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UFC Fight Night 150 Undercard Betting Preview: Alex Oliveira vs. Mike Perry and a Best Bet

Credit:

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: UFC fighter Alex Oliveira (red gloves).

  • The main card of UFC on ESPN+ 8 features a welterweight bout between "Cowboy" Alex Oliveira (-180) and "Platinum" Mike Perry (+150)
  • Undercard fights with betting value include "Hands of Stone" John Lineker (-145) vs. Cory Sandhagen (+120) and Court "The Crusher" McGee (-170) vs. Dhiego Lima (+140).

UFC Fight Night 150 undercard betting preview

  • Early Preliminary Card: 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
  • Preliminary Card start time: 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • Main Card start time: 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN+

>> Start your ESPN+ free trial to watch every UFC Fight Night 150 bout.


As has been the case with the UFC’s recent ESPN+ efforts, Saturday’s card is short on name value, but holds its own in terms of intriguing bouts and betting value.

Let’s take a closer a look at the undercard to see where the best betting value can be found:

“Cowboy” Alex Oliveira (-180) vs. “Platinum” Mike Perry (+150)

Originally scheduled to face Jingliang Li, “Cowboy” Alex Oliveira (20-6-1) is coming off a brutal submission loss to Gunnar Nelson last December. Prior to the Nelson fight, Oliveira was 6-1 (1 NC) in his last eight bouts.

Though he entered the UFC as a low-output, stifling wrestler, Oliveira has reinvented himself in recent years into a dynamic action fighter capable of finishing the fight at any moment and in any phase of the fight.

Among active UFC welterweights, Oliveira is ranked:

  • No. 1 in significant strike accuracy (57.6%).
  • No. 8 in submission attempts per 15 minutes (1.1).
  • No. 9 in strikes absorbed per minute (2.12).

Whether on the feet or on the ground, Oliveira is able to find his edge in the fight and exploit it; he’s alternated between knockout and submission for his last five victories.

Initially one of the UFC’s most marketable welterweight prospects, Mike Perry (12-4) has had a rough go of it recently. “Platinum” is on a 1-3 run and his lone win came against a lightweight that took the fight on short notice.

Perry was initially able to get by on raw talent and fighting instincts alone, but as he’s encountered tougher opposition that hasn’t been enough. When faced with technical challenges, Perry tries to brute force his way through them.

Perry’s key to victory is to out-strike his opponents:

  • Perry is 5-1 when he lands more significant strikes than his opponent.
  • Perry is 1-3 when he lands less significant strikes than his opponent.

This is a very bad sign for Perry against Oliveira:

  • Oliveira has a strike differential of +1.07.
  • Perry has a strike differential of -0.42.

The numbers indicate Oliveira will out-land Perry by 1.49 significant strikes per minute, which makes this a clear call.

The Pick: Alex Oliveira (-180)


“Hands of Stone” John Lineker (-150) vs. Cory Sandhagen (+120)

A 15-fight UFC veteran, No. 8 ranked bantamweight John Lineker (31-8) is a cult favorite among MMA fans for his hard hitting, reckless striking style. At 5-foot-3-inches tall and possessing a 67-inch reach, Lineker utilizes his squat frame and granite chin to pressure forward and batter his opponent with hooks.

Among all active UFC bantamweights, Lineker is ranked:

  • No. 5 in knockdowns landed (5).
  • No. 5 in strikes landed per minute (5.01).
  • No. 6 in strike differential (+1.16).
  • No. 9 in significant strikes landed (444).

Standing across the cage will be Cory Sandhagen (10-1). An exciting prospect, Sandhagen is 3-0 in the UFC and taking a major step up in competition against Lineker.

Sandhagen has a wild fighting style that relies on relentless activity and constantly pursuing the finish.  The up-and-comer attempts:

  • 17.43 significant strikes per minute.
  • 2.48 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • 1.6 submissions per 15 minutes.

Sandhagen’s style relies on finishing his opponent. Lineker hasn’t been finished since his UFC debut in 2012.

Moreover, while Sandhagen has looked great so far, he hasn’t faced competition near the level of Lineker. 

Per FightMatrix, Lineker’s last few opponents were:

  • No. 27 ranked Brian Kelleher (Lineker win via knockout).
  • No. 23 ranked Marlon Vera (Lineker win via decision).
  • No. 1 ranked TJ Dillashaw (Lineker loss via decision).

Meanwhile, Sandhagen has faced a much lower level of opposition:

  • No. 344 ranked Mario Bautista (Sandhagen win via submission).
  • No. 36 ranked Iuri Alcantara (Sandhagen win via knockout).
  • No. 214 ranked (at featherweight) Austin Arnett (Sandhagen win via knockout).

The only person to beat Lineker since  2014 is two-time former champion TJ Dillashaw. Sandhagen may have a bright future, but there’s little to suggest he’s on the level needed to beat Lineker.

BEST BET: John Lineker (-150)


Court “The Crusher” McGee (-170) vs. Dhiego Lima (+140)

In the opening bout of the night, The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 champion Court McGee (19-7) looks to begin his first winning streak since 2013. McGee won a workman-like decision over Alex Garcia last October.

On the feet, McGee has a high-output and defensively-sound boxing game that is suited to win rounds rather than finish fights. Among all active UFC welterweights, McGee is ranked:

  • No. 8 in strikes landed per minute (4.69).
  • No. 8 in significant strike defense (64.7%).
  • No. 10 in longest average fight time (13:48).

The crux of McGee’s game is his wrestling. “The Crusher” is at his best when he is able to grind on opponents and secure takedowns. In the UFC, McGee is:

  • 8-1 when he lands more takedowns than his opponent.
  • 0-5 when he lands the same amount of takedowns as his opponent.

After an initial 1-3 run in the UFC in 2014-2015, Dhiego Lima (13-7) made his way back to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter Season 25. In his latest run with the company, Lima is 1-2.

In Lima’s last fight, he knocked out Chad Laprise despite entering the bout as a +305 underdog.

We’ve yet to see much out of Lima in the UFC. His lone win since 2014 ended in 1:37, but he demonstrated serious knockout power.

In his most recent run, Lima’s Achilles’ heel has been his ground game. Lima has a takedown defense rate of 50% and lost the takedown battle by a margin of 0-8 in his defeats since rejoining the UFC.

  • McGee wins 80% (8/10) of fights in which he scores a takedown
  • McGee has won via decision 75% (6/8) of the time
  • Lima loses 100% (0/2) of fight in which he is taken down

McGee via decision (+110) has 1.8x the ROI of McGee straight up (-170). Considering McGee’s last six wins have been via decision, I like that value.

The Pick: Court McGee via decision (+110)

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