s only weapon. Markos was able to outstrike Esparza from this stance, while forcing her to really go hard for takedowns. Esparza was ultimately successful in getting 4 takedowns, but that wasn’t enough to get the win.
Against Grasso, this style of fighting won’t work. Grasso is the superior stand-up fighter between these two and I fully expect her to pick Markos apart on the feet. Markos will be the one looking for takedowns in this one and I don’t think she will be able to get Grasso to the mat. In Grasso’s last fight she lost a tight decision to Felice Herrig mainly because Herrig was able to secure two takedowns. Grasso is a young 23 year old prospect and I expect her takedown defense to be improved in this one. Add in the fact that Markos is not on the same level as the resurgent Herrig and I think Grasso will be able to showcase her ability en route to a big win in this fight.
Play: Grasso 1.67
There are my three plays for the card. I usually like underdogs, which you can probably tell if you follow my picks each week, but this week I see value in some of the small favourites on the main card. To learn more about the various bets you can make on each UFC event, check out our UFC betting information page.