UFC Fight Night Betting Odds, Projections & Picks: How to Bet All 10 Fights (Saturday, August 22)

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Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Detailed view of the UFC gloves.

Aug 22, 2020, 04:00 PM EDT
  • Saturday's nine-fight UFC card begins at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+, with the main card beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
  • We originally anticipated 10 fights on Saturday, but Ovince Saint Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield was removed after Saint Preux tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Read on for Sean Zerillo's betting preview, including odds, picks and betting angles for Saturday's undercard and main card action.

Editors Note: The Ovince Saint Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield fight has been removed from tonight’s UFC card after Saint Preux tested positive for COVID-19 earlier today.

The UFC returns to Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday with a 10-fight card, beginning at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The main card starts at 8:30 p.m ET on ESPN, and concludes with a Bantamweight clash between Pedro Munhoz and future Hall-of-Famer Frankie Edgar.

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 of 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 full betting odds for Saturday’s UFC card, with analysis and picks from Sean Zerillo for each fight below:


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UFC Fight Night Moneyline Projections and Picks

Below, you can find my crowdsourced 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 of the distance, or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

Five fighters — four favorites and one underdog – offer projected moneyline value greater than 2.5% for Saturday night:

  • Timur Valiev (-400)
  • Austin Hubbard (+102)
  • Mizuki Inoue (-141)
  • Mike Rodriguez (-240)
  • Maria Agapova (-1250)

Overall, this is a poor quality UFC Fight Night card with a lot of low level fights and numerous late replacements; and I’m not looking to lay big money on steep favorites.

Agapova’s moneyline is so high there is no point in playing it – even in parlays – so I’ll take a closer look at her fight in the prop and totals markets as discussed in the next section.

The projected edge for Mike Rodriguez (11.4%) against Marcin Prachnio is much more pronounced. This bout is Prachnio’s return to the octagon after suffering two knockout losses in 2018. It’s good that he took some time off to recover, but fighters who return off of a layoff of more than one year also win less than 40% of the time in the octagon.

Despite the projection value, I’m not interested in laying such a big number on Rodriguez, however – coming off a stoppage loss of his own, with a 1-2-1 record in the UFC. This fight will almost certainly end early, and it’s another bout where we’ll look to find better value in the prop or total market.

Timur Valiev was actually a more significant favorite against his original opponent Mark Striegl than he is currently against late replacement Trevin Jones. I don’t have as much information on Jones as I did Striegl, and I will likely pass on betting this surprise matchup unless Valiev’s odds to win by decision offer value.

The remaining two fighters – Austin Hubbard and Mizuki Inoue – are my only two moneyline plays on this card. And both bouts have seen interesting line movement. I cannot recommend betting Hubbard past even money (+100) against Joe Solecki, as I only show Hubbard as a 52% favorite, implied odds of -108.

In June, Hubbard was listed around +160 against Solecki, and the adjustment could be a case of recency bias in the market after Hubbard caused Max Rohskopf to quit after the second round as Solecki’s late replacement.

Solecki has the clear advantage on the mat – and Hubbard’s takedown defense (50%) is subpar, but he is a strong pressure fighter with good cardio who mixes it up well to the head, body and legs, and he should be back on his feet and taking over in the second half of this fight.

There’s a chance that Solecki absolutely dominates the first half of the matchup, however — employing a similar strategy as Mark O. Madsen (eight takedowns) did in a clear 29-28 decision victory over Hubbard in March — where Hubbard won the striking battle 41-15.

Hubbard fights for a superior camp – Elevation Fight Team – with top tier training partners, and he could be improving more rapidly than Solecki – going on his fifth UFC bout in less than a year, compared to two for his opponent.

As for the Mizuki Inoue vs. Amanda Lemos fight, I was surprised to be able to get such a cheap price on Inoue, whose odds peaked at -185 last weekend. Inoue is unquestionably my favorite value bet on the card. One of the best ways to make money on MMA betting is to find prospects you feel are underrated, and ride with them into the UFC – and I feel that Inoue is a well-rounded martial artist.

Fighting professionally since she was 16 and currently trained by Ray Longo – one of the top coaches in the sport – Inoue has never been stopped in in a career filled with bouts against eventual UFC talents, including Virna Jandiroba; who has easily wrangled and tapped her past two UFC opponents.

Inoue lost a five-round split decision to Janidroba back in March 2018, and the fact that she grappled with such an incredible submission artist for 25 minutes should show you that Lemos will have a difficult time winning by submission.
Inoue is also a black belt in Karate, and the superior striker in this battle – though Lemos does bring some power and physicality to the fight.

The Brazilian is older but has much less fight experience, and she will likely gas out after the first round – leaving Inoue as the much fresher fighter when they get into deep waters.

Inoue has shown excellent cardio and the ability to maintain volume late into her fights. Her UFC debut wasn’t particularly impressive — a split-decision win over Chinese fighter Wu Yanan in China – but I would also question the probability of the split occurring.

Eight of the nine media members and 80% of fans scored the bout for Inoue, with more than 70% of those watching giving her all three rounds.

Lemos was relatively impressive after dropping down two weight classes for her last bout, but there is essentially no difference in height or reach between her and Inoue.

Lemos is going to need to win the first round in order to win this fight, and she will likely need to record a stoppage – but Inoue has proven too durable against solid competition and her skillset has continued to evolve.

Inoue’s regional scene losses, given her age and the competition, are more impressive than most of Lemos’s regional wins.

Now that she’s into her mid twenties, Inoue’s well-rounded skill set and fight experience can make her a very dangerous contender, and Lemos’ path to victory seems limited in this matchup.

