UFC Fight Night Betting Odds, Projections & Picks: How to Bet All 14 Matchups On Saturday’s Card (Sept. 19)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: A general view inside the UFC Apex.
- Looking for a way to bet all 14 UFC fights on a Saturday night? We're way ahead of you.
- Sean Zerillo gives his projections for every undercard and main card matchup.
- Check out his favorite picks, including moneyline bets and props below.
The UFC continues its run at Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday with a loaded 14-fight card, beginning at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The main card starts at 8 p.m ET on ESPN+ and concludes with a bout between former teammates and welterweight titleholders Colby Covington (15-2) and Tyron Woodley (19-5-1).
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 for each fight below:
UFC Fight Night Moneyline Projections and Picks
Below, you can find my crowdsourced fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 14 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.
As of writing, eight fighters – all favorites – offer actionable moneyline betting value for Saturday night.
Unfortunately, the moneyline selections once again look pretty chalky. However, I played one underdog in the prop section, below.
Saturday’s “value plays” are ranked below in order of expected betting value, relative to their projection, as of writing:
- Andre Ewell (16.3%)
- David Dvorak (11.6%)
- Kevin Holland (11.4%)
- Misrad Bektic (8.7%)
- Tyson Nam (7.5%)
- TJ Laramie (7%)
- Mayra Bueno Silva (6.6%)
- Khamzat Chimaev (3%)
Among these fighters, I’m not interested in the bouts involving Tyson Nam or Misrad Bektic, for reasons highlighted at the bottom of this article.
Andre Ewell is my favorite bet for Saturday, with an 8-inch reach advantage in his bantamweight tilt against Irwin Rivera. Rivera lost by unanimous decision to Giga Chikadze (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) as a late replacement in May, before scoring his first UFC win over a non-UFC-caliber talent on Aug. 8.
Rivera should struggle to close the distance on Ewell, and he isn’t known for his grappling skills – so this should be a striker vs. striker battle where Ewell keeps Rivera at range. Rivera did record two takedowns in his last fight, however, and if he’s willing to test Ewell’s grappling then he could have some success.
Rivera will have a tough time finding his way into the pocket, where Ewell should be able to keep Rivera at bay with his lengthy jab.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 23, 2019
This seems like a solid matchup for “Mr. Highlight”, and I’m also betting him in the prop market (more on that below).
David Dvorak is my only other straight moneyline play for Saturday, and I expect to potentially add more on Dvorak in a live play after Round 1 against Jordan Espinosa – an explosive athlete with a relatively limited gas tank.
Dvorak is on a 13-fight winning streak, including his octagon debut against Bruno Silva – where he rallied to a decision victory after getting knocked down. He is difficult to take down, and he gets up quite easily even when his opponents seize the opportunity. Furthermore, Dvorak has solid striking power and technique with some pretty slick submission skills, and he offers multiple paths to victory in this fight.
Dvorak has the type of fighting style that should serve to wear down Espinosa over the course of three rounds, which is why I expect Dvorak’s chances to improve the longer that the fight goes; and I will search for a live wager after Round 1.
You can file both Kevin Holland and TJ Laramie as parlay pieces for Saturday. I like both fighters to win, but I could also make an argument against playing either man, and I’ll likely keep the stakes small.
Laramie is making his UFC debut after an Aug. 11 stoppage win on contender series. He is technically facing a UFC veteran in Darrick Minner – who lost by Rear Naked Choke in his own debut back in February.
Minner is a noted submission specialist (21-of-24 wins by tapout), but Laramie is a confident grappler who offers stout takedown defense, and Minner tends to run out of gas after five minutes.
Even though he has less professional fighting experience than Minner, Laramie is also a cleaner and more technical boxer, and I expect him to either win on the scorecards or finish a tiring Minner in the later rounds.
If Minner jumps out to an early lead, but Laramie looks competent, I would look to Live bet Laramie after Round 1 at a better price.
Kevin Holland is three inches taller and has a seven-inch reach advantage over Darren Stewart. Holland also has the grappling advantage in the fight, but he rarely takes the optimal path to victory and often leaves himself open to damage by doing crazy things in the octagon.
