Best Bets for Contender Series Week 7: The 18-1 KO Bet for Tonight’s MMA Event
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: MMA women’s flyweights Tereza Bleda and Nayara Maia
Tuesday night is here once again, and we have a fascinating Contender Series Week 7 slate to break down.
We have a brother tandem looking to break into the UFC, a rematch of a sub-one-minute knockout from the regional scene in the main event, and several world champions from smaller regional organizations looking to break into the big show.
However, for this week’s column, I’m focused on just one fight: the curtain-jerker. And I’ve got a few bets – one of which is a flier with big odds – for the card.
Without further ado, let’s look at that Dana White’s Contender Series matchup, which stream on ESPN+ (8 p.m. ET).
(And don’t forget that you can track your DWCS bets in the Action App.)
Women’s Flyweights: Tereza Bleda vs. Nayara Maia
The first fight of the night will be contested in the women’s flyweight division, and it features a pair of ladies who have done most of their winning on the canvas.
Undefeated prospects collide as Czech fighter Tereza Bleda (5-0) takes on Brazilian standout Nayara Maia (7-0-1).
Maia is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with five of her seven career wins occurring inside the distance. Bleda, meanwhile, has secured four of her five victories via finish.
I expect a violent grappling affair in this match. Bleda’s dangerous ground-and-pound elbows will be forced to contend with the dangerous triangle-armbar series and educated sweeps of Maia, who trains with Nova Uniao and their talented crop of women’s competitors, including UFC standout Ketlen Vieira and recent upstart Polina Botelho.
Bleda is the younger fighter with more long-term upside, but her -635 market average price tag on the moneyline is much too steep for my liking given her age (only 20) and her mistakes in the grappling phases (i.e. leaving her head and neck exposed on takedown attempts).
I believe the opening line of -300 was a better reflection of the true odds in this contest. Both ladies have a path to finish, but youth and physicality go a long way in women’s MMA.
That’s why I’m betting on this fight to end inside the distance, and I’m also taking a small flier on a prop bet with the underdog.
Prediction: Tereza Bleda def. Nayara Maia via TKO (ground-and-pound elbows) – Round 2
Bets: Bleda-Maia Doesn’t Go To Decision (-150 at DraftKings) | Maia Wins via KO/TKO (+1800 at DraftKings)