UFC Fight Night Odds & Picks: How to Bet All 14 Fights (Wednesday, January 20)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Neil Magny.
- Wake up on Wednesday morning, and enjoy some flapjacks with your fights because UFC Fight Night is here for early-morning action.
- Wednesday's Fight Night will feature 14 fights, with everything kicking off at 9 a.m. ET.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the entire card and explains how to bet all 14 fights below.
On Wednesday, the UFC continues its run at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi with its second of three fight cards over a seven-day span. Wednesday’s card showcases eight preliminary bouts, beginning at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN, before continuing with a six-fight main card at 3 p.m. ET.
The main event is a welterweight contest between No. 8-ranked Michael Chiesa and No. 9-contender Neil Magny.
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 Wednesday’s UFC card, with analysis and picks for each fight below.
UFC Fight Night Moneyline Projections and Picks
Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Wednesday’s 14 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 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 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 Picks
To reiterate the strategy from my last card, based upon (1) my analysis of the difference in finish rates between 25- and 30-foot cages; and (2) my 2020 performance, I’ll continue to target overs and decision props on Fight Island.
The Fights I’m Betting
Sergey Morozov vs. Umar Nurmagomedov
After three separate bout cancellations in 2020, Khabib’s undefeated cousin – Umar – is finally set to make his Octagon debut alongside M-1 Bantamweight champion and skilled striker Sergey Morozov.
Despite the projection, I think the moneyline is actually a bit too wide considering that this is could be a relatively competitive 15-minute fight.
I project slight value on the fight to go the distance, but I prefer Umar’s odds to win by decision at a comparable edge, up to -130 (projected -147).
Francisco Figueiredo vs. Jerome Rivera
Francisco – the younger brother of flyweight champion Deiveison – has attracted a ton of betting attention for this contest after opening as a +106 underdog.
Like his brother, Francisco has cardio issues because he loads up for power, and I think he’s naturally vulnerable to defeat if he cannot secure finishes inside the distance. A fighter like Rivera, who will push the pace on him, presents some additional challenges.
If this fight goes to a decision, I would expect Rivera’s output and grappling to wear down his opponent and secure more minutes in this contest.
I projected Rivera’s decision line at +177, and I would place a small bet to +202, at a three percent edge.
Dalcha Lungiambula va. Markus Perez
I see value on this bout from multiple angles, with the projection assuming that Dalcha — who is moving down from Light Heavyweight to Middleweight — will finish Perez, who was flattened in October by debutant Dricus du Plessis and is now taking this fight on short notice (replacing Karl Roberson).
I would bet Dalcha’s moneyline up to -170 (implied 63%) — at a five-percent edge relative to my projection (68%) — and as a preferred option to his odds to win inside the distance (projected -129, or 56.3%). Prior to the recent knockout loss, Perez was famously durable, though Dalcha carries more power than any of the Brazilian’s previous opponents.
The fight itself also offers value to end inside the distance (listed -240, or 70.6%, projected -327, or 76.6%), but that is far too steep of a line for me inside of the 30-foot cage, and I don’t think Perez has the wrestling to put Dalcha into dangerous positions on the ground.
Su Mudaerji vs. Zarrukh Adashev
“The Tibetan Eagle” has a significant size advantage (three inches taller, seven inches of reach) in this striking battle, as Adashev – who only has five pro MMA fights, will hope to avenge the 32-second loss from his UFC debut.
I show slight moneyline value on Mudaerji, and I would include him to round out a parlay, but I’m likely skipping his prop to win inside the distance (projected -212, listed -182) at a fairly insignificant edge, given the 30-foot-cage and weight class.
Though Mudaerji has finished 12 of his 13 career victories, there is just a 42.2% finish rate overall at flyweight – the lowest amongst any of the male divisions – and Adashev, while raw at MMA, remains an incredibly experienced and technical former pro kickboxer.
He’s capable of surviving a range striking contest against Mudaerji, and I’m not laying significant juice against that outcome.
Gaetano Pirrello vs. Ricky Simon
Pirrello, a power striker from Belgium, is making his UFC debut against an octagon veteran (43% win rate) on late notice (38% win rate); two huge negative marks against his potential chances in a matchup with Ricky Simon.
Simon’s chin is well-past the point of being trustworthy as such a significant favorite, but if he relies on his potent wrestling (6.61 takedowns per 15 minutes, 51% accuracy), it’s difficult to imagine Pirrello finding opportunities to land.
I wouldn’t be surprised if either man finds a finish, but I do show value on the fight to go the distance (projected -194, listed -120) and for Simon to win by decision (projected -150, listed +115).
Rather than doubling down and playing both wagers, I’m just going to take a piece of the Simon decision prop, which I like down to even money.
Lerone Murphy vs. Douglas Andrade
Murphy has looked extremely well-rounded through a pair of UFC bouts and is both larger (two inches taller, five extra inches of reach) and younger (six years) than Andrade. He should also be the faster and stronger man, and both the market (-110) and my projection (-114) anticipate Murphy winning inside the distance more often than not.
That’s a tough ask in a featherweight bout (historic 45.4% finish rate), however, and particularly against a 30-fight veteran who has only been stopped by Petr Yan. I don’t see quite enough value to make a play on either fighter to win by stoppage or for the fight to end inside the distance, but I would include Murphy in a small parlay.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Viviane Araujo
Women’s flyweight fights go to a decision (61%) more often than any weight class except for strawweight (70%), so it’s no surprise that this matchup is expected to go to a decision (projected 87%) more frequently than any other fight on this card.
