Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, makes her first appearance of 2018 this Saturday (May 12, 2018) inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, headlining UFC 224 against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, Raquel Pennington. Fellow Brazilian “Jacare” Souza faces Kelvin Gastelum in the pay-per-view (PPV) co-feature, while John Lineker keeps the “Brazil v. USA” theme going against the rising Brian Kelleher.
If your booze budget on Cinco de Mayo got out of hand, here’s how to refill your coffers:
What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Night 128?
Well, as before, it doesn’t help when one of your key bets gets bought out after her opponent comes in way overweight. Thanks a lot, UFC ... and Aspen Ladd. The other bet, Luan Chagas, just seemed afraid to commit against Siyar Bahadurzada, which is definitely not an issue I expected him to have. At least Chagas got to show off the killer grappling that got me to recommend him before getting brutally starched.
UFC 224 Odds For The Undercard:
Karl Roberson (-140) vs. Cezar Ferreira (+120)
Junior Albini (-150) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+130)
Davi Ramos (-140) vs. Nick Hein (+120)
Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos (-135) vs. Sean Strickland (+15)
Warlley Alves (-245) vs. Sutltan Aliev (+205)
Jack Hermansson (-155) vs. Thales Leites (+135)
Ramazan Emeev (-220) vs. Alberto Mina (+180)
Markus Perez (-310) vs. James Bochnovic (+255)
Thoughts: I dislike Sean Strickland on multiple levels, but I do like that betting line on him.
Zaleski is a bonus machine, easily one of the most underrated entertainers in the entire UFC. Unfortunately, his takedown defense is atrocious; in fact according to FightMetric, he’s been taken down 15 times in five fights. Strickland is gargantuan for the weight, a capable wrestler, and more than willing to do the bare minimum to get the win. He’s also, unfortunately for “Capoeira,” durable as hell. Though I hope I’m wrong, I expect Strickland to grind his way to victory.
In addition, a little scratch on Jack Hermansson seems wise as well. Leites is 2-4 in his last six bouts, the wins coming over Chris Camozzi — the patron saint of UFC mediocrity — and Sam Alvey, who got hurt early. Hermansson has the wrestling to shut down Leites’ grappling and the footwork to outclass Leites’ flat-footed striking. “The Joker” seems like a safe investment.
UFC 224 Odds For The Main Card:
Amanda Nunes (-1000) vs. Raquel Pennington (+650)
Ronaldo Souza (-145) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (+125)
Mackenzie Dern (-280) vs. Amanda Cooper (+240)
John Lineker (-250) vs. Brian Kelleher (+210)
Lyoto Machida (-275) vs. Vitor Belfort (+235)
Thoughts: This is another of those picks where I’m not super confident that the pick will win, but she’s super undervalued.
Amanda Nunes is a beast. She should not, however, be a 10:1 favorite in a five-round fight. She’s only gone past three rounds once in a truly tepid affair, so there’s no telling whether her cardio issues have actually been fixed, and she has a bad habit of crumbling once things stop going her way. Pennington is, if nothing else, inordinately tough — she’s only ever been stopped once, a 2012 submission loss to Cat Zingano. Nunes is going to have to go into deep waters, and that alone is enough for me to recommend a small bet on the challenger.
UFC 224 Best Bets:
- Single bet -- Sean Strickland: Bet $70 to make $80.50
- Single bet -- Jack Hermansson: Bet $80 to make $51.61
- Single bet -- Raquel Pennington: Bet $20 to make $130
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 224 results on fight night, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you’ve got riding on the sportsbook.