Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fans will get to see striking at the highest level this Saturday (Aug. 28, 2021) when Edson Barboza and Giga Chikadze lock horns in a pivotal Featherweight match up inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Vegas 35 will also feature a pair of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29 Finale bouts, which see Bryan Battle battle Gilbert Urbina and Ricky Turcios square off with Brady Hiestand, as well as the return of Kevin Lee opposite dangerous puncher Daniel Rodriguez.
You don’t have to get your wallet out for this one, but let’s do it anyway ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 34?
It was a solid event that was very nearly spectacular. Clay Guida was one judge away from beating Mark O. Madsen and Luis Saldana was seemingly on pace to get the decision over Austin Lingo before getting dropped by a body shot with less than two minutes to go. Even with those setbacks, Ignacio Bahamondes, Vinc Pichel, Alexandre Pantoja and Ramiz Brahimaj combined to make a profit.
UFC Vegas 35 Odds For The Under Card:
Alessio Di Chirico (-230) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (+190)
Wellington Turman (-125) vs. Sam Alvey (+105)
J.J. Aldrich (-335) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (+275)
Dustin Jacoby (-165) vs. Darren Stewart (+145)
Jamall Emmers (-150) vs. Pat Sabatini (+130)
Mana Martinez (-320) vs. Guido Cannetti (+260)
Thoughts: My general strategy for this event is “pick someone you’re reasonably confident in, then parlay them with Mana Martinez.” And for the undercard, that’s Jamall Emmers.
Emmers has long had the skills and physical abilities to make a name for himself in UFC. Where he’s struggled is in execution, losing winnable fights to Julian Erosa and Giga Chikadze because he didn’t bring his strengths to bear until it was too late. Against Vince Cachero, however, he put the pace on him from bell to bell, and he wins this comfortably if he can do the same. Though Sabatini is the better boxer and submission artist, Emmers has the edge in size, cardio and wrestling, which is enough to earn him my recommendation.
As far as the Martinez pick, he’s a young prospect with insane power, while Guido Cannetti is a 41-year-old with no striking defense, a poor chin and two consecutive losses. The math is not complicated.
You could probably find value in a J.J. Aldrich/Dustin Jacoby parlay as well. Vanessa Demopoulos’ terrific submission game is undercut by her weak wrestling, and while Jacoby’s had a couple of shaky appearances, he’s up against an inconsistent natural Middleweight in Darren Stewart.
UFC Vegas 35 Odds For The Main Card:
Edson Barboza (-115) vs. Giga Chikadze (-105)
Bryan Battle (-155) vs. Gilbert Urbina (+135)
Ricky Turcios (-160) vs. Brady Hiestand (+140)
Kevin Lee (-155) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (+135)
Andre Petroski (-515) vs. Micheal Gillmore (+410)
Makhmud Muradov (-550) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+425)
Thoughts: Bryan Battle strikes me as undervalued, and even at those ridiculous odds, there’s no reason not to throw Andre Petroski in there as well.
I was really rooting for Gilbert Urbina on TUF, and the sentimental part of me would love to see him claim victory where his brothers fell short. That said, there just isn’t a lot going his way in this match up. He’s a natural Welterweight going up against a Middleweight who held his own against a much stronger wrestler in Petroski on the show. And as good as Urbina is on the mat, Battle’s takedown defense and scrambling are up to the task of keeping it on the feet, where “Pooh Bear” looks to have a decided edge.
With Petroski, he’s custom-built to take out Gillmore. “The Gentleman” has three professional submission losses and got taken down nigh-instantaneously by Urbina, meaning ace wrestler Petroski should have a profoundly easy time just manhandling him in the first couple minutes.
Honestly, a bit on Brady Hiestand could work as well — he’s gritty enough to avoid getting overwhelmed by Ricky Turcios’ pace and appears to have the stronger wrestling game. Just don’t go crazy because Turcios has a lot more professional experience and could just out-cardio him.
UFC Vegas 35 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Jamall Emmers and Mana Martinez: $150 to make $178.50
- Parlay — J.J. Aldrich and Dustin Jacoby: $100 to make $109
- Parlay — Bryan Battle, Mana Martinez, and Andre Petroski: $100 to make $158
- Parlay — Andre Petroski and Brady Hiestand: $80 to make $149.60
UFC Vegas 35 may be a hollow shell of its former self, but there’s some scraps worth watching. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 35 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 35: “Barboza vs. Chikadze” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.