UFC Odds & Picks For Saturday’s Fight Night: 3 Moneyline Bets, 8 Props & Projections For All 9 Bouts
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: A general view of the Octagon at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- UFC Fight Night goes down Saturday at the APEX in Las Vegas takes with a nine-bout card.
- The action is headlined by the heavyweight matchup between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane.
- Our senior betting analyst Sean Zerillo breaks down the full card below, including his picks and projections for every bout.
The UFC continues its run at APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday with nine fights and another Heavyweight main event, between No. 4-ranked contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik and No. 7 Ciryl Gane.
The preliminary card starts at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+, and the main card begins at 8 p.m. ET.
The cage at APEX (25-foot diameter) is about 30% smaller in terms of square footage than a regular UFC octagon (30-foot diameter), and consequently, the finish rate is roughly 10% higher.
Over the three UFC shows to start the year on Fight Island (30-foot cage), 21 of the 35 fights (60%) went the distance. Since returning to APEX, just 16 of the 34 fights (47%) have gone the distance in the three cards.
If you are new to this piece, or this sport, note that in addition to moneylines and over/unders, there are numerous ways to bet on an MMA fight — including exact winning methods, winning round props, and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.
As a result, after examining all of the betting options, your typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value.
Check out the betting odds for Saturday’s UFC card, with analysis and picks for each fight below.
Odds as of Friday evening and via DraftKings
UFC Fight Night Moneyline Projections
Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 10 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside the distance or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.
UFC Fight Night Prop Projections
In addition to creating a crowdsourced projection for moneyline plays, I also collect data on each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission — which enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance or for each fighter to win inside of the distance.
UFC Fight Night Betting Picks
The Fights I’m Betting
Dustin Jacoby vs. Maxim Grishin
I don’t show a projected edge on any betting angle for the first bout on Saturday’s card, but I really like this matchup for Jacoby, who is in his second stint with the UFC and likely underrated as an all-around fighter.
Grishin, a former Heavyweight, missed the Light-Heavyweight limit by 4.5 pounds on Friday — fighters who have missed weight since the start of the pandemic have gone 8-20 (28.5%) in their matchups at average odds of -104 (implied 51%).
Grishin is more comfortable counter-striking, rather than leading the dance, and seems likely to lose on output against Jacoby (3.65 to 2.08 strikes landed per minute) – who also carries more power.
I have reservations about Jacoby’s cardio — he faded late in his Contender Series bout after working to secure an early finish — but Grishin’s missing weight alleviates those concerns.
Jacoby is both the cleaner and more active striker. I’m comfortable betting Jacoby on the moneyline to win a half unit, up to -200.
Get ready for a ton of leg kicks from both sides.
Vince Cachero vs. Ronnie Lawrence
Not to be confused with Cobra Kai’s Johnny Lawrence, Ronnie is making his official UFC debut after earning a contract on last season’s Contender Series. He secured 12 takedowns on 17 attempts route to the unanimous decision win.
Cachero made his own UFC debut last summer — on short notice and up a weight class against Jamal Emmers — and showed that his own takedown defense might be a weakness (defending just two of seven attempts).
Ultimately, I think Lawrence’s ground game makes the difference in this fight, but even when this matchup stays on the feet, I expect him to be the more effective man at range.
He’s comfortable from different stances and can ground his opponents with multiple techniques. I think his skill set is well-rounded enough to justify his current price.
I would play Lawrence to win by decision (projected up to -140) down to -115 at a 5% edge, and I would use his moneyline as a parlay piece with another bet on this card.
Alexis Davis vs. Sabina Mazo
In her last fight vs. Justine Kish, I faded Mazo and I’m aware that she was down two rounds on two of the three scorecards before securing a third-round stoppage, despite leading the striking battle 131-93.
Davis is more than a decade older than her opponent and hasn’t won a fight since 2017, but she has fought a who’s who in WMMA (lost to Ronda Rousey in a 2014 title fight), and still represents a jump up in competition for the “Colombian Queen.”
