Elite Bantamweight strikers make a play for contention inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday (Sept. 17, 2022) when Cory Sandhagen squares off with Song Yadong atop UFC Vegas 60. The Middleweight division also hosts some mayhem of its own in Chidi Njokuani vs. Gregory Rodrigues, while Andre Fili and Bill Algeo will look to do the same at 145 pounds.
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Jailton Almeida, Irene Aldana and Alatengheili
Almeida and Alatengheili did exactly what I expected them to do, and while Aldana had to pull some magic out of her hat to get past Macy Chiasson, all that matters is that she got the dub.
The one downside is that the two bets that hit weren’t enough to cover the losses because of the exit of Li Jingliang, who had been in a parlay with Alatengheili. That got turned into a single bet when Li was rebooked against Daniel Rodriguez; had he fought Tony Ferguson as planned and come out victorious — which I’m certain he would have considering their respective performances — it would have been a winning evening. Alas, a very small loss in the end.
I was sweating when they read the decision, doing my best to beam, “you want to give it to Lainesse, it will be very funny if you give it to Lainesse!” into the judges’ heads. I do think he edged it out, but sleepwalking through the second and third rounds wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever seen.
He just couldn’t help himself. He was doing everything right: blasting Chris Barnett’s body, out-boxing him on the feet, smashing him on the ground, and then he got caught up in a fire fight and gassed. The fight was over the second he looked for that takedown in the second round.
“He looked worse than I expected” is usually a cop-out. It’s like the fighter’s at fault for not living up to your expectations when you’re the one who didn’t set those expectations correctly. All that said, Dawodu looked awful, a step below even his loss to Movsar Evloev. His punches had no snap, he couldn’t maintain any sort of aggression, and his takedown defense was nonexistent. Whether it was the weight cut or something else, that’s not who I thought would enter the cage that evening.
Honestly, I can’t even be mad at him. I knew he was great at finding ways to screw it all up and he found a way to screw it all up. I just thought his self-destructive tendencies and Johnny Walker’s self-destructive tendencies would cancel out and just leave Cutelaba’s durability as the deciding factor.
UFC Vegas 60 Odds For The Under Card:
Anthony Hernandez (-180) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+150)
“Fluffy” at better than -200 is a must-have. Barriault is extremely technically limited on both the feet and the ground — he weathers early trouble, then snowballs via solid power and great cardio. Thing is, Hernandez has never been short on persistence, and he badly out-classes Barriault on the ground to boot. Barriault has been out-grappled on numerous occasions and there’s no reason not to think it’ll happen again.
Pat Sabatini (-180) vs. Damon Jackson (+155)
I’ve stated on multiple occasions that I don’t like picking fights where it comes down to whose takedowns are superior. You’ll know whether you guessed wrong within the first few minutes and then you just have to grit your teeth until the final bell. I do, however, believe that Sabatini has the better body of work as far as wrestling in the Octagon. Tucker Lutz in particular had looked unstoppable in that area and Sabatini just ran through him. He’s worth the investment.
Trevin Giles (-205) vs. Louis Cosce (+175)
I can’t help but recommend a tiny investment in Cosce. Giles hasn’t looked good in a fight since 2017 and is coming off of two brutal knockout losses, so while Cosce hasn’t fought in two years and completely beefed it in his debut, the fact that he at least knows how to blitz people makes it worth a shot.
Aspen Ladd (-135) vs. Sara McMann (+135)
Yeah, no, not touching this with a 10-foot pole. McMann might be the most mentally fragile fighter on the roster and Ladd isn’t that far behind.
Loma Lookboonmee (-225) vs. Denise Gomes (+190)
Maybe a smidge on Lookboonmee? She’s less powerful and aggressive than Gomes, but she’s a lot more defensively sound and smoother with her offense. Her arsenal of trip takedowns should also serve her well considering Gomes struggles to get to her feet unless the fence is nearby.
