UFC 292 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Weili vs. Lemos, Vera vs. Munhoz, More (Saturday, August 19)

UFC 292 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Weili vs. Lemos, Vera vs. Munhoz, More (Saturday, August 19) article feature image

Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili of China

Check out our UFC 292 best bets ahead of Saturday's pay-per-view event at TD Garden in Boston.

UFC 292 features a main event between bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and challenger Sean O'Malley, as well as a co-headliner between strawweight titleholder Zhang Weili and opponent Amanda Lemos.

The full UFC 292 event kicks off on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) before additional prelims on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. The ESPN+ PPV main card then commences at 10 p.m. ET.

The UFC 292 fight card features 12 bouts in all – all at middleweight (185 pounds) or lighter, including two tournament finals for The Ultimate Fighter 31 reality show.

So where should be looking to place your UFC 292 bets? Our crew has pinpointed four fights and four picks on Saturday’s stacked card that present betting value.

You can find their analysis and picks on those matches plus Sean Zerillo's projections below using odds from BetMGM.

* Odds as of Saturday

Moneyline Projections

Prop Projections

Billy Ward: Karine Silva vs. Maryna Moroz

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:25 p.m. ET

I’ve been highly impressed by the UFC run of Karine Silva. Including her bout on the Contender Series, she’s a perfect 3-0 with three consecutive submission victories, all in under seven minutes each.

Her last fight was a grappling masterclass as she struck her way into close range with a beautiful overhand-right/wrestling-shot combination that was somewhere between a takedown and a knockdown.

From there, she eventually sat back and pulled off one of the nastiest submissions in recent memory, obliterating her opponent’s knee with an ankle-lock/knee-bar combination. While I’m generally not a fan of surrendering position to hunt submissions, she’s talented enough to make it work against lower-level competition.

Which is what she’s faced with on Saturday night against Maryna Moroz.

Moroz is 6-4 in the UFC and coming off a disappointing unanimous-decision loss to Jennifer Maia. Stylistically, Moroz is also primarily a grappler, losing every fight in which she’s been unable to get a takedown.

That’s a problem here because attempting to take down Silva is playing with fire. Moroz has a solid submission game herself, but it’s a clear level behind Silva’s.

Neither woman is an especially adept striker, but I’d take my chances with Silva on the feet should it remain there thanks to her superior athleticism. It’s at worst a coin flip, which when coupled with Silva’s grappling edge makes her more than deserving of her -140 price tag.

I’d bet Silva’s moneyline down to the widely available -155 line.

The Pick: Karine Silva (-140 at BetMGM)

Dann Stupp: Gregory Rodrigues vs. Denis Tiuliulin

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET

Let's be honest: Betting "unders" and "ends by finish" sure is a fun way to spend a night of cage-fighting. Who doesn't like watching a slick submission or big KO – and making a tidy profit off it?

However, betting "under 1.5 rounds" instead of the usual "under 2.5 rounds" comes with an extra bit of fight-night adrenaline and nerves.

I feel like I'm playing with fire a bit in taking the under 1.5 with middleweights Gregory Rodrigues vs. Denis Tiuliulin – at chalky odds of -175, no less.

But the more I come back to the matchup and visualize it playing out, the more the narrative seems to fit: Either Tiuliulin gets in there and finishes him early, or Rodrigues takes over and simply swallows him up, likely on the mat.

Even if Rodrigues initially ditches his massive grappling edge and stands and trades, it bodes well for our "under" play here. Both guys have power.

That's another reason I love this play: Whether Rodrigues takes this to the mat or whether he plays with fire and keeps it standing, we've got a great chance of this one ending within 7.5 minutes.

Whether "Robocop" fights wisely or stupidly, we're likely good.

Tiuliulin has been out of the second round just once in his past eight fights. Rodrigues hasn't seen the third round in three bouts – and when his fights do extend, it's not really against opponents like feast-or-famine Tiuliulin.

I'll be on the edge of my seat and sweating every moment of this fight, especially early, but give me under 1.5 rounds for Rodrigues vs. Tiuliulin at -175 odds, and take the bet down to -200.

The Pick: Gregory Rodrigues vs. Denis Tiuliulin under 1.5 rounds (-175 at Betway)

Sean Zerillo: Marlon Vera vs. Pedro Munhoz

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 9:55 p.m. ET

While he's six years older and at a five-inch reach disadvantage, Pedro Munhoz has a path to apparent favoritism and a high likelihood of winning the opening round of his UFC 292 bout with Marlon "Chito" Vera.

Vera typically starts slow and tends to give away the first round to his opponents as he makes his reads, looks for openings, and lets his pace build. While that style has proven well in five-round battles, Vera is highly susceptible to losing on the scorecards in three-round fights since he's typically rallying from behind and looking for a finish.

This is his first three-round bout since late 2021 after headlining a trio of UFC Fight Night cards. And Vera may fail to adjust his pace to compensate for fewer rounds after becoming accustomed to 25-minute fights.

While Chito's attritional style works well against many opponents, Munhoz is highly durable (never finished in his career) and has solid cardio, both of which play against Vera's best attributes.

Unless Vera steps on the gas from the outset, he might fall behind – as he typically does – and eventually get outwrestled by a superior grappler.

Chito's primary weakness as a fighter is his takedown defense (69%) and inability to scramble off his back.

While Munhoz hasn't typically attempted takedowns with consistency (0.51 landed per 15 minutes, 20% accuracy), he's also faced a run of superior wrestlers at the top of the bantamweight division (Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Jimmie Rivers, Frankie Edgar, Cody Garbrandt in consecutive bouts).

He also hasn't had the opportunity to employ his offensive wrestling game, with which he can threaten submissions with his world-class jiu-jitsu skills.

The Pick: Pedro Munhoz (+170 at Caesars)

Tony Sartori: Zhang Weili vs Amanda Lemos

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 10:55 p.m. ET

In the UFC 292 co-main event, champion Zhang Weili looks to defend the strawweight belt against the No. 5-ranked contender, Amanda Lemos.

This scrap has Fight of the Year potential, not too dissimilar to Weili's championship bout against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in 2020. I implore anyone who has not seen that fight to watch it; it is my favorite fight of all time.

Weili is an incredible mixed martial artist and is comfortable in every facet of the sport. With that said, Lemos is going to try to keep things standing, and Weili will likely be just fine with that.

Whenever Lemos steps into the octagon, violence ensues; seven of her nine UFC bouts have failed to need the judges' input. Even if Weili attempts to bring this fight to the mat, Lemos' 81% takedown defense and strong submission capabilities are good deterrents to the fight going that route.

So, what happens if both fighters engage in a brawl similar to Weili vs Jedrzecjczyk 1? Likely a similar result, but with an ending inside the distance.

Both Weili and Lemos carry a ton of power and are incredibly technical strikers, but I think Weili's championship experience will prevail. The deeper this fight goes, the more uncomfortable Lemos is likely to get as she has never partaken in championship rounds under the UFC promotion.

Each of Weili's past two victories have come via knockout while one of Lemos' two professional losses came by the same method when she got finished by Leslie Smith. Regardless of what happens on Saturday night, this fight has the potential to be legendary, and if you want some action on it, I suggest taking Weili via KO/TKO at +135.

The Pick: Zhang Weili via KO (+135 via FanDuel)

Pick: Zhang Weili via KO (+135)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.