UFC Fight Night Betting Odds, Best Bets and Projections: Our Picks for Chavez vs. Kamaka, Barberena vs. Witt and More (July 31)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Bryan Barberena.
- The UFC is back in action on Saturday with another Fight Night card getting underway at 6 p.m. ET.
- Check out our analysts best bets, as well as projected odds for every fight on the card below:
This weekend’s UFC card saw a number of shake ups early in the week and on Friday afternoon at the weigh-ins, but the card will still go on. Middleweights Uriah Hall and Sean Strickland are still slated to headline Saturday’s action as each man hopes to climb the rankings, and the prelims will begin at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
So, where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew is focusing on three fights in particular and see a few bets with value in those matchups. You can find their analysis and picks on those confrontations below.
Sean Zerillo: Danny Chavez vs. Kai Kamaka III
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
Chavez wasn’t originally going to be my favorite UFC bet for this week; we arrived here by the process of elimination.
My two favorite betting spots on this card — on Ronnie Lawrence and Nicco Montaño — were canceled at Friday’s weigh-ins. I lean toward the lengthy Phillip Rowe as an underdog play in the first bout of the night, but he also missed weight. And I don’t see much moneyline value on the remainder of the card.
I have bet on both Chavez and Kamaka in the past, and their stylistic matchup likely amounts to a close or split decision where Chavez lands more damage, but Kamaka applies more pressure and volume.
Kamaka has upside to net control time on the mat. since Chavez hasn’t shown much ability to get off of his back. Still, Kamaka’s cardio is questionable in the late stages of three-round fights, and Chavez showed decent takedown defense against a much larger Jared Gordon (2-of-7 takedowns, 6:07 in control).
Chavez has higher finishing upside on the feet — and the power advantage in this fight — with the ability to chop down Kamaka’s legs with his brutal low kick game and potentially capitalize on a tiring opponent. He should be coming on strong at the end, and Kamaka’s finishing upside is relatively low.
I projected Chavez as a slight favorite (56%) in this matchup, so I like his moneyline at -115 or better (FanDuel has the best line at -102). I also show value on his odds to win by decision (projected +177, listed +260) and on the over 2.5 rounds (-200) or the fight to go the distance (projected -205, listed -175), which you could use as parlay pieces.
I would take some of Chavez’s decision prop alongside a moneyline play, but don’t blame me if the judges get this one wrong following last Saturday’s fiasco.
The Pick: Danny Chavez (-102) | Danny Chavez wins by Decision (+260)
Billy Ward: Collin Anglin vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan
Contributor at The Action Network
There’s another fighter from Michigan making his professional debut this weekend, so if you’ve followed my writing at all, you know I’m all over it. Scorpion Fighting Systems’ Collin Anglin (8-1) makes his debut against Melsik Baghdasaryan (5-1), who is also stepping into the Octagon for the first time.
What’s intriguing to me here is that while both guys have excellent records, their “strength of schedules” both leave a little bit to be desired. Before their contenders series bouts, they had two (Anglin) and one (Baghdasaryan) win over fighters with winning records. This makes it challenging to evaluate how they will do against top competition.
To Melsik’s credit, he was a top-level (K-1) kickboxer before devoting himself to MMA, so we can expect his strength to be in the stand-up. Anglin is no slouch on the feet though, with five of his eight wins coming by KO or TKO.
For what it’s worth, his camp’s boxing coach John Chalbeck, is an undefeated pro boxer, bare knuckle boxer, and MMA fighter, who is known locally as being one of the best in the business. I still give Melsik a slight edge standing, but Anglin winning a stand-up war wouldn’t shock me.
What would shock me is Melsik winning a grappling contest. Anglin was a decorated high school wrestler who picked up a couple amateur wins by submission.
I’m not sure he will necessarily take the fight to the ground, as UFC debutants sometimes prioritize putting on exciting fights over picking up a W (with what the starting pay is for UFC fighters, a $50,000 bonus check is sometimes the difference between having to work a real job or getting to train full-time.)
If I were in Anglin’s corner, my game plan would have him feeling things out on the feet, but quickly turning the contest into a grappling match if the striking took a turn for the worse.
Either way, I see more paths to victory for Anglin, whom I would have listed as a slight favorite if I were setting the line. Since we’re getting him as a slight underdog, with the best line being FanDuel’s +116, he’s a good value here.
The Pick: Anglin moneyline (+116)
Erich Richter: Bryan Barberena vs. Jason Witt
Contributor at The Action Network
UFC veteran Bryan Barberena (15-7 in his career) has delivered some very entertaining fights in his career. His opponent, Jason Witt, is 1-2 in the UFC with each loss coming within the first minute of the first round.
Witt has shown to not be able to absorb very many strikes. He is probably fighting for his UFC career on Saturday, another knockout loss could lead to him being cut. Witt’s durability is a major question mark coming in. His knockout losses have not aged well as neither fighter appears headed for contention.
That said, Witt’s best chance to win this fight will be in the grappling department. It is unclear whether he can even get that far. Even if he does, Barberena should be a competent enough grappler to survive and stay on the feet.
Barberena is +160 to win via knockout on Saturday. This is a bit too expensive for my blood so I will instead take his knockout or decision double chance prop. I projected this to be closer to his ML at -200. PointsBet has it at -150 which I think is very reasonable. It would be surprising to see Barberena submit Witt.
Furthermore, even if Witt shows a better chin this Saturday, Barberena should have enough volume to pick up the decision.
The Pick: Barberena by KO or decision (-150)