— Kray (@KrayTito) September 15, 2020
Stewart has never been knocked out, and while he has been submitted twice, he has made significant strides with his grappling. Holland is likely to win the fight on strike volume (+1.68 significant strikes landed per minute) and accuracy (+1.96 to +0.5 strike differential, +12% strike accuracy, +4% defense), while mixing in some takedowns, unless he has mental a mental lapse.
I found more efficient ways to play both Khamzat Chimaev and Mayra Bueno Silva in the prop section, below.
Lastly, I wanted to address the undercard battle between Journey Newsom and Randy Costa, which could end in a flash.
In six pro fights, Costa has only fought past the first round once in his career – when he was subsequently choked out for his only loss in his UFC debut. Newsom is the more technical striker, and also the superior grappler – I wouldn’t be surprised with any winning method from his side.
Both men are extremely hittable, but Newsom is both more experienced and more well-rounded, and Costa could start to fade fast. Be ready to jump on Newsom live if he survives the first round.
- Andre Ewell -210 (0.5 units)
- David Dvorak -110 (0.5 units)
- Parlay: Kevin Holland/TJ Laramie (-122, 0.5 units)
Live Betting Notes
- Live Bet Journey Newsom after Round 1
- Live Bet TJ Laramie after Round 1
- Live Bet David Dvorak after Round 1
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:
Andre Ewell’s odds to win by decision offer more projected value than any other prop wager on Saturday’s card.
I set Ewell’s fair odds to win by decision at -285 (implied 74%), which represents a 20.5% edge compared to listed odds at -115 (implied 53.5%)
Ewell has nine finishes in 16 career wins, but all three of his UFC victories have come on the scorecards (two splits) and Rivera is a durable fighter. I played Ewell’s moneyline to win a half unit, and I’ll play his decision prop to win a half unit too.
I opted to attack inside the distance wagers on both Khamzat Chimaev and Mayra Bueno Silva, rather than playing their respective money lines.
For the rising star Chimaev, I set the prop at -257 (implied 72%), which offered a 9% edge compared to listed odds at -170 (implied 63%). This sport has had plenty of young, ascendant talents, but the UFC has never handled any prospect like the 8-0 Chimaev – who set a record for the quickest turnaround between fights/wins in UFC history on Fight Island, and who they reportedly have double-booked to face Demian Maia after Chimaev handles Gerald Meerschaert (“GM3”).
Chimaev smashed and submitted John Phillips – who cannot grapple – in his UFC debut on July 15, before smashing the undersized Rhys McKee ten days later. He was handed completely optimal matchups – going off as a -600 and -1667 favorite in those respective fights, and GM3 represents his first real test.
Chimaev has never fought past the second round in his MMA career, so his gas tank has never truly been tested, and GM3 is bigger than his previous opponents – capable of fighting at Light Heavyweight, whereas McKee has previously competed at Lightweight.
The 44 fight veteran is an opportunistic jiu-jitsu practitioner, who has recorded 23 of his 31 career wins by submission. Four of his past five fights have gone to the third round, and even though GM3 doesn’t do well himself later in fights, he’ll either want to get Chimaev to tap early, or drag him into deep waters for the first time.
It’s not a matter of if, but when Chimaev takes GM3 down, and whether GM3 is able to scramble or switch positions from the bottom. Potentially, he can catch an inexperienced fighter off guard in a submission.
GM3 bet a black belt that Chimaev won’t choke him out. Chimaev has vowed that he will. I expect “Borz” to try, but the openings should be there for another ground and pound victory, even against a decorated veteran. Chimaev’s KO/TKO odds offer the most value but know that that’s not his intent.
Mayra Bueno Silva takes on Italian Mara Romero Borella, who is on a three-fight losing streak and likely on her way out of the UFC with a loss. She has been finished in two of those three fights – losing by TKO to Lauren Murphy last August and falling by armbar to Cortney Casey in May.
Silva is on the way up, and Borella is on the way out. Silva won by Ninja choke on contender series to make her way into the UFC, when she subsequently defeated Gillian Robertson by armbar. She lost a decision last time on volume, but still racked up 88 significant strikes and defended six of eight takedowns.
