One of the Lightweight division’s fiercest competitors meets one of its most impressive comeback stories this Saturday (Feb. 26, 2022) when Islam Makhachev squares off with red-hot late replacement, Bobby Green. Up at Middleweight, Misha Cirkunov looks to reclaim his former momentum at Wellington Turman’s expense, while Priscila Cacheoire trades hands with Ji Yeon Kim in a Flyweight war and Arman Tsarukyan battles Joel Alvarez in a potentially pivotal Lightweight clash.
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 48?
I actually wrote in my “Prelims” piece that Jessica-Rose Clark dawdling in the clinch with Stephanie Egger was a bad idea, and guess what happened. Luckily, despite a panic-inducing start from David Onama and a shaky performance from Parker Porter, we still came out well ahead.
UFC Vegas 49 Odds For The Under Card:
Ignacio Bahamondes (-220) vs. Rongzhu (+180)
Josiane Nunes (-200) vs. Ramona Pascual (+170)
Fares Ziam (-120) vs. Terrance McKinney (EVEN)
Jinh Yu Frey (-180) vs. Hannah Goldy (+155)
Jonathan Martinez (-235) vs. Alejandro Perez (+190)
Ramiz Brahimaj (-365) vs. Micheal Gilmore (+280)
Carlos Hernandez (-125) vs. Victor Altamirano (+105)
Thoughts: Terrance McKinney, Jonathan Martinez and Carlos Hernandez look like quality investments, as does Jinh Yu Frey.
I recommended betting on McKinney the last time he was supposed to fight Farez Ziam and my reasoning hasn’t changed. “Smile Killer” has zero urgency on the feet and has been taken down by lesser wrestlers than McKinney in the past. For all of Ziam’s striking skill, it doesn’t look like he’ll be able to keep McKinney off of him, which makes “T-Wrecks” worth a look as an underdog.
I’ll admit to underestimating Alejandro Perez in the past, but this really looks like an uphill battle for him. Martinez is taller, longer, hits harder and takes a better shot. While Perez is the stronger ground artist, his wrestling isn’t sufficient to put “Dragon” on his back. Between the real potential for a (technical) knockout finish and the fact that Martinez is the busier on the two on the feet, making a decision win more than feasible, Martinez is a safe bet.
As volatile as fights between debuting fighters can be, the stylistic match up in the opening “Prelim” bout definitely favors Hernandez. Victor Altamirano doesn’t hit hard enough to decisively punish Hernandez’s defensive lapses, is vulnerable to combination striking, and can be far too apathetic with his takedown defense. It’s a pick-’em on the feet, but Hernandez’s stronger ground game turns things decisively in his favor.
While I’d ordinarily be extremely loath to bet on Frey — who’s often more than happy to let fights get away from her from sheer passivity — but she actually demonstrated some solid output in her last outing. In addition, she’s got the skills to toss around Hannah Goldy in the clinch like Emily Whitemire did and enough power in her left hand to exploit “24K’s” leaky defense. I say go for it.
Never mind, Goldy’s out with illness. Slap Ignacio Bahamondes in there instead; he’s busier and more versatile than Rongzhu on the feet, not to mention very adept at keeping it there.
UFC Vegas 49 Odds For The Main Card:
Islam Makhachev (-800) vs. Bobby Green (+550)
Misha Cirkunov (-115) vs. Wellington Turman (-105)
Ji Yeon Kim (-165) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+145)
Arman Tsarukyan (-225) vs. Joel Alvarez (+185)
Gregory Rodrigues (-155) vs. Armen Petrosyan (+135)
Thoughts: Gregory Rodrigues is one of the biggest bargains on the card, though there’s also money to be made on Arman Tsarukyan.
Armen Petrosyan is an absolute monster on the feet. Armen Petrosyan also got manhandled by two of his last four opponents before getting back to his feet and turning things around. Considering “Robocop’s” grappling pedigree, he only really needs one good takedown to ruin Petrosyan’s day, and he also hits hard enough to starch “Superman” the way Hasan Yousefi did less than one year ago.
In short, bank on Brazil.
I genuinely thought Joel Alvarez would flame out in the Octagon, or at least peak well below the top. As much as he’s exceeded my expectations, I just don’t like his chances against Tsarukyan. His venomous grappling doesn’t figure to faze “Ahalkalekets” who damn-near matched Makhachev on the mat, and Tsarukyan’s striking has developed enough to make him a match for Alvarez on the feet.
UFC Vegas 49 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Jonathan Martinez and Carlos Hernandez: Bet $80 to make $125.60
- Parlay — Terrance McKinney and Ignacio Bahamondes: Bet $60 to make $114.55
- Parlay — Gregory Rodrigues and Arman Tsarukyan: Bet $80 to make $110.4
UFC Vegas 49 is not the prettiest card, but we’ve seen plenty of unassuming events overdeliver. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
*** As always, remember this is not investment advice nor is it an invitation to gamble. Be responsible and always do your own due diligence.***
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $815.91
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 49 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 49: “Makhachev vs. Green” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.