UFC Vegas 61 PrizePicks: Raoni Barcelos, Julija Stoliarenko, Ilir Latifi Among Top Prop Plays
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC women’s bantamweight Julija Stoliarenko
- UFC Vegas 61 takes place Saturday in Las Vegas with 12 bouts on ESPN+.
- With lots of action, PrizePicks players have a full menu of MMA options.
- Billy Ward breaks down his favorite plays, including props for Julija Stoliarenko and Ilir Latifi, below.
After a week off, the UFC returns on Saturday night. We have a 13-fight card coming live from the UFC Apex center starting at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) on ESPN+.
Below, you'll find my favorite parlay for the card, as well as some additional options for those seeking bigger payouts.
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player props in which you parlay two or more plays together.
UFC Vegas 61 PrizePicks Parlay
Raoni Barcelos Over 60.5 Significant Strikes
Raoni Barcelos is taking on Trevin Jones in a bantamweight bout on Saturday night. This one has all the makings of a standup war, with both men absorbing more than five significant strikes per minute.
Barcelos is the more active offensive striker, though, landing nearly six per minute himself. With a seven-fight sample, that number should be fairly sticky. He also arrived at that number against fighters – on average – who are better defensively than Jones, since Jones absorbs considerably more strikes than the divisional average.
Barcelos is also a significant (-230 or so) betting favorite, meaning the markets are viewing him as likely to have some success here. I generally want to avoid betting overs on underdogs, so that's a good sign.
Barcelos has topped this mark in three of his last four fights, with the lone exception a grappling-heavy fight with Said Nurmagomedov. Even with some manual downward adjustment from what my projections produced, he still is popping as the best Significant Strikes value on the card.
Julija Stoliarenko Under 45.5 Significant Strikes
Julija Stoliarenko is one of the most one-dimensional UFC fighters on the roster. Since appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 28, she's amassed a 6-3 record (counting non-UFC bouts.) She has five wins by ar bar, all of them in the first round – and four of them in the first minute.
It's early-armbar-or-bust for the Lithuanian, which doesn't leave much time to rack up significant strikes. She's cleared this mark just once in her current four-fight UFC stint, and even then not by a wide margin.
With a significant-strikes landed rate of just 2.75 per minute, this fight going the distance isn't even enough for her to get there on average. Unless her opponent – the debuting Chelsea Chandler – is a complete punching bag, I don't see Stoliarenko picking up the striking considerably.
Even if Chandler is, that probably means Stoliarenko takes her down and armbars her anyway. This fight is roughly a toss-up, but Stoliarenko is unlikely to clear 46 strikes in a win or a loss.
My projections have her landing mid-20s significant strikes in this one, making the under a massive value.
- Ilir Latifi Under 2.0 Takedowns: I'd be shocked if Ilir Latifi even attempted two takedowns on Saturday. He's fighting Alexey Oleinik, a 45-year-old submission specialist. While Latifi is a capable grappler, his quickest path to victory is to strike with "The Boa Constrictor," who's 1-3 in his last four fights. Two of those losses were knockouts, and the only win was a submission
- Mike Davis Under 12.5 Minutes: Mike Davis is fighting Viacheslav "Slava Claus" Borschev, who is taking the bout on roughly two weeks' notice. Both fighters are high-action strikers, with a combined 12 knockouts in 15 pro wins. Between the striking styles and the short-notice nature potentially limiting Borschev's cardio, under 2.5 rounds is a solid bet here.