UFC Fight Night Odds, Projections & Best Bets: 3 Picks for Tony Gravely vs. Johnny Munoz, Askar Mozharov vs. Alonzo Menifield
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC fighter Askar Mozharov.
- The UFC returns to the APEX for an early 14-fight card headlined by a heavyweight battle between Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
- But our MMA experts see value in two other fights: Munoz vs. Tony Gravely, Alonzo Menifield vs. Askar Mozharov.
- Find their best bets for Saturday's fights below, plus Sean Zerillo betting projections for each bout.
After a week off, we’re headed back to UFC Apex for another Saturday card. This weekend’s 14-bout event features a matchup of dangerous top-10 heavyweights and starts early at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with eight prelim bouts and six 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.
Contributor at The Action Network
The backstory behind this one is getting all of the attention, with Mozharov apparently having losses removed from his record, fraudulent wins added, and various other shenanigans. Mozharov has apparently changed his name at least once, as well as contacting promoters and photoshopping posters in an attempt to hide losses from his record.
Whatever his true record (or name) is, that won’t matter when the bell rings on Saturday night against Alonzo Menifield. Mozharov has looked very good in his recent bouts, with a three fight win streak, all via knockout.
There’s not a ton of tape on Mozharov, but what I saw impressed me a lot with his striking. His kicks were particularly impressive, and he’s finished the majority of his fights. He’s also taller than Menifield, so he should be able to get his kicks off well.
Mozharov’s ground game is poor, to put it mildly. He’s been finished essentially every time he’s been taken down as far as I can tell. However, that’s less of a concern against Menifield. Menifield lands less than half a takedown per 15 minutes in his UFC career.
Menifield has also lost three of his past 5, with the only wins coming against Fabio Cherant (0-3 UFC) and an undersized — and much older — Ed Herman. Menifield is fairly notorious for his cardio issues, and Mozharov should have the edge there. While there’s not much data to back that up, longer, leaner fighters tend to hold up better as fights wear on.
Mozharov’s early (corrected) record is littered with bad losses and wins against tomato cans. However, he turned pro at just 18 years old, and seems to be a far better fighter now. I thought the initial line on this fight (Mozharov +145 or so) was about right, making the +210 available at Caesars right now a steal.
I would wait as long as possible before betting this one though. The line has continued to move in Menifield’s favor since news broke of Mozharov’s activities, and will likely see further movement when it’s all said and done. Even so, the +210 is a clear value.
The Pick: Askar Mozharov ML +210
Sean Zerillo: Johnny Munoz vs. Tony Gravely
Senior Writer at The Action Network
Gravely has burned bettors by blowing leads in his fights, which has led to value on his moneyline against a pair of submission grapplers in Saimon Oliveira and now Johnny Munoz Jr.
Gravely is the superior striker and wrestler in this matchup, has more than double the fight experience of his opponent, and has faced a much higher level of competition.
He doesn’t have the best Fight IQ, however. Gravely can gas himself out by setting a pace that he can’t keep – by shooting takedowns early and often (6.76 per 15 minutes, 55% accuracy) — and he tends to slow down in the third round of his fights.
I expect Gravely to secure the first two rounds of this matchup either by 1) counter wrestling and out-striking Munoz or 2) securing takedowns and staying safe on top.
While Munoz is undoubtedly a submission threat, he’s much better on top of his opponents than at playing guard off his back.
And while Gravely is known for making mistakes — and sticking his head into submissions — it’s difficult to handicap Munoz’s win condition past 40%, considering Gravely’s apparent advantages and ability to determine where this fight takes place.
Munoz either needs to capitalize on a positional mistake, take Tony’s back and choke him out or score a come-from-behind finish in the third round – against a tiring opponent — to win this fight.
I’m a bit worried about the length advantage for Munoz (four-inches taller, two inches of reach) since Gravely likes to fight behind his jab.
Still, I projected Gravely’s moneyline around -155 and his decision prop at +135, and I would bet those lines to -140 and +150, respectively.
The Pick: Tony Gravely ML (-135 at BetMGM) / Gravely wins by Decision (+275 at MGM)