This is Mazo’s first true test against a strong grappler. Still, Davis’s metrics (0.74 takedowns per 15 minutes, 33% accuracy) are skewed by superior competition – and fewer grappling exchanges in her more recent fights – while Mazo (denied 8-of-9 takedowns vs. Maryna Moroz in her debut) has a relatively limited data sample.
As a result, it’s difficult to predict how much control time Davis might secure, but whenever these two are standing, Mazo will be pushing a pretty hectic pace (7.14 to 4.27 strikes landed per minute).
I don’t expect to see a dominant victory here — and I’m not necessarily playing a significant edge on Mazo by decision (projected -129) relative to the market (listed -120). However, I would still bet her decision prop to that price.
Despite a more sizable edge on this fight to go the distance (projected -467, listed -350), I’m not going to double-dip on needing to see all 15 minutes. Lesser strikers have dropped Davis, and the potential for severe decline at age 36, on the heels of a 1.5-year layoff, is significant.
Alexander Hernandez vs. Thiago Moises
Moises could easily be on a three-fight losing streak but instead comes into Saturday with consecutive wins over Michael Johnson and Bobby Green.
The Johnson win was a Hail Mary — Moises secured an Achilles lock early in the second round after being thoroughly dominated for the first five minutes.
And I thought he clearly lost to Bobby Green last time out. Eleven of the 15 media members, and 73% of fans, scored the bout for Green (it was seemingly closer to 30-27 Green than 29-28 Moises). The American won the striking battle 94-43, but a takedown in Round 1 and a submission attempt in Round 2 apparently swung both rounds for the Brazilian.
I’m happy to fade Moises again here, and the market has also lined up against him, pushing Hernandez more than 10 percentage points from an opening line of -140 (implied 58.3%) to -225 (implied 69.2%) as of writing.
I’m betting the Hernandez side up to -223, at a 2% edge compared to my projection (71%).
He looked like a different fighter, mentally, in his most recent bout against Chris Gruetzemacher, appearing to be much more composed and focused since moving his camp to Factory X Muay Thai last year.
If Hernandez maintains that composure and avoids gassing out in the later rounds, he should either finish Moises on the feet or cruise to a wide decision.
Editors’s note: Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder has been postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder
This is a rematch from a 2017 bout, which Hill won by unanimous decision, 30-27, on all three scorecards. All 15 media members scored the bout for Hill, though five of the 15 scored the bout 29-28 instead of 30-27.
In UFC rematches (since UFC 28):
The fighter who won the first bout is 65-40 with 2 draws and 1 No Contest in the second bout.
That would map to an appropriate average moneyline of -162#UFCVegas20
— MMA By The Numbers (@NumbersMMA) February 26, 2021
Yoder needs to secure takedowns and maintain top control to win this rematch. The first time around, she did secure three of her six attempts, but only maintained 3:20 of control time (compared to 2:50 for Hill) while losing the striking battle 65-54 (47-26 in significant strikes).
The longer this fight stays on the feet, the more significant of a favorite Hill should become — Yoder cannot keep up with her output (5.7 to 2.81 strikes landed per minute; +0.54 to -0.52 in strike differential), and the time between their last fight would seemingly help Hill’s defense (77% takedown defense) more than Yoder’s offense (1.25 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, 38% accuracy).
At a substantial moneyline figure, Hill is a clear pass. Too many of her fights end in controversial decisions — 7-7 on the scorecards, including four split decisions. But I have Hill’s decision prop projected at -211 (implied 67.9%), and I’m happy to bet that prop up to -185 at a 3% edge.
A finish in this bout does seem unlikely, but I’m going to avoid double-dipping. I will bypass the distance prop (projected -521, listed -345) in the small cage at a substantial figure and solely rely upon Hill to get our decision ticket home.
