UFC Betting Picks & Predictions: Our Best Bets for Herman vs. Meerschaert, Luque vs. Brown
LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 27: in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on June 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
- A 10-fight UFC Fight Night card kicks off at 7 p.m. ET, and we've broken down our best bets below.
- We're eyeing two favorites and a short underdog.
- Get all our favorite picks for UFC Fight Night below.
Last week, bettors were overloaded with a 15-fight UFC Fight Night slate on Fight Island. This week? The slate is a tad short in comparison.
Saturday’s card will feature just 10 bouts after a number of last minute changes to bouts on the undercard. Luckily there’s still plenty of action get down on in the UFC. The four prelims will kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and the main card starts at 9 p.m. ET, headlined by a middleweight clash between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan.
Our UFC crew has pinpointed the fights on Saturday’s card that present the best betting value. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Don’t forget, you can now track your UFC bets in the Action Network App!
Dann Stupp: Ed Herman vs. Gerald Meerschaert
UFC Contributor at The Action Network
I can be a bit of a masochist when it comes to ugly MMA, and with a main-card matchup between Gerald Meerschaert (31-13) and Ed Herman (25-14), we’ve got real potential for some fun, wild and unsightly fisticuffs.
Look, I’ve had a soft spot for Herman ever since the 39-year-old won “The Ultimate Fighter 3,” which coincided with my arrival in the MMA-media world 14 years ago. He quickly blossomed from a bit of a cocky d-bag into an insightful veteran who never turns down a challenge. Additionally, Herman’s grittiness often made up for a lack of natural talent and has helped him earn him 23 official UFC appearances, 12 victories, six fight-night bonuses and matchups against some of the greatest middleweights in MMA history.
Now, Meerschaert (-160) jumps up a weight class on a week’s notice to meet Herman (+130), who’s done all of his recent work at light heavyweight. Although Herman has picked up a handful of wins in the division in the past few years, it’s come against subpar competition, and his performances have been inconsistent, at best.
Sure, there are lots of reasons a bet on Meerschaert may initially give you pause here. The 32-year-old suffered a quick knockout loss to Ian Heinisch less than two months ago, and he’s now in an overall 2-4 skid.
Still, Meerschaert should be the better wherever this fight goes. I think he has the well-rounded game, pressure and strength not only to survive Herman’s early efforts, but also to put away the vet before the three rounds are up.
While the current money line offers value (-180), I’m also going to split the bet and also wager half of it on Meerschaert to get the finish. Ultimately, that durability that has served Herman so well during a lengthy UFC tenure likely will be tested too much.
The Picks: Meerschaert (-180) | Meerschaert inside the distance (+130)
Reed Wallach: Joanne Calderwood vs. Jenifer Maia
Contributor at The Action Network
The co-main event features the No. 1 contender for the Women’s Flyweight belt, Joanne Calderwood, who was added to this card on short notice, taking on No. 6 ranked Jenifer Maia. With the champion, Valentina Svenchenko, out for the foreseeable future, Calderwood wanted to stay active and take a fight, filling in for Viviane Araujo after she tested positive for Covid-19.
This is an interesting angle, as Calderwood is taking a short notice fight and risking her No. 1 contender status in the process. While Calderwood steps in as the more gifted fighter, the psychological edge may prove to be important here. For example, Tony Ferguson accepted the Justin Gaethje fight on short notice and dropped his No. 1 contender status in the loss at UFC 249. This is just one example, but it feels like Calderwood is taking a big risk getting in the ring and it could backfire.
On top of that, while there is no doubt JoJo was training beforehand, Maia was in full fight prep and may be in better shape.
The line has dropped from its opener of +150, where I saw a lot of value, but at +130 I still see an edge here as Maia has a shot at grabbing this win and shaking up the division. I like this play down to +115.
The Pick: Maia ML (+130)
Sean Zerillo: Vicente Luque vs. Randy Brown
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Vicente Luque offers value at around -200, nearly half his projected moneyline price, against Randy Brown. Brown is the longer and taller fighter, but Luque will keep pushing forward and will be happy to stand in the pocket and exchange.
Relative to Brown, he lands an additional 2.2 strikes per minute in the octagon — but Brown has the superior differential (0.99 to -0.13) while Luque is known to both dole out and take back punishment.
I don’t see him having enough power to trouble Luque, however, who should have the also have the grappling advantage in addition to the higher volume of strikes.
The Pick: Vicente Luque ML (-197)