Silva is extremely aggressive and known for her striking power, and I think it’s a matter of time before she records her first career TKO – but her projected chances of winning by submission alone are greater than 50%, and I set her odds to win inside the distance at -113 (implied 53%).
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) September 22, 2018
The one underdog that I backed on the card is Randa Markos against submission specialist Mackenzie Dern.
The moneyline odds on the fight look accurate, but the market seems to be slightly underrating Markos’s chances to win the fight on the scorecards, even though this seems like a binary fight – Dern via submission or Markos via decision.
Dern has shown very limited striking in her professional career, and when we last saw her fight on May 30 she had seemingly made little improvement in that area. She is also a poor wrestler and often results to pulling guard in order to get into her submission game.
Dern has also shown the ability to take a punch, and Markos has never won by knockout. Additionally, Markos has only been submitted once, and while she isn’t a particularly savvy striker or grappler, she has enough skill and fighting experience to outlast and defeat a one-trick pony like Dern – if she can avoid grappling exchanges.
That being said, there’s a strong chance that Markos is cruising to a decision until the moment she loses, and I would be holding my breath until the final bell.
The two fights that offer value from an inside the distance perspective are Ryan Spann vs. Johnny Walker and the co-main event – Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price, which I projected to finish inside of the distance 79% (implied odds of -567) and 81% (implied -426) of the time, respectively.
The total on both fights is listed at 1.5 rounds, but the inside the distance prop on both matchups offer direct value, at respective edges of 3% (-315 for Spann/Walker) and 4% (-335 for Cerrone/Price)
Niko Price has monster power, he has only gone the distance one time in 19 professional fights, and he seems likely to either knock out or get submitted by “Cowboy” Cerrone, who has lost four consecutive bouts and is likely headed for retirement with another loss here.
Cerrone is the superior martial artist in virtually every facet of the game, but Price has the longer reach (+3 inches) and pressure style that has caused Cowboy problems in the past.
If Cerrone is indeed a step slower than he used to be, and if his chin is no longer capable of taking big shots after so many wars over the years, Price could easily add to his highlight reel:
But Price has also been knocked out three times in the octagon, and Cerrone should have a sufficient grappling edge – the underdog offers more paths to victory.
While these men have racked up finishes over the years, many have come in the late second or early third round – so the Under 1.5 total does look to be correct, even if the inside the distance prop is a bit low. You can bet the co-main event to end inside the distance up to -350.
As for the Spann vs. Walker tilt, the former has finished six of his past eight victories and been knocked out in each of his past two losses, while the latter has gone to decision just twice in 22 career fights, with 16 of those bouts ending in the first round. Additionally, 15 of Spann’s 23 career fights have ended in the first round, and the under 1.5 would have cashed in 32 of those 45 combined fights (71.1%) for these two large Light Heavyweights:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME JOHNNY WALKER?!
— UFC (@ufc) March 3, 2019
Walker stands 6’6″ with an 82″ reach, and Spann is 6’5″ with a 79″ reach. Both are known to gas out rather quickly, however, and both have questions regarding their chins.
Given those facts, and the data, this looks like a reasonable spot to bet a straight under – or you can look to bet the fight to finish in the first round at plus-money.
Prop Bets and Totals
- Andre Ewell to win by Decision (-105, 0.5 units)
- Mayra Bueno Silva to win Inside the Distance (+150, 0.5 units)
- Randa Markos to win by Decision (+250, 0.5 units)
- Ryan Spann vs. Johnny Walker, Under 1.5 Rounds (-112, 0.5 units)
- Khamzat Chimaev to win Inside the Distance (-170, 0.5 units)
- Donald Cerrone vs. Niko Price, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-290, 0.5 units)
Fights to Pass On
Colby Covington vs. Tyron Woodley
I see the outcome in this fight as fairly binary – Covington by decision, or Woodley by knockout. Tyron is simply too conservative with his strike volume, and Covington can almost double him up in terms of output (4.17 to 2.38 significant strikes landed per minute) – but Woodley is durable (one KO loss in 2012), and Colby doesn’t hit as hard as some of Woodley’s previous opponents.
