Middleweight contender, Sean Strickland, becomes the first UFC fighter to headline back-to-back events this Saturday (Jan. 14, 2023) when he steps up on short notice to face fast-rising striker Nassourdine Imavov inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Vegas 67 will also feature a Featherweight crossroads bout between Dan Ige and Damon Jackson and a potentially explosive Middleweight showdown pitting Punahele Soriano against Roman Kopylov.
To those of you who made a resolution to swear off gambling, happy travels. For the rest, welcome back. Let’s begin ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 66?
Sergey Morozov, Jared Cannonier, Manel Kape and Rafa Garcia
Good work, though Morozov let things get closer than he should have and Cannonier was weirdly muted.
She had the perfect gameplan in the first round, then she just won’t stop leading with naked kicks and hunting for the Thai clinch instead of breaking away when Cory McKenna put her on the fence. I really thought she’d learned something from the Montserrat Ruiz fight.
Turns out I may have underestimated Rinat Fakhretdinov. That was the best performance I’ve ever seen out of him and Battle just had zero answers.
For the life of me, I can’t understand why Matthews didn’t even try to wrestle until the final round. Yes, he proved more fragile than I expected, but he also had an atrocious gameplan. I don’t know if that knockout of Andre Fialho went to his head or what.
Well, I was right about him out-wrestling Michal Oleksiejczuk, but it seems I didn’t put enough stock into the time Brundage got reversed and pounded into oblivion by William Knight. Turns out that wasn’t a one-off thing.
I knew it. I specifically said, “After years of underestimating Julian Erosa, I’m ready to believe, which probably means he’ll end up losing.” I’m adding “Juicy J” to the “do not bet” list.
Again, I’m sorry things didn’t pan out this year. I can’t even blame the Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon judges — I was on fire to start the year and I absolutely squandered it. I’ll do everything I can to get back in your good graces this time around.
UFC Vegas 67 Odds For The Under Card:
Abdul Razak Alhassan (-110) vs. Claudio Ribeiro (-110)
While fights between ultra-aggressive knockout punchers are generally best avoided, I’m with Alhassan here. Ribeiro is slower, easier to hit and a far lesser grappler than “Judo Thunder.” It wasn’t long ago that Ribeiro struggled with a 40-year-old journeyman, while Alhassan had an argument for beating another slugger in Joaquin Buckley last time out. I’m willing to bank on Alhassan.
Mateusz Rebecki (-720) vs. Nick Fiore (+520)
The lines are probably accurate considering their respective pedigrees, but I haven’t seen any recent footage of Fiore, so I can’t really make an informed decision. While Rebecki’s almost certainly going to torch him, the lopsided odds and uncertainty make this one worth skipping.
Javid Basharat (-350) vs. Mateus Mendonca (+290)
This one, as well. Mendonca is a live dog, but has fought for less than a minute since 2020, so it’s hard to say how he’ll look against a very proven product in Basharat.
Allan Nascimento (-350) vs. Carlos Hernandez (+290)
Now this huge favorite? This huge favorite I can get behind. Nascimento has looked excellent in two UFC appearances, fighting the highly capable Tagir Ulanbekov to a controversial loss and completely dominating the vaunted Jake Hadley. His ground game is more than sufficient to ruin Hernandez’s day, so invest in “Puro Osso”
Daniel Argueta (N/A) vs. Nick Aguirre (N/A)
Aguirre looks like a functional wrestler, but his competition has been garbage. Try Argueta if you can get him better than -300.
Charles Johnson (-340) vs. Jimmy Flick (+280)
Even without taking the weird odds fluctuations into account, there’s way too many uncertainties. Johnson can underperform and Flick — while facing a rough style match up — can hit a submission out of anywhere. Therefore, steer clear.
Sijara Eubanks (-250) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+210)
God help me, but I think a little on Cachoeira could work. Eubanks looked awful against Melissa Gatto, and while she’ll have a significant wrestling advantage, Cachoeira carries her power late. Do note that I can’t pick Cachoeira fights to save my life and bet accordingly.
UFC Vegas 67 Odds For The Main Card:
Nassourdine Imavov (-120) vs. Sean Strickland (EVEN)
I’d steer clear. Imavov should be able to take him apart, but it’s unclear whether he can deal with pressure for 25 minutes.
Dan Ige (-125) vs. Damon Jackson (+105)
Jackson as an underdog strikes me as a quality investment. Ige has never been a particularly adept defensive wrestler, a weakness Jackson is incredibly well-suited to exploit. While you can chalk up a lot of Ige’s recent struggles to a high level of competition, Jackson seems to have really come into his own of late ... and that merits a look.
Punahele Soriano (-150) vs. Roman Kopylov (+130)
Too close for comfort. I favor Soriano, but he’s been boxed up before.
Ketlen Vieira (-115) vs. Raquel Pennington (-105)
I actually like Pennington here. She’s definitely the better striker and has looked terrific of late. On top of that, Vieira showed a vulnerability to getting stuck against the fence in her recent win over Holly Holm, and if there’s one thing we know, Pennington is good at, it’s keeping people on the fence.
Umar Nurmagomedov (-750) vs. Raoni Barcelos (+550)
Give a flyer on Barcelos. I don’t care how good Nurmagomedov has looked in the Octagon, nobody at 135 pounds should be a 7.5/1 favorite over someone this dangerous and well-rounded. Barcelos is the best wrestler, submission artist, and boxer that Nurmagomedov has yet faced, and that’s worth a look as a massive underdog.
UFC Vegas 67 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Damon Jackson: Bet $50 to make $52.50
- Parlay — Allan Nascimento and Abdul Razak Alhassan: Bet $60 to make $87
- Single bet — Raquel Pennington: Bet $63 to make $60
- Single bet — Priscila Cachoeira: Bet $30 to make $63
- Single bet — Raoni Barcelos: Bet $20 to make $110
UFC Vegas 67 is a pretty solid way to start the year, all things considered. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
Initial (Boosted) Investment For 2022: $1000
Final total: 885.36 (-11.46 percent ROI)
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 67 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 67: “Strickland vs. Imavov” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.