Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the standard ESPN+ airwaves this Saturday afternoon (Feb. 18, 2023) with its latest APEX show in Las Vegas, Nevada, which sees super-prospect, Erin Blanchfield, take on short-notice replacement, Jessica Andrade, in the main event. UFC Vegas 69 also features a Light Heavyweight clash between Jordan Wright and Zac Pauga, as well as Jamal Pogues’ UFC debut opposite Josh Parisian.
If it can’t be a particularly appealing card, it can at least be a profitable one. Here’s how ...
What Went Wrong at UFC 284?
Loma Lookboonmee, Justin Tafa, Jack Jenkins, Kleydson Rodriguez, Jack Della Maddalena and Jamie Mullarkey
Good work, no notes.
Pedro said after the fight that he’d been dealing with things pre-fight that kept him from competing at his best, and while this could be sour grapes talking, I believe him. He looked markedly less explosive than in recent efforts and bizarrely hesitant to let his strikes go, even the low kicks that were clearly having an effect on Bukauskas. Rough.
He won that fight. Elves Brenner had an argument for winning the first round and the commentators were biased, sure, but there’s no rational for giving him either of the second two rounds, much less both. Even the people in the cage got caught on a hot mic calling the cards “insane.” But hey, I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough whining about mixed martial arts (MMA) scoring from me and others.
I don’t remember him being that bad. It wasn’t just the fact that he looked like he’d never seen lateral movement before. Oh, no, it was much worsea: he threw his punches like he was scared to put more than 40 percent effort into them. I think I got so familiar with Bilder’s flaws that it blinded me to the fact that Young wasn’t equipped to exploit them.
That damn fence grab. If he’d just accepted the takedown and let the equally exhausted Crute fail to generate enough offense from the top to get a 10-8, everything would have been hunky dory. At least a draw is a refund and not a loss.
UFC Vegas 69 Odds For The Under Card:
Mayra Bueno Silva (-435) vs. Lina Lansberg (+350)
If Silva employs any sort of tactical thinking, she wins this. She’s far younger than Lansberg and a far heavier hitter, but held back by her lack of cage cutting and wrestling. Luckily for her, Lansberg’s usually more than happy to clinch, so Silva shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to her preferred distance and doing damage. Use “Sheetara” to juice up narrow odds.
Nazim Sadykhov (-170) vs. Evan Elder (+145)
Having refreshed my memory on Elder’s UFC debut against Preston Parsons, it wouldn’t be accurate to chalk up all the issues he had to the weight difference. He showed a serious vulnerability to counters that Sadykhov is well-equipped to exploit, and he doesn’t have the lateral movement needed to defuse Sadykhov’s stalking offense. Sadykhov looks to have too much firepower for him, making him a worthwhile investment.
Philipe Lins (-225) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (+190)
Part of what makes Lins’ constant withdrawals so annoying is that he’s not a bad fighter. He moves well and puts his punches together nicely. There’s just too much going on outside the cage for me to put money on a fight between him and what’s left of Saint Preux.
Khusein Askhabov (-125) vs Jamall Emmers (+105)
Steer clear because Askhabov hasn’t fought since 2020 and Emmers is incredibly adept at shooting himself in the foot.
Clayton Carpenter (-280) vs. Juancamilo Ronderos (+235)
Carpenter should have the edge thanks to his top game, but he’s still quite green, and Ronderos is no slouch despite that UFC debut loss to David Dvorak. Too volatile for my tastes.
A.J. Fletcher (-255) vs. Themba Gorimbo (+215)
“I will do the exact same thing and expect a different outcome,” said the very sane sports writer. In all seriousness, Fletcher is miles above Gorimbo in overall striking and wrestling technique. The big issue is his shoddy cardio, but because I’m a sympathetic soul and/or someone desperate for a win, I’m willing to believe it’ll hold out better in Las Vegas than it did at altitude.
UFC Vegas 69 Odds For The Main Card:
Jessica Andrade (-165) vs. Erin Blanchfield (+140)
I’m a true believer in Blanchfield and have been since before her professional debut, but this is too much, too soon. There are two ways to beat Andrade: either take her apart at a distance or attack head-on with more power or wrestling than she can handle. Blanchfield’s pressure offense is effective and her ground game potent, but she’s not going to bulldoze Andrade the way Zhang Weili and Valentina Shevchenko did. While “Cold Blooded” has incredible potential, a five-round fight with one of the scariest women in the world is too tall a task at this stage of her career.
Zac Pauga (-275) vs. Jordan Wright (+230)
It’s become clear by this point that Wright can’t make up for his fragility and technical deficiencies with raw heart. This would be a rough out even if they were the same size, but Wright’s fighting above his natural weight class against a very capable striker. Pauga’s worth a look even at close to one-in-three odds.
Jamal Pogues (-240) vs. Josh Parisian (+200)
Pogues should win on the strength of his boxing, but he’s just not very impressive as a Heavyweight, and he’s shown a vulnerability to low kicks that Parisian can capitalize on. Best avoided.
William Knight (-115) vs. Marcin Prachnio (-105)
Not touching a fight between these train wrecks.
Alexander Hernandez (-230) vs. Jim Miller (+195)
It’s important to keep in mind that two of the three men Miller beat in his current streak were Erick Gonzalez — one of the worst members of UFC’s Lightweight roster — and the free-falling Donald Cerrone. His knockout of Nikolas Motta and Hernandez’s frontrunner tendencies are enough to make me consider a flier, but keep it small.
UFC Vegas 69 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Mayra Bueno Silva and Jessica Andrade: Bet $70 to make $67.96
- Parlay — A.J. Fletcher and Nazim Sadykhov: Bet $60 to make $72.60
- Parlay — Zac Pauga and Jim Miller: Bet $30 to make $90.60
Well, at least it’s not on pay-per-view (PPV). See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
Current Total: $316.40
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 69 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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