UFC Vegas 69 Odds, Picks, Projections: Our Best Bets for Knight vs. Prachnio, Bueno Silva vs. Lansberg, More (Saturday, February 18)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC welterweight A.J. Fletcher
Check out our MMA crew’s UFC Vegas 69 best bets for Saturday’s UFC event at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
The 11-fight card is noticeably light on star power and fan favorites aside from an intriguing headliner. In that bout, UFC women’s flyweight contenders Jessica Andrade and Erin Blanchfield clash.
However, our best bets for the card don’t include that five-round main event.
So where should you be looking to place your bets instead? Our crew has pinpointed three fights and picks on Saturday’s 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.
Dann Stupp: A.J. Fletcher vs. Themba Gorimbo
Senior Editor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 4:25 p.m. ET
I am undoubtedly a volume bettor, and for nearly every fight on a UFC card, I can find at least one betting angle to my liking, especially when digging into the prop markets.
But even I – who would rather bet than not bet if I’m on the fence about a specific wager – am finding it hard to find some great spots in this abomination of a fight card.
Still, value is value, and I think we can squeeze out a bit from welterweights A.J. Fletcher vs. Themba Gorimbo.
The second bout of the night features Fletcher (9-2), a Contender Series alum who’s 0-2 in the UFC, against UFC newcomer Gorimbo (10-3) of Zimbabwe.
Essentially, this is a make-or-break fight for Fletcher, who was once a fairly touted prospect but now finds himself in a must-win late-notice bout. Following decision losses to Matthew Semelsberger and Ange Loosa in the UFC – in large part due to late-fight cardio issues – Fletcher can’t afford another misstep.
Luckily for him, he should dominate Saturday’s fight and not even have to worry about the third round. Gorimbo has a solid pro record, but it came against largely unheralded competition and despite his noticeable lack of ground skills and get-ups.
Additionally, I think Fletcher has a solid edge standing too, and he’s willing to throw first, which is important if we’re shooting for a quicker finish and hoping to avoid another late-bout collapse for Fletcher.
In short, Fletcher should have the edge wherever this fight goes. And though “octagon jitters” aren’t a concern for all UFC newcomers, I do think Fletcher’s experience in the promotion will be another substantial edge over Gorimbo, who’s fought almost exclusively in South Africa with EFC and now competes in the U.S. for just the second time in his career.
I wouldn’t fault you for playing Fletcher’s moneyline (-275) straight up or in a parlay. But I really think the value lies with Fletcher winning inside the distance with a KO or submission.
Although I like this play to -120, you can get Fletcher by stoppage at bet365 with plus-money +105 odds.
The Pick: A.J. Fletcher by KO/TKO/DQ or Submission (+105 at bet365)
Sean Zerillo: Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Lina Lansberg
Senior Writer at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 5:55 p.m. ET
The average decision rate in the UFC women’s bantamweight division is north of 59%, meaning the average implied odds for 135-pound female fights should be around -150 (60% implied).
Instead, the inside-the-distance odds typically hover around +150 – closer to a break-even price – with the distance or decision prop closer to -200 (66.7% implied) – a hugely -EV bet, more often than not.
Saturday’s matchup between Lina Lansberg and Mayra Bueno Silva offers a potential betting opportunity, with the distance prop as low as -132 (56.9% implied) at FanDuel.
I projected the line at -154 (60.6% implied) and would bet it up to -142 (58.6% implied)
You’re getting a discount because Lansberg is approaching 41 years old and may be on the verge of retirement. She’s also been on a 0-3 run since late 2019.
Neither fighter has immense knockout power, and while Bueno Silva may have a significant speed advantage, Lansberg is adept at engaging in the clinch and slowing the pace of her fights.
The primary concern toward a finish is Bueno Silva via submission. Still, the Brazilian has never completed a takedown (and rarely shot attempts) in the UFC.
Unless Lansberg initiates the grappling – and puts herself in danger – I expect a low-tempo kickboxing/clinching fight.
In such a scenario, Lansberg by decision (projected +449, listed +600 at DraftKings) would provide value too.
Pick: Bueno Silva vs. Lansberg Goes the Distance (-132)
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Billy Ward: William Knight vs. Marcin Prachnio
Staff Writer at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:25 p.m. ET
William Knight returns to his home weight class of light heavyweight this weekend against Marcin Prachnio. Knight started his UFC career at 3-1 in the weight class, with his only blemish a decision loss to Da Un Jung.
In 2022, he took two bouts out of his weight class. One, as a short-notice fill-in against Maxim Grishin. Knight showed up at 218 pounds for the catchweight bout. Grishin won that fight 30–27 on all scorecards.
Knight decided he was a fan of the whole not-cutting-weight thing and took his next bout at heavyweight. Knight came in north of 250 pounds but gassed out and was finished by Devin Clark in the third round.
Which brings us to where we are now. Assuming he’s able to make weight, we should see the prime version of Knight on Saturday. He’s struggled mightily with his cardio in his two heavier weight class bouts, which could be from a combination of factors.
Carrying the extra weight is taxing in and of itself. Additionally, not having to do all of the work that fighters put in to lose weight – which is generally a ton of running and cardio – means he was probably not as well-conditioned as usual.
That works in his favor on Saturday against Prachnio. Prachnio is a karate fighter who will be in a world of hurt if Knight is able to get on top of him. Besides his ridiculous strength, Knight is an underrated technical grappler.
The small cage at the UFC Apex is another benefit to Knight here. It’s much harder to keep things at range the way Prachnio will need to.
Knight was a slight underdog earlier in the week, but I still would bet his moneyline in the -120 range. If it gets to -130 or beyond, consider betting his inside-the-distance lines. The small cage and power advantage mean he should find a finish.
The Pick: William Knight (-120 at Caesars)
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