UFC Fight Night Bets, Predictions & Picks: Our Favorite Bets for Diakiese vs. Fiziev and Hermansson vs. Gastelum
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC Fight Night event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island.
- Looking for betting picks on tonight's UFC main card? You've come to the right place. Our UFC crew looked at all the options on Saturday's card to find some betting value.
- They're betting the moneylines and props in Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev and Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum. See their analysis and bets below.
We’re onto our third UFC fight in a week at Fight Island with 12-bout Fight Night card on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez will headline Saturday’s action in a fight for the vacant flyweight title belt.
The seven preliminary bouts will start at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN+ followed by five main card fights at 8 p.m. ET.
Our UFC experts have pinpointed two fights on the main card that they are looking to bet. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Dann Stupp: Jack Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum
UFC Contributor at The Action Network
The conditions are ripe for Kelvin Gastelum to end his skid and re-establish himself as a top dog in the UFC’s stacked middleweight division.
Sure, Gastelum, a former top welterweight, is going to give up some noticeable size to Hermansson, a 32-year-old vet whose recent four-fight winning streak came to a halt this past September with a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier. That size disparity, which has been a constant focus of conversation since Gastelum’s move up to the 185-pound division in late 2016, was evident at Friday’s official weigh-ins.
To help overcome his size disadvantage, Gastelum adeptly uses the speed and power that served his so well at 170 pounds. And against bigger foes such as Hermansson, who is likely to pressure his opponent quickly and often while trying to get the fight to the mat, southpaw Gastelum is also going to have ample opportunity to unload counter left hooks.
Hermansson is no pushover. With his size and a very well-rounded game, the former Cage Warriors champ has tallied 16 stoppages (11 knockouts and five submissions) in 20 career victories. And though he doesn’t pack quite the punch that Gastelum does, Hermansson lands more significant strikes per minute (5.1 to 3.8), he lands them more accurately (48% to 43%), and he absorbs fewer strikes per minute (2.6 to 3.0).
Hermansson is still not entirely comfortable when facing a good striker though, and southpaw Gastelum is undoubtedly just such a challenge. Throw in Gastelum’s power – the kind that can halt or significantly alter the trajectory of a fight in a split second – and I think he can overcome Hermansson’s on-paper striking edge.
The line, which opened -150 in favor of Gastelum, was immediately bet to the point of a near-pick’em state, drifted back to the -140 range, but has since returned to tantalizing -112 odds for Gastelum. At that price, it’s time to pull the trigger in tonight’s co-main event.
Sean Zerillo: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
After a three-fight losing streak, Marc Diakiese made some tweaks to his gameplan and has looked re-invigorated in his past two fights, a pair of blowout decision wins where he won 30-27 on five of six scorecards, and 30-26 on the other.
He has been dismantling his opponents with leg kicks and takedowns in recent fights, securing seven of his 11 takedown attempts against Joe Duffy and Lando Vannata, while out-landing them by a combined significant strike margin of 103-40.
He is the taller (+2 inches), longer (+2 inches), and faster fighter compared to Fiziev, and because Diakiese never been finished, Fiziev seemingly has limited paths to victory.
He could win a decision on volume – averaging more than four significant strikes per minute in his first two UFC bouts, compared to 2.86 for Diakiese, but Diakiese has a considerable power edge – and his ability to change levels and mix it up more frequently will likely appeal to the judges.
If Diakiese sticks to his gameplan and continues to chop away with those calf kicks in the early rounds, he’s going to be very difficult to defeat from range.
With a projected moneyline at -257, Diakiese offers substantial value at his current odds.
Malik Smith: Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev
UFC Editor, The Action Network
This fight could be one of the most intriguing matchups on the slate. Neither fighter has recorded a stoppage win in a couple years, but both fighters are extremely dangerous and capable.
Diakiese’s kicks are the kind that stop fighters in their tracks and prevent them from wanting to plant their leg or move forward without a plan. His shifty style can throw fighters off their game and he’s able to land sneaky shots from awkward positions.
Fiziev had recorded a stoppage win in his six fights prior to entering the UFC, including five wins by KO/TKO. He’s the shorter man in this matchup, but he has the power to put fights away when he lands a clean shot.
The listed odds for the fight to go this distance imply that this bout will go to the cards 58.7% of the time, but I think the aggressive styles of both fighters will be on display and we’ll see one of them get a long-awaited stoppage win.