Noche UFC Props: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Grasso vs. Shevchenko, Holland vs. Della Maddalena, More (Saturday, September 16)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC welterweight Kevin Holland
Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of Noche UFC prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's special ESPN+ event.
Each MMA Prop Squad installment features a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +7.4 units and a +3.0% ROI per bet to date.
Noche UFC ("UFC Night") celebrates Mexican Independence Day with UFC women's flyweight champion and Mexico's own Alexa Grasso rematching former longtime titleholder Valentina Shevchenko in the main event.
Noche UFC takes place tonight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and the entire lineup streams on ESPN+ beginning at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. PT) with the main card commencing at 10 p.m. ET. With 11 bouts in all, Noche UFC offers no shortage of prop betting opportunities.
This week marks the return of squad members Tony Sartori, Billy Ward, Dann Stupp and Dan Tom, who share their Noche UFC picks below.
As with all betting endeavors, 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. And be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially depending on the sportsbook.
Tony Sartori: Jasmine Jasudavicius by Submission (+1400)
Contributor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:55 p.m. ET
We have a matchup between two ranked flyweights on the UFC Noche prelims with No. 15-ranked contender Jasmine Jasudavicius taking on No. 14 Tracy Cortez.
After losing to Natalia Silva in 2022, Jasudavicius entered this year on a mission and has not disappointed. This will already be her third scrap of 2023 after upsetting both Gabriella Fernandes and Miranda Maverick as a betting underdog.
The market is starting to respect Jasudavicius more with her +105 price tag in this fight, though I still do not believe it has adjusted far enough. Not only are Fernandes and Maverick both very capable fighters, but Jasudavicius absolutely dominated both of them with her strong wrestling.
Considering that Cortez also is not afraid to mix things up on the mat, there is no doubt that the majority of this scrap will be grappling/wrestling. Assuming that holds true, I expect the bigger and much more active Jasudavicius to hold the edge and grab the victory.
While it is more likely that she holds on for a decision victory, 14/1 odds are way too long to pass up on her submission prop. As I just said, the majority of this scrap will likely take place on the mat, and it is more likely than those odds imply that a submission gets locked in at some point during the grappling exchanges.
Additionally, Cortez's lone professional loss came via submission in the Invicta FC promotion. Although I think Jasudavicius will once again rely on her wrestling to rack up points and earn a decision victory, a +1400 submission prop at DraftKings is a tremendous price to take a flier on in a scrap that is likely to primarily take place on the mat.
The Pick: Jasmine Jasudavicius by Submission (+1400 at DraftKings)
Billy Ward: Daniel Lacerda in Round 1 (+470)
Staff Writer at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:25 p.m. ET
Daniel Lacerda is 0-4 in the UFC. At first (and second, and third) glance, that’s not a great thing. He’s been finished four times in a row, and he has never even seen a third round.
But if you squint a bit, you can see the silver lining.
Lacerda has to have something going for him since a fifth chance at a first UFC win is unprecedented. We expect prospects to get two or three shots in the UFC before being let go, even in a relatively thin division such as flyweight.
Yet, he’s getting another chance, thanks to his balls-to-the-wall fighting style. Lacerda has scored knockdowns in the opening frame of each of his last two fights, nearly finishing Victor Altamirano in the opening minute.
In fact, he sat down CJ Vergara twice before emptying his gas tank and getting tapped in the second.
Lacerda is a dynamic striker who throws head kicks, spinning attacks and wild punches with reckless abandon.
He’s getting a bit of a step down in opponent quality against Edgar Cahirez, who’s 0-1 after losing to uber-prospect Tatsuro Taira in his debut. While there’s no shame in that, Chairez also dropped his Contender Series bout against Clayton Carpenter, and he is 0-2 in other bouts against future UFC competition.
It’s hard to say that Lacerda is UFC level, but Chairez might not be either. With Lacerda’s aggressive style – and shallow gas tank – his likeliest path to a victory is early. I’ll take those odds at +470 on FanDuel.
Dann Stupp: Kevin Holland in Round 2 (+1000)
Senior Editor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET
I jumped into the Noche UFC co-main event of Kevin Holland vs. Jack Della Maddalena knowing that I was playing with fire. Not only should it create some meaningful movement in the welterweight division, where both fighters are ranked in the top 15 but still trying to crack the top 10, but the fight should also produce some violence.
I bet Holland straight up on the moneyline as a small underdog (+128) tonight, but I keep coming back to the same vision – and reward – for how it ends: Holland in Round 2 at a 10-1 payoff.
So I'm tacking on a Prop Squad play in the Noche UFC co-headliner in addition to my ML play.
Della Maddalena is a fun fighter and brings some dynamic striking to his matchups. But since joining the UFC, the Australian's also proven to be quite hittable at times. Many respected MMA bettors have been looking for an opportunity to fade the somewhat-touted prospect.
And I think Noche UFC may be a chance for us.
Granted, this is going to be no cakewalk for Holland, and Della Maddalena is still a legit prospect regardless of how this fight plays out. But after four bonus-winning performances against mid-level UFC competition, JDM is getting a legit and crafty opponent with plenty of big-stage experience in Holland.
I think Holland uses the first round to test his range and see what Della Maddalena has to offer. And as long as Holland keeps his back off the cage and can avoid some of those stinging body shots, I think his veteran savvy allows him to take over after the opening frame to get either the knockout or tap-out.
Dan Tom: Alexa Grasso by Decision (+370)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET
For this week' Prop Squad submission, I decided to target UFC Noche's main event between women's flyweight champion Alexa Grasso and former titleholder Valentina Shevchenko.
Shevchenko, whom I picked to win in their first meeting earlier this year, is still holding as the odds-on favorite despite losing to Grasso her last time out.
Although I don't expect Shevchenko to repeat the mistake that got her submitted back at UFC 285, I do suspect that we will get a closer contest this time around.
Shevchenko is officially 1-1 in career rematches, with the common thread being that she typically fights more conservatively the second time around.
For that reason, I believe that Grasso's activity should serve her well if this fight goes long as many are forecasting.
I'm already on the "over 4.5 rounds" total, but I'll also happily sprinkle on Grasso to win by decision in a fight that will likely see the scorecards.