Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday (Sept. 4, 2021) with a literal dozen fizzled fights in its wake, offering a 10-fight card headlined by a pivotal Middleweight clash between Derek Brunson and Darren Till. Earlier that evening, top Heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall meets veteran grinder Serghei Spivac, Alex Morono steps up on short notice to meet David Zawada, and Light Heavyweights Khalil Rountree Jr. and Modestas Bukauskas attempt to get back on track at each others’ expense.
It’ll be another two weeks before the next show, so let’s see if we can’t make UFC Vegas 36 a little more memorable ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 35?
We had a couple of painful near-misses: Jamall Emmers had Pat Sabatini dead to rights, only to try and go submission-for-submission with a superior ground finisher, and Brady Hiestand was one judge short of upsetting Ricky Turcios. Luckily, Bryan Battle, J.J. Aldrich, Dustin Jacoby, Andre Petroski and Mana Martinez managed to produce a very slight net profit.
UFC Vegas 36 Odds For The Under Card:
Ji Yeon Kim (-115) vs. Molly McCann (-105)
Jack Shore (-470) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (+375)
Charles Jourdain (-175) vs. Julian Erosa (+155)
Marc-Andre Barriault (-155) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+135)
Jonathan Martinez (-165) vs. Marcelo Rojo (+145)
Thoughts: Hard to put together a blockbuster night of bets when 12 different proposed match ups exploded on the runway, but we can work with this. Let’s see what we can squeeze out of Shore, Jourdain, Barriault and Martinez.
When someone’s more than a -500 favorite and isn’t Valentina Shevchenko, there’s a decent chance it’s a case of hype train gone wild. Not so with Shore — he has late-notice opponent, Liudvik Sholinian, out-classed in virtually every aspect of mixed martial arts (MMA), most notably in the stand up.
“Tank” wins this however he wants, so use him to bulk up parlays.
Julian Erosa’s steadfast commitment to putting on exciting fights despite being built for angry sharpshooting is admirable. It’s also gotten him knocked out six times as a professional and once in the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) house by Artem Lobov, a man so stumpy Erosa could theoretically just stiff-arm his forehead like an older brother. Though plenty flawed himself, Jourdain’s speed and power are far beyond anything “Juicy J” can handle on the feet, and the Canadian’s a solid enough scrambler to keep Erosa from leaning on takedowns instead.
In short, put your faith in “Air” Jourdain.
Dalcha Lungiambula was never what you’d call a striking technician, but I can safely say I expected more than the bizarre flailing swings he employed against Markus Perez last time out. That’s not going to cut it against a big, durable and heavy-handed bruiser like Marc-Andre Barriault, who’s also significantly busier than Lungiambula. “Champion Dalcha” only wins this if he can hold Barriault down for long stretches, which has become increasingly difficult as “Power Bar’s” bolstered his defensive grappling.
In sum, Lungiambula could surprise me, but I like Barriault to outlast him like he did Abu Azaitar.
Martinez, meanwhile, just strikes me as a flat-out better striker than Marcelo Rojo. While “Pitbull” is tough as nails and packs some power, “Dragon” has a clear edge in overall kickboxing technique. And if his confidence is still intact after that one-hitter quitter from Davey Grant, it’s his fight to lose.
UFC Vegas 36 Odds For The Main Card:
- Darren Till (-175) vs. Derek Brunson (+155)
- Tom Aspinall (-250) vs. Serghei Spivac (+210)
- Alex Morono (-140) vs. David Zawada (+120)
- Modestas Bukauskas (-155) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. (+135)
- Paddy Pimblett (-140) vs. Luigi Vendramini (+120)
Thoughts: Not seeing much, honestly. The only value I can maybe see is in Brunson, since the guy just keeps flipping the script and Till is just 1-3 in his last four appearances. In more concrete terms, Brunson is the best wrestler Till has faced thus far and has shown signs of increased durability since those debacles against “Jacare” Souza and Israel Adesanya, making it feasible that he can out-last Till in the championship rounds.
It’s worth a look, at least.
UFC Vegas 36 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Charles Jourdain and Jonathan Martinez: Bet $120 to make $182.40
- Parlay — Jack Shore and Marc-Andre Barriault: Bet $120 to make $120
- Parlay — Jack Shore and Derek Brunson: Bet $80 to make $167.20
At least UFC Vegas 36 is in the afternoon (start time of 1 p.m. ET) and doesn’t conflict with anything during primetime. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 36 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN+ at 4 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 36: “Brunson vs. Till” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.