UFC Vegas 78 Props: MMA Prop Squad Picks for Viana vs. Lucindo, Fremd vs. Pickett, Buys vs. McGhee (Saturday, August 12)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Strawweight Polyana Viana of Brazil
Check out the MMA Prop Squad and their UFC Vegas 78 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's ESPN event.
This week marks the return of squad regulars Clint MacLean, Dan Tom and Tony Sartori.
Check out their long-shot picks for Saturday's event, which airs on ESPN and ESPN+ beginning at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT) from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, below.
As with all betting endeavors, 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 be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially depending on the sportsbook.
Clint MacLean: JB Buys by Submission (+700), Buys by Round 1 Submission (+1600)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:25 p.m. ET
JP Buys has had a rough go in the UFC so far, but the one thing you cannot deny him is that he is a fantastic grappler.
Buys is currently training with the likes of Aljamain Sterling and Merab Dvalishvili, and they are the perfect training partners to give him what he needs to survive in the UFC.
If Buys can protect that chin for long enough to hit a takedown, I think this fight is his. His grappling is so slick, he will have a massive edge on the mat.
His opponent, Marcus McGhee, made a splash in his UFC debut, but he is 33, and his lone professional loss was by Round 1 rear-naked choke less than a year ago.
This is a numbers game. Grappling and submissions really are the best path to victory for Buys, and these numbers are insane for a man who took down Montel Jackson with ease and sliced through his guard to mount – and then also had him deep in a rear-naked choke early.
I'm going to split my bet this week. Give me Buys via submission (+750) and Buys via Round 1 submission (+1600).
Dan Tom: Josh Fremd in Round 2 (+470)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:55 p.m. ET
For this week's prop squad submission, I decided to target UFC Vegas 78's main-card opener between Josh Fremd and Jamie Pickett.
Despite winning only two out of seven fights with the promotion, Pickett still (somehow) finds himself on the UFC roster.
I don't say that to be mean, but aside from Pickett's previously mentioned record, I'm not sure I've seen a fighter who enjoys being in the UFC octagon less than Pickett does.
Fremd, on the other hand, is a lanky action fighter who clearly enjoys the thrills of competition.
Although his aggression has cost him at times, Fremd is still a young fighter who has been showing fight-to-fight improvements since moving shop to Factory X Muay Thai.
More importantly, Fremd's favored forms of finishing fights also happen to line up with how Pickett tends to be finished.
From knees along the fence to opportunistic front chokes, Fremd should have multiple avenues to close the show this Saturday.
Add in the fact that five of Fremd's eight finishes come in the second round, and I'm willing to sprinkle on the 29-year-old to do it again at north of 4-1 odds.
Tony Sartori: Polyana Viana by Submission (+425)
Contributor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:55 p.m. ET
On the UFC Vegas 78 main card, Polyana Viana and Iasmin Lucindo meet in a strawweight bout.
Straddling two divisions, Lucindo makes the return to 115 pounds for this scrap, which may be a questionable decision. With a 1-1 record in the UFC, her lone win came in the flyweight division with her unanimous-decision victory over Brogan Walker.
While her loss at 115 pounds was to the dangerous Yazmin Jauregui, Lucindo could not really get anything going in that fight. In that aforementioned bounce-back win against Walker, she relied heavily on her takedown offense to rack up points and secure the victory.
However, that is a dangerous avenue to take against Viana, a grappling specialist who can submit you from anywhere. In fact, eight of Viana's 13 professional wins have come via submission.
Entering this bout in good form, Viana's only loss over her past four fights came to Tabatha Ricci, who is a likely future title contender in the strawweight division.
These two fighters are relatively even on the feet while Lucindo is the stronger wrestler and will likely go back to that given her recent win over Walker. The problem is that, assuming Lucindo sticks with that game plan, she is luring herself right into where Viana is most comfortable, making a submission victory the most likely path to victory for Viana.
At these odds, it is worth taking a shot on her to lock in that submission at some point during this fight.
The Pick: Polyana Viana via Submission (+425 at BetRivers)