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
This is also a rematch from a split-decision in 2015, which Rivera edged out 29-28 on two of the three scorecards. All 10 media members and 88.5% of fans scored the bout for the New Jersey native, who won the striking battle 98-67.
Munhoz generally loses on output (-0.5 strike differential, to +0.38 for Rivera), and his inability to secure a takedown (0-for-7) in the first fight (career 92% takedown defense) likely sealed his fate.
Munhoz has the edges in both power and durability, but Rivera has the reach advantage and superior mobility. Munhoz seemingly needs to charge forward, catch Rivera with some big shots, and find a way to get this fight to the mat for at least one round.
In a contest between two durable veterans, that seems unlikely — I’m not particularly interested in the Munhoz decision prop either (listed +275, projected +232) despite the value.
Rather than picking a winner, I prefer the “fight goes the distance” prop (projected -391) or the Over 2.5 rounds (listed -290) in this spot and would bet those up to -300, at nearly a 5% edge.
Even when he does lose on output, Munhoz’s damage often has the better optics; I wouldn’t be surprised to see another split decision.
Check out our free UFC odds page, which automatically surfaces the best moneyline and round total odds for every fight.
Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
As with the first fight on the card, I actually don’t show a betting edge on this bout, but I like the spot for De La Rosa. She should be able to rack up control time against Silva who is a bit too comfortable hunting for submissions off of her back.
De La Rosa doesn’t land takedowns at a high clip (1.96 per 15 minutes, 30% accuracy), but she does pursue them aggressively and has shown improvements in her striking from one fight to the next.
Coming from Team Elevation in Colorado, De La Rosa also has above-average cardio and should be able to maintain pressure for all 15 minutes.
As a BJJ Brown Belt with one career submission loss — a 2016 Legacy FC bout against Mackenzie Dern — if De La Rosa can avoid Silva’s tricky bottom game, I expect her to grind out the majority of minutes in this fight.
You could take a small stab on De La Rosa’s moneyline, but I prefer her decision prop down to about +150.
It’s a worthy flier on the side with a much greater chance of looking like a significant favorite, in hindsight.
Nikita Krylov vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Ankalaev looks the part of a future Light Heavyweight champion. He has all the tools and has dominated nearly every second of his UFC career — except for a late (and conspiracy-level suspicious) submission loss in his UFC debut against Paul Craig.
I believe that the Dagestani-born fighter is destined for stardom:
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) February 24, 2021
That being said, Nikita Krylov is getting a bit underrated in this spot. Relative to Ankalaev, this is a step down in competition for Krylov — and a step up for the Dagestani. Krylov has already faced the best of the best in the 205-pound division, including current champ Jan Blachowicz and a top title contender in Glover Teixeira.
Krylov has turned into a bit of a grinder in his second stint in the UFC, going the distance for the first two times in his career in each of his past two fights. Thirty-two of his 34 career fights, including six of his seven career losses, have ended inside the distance.
Ankalaev is far more responsible defensively, however, and the man much more likely to finish this fight on the feet (68% to 41% in striking defense).
While Krylov is far from a points fighter, based upon historical numbers, he could land at higher volume and win minutes (4.54 to 3.58 strikes landed per minute; +2.09 to +2.22 in strike differential), especially if he can secure a takedown (1.4 landed per 15 minutes, 38% accuracy).
That pressure could serve to tire Ankalaev, and if this bout is 1-1 going into Round 3, I might consider it a tossup at that point. But if you throw out Ankalaev’s only career loss — and there’s a legitimate argument that you probably can — I don’t think the path to victory for Krylov (15 career submissions) would be as apparent.
I’m fully onboard the Ankalaev train — and I’m both 1) using Ankalev in a parlay with Lawrence (even money or better); and 2) betting him to win inside the distance (projected -183) up to -148, at a 5% edge. There’s additional value in betting the fight to end inside the distance (projected -304, listed -200).