Daniel Zellhuber (-275) vs. Trey Ogden (+230)
He has his flaws, but Zellhuber is a worthy investment even as the second-biggest favorite on the card. It’s hard to overstate how bad Ogden’s stand up looked in his UFC debut, which saw him eat an ungodly number of leg kicks from Jordan Leavitt with no response. The quick, rangy Zellhuber will amputate Ogden’s leg given those sorts of opportunities and he is, on paper at least, sufficiently skilled with his grappling to take Ogden’s top game out of the equation.
Gillian Robertson (-145) vs. Mariya Agapova (+135)
This is almost certainly going to be a one-sided fight, but the direction depends on where it takes place. Agapova’s overwhelming aggression and physicality will bury Robertson on the feet, but if Robinson gets on top, there’s little Agapova can do to get away. I’m picking Robinson at the end of the day, though if you do elect to bet on her, keep it small.
Javid Basharat (-155) vs. Tony Gravely (+135)
Gravely’s a solid underdog pick. He’s way more proven at the highest levels, has a clear wrestling edge, and hits hard enough to at least keep pace on the feet. That’s not to say that Basharat can’t do his usual thing and run circles around him, just that he hasn’t shown the ability to do so against a fighter of this caliber. Gravely is a step above Trevin Jones, and too high a step for my money.
Nikolas Motta (-205) vs. Cameron VanCamp (+175)
Motta has a much stronger track record and a tighter striking attack, not to mention the timing and power with his counters to crumple VanCamp the way Andre Fialho did. The only concern is Motta’s durability, but VanCamp’s not a big hitter and lacks the craft that Jim Miller used to defuse Motta last time out.
UFC Vegas 60 Odds For The Main Card:
Cory Sandhagen (-190) vs. Song Yadong (+160)
Song has improved by leaps and bounds of late, from his takedown defense to his cardio to the fluidity of his punches. That said, Sandhagen is taller, rangier, more active and has a lot more experience going five rounds. On top of that, he’s weathered punches from heavy hitters like Petr Yan in the past, so I don’t see Song turning things around in one shot. In short, a medium-sized bet on Sandhagen isn’t a terrible idea.
Chidi Njokuani (-115) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (-105)
Give me “Robocop,” 100 percent, at near even odds. Even if you favor Njokuani’s technique over Rodrigues’ power on the feet, Rodrigues’ wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu are on another level compared to his foe. The only reason this isn’t a full-throated, unreserved, “put everything you got on the bald one” recommendation is that Rodrigues is a bit fragile and too brawl-happy for his own good, but he’s not to be passed up.
Andre Fili (-125) vs. Bill Algeo (+105)
Here’s a coin flip to avoid. Each has the means to exploit the other’s biggest weaknesses, Fili by punishing Algeo’s poor takedown defense and Algeo by punishing Fili’s lack of durability, so it’s too volatile to put money on.
Joseph Pyfer (-425) vs. Alen Amedovski (+340)
Pyfer’s power and wrestling skills are way too much for a man in Amedovski who has yet to land double-digit cumulative strikes during his Octagon tenure. So, slap him onto a parlay with narrow odds to widen them.
Tanner Boser (-165) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (+140)
Boser is fast and mobile enough to run circles around Nascimento, who’s been torn up on the feet in his last two Octagon bouts, but he also struggles off of his back. Though I do think Boser will win — especially considering the way Nascimento folded against Chris Daukaus and failed to take down the hapless Alan Baudot — keep any investments limited.
UFC Vegas 60 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Gregory Rodrigues and Joseph Pyfer: Bet $80 to make $112.80
- Parlay — Louis Cosce and Loma Lookboonmee: Bet $30 to make $89.10
- Parlay — Daniel Zellhuber and Tony Gravely: $40 to make $88
- Parlay — Anthony Hernandez and Pat Sabatini: Bet $80 to make $113.60
- Parlay — Tanner Boser and Cory Sandhagen: Bet $60 to make $87
- Parlay — Nikolas Motta and Gillian Robertson: Bet $50 to make $75.50
There’s plenty of violence to be enjoyed on this card and some divisionally meaningful match ups to boot. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Additional Investment (Aug. 2022): $400
Current Total: $613.63
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 60 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 (on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
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