UFC Vegas 70 Props: +850 Submission Play Among MMA Prop Squad Picks (Saturday, February 25)

UFC Vegas 70 Props: +850 Submission Play Among MMA Prop Squad Picks (Saturday, February 25) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC flyweight Charles Johnson

  • UFC Vegas 70 on Saturday night presents an array of prop betting options with 11 scheduled fights.
  • The MMA Prop Squad has posted a lifetime 15.5% ROI and is back with three bets for this ESPN+ card.
  • Check out their picks, including a juicy +850 submission prop, below.

(Editor's note: As the UFC Vegas 70 main card kicked off, UFC officials announced the cancellation of the scheduled headliner after Nikita Krylov suffered an undisclosed illness and was forced out of his bout with Ryan Spann.)

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC Vegas 70 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's event.

In this weekly feature, Action Network's MMA team welcomes in a revolving cast of outside contributors and fellow combat-sports analysts. Each Prop Squad installment will feature a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied a 15.5% ROI to date.

This week marks the return of Clint MacLean, Dann Stupp and Tony Sartori.

Check out their picks for Saturday's event, which streams on ESPN+ (4 p.m. ET) from Las Vegas, below.

As with all betting, 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 always be sure to shop for the best price.

Clint MacLean: Charles Johnson via Submission (+850)

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

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 4:55 p.m. ET

When Charles Johnson made his UFC debut, I knew we were going to make big money backing him. The former LFA flyweight champion was thrown to Muhammad Mokaev in his UFC debut, so the public perception of him was very low.

Johnson then showed what he is capable of in the Jimmy Flick fight, but that was arguably against a fighter who may not be UFC-ready after coming out of retirement. Johnson is filling in on short notice in Saturday's fight with Ode' Osbourne because he sees an opponent who is essentially the perfect fight for him.

Osbourne is big at 125 and he hits hard, but he is slow. He also has struggled with his cardio in fights that get extended, and that is where I believe Johnson can shine. Johnson starts a bit slow but ramps the fight up and uses his cardio and pace as a weapon.

Johnson is extremely well-rounded and has a varied attack. His high-volume and opportunistic grappling is going to be the key here. We have not seen it yet in the UFC, but we have seen Johnson grapple on the regional scene, and he is deadly.

Osbourne may be forced to shoot if he is losing on the feet or if he decides to show off his wrestling on Saturday. And in either circumstance, I believe the choke will present itself for his opponent. The front chokes of Johnson are slick, and with his lanky arms, he has guillotines, D'arce chokes and anacondas that he can hit on vulnerable foes. I expect a late finish – and hopefully it's by submission at a big number!

The Pick: Charles Johnson via Submission (+850 at BetRivers)

Dann Stupp: Charles Johnson in Round 2 (+700)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 4:55 p.m. ET

Well, my man Clint really nailed the Charles Johnson vs. Ode' Osbourne breakdown above, and I don't have much to add to his technical breakdown of the fight.

I see the same openings that he does for Johnson to wear on and eventually wear down an opponent who has shown some cardio issues in the past. And if those issues reared their head against other flyweights, they're undoubtedly going to expose him again against a relentless fighter like Johnson.

As always, we don't want to put too much stock into statistics – not in a sport such as MMA, where it's very easy to tell an incomplete story with numbers.

However, Johnson and Osbourne both have a solid amount of UFC experience, and the eye test largely backs up the stats that suggest the fighters throw strikes at a similar frequency.

However, Johnson lands more (55% vs. 43%) and absorbs fewer (43% vs. 50%) strikes. So, I just don't see Johnson being overwhelmed by Osbourne, who does his best work in the first frame.

In fact, all of Osbourne's UFC losses have come in the second half of the first round, so Johnson may need to do little more than survive the opening few minutes to eventually take over.

Ultimately, though, I think the late-notice nature of Johnson accepting bout, as well as his willingness to patiently wait for obvious openings (he's fought championship rounds multiple times under the LFA banner), could push this fight into the second round.

And there, FanDuel is offering a delicious 7-1 payout for Johnson to win in the second frame.

I'll be sprinkling on that play – as well as Clint's submission angle above. I think Johnson survives in the first round, pushes the action to the second, and then ground-and-pounds or submits his way to a win on a quickly fading dance partner.

Pick: Charles Johnson to Win in Round 2 (+700)

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Tony Sartori: Mike Malott by Round 1 KO (+450)

Contributor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:55 p.m. ET

To kick off the main card, we have an all-Canadian welterweight bout between Mike Malott and Yohan Lainesse. Both of these guys possess great starts to their pro careers, with Malott boasting an 8-1-1 pro record and Lainesse returning a 9-1 record.

Malott has had more immediate success in the UFC, posting two straight first-round finishes. Meanwhile, Lainesse is 2-1 since joining the promotion with a knockout win, knockout loss and an extremely controversial split-decision victory over Darian Weeks.

Most would agree that Weeks won that scrap, and it also once again displayed the weakness in the technicality of Lainesse's game on the feet. This weakness is what Malott will likely exploit, which means it could be a quick night for the betting underdog.

A clinical striker, Malott lands 5.02 strikes per minute while boasting a striking defense of 54%, both of which surpass the statistics of the inferior Lainesse. Not only does Malott throw in bunches, but he possesses devastating power, evidenced by his recent left-hook knockout of Mickey Gall.

MICHAEL MALOTT FOLDED MICKEY GALL 😳 #UFC273pic.twitter.com/Qv4pv4wenY

— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 10, 2022

In fact, four of Malott's last six professional wins came via knockout, with all four in the first round. On the flip side, Lainesse's lone career loss was via knockout to Gabe Green.

Both fighters immediately opened themselves up in that bout, and if Lainesse comes in ready to stand and bang once again in this matchup, then Malott could absolutely catch him. Even if Lainesse gets in trouble and shoots for a takedown to dodge the damage, his grappling has looked mediocre at best since joining the UFC, and Malott should have no problem bringing the fight immediately back to the feet.

The more technical and violent striker, look for Malott to capture his third-straight first-round finish.

The Pick: Michael Malott by KO, TKO or DQ – Round 1 (+450 at BetRivers)

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