Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to ABC this Saturday evening (April 10, 2021) with an enticing Middleweight clash between red-hot contender, Marvin Vettori, and late-notice replacement Kevin Holland at the helm, while top Featherweight prospects Sodiq Yusuff and Arnold Allen duke it out in UFC Vegas 23’s co-feature. In addition, undefeated Middleweight Aliaskhab Khizriev makes his promotional debut against fellow “Contender Series” standout, Kyle Daukaus, and Julian Marquez pits his heavy hands and iron chin against the lethal counters of Sam Alvey.
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What Went Wrong at UFC 260?
We’re finally, finally back in the green. Michael Oleksiejczuk needed some questionable judging to get past Modestas Bukauskas, but everything went off without a hitch. Brutal knockouts from Marc-Andre Barriault, Sean O’Malley and Jamie Mullarkey complemented strong performances from Miranda Maverick and Abubakar Nurmagomedov to round out the year’s most successful event.
UFC Vegas 23 Odds For The Undercard:
Joe Solecki (-235) vs. Jim Miller (+195)
Mateusz Gamrot (-235) vs. Scott Holtzman (+195)
Norma Dumont (-255) vs. Erin Blanchfield (+215)
Ignacio Bahamondes (-190) vs. John Makdessi (+165)
Yorgan de Castro (-285) vs. Jarjis Danho (+243)
Jack Shore (-160) vs. Hunter Azure (+140)
Luis Saldaaa (-140) vs. Jordan Griffin (+120)
Da Un Jung (-137) vs. William Knight (+117)
Impa Kasanganay (-290) vs. Sasha Palatnikov (+245)
Thoughts: There’s definitely no shortage of options this time around. I like the looks of Joe Solecki, Mateusz Gamrot, Ignacio Bahamondes, Erin Blanchfield, Jack Shore and Impa Kasanganay.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia: Jim Miller has exclusively won by first-round stoppage since a 2016 decision over Thiago Alves. His recent losses to Scott Holtzman and Vinc Pichel showed that that’s essentially the only way he can win at this point, as his cardio consistently fails him. Solecki is more than good enough on the feet and on the mat to survive Miller’s early onslaught and take over down the stretch, so put your faith in him.
Even acknowledging that he’s coming off the first loss of his career, Gamrot just looks like a toxic style match up for Holtzman. “Hot Sauce” utterly failed to shut down Nik Lentz’s grinding wrestling attack, giving Poland’s “Gamer” a clear roadmap to victory. Gamrot’s a better technical wrestler than Lentz and can handle himself on the feet as well, so he should have little difficulty dictating the pace and securing a comfortable victory.
Bahamondes is definitely still developing and faces an extremely seasoned striker in John Makdessi, but it’s hard to overlook his massive advantages in height and reach. He also looks to be the bigger hitter by a solid margin, and Makdessi’s been on the shelf for a year. In short, “La Jaula” has the goods to potshot his way to a clear decision.
Blanchfield is this event’s long shot, an extremely young Flyweight stepping up on short notice against a former Featherweight who missed weight by almost four pounds last time out. Between her superior ground game and Dumont’s comparatively thin resume, however, “Cold-Blooded” is worth a small investment.
Watching Shore’s odds creep ever deeper into the negatives this week has been frustrating, but he’s still absolutely a bargain. He has Hunter Azure badly out-classed in terms of striking and submission skills, and he’s skilled enough to hold his own in Azure’s wrestling wheelhouse. This is a solid prospect against a genuine blue-chipper, and I like the Welshman to demolish Azure.
Though he showed truly admirable grit against Louis Cosce, I’m still not convinced Sasha Palatnikov can make any sort of headway in the UFC Welterweight division. Impa Kasanganay looks to have the edge in most areas of the game, and as long as the new weight cut doesn’t prove too arduous, he’ll cruise to a decision without issue.
UFC Vegas 23 Odds For The Main Card:
Marvin Vettori (-330) vs. Kevin Holland (+270)
Sodiq Yusuff (-135) vs. Arnold Allen (+115)
Aliaskhab Khizriev (-125) vs. Kyle Daukaus (-105)
Julian Marquez (-190) vs. Sam Alvey (+165)
Nina Ansaroff (-140) vs. Mackenzie Dern (+120)
Daniel Rodriguez (-160) vs. Mike Perry (+140)
Thoughts: I’m always hesitant about recommending bets on fighters who’ve been out for a while, but I can’t pass up that line on Nina Ansaroff. “The Strina” has Mackenzie Dern out-classed by a mile on the feet and is notoriously difficult to keep hold of. Indeed, even Tatiana Suarez struggled to get any offense going against Ansaroff, and Dern’s five percent UFC takedown accuracy suggests that she’s in for a long, painful 15 minutes of getting picked apart.
UFC Vegas 23 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Mateusz Gamrot and Jack Shore: Bet $80 to make $105.60
- Parlay — Joe Solecki and Nina Ansaroff: Bet $80 to make $115.20
- Parlay — Impa Kasanganay and Erin Blanchfield: Bet $35 to make $113.40
- Parlay — Ignacio Bahamondes and Impa Kasanganay: Bet $60 to make $63
UFC Vegas 23 is actually a heck of a card ... and the fact that it’s on free TV is just icing on the cake. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 23 fight card this weekend right here, starting with the ESPN / ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ABC / ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET.
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