Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Va., hosts two of the fiercest Flyweights on the planet this Saturday (Feb. 29, 2020) when Joseph Benavidez makes his latest bid at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold against all-action Brazilian wrecker Deiveson Figueiredo. UFC Fight Night 169 will also host a women’s Featherweight clash between Felicia Spencer and Zarah Fairn, as well as blue chip Light Heavyweight prospect Magomed Ankalaev against Moldovan mauler Ion Cutelaba.
It’s not the most stacked ESPN+ card in the world, but can we squeeze a profit out of it? Damn straight. Let’s go!
What Went Wrong at UFC Auckland?
Well, the Loma Lookboonmee pick didn’t work out, though in my defense, she gave a good account of herself. We still scored a minor win thanks to Jake Matthews and Yan Xiaonan, though.
UFC Fight Night 169 Odds For The Under Card:
Gabriel Silva (-130) vs. Kyler Phillips (+110)
Tom Breese (-135) vs. Brendan Allen (+115)
Serghei Spivac (-120) vs. Marcin Tybura (EVEN)
Luis Pena (N/A) vs. Steve Garcia Jr. (N/A)
Jordan Griffin (-140) vs. T.J. Brown (+120)
Aalon Cruz (-175) vs. Spike Carlyle (+155)
Ismail Naurdiev (-125) vs. Sean Brady (+105)
Thoughts: This might be the most competitive UFC undercard I’ve ever seen ... odds-wise. And that’s not the ideal outcome for me, especially when five of these guys are making their Octagon debuts, but there’s value to be found. I like T.J. Brown as an underdog and Aalon Cruz as a slight favorite, even if the latter’s odds aren’t nearly as appealing as they were last week.
Jordan Griffin has consistently struggled with more technical grapplers able to stay cool in the face of his berserker offense, as seen in his UFC losses to Dan Ige and Chas Skelly. Brown’s a bit more fragile than those two, but he’s a sharper kickboxer, wrestler, and submission artist than “The Native Psycho.” Though his fragility demands a smaller investment than normal, he’s definitely got the skills to pull the upset.
Aalon Cruz has five inches of height on Spike Carlyle and knows how to use them. “The Alpha Ginger” is only a threat when he can get on top, an exceedingly unlikely proposition when he lacks the tools to close the gap. Cruz — a capable wrestler in his own right — should be able to decimate Carlyle at range, so be sure you’re in position to profit.
UFC Fight Night 169 Odds For The Main Card:
Joseph Benavidez (-150) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (+130)
Felicia Spencer (-800) vs. Zarah Fairn (+550)
Magomed Ankalaev (-210) vs. Ion Cutelaba (+175)
Megan Anderson (-225) vs. Norma Dumont (+185)
Grant Dawson (-420) vs. Darrick Minner (+335)
Thoughts: Between the mismatches and the too-close-to-call title fight, the only standout value lies in Magomed Ankalaev.
Ankalaev is, without exaggeration, the strongest Light Heavyweight prospect on the roster. Cutelaba’s a damn good fighter, too, but he’s also painfully inconsistent and prone to falling apart against those who don’t succumb to his initial blitz. Considering that Ankalaev has stood up to heavy hitters in the past and boasts both the cardio and grappling necessary to grind “The Hulk” into paste, he’s worth your money.
Honestly, you could probably use Felicia Spencer to safely beef up whatever parlays you have in mind — getting taken down and submitted by Megan Anderson is a bad look for Fairn, especially against the woman who completely dominated Anderson on the mat in her Octagon debut.
UFC Fight Night 169 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Aalon Cruz and Magomed Ankalaev: Bet $60 to make $79.20
- Parlay — T.J. Brown and Felicia Spencer: Bet $40 to make $59.20
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 169 fight card this weekend RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will also stream on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Fight Night 169: “Benavidez vs. Figueroa” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
Benavidez-Figueiredo, Ankalaev-Cutelaba, Dawson-Minner, and Griffin-Brown are worth the price of admission, at least. See you Saturday, Maniacs.