Relative to listed odds of -270 (implied 73%), that’s more than a 10% gap in terms of expected value, and a play that I have to lock-in.
Consequently, both women offer value to win by decision in the prop market, but I prefer the Aruajo side of this fight, given her sturdy takedown defense (92%) and striking volume (4.77 landed per minute).
The Brazilian could lose a step in the latter part of the fight, but she has the right skill set to get past this gatekeeper if she can win the first ten minutes of the fight, and I like her decision line to -144, a 5% edge relative to my projection (-178).
Vinicius Moreira vs. Ike Villanueva
I’m not really sure why this Light Heavyweight fight would grace the main card unless the promotion is trying to guarantee a violent finish when the majority of eyeballs are starting to tune in.
37 of the 41 career fights for this pair of light heavyweights have ended inside the distance, including their five combined UFC losses.
My projections have this bout ending inside the distance more than 82% of the time, at estimated odds of -464, and I would make a quarter unit bet on that prop up to -340 (implied 77.3%), roughly a five percent edge.
Mounir Lazzez vs. Warlley Alves
Of the three potential parlay pieces that I might recommend, Lazzez gives me the most pause. “The Sniper” was impressive in his UFC debut (98-67 in significant strikes against Abdul Razak Alhassan) but he wasn’t considered to be a particularly high-level prospect coming into that fight, and is now a substantial favorite against an 11-time Octagon veteran, and a superior grappler in Alves.
The Brazilian has stated that he expects a striking matchup, however – which works against his most likely path to victory (submission). If I expected Alves to wrestle, I might avoid this fight – but takedowns have emptied his gas tank quickly in past fights, and he might stick to his word against Lazzez.
Given the path to a finish for both men, I have an interest in the Under 2.5 rounds (projected -182 to end inside the distance) to about -130, and I’ll also be including Lazzez as a small parlay piece.
Neil Magny vs. Michael Chiesa
My colleague Erich Richter did a full breakdown of Wednesday’s main event, and we arrived at the same conclusion: there is value both in the fight to go the distance, and for Magny to win via decision.
I projected those odds at -169 and +128 respectively and would play them to -150 and +140.
Since joining Team Elevation in Colorado, Magny has made considerable improvements to both his grappling and defensive wrestling, in addition to strengthening his already impressive cardio.
Chiesa could have some success in the early rounds, but Magny should eventually wear him down from range with his length (five-inch reach advantage) and pull away on the scorecards — if he can prevent Chiesa from mounting his back and choking him out in the early going.
The Fights I’m Passing On
Victoria Leonardo vs. Manmon Fiorot
I don’t see any projected value plays in this matchup between UFC debutants, but a finish does seem likely. Fiorot to win inside the distance (projected +223, listed +215) is the closest thing to a lean that I can recommend. The Frenchwoman is a far more technical striker and Leonardo has been dropped several times on the feet.
Mason Jones vs. Mike Davis
I am a fan of Mike Davis and expected him to make massive strides under the guidance of the Tiger Muay-Thai coaches over the past year, but the ongoing pandemic forced Davis to leave the camp and return home to the United States; so I have major questions with regards to his more recent development, and current sharpness.
I’m expecting to see an improved version of Davis, but he also has been off since October of 2019, and there could be some ring rust.
Meanwhile, Jones is an undefeated, two-division champion from Cage-Warriors, whose line has crashed in the betting market after an opening number of +250.
This is a potential fight of the night on the undercard, and perhaps the bout I’m most excited to watch, but I cannot find a bet worthy of a recommendation.
Tom Breese vs. Omari Akhmedov
I cannot find any actionable value plays for this entertaining welterweight scrap. Akhmedov by Decision (projected +210) or Breese by KO/TKO (projected +237) are the most likely outcomes, and you can get a fair price on other prop in the betting market, but I wouldn’t be surprised by any result here.
Tyson Nam vs. Matt Schnell
I show slight value on this fight to end inside the distance (projected -175, listed -160), but not quite enough to make a play – particularly since I am not as high as the rest of the market on Nam, who is on the wrong side of the age curve for Flyweight. That being said, the Hawaiian possesses significant power, and Schnell has been stopped in the first round in each of his past three UFC losses, so there is certainly a path to a knockout for Nam.
I’m less confident that Schnell can get Nam to the ground and use his wicked submission skills to force a tap, however, which is mostly why I’m avoiding the projected prop value for the fight.
Zerillo’s UFC Fight Night Bets
Distance or Decision Props and Overs
- Umar Nurmagomedov wins via Decision (-125, 0.5 units)
- Jerome Rivera wins via Decision (+225, 0.5 units)
- Ricky Simon wins via Decision (+120, 0.5 u)
- Viviane Araujo wins via Decision (-125, 0.5 u)
- Modafferi / Araujo, Fight Goes the Distance (-270, 0.5u)
- Neil Magny wins via Decision (+150, 0.5 u)
- Magny / Chiesa, Fight Goes the Distance (-140, 0.5u)
Inside the Distance Props and Unders
- Moreira/Villenueva, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-325, 0.25u)
- Lazzez/Alves, Under 2.5 Rounds (-120, 0.5u)
- Dalcha Lungiambula -140 (1 u)
- Parlay: Lazzez / Mudaerji / Murphy (+128, 0.5u)
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