UFC Columbus takes place on Saturday at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and is headlined by a heavyweight contest between Curtis Blaydes and Chris Daukaus. It’s the UFC’s final card before UFC 273, and as has become customary for such cards, the event is low on name value and high on competitive bouts.
Let’s take a look at some of the best bets available on the card. All odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
Bryan Barbarena over Matt Brown, -115
I don’t know why the line is so short. God love Matt Brown, but he’s 41 years old and was talking about having issues with concussion-like symptoms all the way back in 2016. Barbarena may not be the fighter he once was, but he’s scrappy and hits hard, and I trust his chin much more than I do Brown’s at this point.
Marc Diakiese over Viacheslav Borshchev, +130
I was surprised that the result here favoured Borshchev. Diakiese, however, is a more skilled and experienced fighter. Yes, Diakiese has been on a a bit of a skid lately, but he’s still only 29 years old, and his losses have come against very good opposition. Diakiese’s speed and wrestling abilities give him an edge in kickboxing.
Matheus Nicolau over David Dvorak, +105
This flyweight bout, just like the Diakiese/Borshchev battle pits an experienced and better-rounded fighter against someone who enters the fight with some hype. Nicolau can counterpunch and is a solid grappler while Dvorak prefers to use his hands. Nicolau was competitive on the feet with Manel Kape due to his counters and defense, and so given that and his wrestling, I favor Nicolau to win this fight and like the value on him at plus money.
Curtis Blaydes over Chris Daukaus by KO/TKO, -110
This is a straightforward prediction: Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the world, and Chris Daukaus is not. Daukaus’ UFC record is decent so far. However, he only has to defend two takedowns and they were from not great wrestlers. Blaydes could win this striking fight with his jab and natural athleticism. Instead, he will ground Daukaus multiple times and continue to work. Blaydes has five rounds left to go, so I’m happy for him to get to a stoppage.
Neil Magny over Max Griffin by Decision, -120
It’s becoming a recurring theme on this card, but Magny is simply the more well-rounded and more accomplished fighter compared to Griffin. Magny has defeated a lot of top welterweights, and only one loss to the highest-echelon. Griffin, meanwhile, has lost against all the best fighters he’s faced. Magny’s jab, clinch work, and cardio give him a clear edge over Griffin, and given that seven of Griffin’s eight losses are by decision and 12 of Magny’s 15 UFC wins have been by decision, I like this prop bet.
Kai Kara-France over Askar Askarov by KO/TKO, +800
Askarov is a solid boxer, but Kara-France is the faster, more dangerous striker, so this fight is going to come down to the wrestling. Kara-France has solid takedown defense and he’s a pretty good scrambler. But more importantly, he’s the better athlete. Askarov is prone to being lazy, which has led to him eating some shots. Kara-France will have to stop Askarov from taking down his takesdowns for long enough to score a huge shot on his feet and win the greatest victory of his career. At +800, it’s worth a play.
Parlay of the Week
Curtis Blaydes over Chris Daukaus, -400
As I mentioned, Blaydes should win this race. While I believe a stoppage will be inevitable, Daukaus could still hang tough, while Blaydes can continue to win round after round.
Ilir Latifi over Aleksei Oleinik, -200
I’m shocked that Latifi is only a -200 favorite here. Oleinik is pushing 45 years old and hasn’t looked good in years. Latifi hasn’t been excellent recently either, but he doesn’t need to be to beat Oleinik, who at best has five minutes of cardio available to him. Remember that Oleinik’s greatest weapon, the chokes, aren’t likely to prove very useful against Oleinik, who is possibly the most imposing neck in all of MMA. This should make it easy for Latifi get his hands raised.
Manon Fiorot over Jennifer Maia, -475
We’re not exactly giong out on a limb by parlaying three of the bigger favorites on the card, but I think Fiorot wins this fight nine times out of 10. She is faster, longer, more athletic, and the better striker of the two women, and while Maia is the superior grappler, she’s not a great wrestler. Fiorot should be able to keep this at distance and ding Maia up with shots, either taking a decision or finding a shot that hurts Maia and puts her away.
Parlay these three bets together for +125 odds.
Long Shot of the Week
Alexa Grasso over Joanne Wood by KO/TKO in Round 1, +1400
It worked this past week and we are gonna run it again this week. We’ll be adding another fight parlay with women’s flyweights. Grasso has not finished a fight since 2014 and Wood has never been knocked out, so it makes sense that these odds are long. But Grasso is starting to come into her own, and at 35, Wood appears to be have lost a couple steps. Wood was knocked out by Talia Santos in her last bout. Grasso is becoming more comfortable with power shots and I believe she will be able to crack Wood and win her first UFC stoppage.
We absolutely crushed it this past week! Aside from nailing all of our straight bets and hitting our big underdog prop, we also cashed our Long Shot of the Week at a whopping +3500! Looking for another big weekend here before we finally have a small break in the MMA schedule.
Good luck to all and remember to gamble responsibly
All information in this article is provided to readers of MMA Fighting for entertainment, news, and amusement purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader to learn and abide by online gambling laws in their region before placing any online sports betting wagers.