Saturday UFC Picks & Predictions: How We’re Betting Mallory Martin vs. Hannah Cifers and Neil Magny vs. Robbie Lawler (Aug. 29)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Neil Magny has his hands wrapped prior to his fight.
- Looking to bet Saturday's UFC 11-fight card? We've got you covered.
- Our UFC crew looked through the odds for all 11 bouts to find bets with the most value on the card.
- Read on for a complete breakdown on each of our favorite Saturday night UFC bets.
The UFC closes out the month of August with an awesome Fight Night card Saturday. The 11-bout-slate begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN with six prelim fights, while the main card, headlined by light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic, kicks off at 9 p.m. ET.
Our UFC crew has pinpointed two fights on Saturday’s card that present the awesome 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!
Sean Zerillo: Neil Magny vs. Robbie Lawler
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
I have a hard time seeing past Magny’s incredible 80-inch reach (6-inch advantage), which he can use to keep Lawler on the outside with his jab and kicks – and I would expect the team Elevation product to be aggressive with his wrestling in order to tire Lawler out further.
If Magny loses the first round, and his odds drop below -150 – I’ll gladly bet him live – Lawler took this fight on short notice (again, 38% win rate) and he typically gasses out after the first round. His overall output has also fallen off later in his career.
Magny is very strong in the clinch, with his big knees and elbows, and I’d be surprised if Lawler – despite his championship pedigree – is able to eke out a decision; he needs to hunt for a stoppage against an opponent who can push the pace.
Magny’s size advantage and reserved, outside fighting style, could pose major issues for Lawler – who won’t have many opportunities to counter from distance.
Magny does have two losses by KO/TKO in his past eight fights – but so long as he keeps his head on straight against Lawler, this is his fight to lose on the scorecards.
Given Lawler’s durability, and Magny’s lack of stopping power, the latter’s path to victory inside the distance seems pretty limited. And while his odds to win by a decision are fair, they don’t offer a projected betting edge.
I would still play Magny to win by decision up to -150.
The Pick: Neil Magny to win by Decision (-134, 1 unit)
Reed Wallach: Mallory Martin vs. Hannah Cifers
Contributor at The Action Network
In a card that is filled with heavy chalk, one needs to get creative when betting it. Martin had a disappointing start to her UFC career, losing by submission to Virna Jandiroba. Looking back on it, given Jandiroba’s beatdown of Felice Herrig that may not be as bad. Martin will be coming in as the -315 favorite against Cifers, who has lost three-straight fights by finish to legitimate talent across two divisions in Angela Hill, Mackenzie Dern, and Mariya Agapova.
While Cifers was finished in those fights, she was clearly fighting above her talent level and Martin will get a chance to use this as a stepping stone up the strawweight ladder.
Martin will be coming in with a 2-inch height advantage and an inch reach advantage. She is skilled at fighting in the clinch and is not afraid to get this fight to the ground where Cifers has struggled to date.
I see the 26-year-old Martin as a potentially ranked fighter while Cifers may be exiting the promotion all together. However, I do think that Cifers is able to get to the judges’ scorecards now that she is coming down in talent level to hang with the raw talent in Martin.
Another reason why I want to get on Martin, particularly by decision, is that she trains in Colorado. Do not underrate training in the altitude in a fight that may go deep. Martin will be the fresher fighter in ring time but also in terms of cardio.
With Martin as the heavy favorite, I am going to play her to win by decision at -118, and I would play this up to -135. Still young, with nine career professional fights, Martin seems to be in line for an efficient finish over a potentially gassed out Cifers, who is fighting her fourth fight of 2020 already.
Lastly, Cifers missed weight Friday at the weigh ins. While there is a chance Martin seals the deal inside the distance, I see the decision prop being undervalued with just an implied probability of 54%.
The Pick: Martin by decision -118 (play up to -135)