UFC Fight Night Odds, Predictions, Projections: Our Best Bets for Erosa vs. Choi, Korean Zombie vs. Ige and More (Saturday, June 19)
Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC fighter Marlon Vera.
- UFC Fight Night is back this weekend in Las Vegas with another 12-fight card.
- Featherweights Chan Sung Jung (Korean Zombie) and Dan Ige headline the card, but there's plenty of other action to be had.
- Read on to see which fights our analysts like the most and who they're betting on.
This weekend’s UFC Fight Night action takes place at the APEX in Las Vegas and features a main event matchup between featherweights Chan Sung Jung and Dan Ige. That’s just one of 12 matchups slated for Saturday’s card on ESPN2.
So, where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew is looking at three fights in particular and they see a few bets in those matchups with value. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
You can also check out the moneyline and prop projections for every fight via Sean Zerillo’s betting model.
Billy Ward: Julian Erosa vs SeungWoo Choi
Contributor at The Action Network
Since returning to the UFC, Julian “Juicy J” Erosa has looked like a much improved fighter. (As an aside, I need to acknowledge how ridiculous “Juicy J” is as a nickname for a white guy from suburban Washington State … really Julian?) Erosa is set to take on SeungWoo Choi, with both fighters looking to make it three consecutive UFC wins.
This is Erosa’s third UFC stint. He competed on TUF 22 back in 2015, but was cut after going 1-1 in his first two post-show bouts. More recently, he earned his way back to the big show with a Contender series win, before being cut again after an 0-3 run.
He’s kicked off stint No. 3 with back-to-back stoppage victories with a quick flying knee KO of Nate Landwehr and a D’arce choke finish of previously unbeaten Sean Woodson. Choi has looked good himself, rebounding from an 0-2 UFC start with two consecutive wins.
This is shaping up to be a good fight, with Choi securing five of his nine pro wins by knockout, and Erosa picking up 22 stoppages (11 KO, 11 sub) in his 28 wins. This leads me to bet No. 1: Will the fight go the distance? No (+105 BetMGM.) Finish rates are higher at the Apex center, and both guys have high finish rates for the weight class.
Bet No. 2 is a straight bet on Erosa. I’ve been impressed by him lately, between the quick knockout and the ability to get the fight to the mat when needed (three takedowns in the final round against Woodson, a fight in which he was being out-struck on the feet).
I think he has more ways to get this done, both guys have knockout power but Erosa has the option to turn it into a grappling match that should be to his advantage. Best of all, you get all of this at +125.
My official recommendation is to place both bets separately, since all you need is one or the other to be profitable, but Erosa by stoppage is +320 if you like to live dangerously.
The Pick: Fight to finish inside the distance (+105 MGM) | Erosa Moneyline (+125 MGM)
Sean Zerillo: Marlon Vera vs. Davey Grant
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
This fight is a rematch from 2016, which Grant won by unanimous 30-26 decision as a -185 favorite (opened -245). The Englishman opened up as a +275 underdog (implied 26.7%) this time and has come down substantially, but I didn’t understand the initial price adjustment.
At worst, I think Grant is a pick’em in this spot , and it’s hard to make his chances less than 40%.
Historically, Vera is a slow starter, but “Chito” has improved his aggression in recent performances. That said, I’m not sure how many actual skill improvements he has made since the first fight, and Grant’s pressure should neutralize Vera’s volume.
Vera is older, stronger and wiser (13 fights to Grant’s five, in the interim) now, but beyond generally being more aggressive, experienced and physical than he was five years ago, I can’t pinpoint any specific improvements beyond his takedown defense.
Vera (never finished) gets the edge for durability. Grant got knocked down in each of his past two fights — and he’s lost four fights by submission — but he does seem to rally after getting hurt.
However, Grant rarely takes a step back, and Chito is much more effective when he’s leading the dance instead of fighting off of his back foot.
If Grant can avoid the low kicks as he’s backing Chito towards the cage, he’ll largely stay out of danger and prevent damage.
Grant is a much more efficient striker (+1.46 to -0.30 strike differential; combined striking accuracy/defense number of 110 to Vera’s 101) and more likely to win on volume if he survives. He also has to have confidence in his grappling as a backup option after controlling Vera on the mat for the majority (8:37) of their first fight.
I projected Grant as a 41% underdog (implied +142) in this rematch, and I would bet his moneyline down to +150. Furthermore, I show value on his decision prop (projected +348, listed +450), and I would take a small stab there, too, down to +400.
The Bet: Davey Grant (+170, 1 unit) | Davey Grant wins by Decision (+450, 0.25u)
Erich Richter: Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige
Contributor at The Action Network
The headliner of UFC Vegas 29 features the Korean Zombie against Dan “50k” Ige. The fight is expected to be a banger on Saturday, so the excitement level is through the roof for this five-round slobber knocker.
Chan Sung Jung — better known as the Korean Zombie — was annihilated by Ultimate Fighter coach Brian Ortega in his last fight. The fight was surprisingly non-competitive, and he somehow avoided getting finished in the fight.
The Korean Zombie admirably pushes forward and refuses to quit which makes him a fan favorite. However, Dan Ige has equally great durability and better wrestling skills. We have only seen Ige lose to Calvin Kattar, one of the best strikers in the division, in his last eight fights.
Overall, I think Ige should mix in some takedowns as well as stiff striking prowess to get the job done here. I see it as unlikely that this fight ends in a finish. Both fighters have a durable chin, and there is a defensive edge for Ige (58% striking defense vs. 56% for Jung).
It is also worth noting that Ortega landed 60% of his 214 significant strike attempts against Jung, there could be some regression coming for Jung.
Moreover, we have seen fighters like Tony Ferguson and Tyron Woodley hit the backend of their career quickly after one lopsided beatdown. I am weary of betting on fighters who get thoroughly dominated as Jung did against Ortega, Jung did not win a round of his last fight per MMA Decisions.
The longer this fight goes, the more I favor the younger Ige. This could also be a good spot to live bet Ige after the first round as Ige usually gets better as the fight goes on. The best way to bet Ige this weekend is to take Ige to win in Rounds 4, 5, or win by decision at +200 on PointsBet.
Ige by decision is +260 so I get to sell the championship rounds at a small price. The Korean Zombie has only been knocked out in the late rounds during his UFC career. I would bet this down to +170 which is where FanDuel currently prices this alternate round prop bet.
Jung has an incredible heart and is a fan favorite. But this is a tough matchup for him after a brutal loss 18 months ago. I think Ige is a parlay builder at his moneyline as well.
The Pick: Round 4, 5, or by Decision +200