Moneyline Bets

  • Austin Hubbard +110 (1 unit)
  • Mizuki Inoue -127 (2 units)

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UFC Fight Night Prop Projections and Picks

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 also enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance:

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 also enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance:

As of writing, only seven of the ten fights are listed in the winning method market. Amongst those seven fights, there are five winning method prop wagers for Saturday that offer potential betting value:

  • Mizuki Inoue by Decision (+110)
  • Mike Rodriguez by KO/TKO/DQ (-134)
  • Mike Rodriguez Inside the Distance (-152)
  • Ovince St. Preux by Submission (+260)
  • Pedro Munhoz by KO/TKO/DQ (+138)

Additionally, there are three “Fight To Go the Distance” props that offer value:

  • Inoue vs. Lemos, Yes (-200)
  • Rodriguez vs. Prachnio, No (-305)
  • St. Preux vs. Menifield, No (-265)

I already played Inoue’s moneyline, and although it would be nice to take the plus-money prop, she also has nine submission wins on her record. With the moneyline price so cheap, just bet her to win at a projected edge greater than 10%.

I wouldn’t be interested in playing the distance prop, however  – both women have pretty good submission skills, and armbars from guard popup out of nowhere in lower level fights.

I placed a small bet on Mike Rodriguez to win inside of the distance, which the crowd made closer to -212. This fight is on the main card to generate a highlight reel finish and move the evening along, and one of these two men stands to deliver. I don’t love Prachnio coming off of consecutive knockout losses, even after the long layoff, and I gladly played the Rodriguez side at half the price of the distance prop.

I’m going to pass on betting on the co-main event between Ovince St. Preux and Alonzo Menifield for reasons I’ll touch on below, but I do like Pedro Munhoz to close the show in the main event – and his KO/TKO prop is intriguing.

Frankie Edgar has never been submitted, but he has lost three of his past four fights while taking a ton of damage, including two first round knockout losses – raising questions about his chin for the first time in his career. Additionally, he cut to Bantamweight for the first time ever for this fight, which should further drain his gas tank.

Due to Edgar’s strong submission defense, Munhoz’s odds to win inside of the distance (-134) are pretty accurate, and there is very slight value on the Brazilian’s odds to win directly by KO/TKO/DQ.

In the smaller cage at UFC Apex, Edgar won’t have much room to use his speed to dance around the outside. Munhoz will eventually find his range and start teeing off with his power – similar to the Benavidez vs. Figueiredo fights –  and I expect this bout to end in a similar fashion.

Edgar won’t want to initiate the grappling given Munhoz’s submission skills – particularly his guillotine – and Munhoz won’t force the issue given Edgar’s defensive wrestling and submission defense. This should largely be a striking battle.

I like Munhoz by KO/TKO, but I wouldn’t bet it past +120.

Lastly, I wanted to touch on substantial favorite Mariya Agapova, who likely only loses this fight if she injures herself. Given the fact that she can almost decide how she wants to win, I can’t recommend either her KO, submission, or inside the distance prop (-345) which are all in line with projections, but I did play Under 1.5 rounds – a rarity in WMMA – because she needs to put on an an impressive performance.

After choking out Hannah Cifers in June, Agapova strangely called out Dobson – who is a far inferior opponent as you can tell from the betting odds. Dobson is here to make a prospect look good and collect one last paycheck on her way out of the UFC – Agapova is looking for a performance bonus.

Prop Bets

  • Mike Rodriguez wins Inside the Distance (-145, 0.5 units)
  • Pedro Munhoz to win by KO/TKO/DQ (+125, 0.5 units)
  • Timur Valiev to win by Decision (-120, 0.5 units)
  • Dobson vs. Agapova, Under 1.5 Rounds (-150, 0.5 units)

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Fights to Pass On

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield

I had originally expected to land on the St. Preux side of this fight – he has good submission skills and is a proven talent, but I can’t discount the fact that Menifield could simply change up his plan of attack after suffering his first career loss to Devin Clark back in June.

Until that point, Menifield never had to keep his energy in reserve in a fight – going 9-0 with seven first round wins – and he gassed out early against Clark after landing some big shots, before losing by decision.

Menifield could absolutely adjust and fight at a more measured pace this time around. Furthermore, St. Preux has relatively poor cardio too, and this is his first fight back at Light Heavyweight after ballooning up for a Heavyweight bout. He’s not the type of fighter who will be winning on volume in the second and third rounds, even as Menifield tires.

Menifield also showed a ton of heart in that fight against Clark, stuffing nine of 10 takedown attempts before getting back to his feet in the third round through utter exhaustion. There’s still a lot to like about Menifield as a prospect, I just want to see him make some in-fight adjustments and manage his gas tank better.

I foresee multiple paths to victory for each fighter, but I’m more curious to see how Menifield responds off of his first loss.

Jordan Wright vs. Ike Villanueva

It’s hard not to back a fighter nicknamed “The Beverly Hills Ninja,” but there’s no chance that I’m betting on Wright – a middleweight who is moving up to 205 for the first time – against Villanueva – who has fought at Heavyweight.

Wright will be the faster man, while Villanueva packs more power, and Wright needs to avoid the big shots and land from range in order to set up his grappling entries.

You’ll regret betting on this fight, no matter which side you pick.

Matthew Semelsberger vs. Carlton Minus

This is a striker vs. striker battle between two competitors making their UFC debuts and it seems like another power vs. speed clash as Semelsberger, a former college football player, hits quite hard while Minus is a more technical boxer who relies on his jab and footwork.

Flip a coin.

Dwight Grant vs. Daniel Rodriguez

These two Welterweights will square off after each of their opponents pulled out on Friday. The opening line compares favorably to the early fight projections, and I’m not surprised as to where the number settled. Both men are highly capable of frustrating you as a bettor – so tread carefully. You can also reuse that sentence for six other fights on this card.

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