This coming Saturday (March 26, 2022) will see Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, host the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event, with Curtis Blaydes facing fellow Heavyweight bruiser, Chris Daukaus, in the main event. Also in store for UFC Columbus are a pair of intriguing Flyweight bouts in Alexa Grasso vs. Joanne Wood and Askar Askarov vs. Kai Kara-France, as well as a Welterweight slugfest between Matt Brown and Bryan Barberena.
It figures to be a fun evening, so what say we make it a profitable one, too?
What Went Wrong at UFC London?
That darn chin! Timur Valiev had the momentum going into the third round against Jack Shore, but his historically poor durability came back to bite him once again. Still, the other three bets hit, so even with that loss and Nathaniel Wood’s exit blunting the payout of a parlay, we came out well ahead.
UFC Columbus Odds For The Undercard:
Neil Magny (-235) vs. Max Griffin (+190)
Karol Rosa (-220) vs. Sara McMann (+180)
Danaa Batgerel (-150) vs. Chris Gutierrez (+130)
Manon Fiorot (-450) vs. Jennifer Maia (+340)
David Dvorak (-135) vs. Matheus Nicolau (+115)
Aliaskhab Khizriev (-525) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (+385)
Luis Saldana (-120) vs. Bruno Souza (EVEN)
Thoughts: It’s a bit of an oddball lineup this week, but I think we can still make it work. Neil Magny, Chris Gutierrez and David Dvorak look like decent investments. And Manon Fiorot is a fairly safe parlay stuffer, too.
There are two major archetypes that the modern incarnation of Magny loses to: suffocating grapplers and strikers who can compromise his movement without getting taken down. Max Griffin, hot streak or no, is neither. Magny shouldn’t have much trouble piecing him apart at long distance and/or dragging him to the mat anytime things get hairy. Plus, he’s durable enough that a freak one-hitter quitter is incredibly unlikely.
That’s a bargain at -235.
I will not deny that Danaa Batgerel is tons of fun to watch and hits like a truck, but his UFC strength of schedule has been pretty damn weak. While Gutierrez doesn’t have many standouts among his five Octagon victims, he’s definitely the more proven of the two, and the chances of him tearing up Danaa’s lead leg are high enough to merit an underdog pick.
Full disclosure: I’ve long sung David Dvorak’s praises and underestimated Matheus Nicolau. I can justify this pick, though: Dvorak has far better striking defense than his opponent and is the cleaner puncher to boot. Though Nicolau does have a very dangerous ground game at his disposal, Dvorak’s takedown defense has historically held up well.
Toss him in.
As far as Fiorot, Maia just lacks the tools to keep “The Beast” from doing what she always does: dancing at distance and piling up combinations. Fiorot’s got a significant reach advantage and what looks like a clear edge in speed, so even if she’s as one-note in her approach as she was against Mayra Bueno Silva, there’s little stopping her from cruising to a decision.
UFC Columbus Odds For The Main Card:
Curtis Blaydes (-380) vs. Chris Daukaus (+290)
Alexa Grasso (-225) vs. Joanne Wood (+185)
Bryan Barberena (-110) vs. Matt Brown (-110)
Askar Askarov (-335) vs. Kai Kara-France (+260)
Ilir Latifi (-190) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+160)
Viacheslav Borshchev (-160) vs. Marc Diakiese (+140)
Thoughts: I’ve got to say, not a lot to go on here. Maybe a parlay of Askar Askarov and Viacheslac Borshchev?
Outside of the fact that he hasn’t fought in a year, Askarov looks to have a lot going his way. We’ve seen Kara-France struggle on the mat on multiple occasions, and the Russian’s striking has become potent enough that he’s not at a huge risk on the feet. The only noteworthy threat is Kara-France’s punching power, which has produced a measly two Octagon finishes.
In short, bank on Askarov.
A knockout over the mediocre Dakota “Hairy” Bush does not an immediate contender make. That said, Borshchev’s ferocious and technical striking attack looks like too much for the inconsistent Marc Diakiese. “Bonecrusher” is 2-5 in his last seven and only one of the men he beat in the Octagon is still part of UFC. It’s a wash on the feet, and Team Alpha Male has bolstered Borshchev’s defensive grappling to the point where Diakiese’s wrestling isn’t a threat.
Not bad for -160.
UFC Columbus Best Bets:
- Parlay — Neil Magny and David Dvorak: Bet $100 to make $148
- Parlay — Manon Fiorot and Chris Gutierrez: Bet $100 to make $181
- Parlay — Askar Askarov and Viacheslav Borshchev: Bet $100 to make $111
UFC Columbus is our last event before a two-week break and it looks like a fun one. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $1,472.39
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Columbus fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Columbus: “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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