UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Hooper vs. Colares, Morales vs. Medic (May 21)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Omar Morales.
- Saturday nights are for the fights and the UFC is bringing the heat for this upcoming card.
- UFC analysts Sean Zerillo and Billy Ward are eyeing two moneyline plays on today's prelim slate.
- Check out their best bets below, plus Zerillo's model projections for all every fight.
This weekend’s UFC event will feature the return of the Preacher’s Daughter, Holly Holm, after a year and half layoff. She will go head-to-head with No. 5-ranked Women’s Bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira in the main event of the evening.
The action kicks off at 4 p.m. ET with six prelim fights and the main card begins at 7 p.m. ET with the final five main card fights.
So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew has pinpointed two fights and picks on Saturday’s stacked card that present betting value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matches plus Sean Zerillo’s projections below using odds from BetMGM.
Billy Ward: Chase Hooper vs. Felipe Colares
Contributor at The Action Network
Chase “The Dream” Hooper returns to action after an 11-month layoff on Saturday, to take on Felipe Colares in Featherweight action. Still just 22, Hooper has been on the UFC roster since 2019, compiling a 2-2 record in that span. Colares has a similar 2-3 record, while bouncing between bantamweight and featherweight.
This bet is predicated on the time off serving Hooper well. He has an extremely thin build, and given his age and the layoff ideally he would’ve gained some strength and size. That time off also gave him the opportunity to become a more complete fighter as a grappling prodigy who struggles in striking exchanges.
The UFC wants to build Hooper up as the next young star though, and this is an incredibly favorable matchup for him. Colares is also primarily a grappler, and has yet to score a knockdown in his five fight UFC career. Hooper has struggled getting takedowns, but Colares is also likely to shoot in this one, attempting nearly three per round in his time with the promotion.
Colares being on the smaller side is also a benefit to Hooper, who’s been manhandled in the past by physically stronger and more mature fighters. With Colares coming up a division, Hooper shouldn’t be at too much of a strength disadvantage.
There should be enough grappling in this one that the winner is decided on the canvas, not on the feet. Hooper should be able to get it done and show his improvements as a fighter, with the +155 line at BetMGM being fairly generous. I’d bet this down to +140.
The Pick: Chase Hooper (+155)
Sean Zerillo: Omar Morales vs. Uros Medic
Senior Writer at The Action Network
I’m generally lower than the market on all Alaska FC products, including Uros Medic. The Alaskan regional scene offers relatively low-level competition – and Medic’s first four opponents had a combined record of 7-9.
“The Doctor” earned a UFC contract with a win on contender series before defeating Aalon Cruz in his promotional debut.
Medic immediately stepped up against Jalin Turner and looked utterly overmatched – getting hurt on the feet multiple times before rolling over and submitting to a rear-naked choke, his first professional loss.
His best win is against a fighter who is no longer with the promotion. At the same time, Morales has competed with established UFC veterans – the likes of Giga Chikadze and Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez” and compiled a 3-2 record at the highest level of MMA.
Moreover, Medic has never been past the six-minute mark in any bout, so his cardio remains a complete mystery. And he’s very green once his fights hit the mat, where Morales may see a path of little resistance.
Aside from his debut against Don-Hyun Ma, Morales has not attempted a takedown in the UFC; but this could be an excellent opportunity to mix up his tactics.
Even in a standup battle, I prefer the “Venezuelan Fighter.” Medic is a much better hammer than he is a nail, and Morales is incredibly durable, with a ton of heart and quick recoverability.
Morales is moving up to Lightweight here after spending his entire UFC tenure at Featherweight. The move up in class may help his speed, but he won’t be undersized. Medic is a couple of inches taller, but Morales owns a two-inch reach advantage.
If Morales forces the grappling, or if this fight extends, I expect him to look like a significant favorite. Medic should be dangerous in the early part of this fight. Still, I trust Morales to weather that storm and come out on top.
In this fight, I projected Omar Morales as a -167 favorite (62.5% implied), and I would lay the juice up to -150 (60% implied).
The Pick: Omar Morales (-135) at Caesars