Woodley is the far more efficient striker (49% to 37% strike accuracy), and he has bigger power – but he spends too much time searching for highlight-reel blows rather than winning minutes inside of the cage.
Historically, Woodley’s takedown defense (90%) is amongst the best in UFC history, but he was taken down twice each by Gilbert Burns and Karamu Usman in his past two fights – and I see Covington executing a fairly similar gameplan as those two men.
He pushes a frenetic pace, and Woodley – the older fighter – seems likely to succumb to that energy in the later rounds. I expect Covington – like both Burns and Usman – to continually push forward and look to back Woodley into the cage, where he can wear him down in the clinch and potentially look for trip takedowns.
Woodley almost looked disinterested in those two losses against Burns and Usman. He was dominated from start to finish in both fights, rarely winning any exchanges. At the age of 38, time is clearly running out, and I’m not sure how many ranked welterweights I would favor Woodley against at this point in his career.
His physique looks noticeably trimmed down from his championship run, and I’m unsure if “The Chosen One” still possesses that big pop in his right hand anymore.
The only potential value bet that I could recommend for Saturday’s main event – a heated showdown between former welterweight champions Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley – is the underdog, Woodley, to win by KO/TKO/DQ (+500); a bet that the crowd projected at +437.
Tyson Nam vs. Jerome Rivera
I was prepared to pick Nam last week against the chinny Matt Schnell – who was coming off of his third knockout loss inside the Octagon. I’m much less confident in his chances this week, however, even though my projections show a betting edge on Nam’s moneyline.
Rivera, a contender series prospect, is more likely to be the busier man in this fight – both in terms of strike volume and grappling pressure. Nam has never been taken down in the UFC, and he will want to keep this fight standing – where he can end Rivera’s night with one big power shot. I worry that a knockout might be Nam’s only path to victory, however, and Rivera, while green, has shown himself to be durable.
Rivera is also 12 years younger than Nam – and when there is at least a 10 year age difference between UFC fighters, the younger man wins 62% of the time. Furthermore, Rivera is four inches taller, and he’ll have a four-inch reach advantage.
I don’t trust Nam, who has recorded a -2.75 strike differential per minute in the UFC, to let his hands go enough to win on the scorecards, and I’m not going to rely on him getting a knockout against a naturally larger fighter.
Misrad Bektic vs. Damon Jackson
Once considered a rising star, Bektic is looking to rebound from consecutive losses for the first time in his career, after dropping a split-decision to Dan Ige in February.
He offers a well-rounded skill set and draws a late replacement in Damon Jackson; so I would typically be all over Bektic in this spot. But Jackson is a former UFC fighter himself, who has gone 8-2 since leaving the promotion in 2016.
He’s also an action fighter – just two of his 22 career fights have gone the distance, and he has recorded 13 of his 17 wins by submission. I would expect “the Leach” to try to create chaos in what could be his final opportunity to catch on at the highest level of this sport.
At this number, I’d be worried about Bektic getting caught in something in a scramble, and I’m not really interested in backing him – even as a parlay piece.
Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Sarah Alpar
I see some projected value on this bout between the popular Clark (“JRC”) and contender series prospect Sarah Alpar to go the distance (projected 87%, implied odds of -671) relative to the listed odds (-335, implied 77%).
All four of JRC’s UFC fights and 11 of her 15 professional bouts have gone the distance.
Alpar comes in off of a significant layoff (historically, less than a 40% win rate after one year) and I’m curious to see how much her striking has improved. She has proven to be a dangerous grappler, and perhaps she will have a natural size and stretch advantage at Bantamweight against JRC – a former Flyweight.
If that is the case, not only can Alpar win but then she could probably finish the fight too. And her aggressive style ensures that a finish is a possible path to victory – but JRC is so much more technically sound.
Alpar by decision (+275) is technically a value wager relative to the projection but given her lengthy layoff, and debut spot against a UFC veteran, it’s an easy pass for me.