UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosts a clash of Bantamweight contenders this Saturday (May 21, 2022) when Holly Holm and Ketlen Vieira get five rounds to settle their differences in UFC Vegas 55’s main event. ESPN+ viewers will also get to see potential bangers pitting Michel Pereira and Chidi Njokuani against Santiago Ponzinibbio and Dusko Todorovic, respectively, as well as the latest from Jun Yong Park opposite Eryk Anders.
Summer vacation’s coming up, and some extra dosh might help the festivities. Let’s load up!
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 54?
I mean, I can’t really fault Ion Cutelaba for making a dumb mistake and getting finished. It’s in his nature to do boneheaded things in winnable fights. We still eked out a slight profit thanks to Davey Grant and Virna Jandiroba, though, even if “Dangerous” did made me sweat in that second round.
UFC Vegas 55 Odds For The Undercard:
Joseph Holmes (-195) vs. Alen Amedovski (+165)
Jailton Almeida (-630) vs. Parker Porter (+450)
Omar Morales (-160) vs. Uros Medic (+140)
Jonathan Martinez (-220) vs. Vince Morales (+180)
Felipe Colares (-170) vs. Chase Hooper (+150)
Elise Reed (-160) vs. Sam Hughes (+140)
Thoughts: We can work with this. Joseph Holmes, Jonathan Martinez, Felipe Colares and Elise Reed are all worth a look.
I ordinarily try to stay away from fights where one of the competitors is coming off a huge layoff. That’s because mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters can improve at an obscene rate, and Amedovski’s had almost three years to sharpen up behind the scenes. At the same time, I’m not sure he’s won a single minute of his Octagon tenure and was boneheaded enough to try a phone booth fight with John Phillips.
In short, Holmes has got this.
It’s clear that Morales’ early UFC struggles with strong foes like Song Yadong and Chris Gutierrez belied his actual abilities, but Martinez has the sort of long-range, kick-heavy offense that’s decimated “Vandetta” in the past. Though it’s far from a sure thing considering the sort of TNT Morales packs in his right hand, the stylistic match up favors Martinez enough to make him a decent investment.
While very limited in his own right, Colares has the right skillset to give Chase Hooper fits. He’s incredibly difficult to put away, has a remarkably deep gas tank, and has the sheer bloody-mindedness to bully Hooper with raw aggression. There’s an outside chance of Hooper grinding him out — Colares has given up a remarkable number of takedowns during his UFC tenure — but odds are that Colares bosses him around.
Reed’s probably the riskiest of the bunch, hence why she’s tied for the smallest favorite. That said, I do think her mobile, versatile kicking game is a good counter to Sam Hughes’ straightforward striking offense, and she gets to her feet well enough that Hughes’ wrestling shouldn’t be a huge factor.
UFC Vegas 55 Odds For The Main Card:
Holly Holm (-250) vs. Ketlen Vieira (+200)
Michel Pereira (-120) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (EVEN)
Chidi Njokuani (-220) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+180)
Jun Yong Park (-205) vs. Eryk Anders (+160)
Tabatha Ricci (-130) vs. Polyana Viana (+110)
Thoughts: Try Holly Holm, Michel Pereira, Chidi Njokuani and Jun Yong Park.
Ketlen Vieira is a decent fighter, but this main event has five rounds of “ISH ISH ISH” written all over it. “Fenomeno” has been touched up by lesser strikers in the past, and though her grappling is effective, Holm is historically difficult to corral. While there’s Holm’s layoff and age to consider, of course, she seems like a reasonably safe investment.
This will mark Pereira’s fifth consecutive fight against a power puncher, and none of the previous four managed to put a dent in him. Ponzinibbio’s biggest weapons in this match up are his leg kicks, which were nowhere to be seen in his recent loss to Geoff Neal. I like Pereira to stay long and potshot his way to another decision win.
There’s a chance I’m reading too much into Njokuani’s knockout of Marc-Andre Barriault, but this really seems like a favorable matchup for him. He badly outclasses Todorovic on the feet, and though Todorovic managed to drag the extremely limited Dequan Townsend and Maki Pitolo to the mat, odds are that his usual clinch-heavy approach will get him mauled.
As for “The Iron Turtle,” he’s ultra-durable and a capable boxer to go along with his smothering wrestling attack, while Eryk Anders’ only eye-catching performance in the last four years came against the incompetent Vinicius Moreira.
In short, Park’s rock-solid fundamentals make this a very winnable fight for him.
UFC Vegas 55 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Jonathan Martinez and Joseph Holmes: Bet $100 to make $120
- Parlay — Holly Holm and Michel Pereira: Bet $100 to make $157
- Parlay — Elise Reed and Jun Yong Park: Bet $100 to make $142
- Parlay — Chidi Njokuani and Felipe Colares: Bet $100 to make $131
I mean, at least UFC Vegas 55 features Pereira vs. Ponzinibbio, right? See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $1,716.25
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 55 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 (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
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