Having already established herself as the Women’s GOAT, Amanda Nunes will look to add another accolade to her trophy room this Saturday (June 6, 2020) when she defends her Featherweight title against former Invicta champ Felicia Spencer in UFC 250’s ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV) main event from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Before that, the Bantamweight division hosts heaps of action, including Cody Garbrandt’s return against perennial contender Raphael Assuncao, a potential final eliminator between Cory Sandhagen and Aljamain Sterling, and Sean O’Malley taking on Eddie Wineland in a potential firefight.
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Spike Carlyle absolutely won his fight with Billy Quarantillo. His knockdown and lengthy stretches of control were more significant than Quarantillo’s failed submission attempts in the second round and the scoring should have reflected that. I’ll readily accept criticism for putting my faith in Klidson Abreu, but I’m not budging on the “Alpha Ginger” issue.
UFC 250 Odds For The Under Card:
Chase Hooper (-165) vs. Alex Caceres (+145)
Ian Heinisch (-130) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+110)
Cody Stamann (-265) vs. Brian Kelleher (+225)
Charles Byrd (-170) vs. Maki Pitolo (+150)
Alex Perez (-135) vs. Jussier Formiga (+115)
Alonzo Menifield (-220) vs. Devin Clark (+180)
Herbert Burns (-230) vs. Evan Dunham (+190)
Thoughts: There’s oodles of value to be found here; in fact, I’m thinking a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach will pay dividends. Chase Hooper, Gerald Meerschaert, Charles Byrd, and the piece de resistance, Evan Dunham.
Alex Caceres simply isn’t equipped to deal with the myriad issues that still plague Chase Hooper, namely his poor striking defense and substandard wrestling. “Bruce Leeroy” has scored just one (technical) knockout victory in the last decade, making a standing knockout a remote possibility, and he’s been taken down six times in his last three fights. On top of that, Hooper will have advantages in height and reach, limiting the effectiveness of Caceres’ favored keep-away style. Hooper may be as green as they come, but everything’s going his way here.
Ian Heinisch and Gerald Meerschaert enter this bout with very different amounts of momentum. Though both are 2-2 in their last four, Heinisch decisively lost his last two, while Meerschaert would be on a four-fight win streak with proper judging. On top of that, “GM3” will enjoy a massive reach advantage and sports a more versatile striking style than his headhunting foe. He looks to be too busy on the feet and too lethal on the mat for “Hurricane” to comfortably deal with.
It’s hard to overstate how badly Maki Pitolo let me down against Callan Potter. “Coconut Bombz” was out-struck and out-grappled by a natural Lightweight, and now he’s up against a well-rounded Middleweight with the tools to exploit all of the Hawaiian’s bad habits. Though Byrd’s recent stoppage losses are a concern, Pitolo’s complete inability to get his boxing going against Potter gives me some confidence in “Kid Dynamite.” In other words, Byrd should cruise to a comfortable win.
Evan Dunham was +240 at one point and I’d really have preferred he stay there. Ah, well, still a bargain to be had. As impressive as Herbert Burns’ debut knockout of Nate Landwehr was, his overall striking remains sorely lacking, especially as far as defense goes. Worse, Burns’ wrestling is so underdeveloped that he relies on pulling guard, which isn’t going to cut it against a wrestler and jiu-jitsu veteran of Dunham’s caliber. Dunham has the tools to dictate and dominate this fight; the only concern is his recent tendency to get his liver shredded, but Burns lacks the standup skills to exploit it — go big on Dunham.
UFC 250 Odds For The Main Card:
Amanda Nunes (-650) vs. Felicia Spencer (+475)
Cody Garbrandt (-145) vs. Raphael Assuncao (+125)
Aljamain Sterling (-120) vs. Cory Sandhagen (EVEN)
Neil Magny (-140) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (+120)
Sean O’Malley (-475) vs. Eddie Wineland (+380)
Thoughts: I’d be genuinely stunned to see Amanda Nunes or Sean O’Malley lose their fights, allowing them to serve as parlay stuffers. In addition, Raphael Assuncao is a solid underdog play and Neil Magny is undervalued as an underdog.
Cody Garbrandt has lost his composure and paid for it three fights in a row. Raphael Assuncao — though often unpleasant to watch — is among the best counter-punchers in the entire Bantamweight division. While there’s every possibility that Garbrandt finally got his excrement together during his latest layoff, Assuncao is simply too sharp on the feet for “No Love” to get away with his customary negligence. In short, the Brazilian is worth the investment.
Anthony Rocco Martin’s Welterweight success has come exclusively against grappling specialists, making Magny the most dangerous 170-pound striker he’s faced thus far. Magny sports a considerable reach advantage, more polished stand up overall, and wrestling that matches or exceeds Martin’s own. That said, Magny does face a serious issue in Martin’s leg kicks — Lorenz Larkin and Santiago Ponzinibbio both managed to demolish Magny by compromising his lead leg. Luckily for him, Martin isn’t that level of striking technician, and Magny should be able to comfortably take him apart at range.
UFC 250 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Sean O’Malley and Chase Hooper: $60 to make $56.60
- Parlay — Evan Dunham and Amanda Nunes: $50 to make $117.50
- Parlay — Charles Byrd and Neil Magny: $40 to make $68.80
- Parlay — Amanda Nunes and Gerald Meerschaert: $30 to make $42.60
- Parlay — Sean O’Malley and Raphael Assuncao: $30 to make $51.60
Some serious Bantamweight violence and the greatest female fighter on the planet make for a compelling ESPN+ PPV offering. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 250 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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