Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, this Saturday (Feb. 2, 2019) for its sophomore effort on ESPN+, bringing with it a remarkably stacked lineup. In UFC Fight Night 144’s main event, which will stream live online via ESPN+, Marlon Moraes and Raphael Assuncao run back their controversial 2017 battle, while the legendary Jose Aldo faces rising prospect Renato Moicano in the co-feature. The rest of the main card includes veterans like Charles Oliveira and Demian Maia, as well as top prospects like Johnny Walker and Livia Renata Souza.
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What Went Wrong at UFC on ESPN+ 1?
Nothing! Dennis Bermudez and Donald Cerrone pulled off their upsets, although I’m still kicking myself for not having enough faith in Joanne Calderwood. Ah, well.
UFC Fight Night 144 Odds For The Undercard:
Anthony Hernandez (-170) vs. Markus Perez (+150)
Taila Santos (-160) vs. Mara Romero Borella (+140)
Max Griffin (-210) vs. Thiago Alves (+175)
Junior Albini (-115) v. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-105)
Ricardo Ramos (-115) vs. Said Nurmagomedov (-105)
Magomed Bibulatov (-450) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (+360)
Geraldo de Freitas (-135) vs. Felipe Colares (+115)
Thoughts: Most of the value is on the main card, but I do like the line on Said Nurmagomedov. Ricardo Ramos barely scraped past Kyung Ho Kang his last time out and doesn’t have the wrestling to penetrate Nurmagomedov’s takedown defense. The latter also possesses an array of fancy kicks with which to keep Ramos at bay and keep him from getting his striking offense going. I see the Mark Henry product winning this match up more often than not, making him worth the investment even at slightly negative odds.
UFC Fight Night 144 Odds For The Main Card:
Marlon Moraes (-170) vs. Raphael Assuncao (+150)
Renato Moicano (-135) vs. Jose Aldo (+115)
Demian Maia (-180) vs. Lyman Good (+158)
Charles Oliveira (-120) vs. David Teymur (EVEN)
Johnny Walker (-210) vs. Justin Ledet (+175)
Livia Renata Souza (-225) vs. Sarah Frota (+185)
Thoughts: I have strong opinions about the first (and last) two fights.
Marlon Moraes clearly deserved the win the first time he and Assuncao clashed, and I really don’t see this one going any better for Assuncao, who’s now 36. Moraes has experience going five rounds, unlike his opponent, and is the likelier of the two to score a finish. It sucks to see Assuncao fail to get a title shot despite all his work, but he’s not getting past Moraes this time.
Aldo isn’t what he used to be, but he’s still Jose Aldo, and positive odds on the Featherweight G.O.A.T. are too tempting to pass up ... even against a stud like Moicano.
I’m hesitant to make this pick, but after calling Calderwood’s upset of Ariane Lipski, but chickening out of recommending a bet on her, I want to try to make up for it. Yes, Johnny Walker is the next big thing, and yes, Justin Ledet got absolutely spanked by Aleksandar Rakic last time, but hear me out. Walker still has massive holes in his defense and seems extremely vulnerable to Ledet’s jab. Further, Ledet is only giving up two inches of reach, while Walker customarily has a massive edge in that area. I legitimately think the style match up favors the superior boxer in “El Blanco,” so bet accordingly.
Livia Renata Souza is just flat-out better than Sarah Frota in every area. Frota is flat-footed on the feet, has a questionable gas tank, and looks more likely to jump guard than hit a takedown against a strong wrestler. Souza boasts knockout power and black belts in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In other words, she dominates without issue.
UFC Fight Night 144 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Said Nurmagomedov: Bet $42 to make $40
- Parlay — Marlon Moraes and Livia Renata Souza: Bet $50 to make $64.50
- Single bet — Jose Aldo: Bet $30 to make $34.50
- Single bet — Justin Ledet: Bet $30 to make $52.50
It’s going to be one hell of an evening no matter what happens — see you Saturday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 144 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.