MMA Prop Squad for UFC Vegas 62: This Cardio Queen Can Score Another +2400 Long Shot

MMA Prop Squad for UFC Vegas 62: This Cardio Queen Can Score Another +2400 Long Shot article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC women’s strawweight Sam Hughes

  • Our team of MMA analysts and contributors have keyed in on four prop bets for UFC Vegas 62 on Saturday.
  • The odds for the bets range from +525 for a KO all the way to +2400 for a third-round stoppage.
  • Check out all of the breakdowns and the picks below.

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of prop bets with oversized odds for UFC Vegas 62.

In this weekly feature, Action Network's MMA team welcomes in a revolving cast of outside contributors and fellow combat-sports analysts. Each #MMAPropSquad installment will feature a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have produced an overall 34.2% ROI since inception.

This week marks the return of contributors Manpreet Jhass and Clint Maclean, who join regulars Billy Ward and Dann Stupp.

Check out their picks for Saturday's event, which streams on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET) from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, below.

As with all betting, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types.

Dann Stupp: Sam Hughes in Round 3 (+2400)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

One of my favorite bets for this card is underdog Sam Hughes (7-4), whom I snagged earlier this week at +160 on the moneyline against Piera Rodriguez (8-0). But that's not the only thing on the "Sampage" menu for yours truly. I've also got a juicy prop as a side dish.

And sure, laugh all you want at my long-shot bet – Hughes to win in Round 3 at whopping +2400 odds – but is it really that preposterous? Is that 24-1 long shot really that far-fetched?

After all, Hughes has won in the third round before – in fact, just five months ago against Elise Reed, whom she defeated via TKO with third-round ground-and-pound.

This juicy +2400 pick doesn't require much technical analysis (though Hughes has seemed to round out her overall game with her recent move to the well-regarded Fortis MMA). Instead, it basically comes down to Hughes' biggest weapon: cardio for days.

Hughes probably isn't going to score a highlight-reel KO. She won't rattle your chin with one big blow. But she'll continually come at you and relentlessly look for openings. For many fighters – possibly including ones like Rodrigues, who has just eight career fights – that unyielding doggedness can be a tough puzzle to figure out on the fly. It can also be demoralizing if you're already struggling for breath.

Rodriguez is a solid standup fighter who's arguably a deserved favorite. But she's never experienced a loss, and I don't know exactly how she'll deal with an opponent who simply won't slow in the second half of the fight.

But I do know a few things: Hughes will fight for my money until the final bell, and she's got the cardio to pull off another late-fight stoppage, especially at these odds.

The Pick: Sam Hughes to Win in Round 3 (+2400 at FanDuel)

Billy Ward: Jordan Wright via Round 1 KO (+575)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Jordan Wright (12-3) is fighting Dusko Todorovic (11-3) in an expected banger on Saturday, with lines in the -800 range on this fight to end inside the distance. Both fighters are 2-3 in the UFC, with both of Todorovic’s wins coming against (since-released) fighters with major holes in their grappling. Todorovic finished both victories on the ground.

Wright has picked up both of his wins in the first round, both coming via strikes. In fact, none of his 15 professional fights has lasted longer than six minutes, and he’s 1-1 in fights that make it out of the first round.

What I like about Wright in this matchup is his takedown defense, which is a perfect 100% in his UFC tenure. While he's far from a high-level grappler, he's no walkover in that department. He also has a three-inch reach edge on Todorivc, which could make it harder for Todorovic to close the distance for takedowns.

Todorovic has suffered two knockouts in his three UFC losses, including his most recent outing less than five months ago. That’s not a great sign in the chin department.

While Wright also has a suspect chin, he has shown an ability to end things on the feet while Todorovic hasn't. I generally don’t like trying to thread the needle on both round and method, but Wright’s power and suspect cardio make this his most likely win condition.

The Pick: Jordan Wright by KO, TKO or DQ – Round 1 (+575 at BetRivers)

Manpreet Jhass: Cub Swanson via KO (+525)

Contributor at The Action Network and MMA content creator

Cub Swanson (28-12) will look to pick up a victory in his first trip down in the bantamweight division. Looking to halt that is Jonathan Martinez (16-4).

Swanson picked up a dominant victory in his last outing against Darren Elkins. Swanson said he is trying to get out of his comfort zone by suffering through a weight cut and coming out victorious on the other end, hence the move to 135 pounds.

When at his best, Swanson is able to use his footwork and unorthodox striking approach to befuddle his opponents, all in the hopes of landing his power shots. He is dynamic and free-flowing inside the cage when he is able to operate at his distance.

Martinez has amassed a 7-3 UFC record since debuting back in 2018. He is currently riding his longest UFC winning streak at three as he heads into this matchup against the toughest and most experienced foe to date.

Usually a trustworthy fighter to back, Martinez has shown minor slip-ups when fighters can bring the fight to him, push him backward, and put power on him. That was on full display when he fought Davey Grant, a fight in which he suffered his last loss via knockout. Alejandro Perez was also close to stopping him, though Martinez regained his composure and still got his hand raised.

I think Swanson will initiate an in-cage war that Martinez will not be comfortable with. Martinez needs to use his kicks to establish his distance, but I think he will struggle in doing so as Swanson will have him backing up the majority of the fight.

It is just a matter of time before Swanson lands that big punch that should send Martinez into a stunned state, and I trust from there Swanson will finish the job.

The Pick: Cub Swanson Wins by Knockout (+525 at BetRivers)

Clint Maclean: Alexa Grasso via Submission (+950)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

UFC Vegas 62 is one of those cards. The name value is low, and more than one fighter may be fighting for their job. These are the cards where the props thrive, though. These are the cards where we get wild fights and insane results. Let's try to take advantage!

The main event of UFC Vegas 62 is a spotlight on the future of the women’s flyweight division. Viviane Araujo (11-3) is coming off a big win over Andrea "KGB" Lee and stole a lot of hype after derailing her recent run. Physically powerful with a grappling-heavy approach, "Vivi" looks to dominate her opponents on the mat and drag them into deep waters.

What we have seen from Araujo, however, is she can slow down deeper in fights. If she faces adversity, grappling and a high striking pace, she ends up dropping the third round.

This is a five-round main event.

Alexa Grasso (14-3), on the other hand, is almost entirely the opposite. She gets stronger the deeper her fights go, and while she is billed as a striker, she has been working heavily on her grappling game.

Grasso held Carla Esparza to four of 11 takedowns in their fight in 2019. There is an argument to be had that Grasso scored a 10-8 round on Esparza in the third – and Esparza is the best wrestler in the division, as well as the current seated champion. Grasso nearly snapped Esparza's arm in half that night, but the now-champ gutted out a deep armbar attempt to survive to the judges' scorecards.

Since that fight, Grasso has been more and more willing to grapple, and she won her last fight over Joanne Wood via first-round rear-naked choke. I expect Grasso to be able to stuff takedowns and outstrike Araujo. The deeper this fight goes, the more tired Araujo will get, and the stronger Grasso will come on.

A poor takedown or a reversal is all we will need, and Grasso can put this one away on the mat.

The Pick: Alexa Grasso by Submission (+950 at SuperBook)

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