After a series of re-schedulings and cancelations, the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event inside its APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, limps over the finish line this Saturday (July 31, 2021) with Uriah Hall vs. Sean Strickland at the helm. The newly-minted UFC Vegas 33 co-feature will see Kyung Ho Kang seek to extend his Bantamweight win streak to four straight when he faces off with grappling specialist Rani Yahya, while Gloria de Paula and Cheyanne Buys fight to enter the UFC win column one fight prior.
Just because it’s janky doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze some value out of it, of course. Here’s how ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 32?
I’m honestly a bit relieved that Jordan Williams beefed it against Mickey Gall. That’s because I would have been absolutely livid at Miranda Maverick’s robbery loss otherwise. That said, those losses and Punahele Soriano’s definitely hurt, and while Adrian Yanez came up big, the other half of the parlay getting nullified when Ladd-Chiasson collapsed, resulting in a net loss for the event.
UFC Vegas 33 Odds For the Under Card:
Nicco Montano (-225) vs. Wu Yanan (+185)
Melsik Baghdasaryan (-145) vs. Collin Anglin (+125)
Rafa Garcia (-270) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (+230)
Kai Kamaka III (-115) vs. Danny Chavez (-105)
Ashley Yoder (-130) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (+110)
Ronnie Lawrence (-145) vs. Trevin Jones (+125)
Orion Cosce (-160) vs. Philip Rowe (+140)
Thoughts: Ronnie Lawrence and Orion Cosce are gifts at -145 and -160, respectively, and I like the looks of Nicco Montano and Rafa Garcia as parlay material.
Lawrence was low-key one of the more impressive The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) graduates of last year, an absolutely relentless wrestler with sharp striking to back it up. While Jones has twice flipped the script with that vicious right hand of his, he’s too badly out-gunned on the ground for that to matter; there’s little stopping Lawrence from putting him through the same chain-wrestling wringer he inflicted on Vince Cachero in his UFC debut. If you’re willing to look past Jones’ puncher’s chance, this one’s all “The Heat.”
I won’t pretend that Cosce’s brother Louis didn’t let me down when he gassed to death against the markedly inferior Sasha Palatnikov, but “Galaxy’s” cardio is more than proven. He went three grueling rounds with an A+ prospect in Matt Dixon on “Contender Series” and basically pressured the life out of him the whole time. Rowe tends to back straight up under fire and relies on his wrestling to bail him out, which won’t work against Cosce’s aggression and solid takedown defense. I really like Cosce to put the pace on him and come out on top, so bank on it.
Without the cloud of doubt from her layoff and myriad injuries, Montano would be -300 or better against Wu Yanan, who’s 1-3 in the Octagon and got soundly out-grappled by striker Joselyne Edwards last time out. Even with those concerns, I favor Montano to dominate with her wrestling, so I’m willing to recommend a bet on her.
I’d say the book is out on Chris Gruetzemacher at this point. He’s big, durable and he can wrestle, but he’s also got nonexistent striking defense and is vulnerable to submissions. Garcia excels at the same sorts of grinds that Gruetzemacher likes to create, is sharp enough standing to tee off on that undefended chin, and can absolutely force a tap if it hits the ground. In short, he’s the biggest favorite on the card for a reason.
UFC Vegas 33 Odds For The Main Card:
Sean Strickland (-210) vs. Uriah Hall (+175)
Niklas Stolze (-210) vs. Jared Gooden (+170)
Cheyanne Buys (-160) vs. Gloria de Paula (+140)
Kyung Ho Kang (-140) vs. Rani Yahya (+120)
Ryan Benoit (-130) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (+110)
Bryan Barberena (-260) vs. Jason Witt (+220)
Thoughts: Sean Strickland, Zarrukh Adashev and Bryan Barberena stand out.
I’ll admit that I do tend to underestimate Uriah Hall. It’s hard not to, honestly — all of his wins between his 2015 beatdown of Oluwale Bamgbose and recent victories over the faded Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman came via either comeback stoppage or wonky decision. This is a guy who nearly got stopped standing by Krzysztof Jotko and was losing to Bevon Lewis before putting him away in the third. Strickland, meanwhile, has been methodically dominant during his recent resurgence and looks likely to box up Hall.
I’m already preparing for a foot in my mouth, but put some down on Strickland.
Putting your faith in a 3-3 fighter with two Octagon losses is generally a recipe for failure, sure, but hear me out. Zarrukh Adashev is a legitimately good striker who had the misfortune of facing lethal knockout artists in Tyson Nam and Sumudaerji. Ryan Benoit has zero wins over current members of UFC’s roster and has never developed his stand up beyond hurling haymakers, so I’d say Adashev is worth a look.
The math on Barberena over Witt isn’t particularly tricky. While “The Vanilla Gorilla” managed to beat the underwhelming Cole Williams, Takashi Sato and Matthew Semelsberger only needed a combined 1:04 to knock him unconscious twice. I trust Barberena’s taste for violence to produce another brutal finish.
UFC Vegas 33 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Ronnie Lawrence and Rafa Garcia: Bet $100 to make $132
- Parlay — Orion Cosce and Nicco Montano: Bet $100 to make $135
- Parlay — Sean Strickland and Bryan Barberena: Bet $120 to make $124.80
- Parlay — Zarrukh Adashev and Bryan Barberena: Bet $60 to make $114.60
Well, at least there’s still a card this weekend?!?!?!? See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 33 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET.
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