UFC Nashville Props: Top Picks Include +900 Play on Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font (Saturday, August 5)

UFC Nashville Props: Top Picks Include +900 Play on Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font (Saturday, August 5) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC bantamweight Rob Font

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC Nashville prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's ESPN event.

Each Prop Squad installment features a handful of picks from our squad of MMA prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +25.1 units and an 11.5% ROI per bet over the past year.

This week marks the return of squad members Clint MacLean, Tony Sartori, Dann Stupp, Liam Heslin and Billy Ward.

Check out their UFC Nashville props for Saturday's event, which airs entirely on ESPN and ESPN+ (6 p.m. ET) from Bridgestone Arena in Tennessee, below.

As with all betting endeavors, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types. And be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially depending on the sportsbook.

Clint MacLean: Asu Almabayev in Round 3 (+1200)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 5:55 p.m. ET

UFC newcomer Asu Almabayev draws UFC vet and fan favorite Ode' Osbourne at UFC Nashville.

The 17-2 prospect from Kazakhstan brings with him a relentless takedown offense and a monster gas tank, and quite frankly that is exactly what I am looking for when trying to get one over on ol' Ode.

Osbourne has turned into a bit of a low-level gatekeeper in the UFC with his finish wins coming over the likes of Jerome Rivera and Zarrukh Adashev. He also has wins over C.J. Vergara and Charles Johnson, but in both fights, he was hanging on for dear life in the third round.

In fact, a different official may have stopped the Vergara fight. And against Johnson (who took the fight on short notice), he had a full extra five minutes due to a cup shot to allow him to get his gas back.

I fully expect Almabayev to be able to push the kind of pace that we have seen break Osbourne in the past, and barring a freak circumstance, I expect him to get the finish – probably late in the fight.

Let's hope Ode survives Round 2 and we go for the big one!

Pick: Asu Almabayev in Round 3 (+1200)

Tony Sartori: Carlston Harris by Decision (+450)

Contributor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:25 p.m. ET

On the UFC Nashville prelims, Jeremiah Wells takes on fellow welterweight Carlston Harris.

The first Guyanese fighter in UFC history, Harris moved to Brazil at 20 years old and fell in love with MMA. Considering where he learned and molded that craft, you will not be shocked to hear that he is a wrestling/grappling-heavy fighter.

Harris' 18-5 MMA record does not fully encapsulate how good he is. Not only did he blow his way through Brave FC to capture the welterweight title in that promotion, but he has also been nearly flawless since joining the UFC.

He is 3-1 with two first-round finishes, a unanimous-decision victory and a knockout loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov. However, that Rakhmonov loss is absolutely not a bad one, considering that many (including myself) peg him as a very likely future titleholder at 170 pounds.

Harris was a wrestling machine in his latest victory over Jared Gooden, landing five of 12 takedown attempts while amassing nearly 10 minutes of control time en route to an easy 30-27 victory across all three scorecards. It would not be shocking if he goes back to this game plan, especially against Wells.

Wells has not faced anyone in the UFC of Harris' wrestling ability, so that is going to be a big switch-up for him, even though Wells is also a terrific wrestler/grappler. Also, while he has lost only twice in his professional career, both defeats came via decision.

At +450, give me a shot on Harris to have the scorecards go in his favor if he can survive to the final bell.

Pick: Carlston Harris by Decision (+450)

Dann Stupp: Ignacio Bahamondes in Round 3 (+1200)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET

I snagged Ignacio Bahamondes on the moneyline earlier this week when the price were stellar, but I'm going to tack on another small play for his UFC Nashville main-card opener with L'udovit Klein.

In addition to the straight-up bet, I'm going to take a flier on Bahamondes to snag a late-stoppage victory.

I don't think Klein's style is going to work all that well for this specific matchup. He can fight at a measured pace, but the lightweight can also get lulled into his opponents' pace of action.

And that's an issue when Klein can't keep up with the volume – or when he faces a height and reach disadvantage – all of which he does here.

Klein is live early, but as the fight wears on, he's likely going to be forced into some desperation takedowns and clinch work to stave off his opponent's advances. But Bahamondes is a more-than-capable matador, and if anything, it should create openings for the rangy fighter to either tee off on Klein from a comfortable distance or possibly snag a fight-ending guillotine.

Either way, as the fight wears on, Klein's chances of a victory begin to wane, and I think he's especially susceptible in the third round, where I expect Bahamondes to be the fresher fighter.

That's why I'm going to make a small bet on Bahamondes to win in Round 3 at hefty +1200 odds.

Pick: Ignacio Bahamondes to Win in Round 3 (+1200)

Liam Heslin: Tatiana Suarez by KO (+540)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of Liam Picks Fights

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 10:55 p.m. ET

Returning to a co-main event spotlight in her native strawweight division after reentering the octagon as a flyweight in February, Tatiana Suarez has dealt with a ton of adversity outside the octagon. But inside, she has been dominant.

Jessica Andrade, meanwhile, is an elite former champion who has been on hard times lately. She was knocked out in the first round in May, submitted earlier this year in a one-sided flyweight contender’s bout against Erin Blanchfield, and she appears to be handicapping her own chances of succeeding by constantly getting back into the octagon with little time to improve or prepare in training camp.

The glaring red flags for Andrade don’t stop there, though. She is known for being a dynamic power puncher. However, at strawweight, she's been knocked down four times and scored only one of her own.

Suarez has strong knees to the body, relentless ground and pound, and impactful wrestling maneuvers.

Andrade is a quality black belt on the mat, and the majority of her stoppage losses have come by way of knockout. In Saturday's UFC Nashville co-main event, I think Suarez will try to follow the blueprint laid out by Valentina Shevchenko.

I expect smothering clinch work, takedowns, and violent ground and pound until the referee is forced to intervene.

Andrade has been finished in the first or second round in seven of nine UFC losses, so I wouldn’t blame anyone who wanted to sprinkle the round props instead of picking a specific method, but I like the KO upside, especially at this price.

The Pick: Tatiana Suarez by KO (+540 at BetRivers)

Billy Ward: Rob Font in Rounds 1, 2, 3 (+900)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET

I normally opt for Prop Squad picks closer to our unofficial +400 threshold, trying to find reasonably probable bets that markets have overlooked for one reason or another. I’m taking a different tact this time, though, with a +900 bet on Rob Font over Cory Sandhagen in the UFC Nashville main event.

To be honest, I'm surprised to see the line on Font so long. It seems that the prevailing thought is that Font’s best hope is to win late – and the Round 4/5/decision counterpart to this bet is only +430.

I’m not so sure that’s the case this time.

Font took this fight on short notice, stepping in for injured Umar Nurmagomedov. While Font was training for a fight already, that bout was at UFC 282, two weeks from now.

More importantly, it was a three-round fight, with this booking a five-round main event.

That should put the cardio edge firmly in Sandhagen’s hands, giving Font his best chance early in the fight. He’s shown explosive one-shot power in the past, as well, picking up two first-round knockouts in his last three wins.

Font has stoppages in seven of his 10 UFC wins, and we know that stoppages in general tend to decline the longer the fight goes. I’m not saying Font’s going to win this one, but if he does, he likely finishes it in the first half.

Pick: Rob Font in Rounds 1, 2, or 3 (+900)

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