UFC Fight Night Best Bets: Our Favorite Picks for Aspinal vs. Baudot and Moraes vs. Sandhagen (Saturday, Oct. 10)
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Marlon Moraes of Brazil celebrates after his knockout victory.
Tonight’s UFC slate is stacked with 13 bouts on the schedule. The seven prelim fights will begin at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with six main card fights slated to being at 8 p.m. ET at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Two top-five bantamweights, Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Moraes, will square off in tonight’s main event, which could potentially lead to a title shot opportunity for Moraes.
So where should you be looking to place your bets for UFC on Fight Island?
Our crew has pinpointed two fights on Saturday’s card that present betting value. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Sean Zerillo: Tom Aspinall vs. Alan Baudot
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
The UFC is seemingly looking to setup Aspinall for fast success. He was handed a knockout win on a platter in his UFC debut against former middleweight Jake Collier:
He was supposed to fight Sergey Spivak on Saturday, but will now take on a late-replacement in Alan Baudot, who is 1) likely not UFC caliber and 2) a natural Light Heavyweight.
Baudot is now making his UFC debut, on short notice, in the wrong weight class — and he’s coming off of a significant layoff and win via disqualification — when he was choked out in the third round in April of 2019.
Aspinall has some fast, powerful hands, and I would look for him to continue his streak of first-round finishes.
Neither fighter has gone the distance in their respective careers, and I’m betting on an early finish in a variety of ways.
My projections say that Aspinall stops this fight early nearly 85% of the time, and you can bet him to win inside the distance at -240 (implied 70.6%), more than a 10% edge.
The Bet: Aspinall to win in Round 1 (+135, 0.5u) | Aspinall to win inside the Distance (-240, 0.5u) | Under 1.5 Rounds (-175, Risk 1u)
Reed Wallach: Marlon Moraes vs. Cory Sandhagen
Contributor at The Action Network
I’m siding with the slight underdog in the main event, Moraes. Sandhagen presents a unique challenge for the Brazilian, but I think that Moraes has learned from his mistake of gassing out against Henry Cejudo in his 2019 title fight, and will be able to pace himself and get a win inside the distance against Sandhagen.
Magic Moraes is a violent striker who can turn in finishes via submission as well. He puts together combinations well and he is going to need to keep the pace up against a quick and active striker in Sandhagen.
To say the Colorado native throws volume is an understatement. Sandhagen throws more than six significant strikes per minute, per UFC Stats, the most in the weight class, and is a rare type of Bantamweight considering he stands 5-foot-11. Moraes has some experience dealing with length, though, fighting Jose Aldo last December.
I’m banking on Moraes being able to land early and set the tone in this one. I do question if he has the gas tank to go a full 25 minutes with Sandhagen, who has shown no signs of slowing down at the end of his full fights.
With that in mind, I think Moraes has the power to finish this one early, and his opponent has been susceptible to taking some big shots in the opening minutes, so I’ll be playing Moraes to win inside the distance. While Sandhagen has been able to recover and win some fights he has started slow in, Moraes will likely not be as forgiving with his raw power.
Moraes opened as the favorite, but the line quickly moved him to the dog. I do see this as a competitive fight, and two contrasting styles makes it even more interesting, but I will lean with the fighter who has more at stake and is coming in off a confidence building decision win over Aldo while Sandhagen tapped against Aljamain Sterling in the first round this past June.
I see Moraes winning inside the distance as the most likely avenue for him to win this fight — offered at PointsBet at +190 as of this writing – and hope some of the early offense shakes Sandhagen down and we get in and out quick.
The Pick: Marlon Moraes to win inside the distance +190
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