Trinaldo vs. Herbert Odds & Pick: The UFC Undercard Bout to Bet at Fight Island


Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Francisco Trinaldo of Brazil.

  • Dann Stupp previews the featured prelim bout of Saturday's UFC Fight Night card, featuring Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jai Herbert.

Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jai Herbert Odds

Trinaldo odds -134 (BET NOW)
Herbert odds +108 (BET NOW)
Over/Under 2.5 Rounds (-195/+140)
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Channel ESPN

Odds as of Friday 9 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

With 15 bouts and an approximate run time of eight hours, Saturday’s UFC event is going to a marathon, but ample betting opportunities await.

But a funny thing happened after the lines opened for this latest Abu Dhabi card: An already-tempting line has gotten juicier and juicier over the past two weeks, and now we can snatch up some odds that really seem too good to be true.

Heading into their featured preliminary-card bout, Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo (25-7) is a small favorite over promotional newcomer and Englishman Jai Herbert (10-1). The question is, why isn’t Trinaldo a bigger one?

“Massaranduba” opened as a -180 favorite, but with the money pouring in on Herbert since then, Trinaldo has tumbled as low as -125. There are just too many good reasons not to go contrarian, pounce on that number, and take Trinaldo for a straight bet.

Let’s start with the obvious: UFC experience. Until a fighter actually enters the UFC octagon and experiences life on MMA’s biggest stage, it’s hard to know what to expect.

Herbert is a former lightweight champion in the U.K.’s well-respected Cage Warriors promotion, where he was on a path of destruction that included four straight knockout wins:

However, it’s a big step up from fighting serviceable U.K. vets to fighting a UFC stalwart such as Trinaldo, who’s a tough-as-nails vet who’s never been knocked out in 14-plus years as a pro fighter. In fact, during his eight-plus years in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division, “Massaranduba” has racked up a stellar 15-6 record with wins over notables such as Paul Felder, Jim Miller, Evan Dunham and Bobby Green.

So, is Trinaldo supposed to play the role of “gatekeeper” here — one in which the next big thing (Herbert) potentially earns some clout with a victory over an aging star? Not exactly. Even at 41, Trinaldo remains an incredibly durable and active competitor in the cage.

Herbert isn’t exactly a young pup himself, though. The 32-year-old didn’t make his pro debut or even seriously train in MMA until he was nearly 27, and up until a few months ago, he still worked full-time as a scaffolder.

Also working in Trinaldo’s favor? He’s a southpaw — and an aggressive one at that — and for Herbert, this is going to be his first real fight-night experience trying to figure out a lefty. Additionally, with what will likely be Trinaldo’s nonstop pressure and continual counter-striking from the opening bell, Herbert might not get the time he needs to figure out his range. That could be problematic against a crafty striker such as Trinaldo.

Sure, Herbert could instead try to force the fight to the mat. However, Trinaldo, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt and powerful grappler, is going to have a clear edge there too, and blue belt Herbert probably doesn’t have the scrambling savvy he needs to escape Trinaldo’s pressure on the canvas.

Obviously, the one big knock on Trinaldo for this fight is that he missed weight and came in four pounds heavy (he was fined 30% of his purse). Trinaldo, who never previously missed weight for a UFC fight, reportedly said his body simply quit sweating/shedding water weight. It’s a bit concerning, for sure, but it doesn’t seem to suggest a lack of motivation/being out of shape.

Despite that issue, Trinaldo remains the play, especially with such attractive odds.

The Pick: Trinaldo (-134)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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