UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Solecki vs. Gordon, Oliveira vs. Price (Saturday, October 2)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Alex Oliveira (left) and Niko Price.
A tantalizing UFC Fight Night card is in store this weekend at the APEX, with two top-10 light heavyweights, Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker headlining the day’s action. The card begins at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with seven prelim bouts followed by a five-fight main card starting at 7 p.m. ET.
So, where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew is focusing on three fights in particular and sees a few bets with value in those matchups. You can find their analysis and picks on those confrontations below.
Erich Richter: Joe Solecki vs. Jared Gordon
Contributor at The Action Network
I think the stat (below) was made available to showcase how awesome Merab Dvalishvili is (he’s amazing), but check out who is No. 4 on the list.
Highest total strike differential per fight (min. 5 fights), UFC history:
— MMA By The Numbers (@NumbersMMA) September 30, 2021
Jared “Flash” Gordon only has losses by knockout. His incredible total strike differential bodes very well for his future in this fight. Moreover, his 17-4 record shows excellent volume striking and solid grappling.
Naturally, Solecki will want to grapple in this fight, which he enters with an 11-2 record with seven wins by submission. Solecki even out-grappled Jim Miller in their last fight. Expect Gordon to do his best to avoid grappling at all costs against Solecki.
Gordon’s striking should be light years better than Solecki, who is not a ground-and-pound specialist or stand-up fighter. Solecki’s one-dimensional style makes me excited to bet on Gordon as an underdog.
I cap Gordon as a favorite here and could win this fight going away with his striking. His most likely win condition is by decision at +230, which I think is plenty juicy for me to fire on.
Furthermore, I will use the double chance prop so I can increase my profitability by a few percentage points.
It is extremely unlikely that Gordon submits Solecki, so I will bet on Gordon to win this fight by KO/TKO or decision at +134 on PointsBet. I would bet this down to his moneyline price of +110.
The Pick: Jared Gordon by KO/TKO or Points (+134)
Sean Zerillo: Misha Cirkunov vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Misha Cirkunov met the middleweight limit with relative ease on Friday, after spending his entire career fighting at light heavyweight. He will be the bigger man in the cage against Krzysztof Jotko and might immediately become one the best grapplers in the world at 185 pounds.
Cirkunov forces the action (4.28 takedowns per 15 minutes, 57% accuracy and 2.3 submissions per 15 minutes) and while Jotko has shown sturdy takedown defense (87%), he hasn’t faced a threat of this caliber.
The main concerns in the Cirkunov corner are cardio and durability, but Jotko doesn’t necessarily have the skills or style to exploit those weaknesses. The Pole prefers to fight off of the back foot instead of applying pressure, and he doesn’t put significant power behind his strikes.
With four knockout losses in the past four years, Cirkunov’s chin is still a big concern, even against a lower tier of power than what he’s been facing. Still, the smaller cage should play to his advantage and allow him to track down Jotko easier than he would in the 30-foot octagon.
I projected Cirkunov as a 55% favorite in this fight, so I think that the wrong side is favored on the moneyline. I would bet Cirkunov up to -115, at a 2% betting edge.
There is also value both on Cirkunov’s submission prop (listed +330, projected +260) and his odds to win inside the distance, which is also known as the double chance KO/TKO or Submission prop (listed +185, projected +127) on FanDuel.
The Pick: Cirkunov (+128, play to -115)
Billy Ward: Alex Oliveira vs. Niko Price
Contributor at The Action Network
Niko Price is taking on Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira in main-card action on UFC Vegas 38. Both men have struggled recently, with Price going 0-2-1 (a no contest that was originally ruled a draw) in his last three fights, and Oliveira dropping his last two.
I doubt either fighter is in serious danger of being released with a loss, but chances are dwindling for both of them.
I haven’t been overly impressed with Price lately. Donald Cerrone went the distance with Price, but in the American Cowboy’s next bout he suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of late replacement Alex Morono.
While Price should’ve won the Cerrone fight (he was deducted two points for multiple eye pokes), the fact that it went to a decision is an indictment of Price given Cerrone’s recent run.
Oliveira’s recent submission losses are concerning. However, those losses came to an undefeated combat sambo champion and top-20 welterweight. Price is neither of those things. Cowboy Oliveira has generally fared well when fights remain standing and should have a decided striking advantage in this one.
Unless Price gets this fight to the ground, Oliveira has an edge here. Price has shown neither a willingness nor the ability to take down high-level fighters, so I expect this one to be contested mainly on the feet.
While Price can still certainly get it done striking, this line has moved up far enough that I’m comfortable being on Oliveira.
After opening at +115, he’s currently as high as a +154 underdog (on FanDuel.)
The Pick: Alex Oliveira ML (+154)