A former title challenger looking to reclaim his former glory meets a red-hot rising contender this Saturday (March 12, 2022) when Thiago Santos takes on Magomed Ankalaev in UFC Vegas 50’s main event. UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, will also host Bantamweight fireworks between Marlon Moraes and Song Yadong, as well as the return of power-punching Featherweight Sodiq Yusuff opposite the venerable Alex Caceres.
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Well, that was a weird-ass card. I thought both Tagir Ulanbekov and Kennedy Nzechukwu got screwed on the cards, especially since Tim Elliott cheated his ass off against the former, but Marina Rodriguez’s narrow victory and the two wrestlefests on the main card secured a profit.
UFC Vegas 50 Odds For The Under Card:
Matthew Semelsberger (-230) vs. AJ Fletcher (+190)
Gillian Robertson (-135) vs. JJ Aldrich (+115)
Javid Basharat (-145) vs. Trevin Jones (+125)
Damon Jackson (-110) vs. Kamuela Kirk (-110)
Miranda Maverick (-335) vs. Sabina Mazo (+260)
Dalcha Lungiambula (-120) vs. Cody Brundage (EVEN)
Kris Moutinho (-145) vs. Guido Cannetti (+125)
Azamat Murzakanov (-170) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (+150)
Thoughts: That’s a lot of pick-’ems on paper, but there’s more to work with than you might think. Gillian Robertson, Javid Basharat, Kamuela Kirk, Cody Brundage and Azamat Murzakanov all look like bargains.
Robertson’s fights are fairly boolean. If she can consistently take you down, she wins ... if not, she loses. This definitely looks more like the former than the latter, as Aldrich’s solid wrestling doesn’t stack up to “The Savage’s” top-notch grappling.
Barring any shenanigans from the late notice, Robertson takes her apart on the mat.
The stylistic match up between Basharat and Trevin Jones is extremely skewed in the former’s favor. His excellent range management keeps him out of reach of Jones’ one-shot power and he looks like a sufficiently capable wrestler to take Jones’ grappling out of the equation. So long as Basharat shows the same composure he did against Oron Kahlon on Contender Series, he’ll cruise to victory.
Damon Jackson is quite a bit more experienced than Kirk, but his advantages end there. “The Jawaiian” is the superior striker, likely the superior wrestler, and has the grappling chops to keep up with Jackson on the ground. Again, barring any shenanigans from the short notice, it’s his fight to lose.
Athletic wrestlers with overeager striking are a dime a dozen nowadays, but that’s enough to carry Brundage past Dalcha Lungiambula. “Champion Dalcha” backs himself to the fence far too easily, giving Brundage plenty of opportunities to get his wrestling going. While Lungiambula hits hard enough to put Brundage to sleep if he rushes in with his hands down, I like the latter to get his first Octagon victory.
I really don’t see an area where Tafon Nchukwi has an edge over Azamat Murzakanov. The Russian is far faster, a more proven wrestler, and can match or exceed the one-punch power that is Nchukwi’s trademark. He’ll run circles around “Da Don,” so be in position to benefit.
UFC Vegas 50 Odds For The Main Card:
Magomed Ankalaev (-575) vs. Thiago Santos (+410)
Song Yadong (-260) vs. Marlon Moraes (+210)
Sodiq Yusuff (-240) vs. Alex Caceres (+195)
Karl Roberson (-130) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. (+110)
Drew Dober (-170) vs. Terrance McKinney (+150)
Alex Pereira (-180) vs. Bruno Silva (+155)
Thoughts: Not gonna lie, this is one volatile main card. The safest investment looks to be Sodiq Yusuff.
Alex Caceres’ six-fight win streak looks good on paper, but Seung Woo Choi was the best of the lot and “Sting” nearly had him out of there in the first round. Yusuff lacks Choi’s historical weakness on the ground and hits more than hard enough to blast “Bruce Leroy” into next week, making him worth your money.
UFC Vegas 50 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Gillian Robertson and Kamuela Kirk: Bet $80 to make $185.60
- Parlay — Azamat Murzakanov and Cody Brundage: Bet $80 to make $174.40
- Parlay — Javid Basharat and Sodiq Yusuff: Bet $80 to make $111.20
I’ll be very surprised if the main card alone doesn’t produce at least one highlight for the ages. See you Saturday, Manaics.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $1072.86
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 50 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.
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