Still, Ankalaev is the more likely fighter to make that happen (79% to 58% of their respective win conditions), and he’s also my preferred side. I would play Ankalaev’s moneyline, now that it has dipped below -300 again in some spots.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane
I don’t have a particularly high opinion of Rozenstruik as an MMA fighter. He is a talented kickboxer who owns the rare death touch — the god-given ability possessed by only a few other fighters (Francis Ngannou, Derrick Lewis) to put people out with glancing blows at a moment’s notice.
In his last fight against the chinny Junior Dos Santos, Rozenstruik lost the first round on two of the three scorecards before recording a knockout late in the second round.
Before that win, he was put down almost immediately by Francis Ngannou for his first career loss:
Francis Ngannou kills Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. 🗣🗣
He is insane Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic don’t want that smoke. 😂😂#UFC249
— WhatsUpMMA (@WhatsUp_MMA) May 10, 2020
And the fight before that, he was thoroughly outworked by Alistair Overeem for the majority of a main event (down 40-36, 39-37, and 39-37 on the scorecards) before exploding Reem’s lip late in the final seconds of the fight, to steal a victory.
Rozenstruik’s defensive metrics (36% striking defense) are laughably bad and especially compared to an opponent like Gane (73%), who is at the opposite end of the defensive spectrum.
Moreover, Gane’s grappling (1.08 takedowns per 15 minutes, 60% accuracy) could give Rozenstruik some problems. Overeem only secured two of his 10 takedown attempts against “Bigi Boy,” but he spent more than eight minutes in control of the grappling exchanges and landed 19-of-20 ground strikes; 20% of his output for the fight.
Gane is a much better athlete, and his more well-rounded game poses major problems for a natural kickboxer.
Rozenstruik seems to be knockout or bust here, but the market has started to side with the underdog, pushing him down from +250 (implied 28.6%) to +175 (implied 36.3%) as of writing.
I do show value on betting the main event to end inside the distance (listed -250), compared to my projection (-576), and I like that bet to -300 at a 10% edge.
But I prefer Gane’s odds to win inside the distance (projected -131) down to roughly -107.
This could be a slow-paced staring contest, but a quick submission from Gane or anytime knockout from Rozenstruik is very much in play.
The Fight I’m Passing On
Alex Caceres vs. Kevin Croom
Croom is the trendy underdog pick of the week, coming into his second UFC bout against “Bruce Leeroy” — a 23-time Octagon veteran who is viewed as a low-level gatekeeper by most fans.
Croom pulled off a massive upset in his UFC debut in September, submitting Roosevelt Roberts in under a minute, on short notice, as a +395 underdog.
But I’m not entirely confident that Croom is UFC caliber – possessing eight stoppage losses on the regional scene – he merely creates opportunities for variance. He has been able to capitalize against lower-level competition.
Despite a lack of knockout power and seven career submission losses, Caceres presents Croom with his toughest test to date – and I’m expecting the Miami native to grind out the unanimous decision. Still, I don’t see any betting angle worth playing in this bout, and I think it’s a good spot to pass.
Zerillo’s UFC Fight Night Bets
Distance or Decision Props and Overs
- Ronnie Lawrence wins by Decision (+115, 0.5u)
- Sabina Mazo wins by Decision (-120, 0.5u)
- Angela Hill wins by Decision (-175, 0.5u)
- Montana De La Rosa wins by Decision (+160, 0.5u)
- Munhoz/Rivera, Fight Goes the Distance (-250, 0.5u)
Inside the Distance Props and Unders
- Magomed Ankalaev wins Inside the Distance (-120, 0.5u)
- Ciryl Gane wins Inside the Distance (-105, 0.5u)
- Gane/Rozenstruik, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-250, 0.5u)
- Dustin Jacoby (-180, 0.5u)
- Alexander Hernandez (-210, 0.5u)
- Magomed Ankalaev (-290, 0.5u)
- Parlay: Ronnie Lawrence / Magomed Ankalaev (+108, 0.5u)
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