UFC 291 Odds, Pick & Prediction for C.J. Vergara vs. Vinicius Salvador: Fade Salvador After Weigh-in Miss? (Saturday, July 29)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC flyweight C.J. Vergara
C.J. Vergara vs. Vinicius Salvador Odds
Flyweights meet on the UFC 291 preliminary card when C.J. Vergara tangles with Vinicius Salvador in what should be a fast-paced affair.
Both products of the Contender Series feeder system, Vergara and Salvador now look to establish some consistency in the UFC's competitive 125-pound division.
But which fighter has the edge on Saturday in the ABC/ESPN-televised clash, especially in light of Salvador's weigh-in gaffe?
Let's break down the matchup.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:49||12:11|
|Weight (pounds)||125 lbs.||127.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||6/18/1991||6/24/1996|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||5.63||5.17|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||4.75||5.29|
|Take Down Avg||0.00||0.62|
Salvador missed weight at Friday's UFC 291 weigh-ins, coming in 2.5 pounds over the flyweight limit and looking depleted on the scales.
I already thought he was at a cardio disadvantage while fighting at elevation against Vergara.
Now, I expect the difference to be even more pronounced in the later rounds of this 125-pound matchup.
Salvador should find his best success early in the fight. He is large for the division, hits hard, has a two-inch reach advantage, and Vergara is hittable (53% striking defense).
CJ Vergara getting clipped multiple times in the first and coming back for a TKO victory on home soil 🔥.
— El Champ Champ (@ElChampChampMMA) July 25, 2023
Still, if he can't put away Vergara early (100% finish rate), I expect the Brazilian to fade down the stretch and potentially get finished.
Vergara is very durable and regularly fights through adversity. He should be able to utilize his cardio and composure to weather the storm (or run away from it) and take over late against a tiring opponent.
That's what he did in his last fight against Daniel Lacerda.
Vergara vs. Salvador Pick
I don't project value on either side of the moneyline in this UFC 291 matchup.
However, I do expect this fight to reach a decision slightly more than the odds suggest (projected +130, listed +150) and see value on Vergara to win by decision (projected +245, listed +260).
Given Vergara's cardio advantage – alongside the projected value on his decision prop and the fight to reach a decision – I played Vergara in a Same Game Parlay (SGP) with the Over 1.5 Rounds (+140).
That bet should encompass all of his decision equity and the majority of his finish equity, which is likelier to come from an accumulation of damage from a tiring opponent than any individual strike.
Additionally, look to live bet Vergara after Round 1, when Salvador should begin to fade.
While I would consider betting Vergara to win in Rounds 2 or 3, the model would rather me play the decision prop, so I opted for the SGP.
You can include Vergara by decision – or the fight to reach a decision – on your round-robin tickets. However, considering Salvador's weight miss and the Salt Lake City elevation, I have no interest in sweating that from a straight bet perspective.
The Pick: SGP (+145, 0.25u): C.J. Vergara & Over 1.5 Rounds | Vergara Live after Round 1