Professional Fighters League (PFL) veteran, Abus Magomedov, gets the opportunity to jump right into Middleweight contention this Saturday (July 1, 2023) when he battles Sean Strickland atop UFC Vegas 76, which will take place inside the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Earlier in the evening, Damir ISmagulov battles wrestling menace Grant Dawson and undefeated Welterweight prospect, Michael Morales, faces his stiffest test to date in Max “Pain” Griffin.
The Fourth of July is approaching fast, which means it’s time to save up for fireworks, beer and assorted barbecued meats. Let’s get you some discretionary spending money ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Jacksonville?
My hypothesis was that Robertson could out-wrestle Tabatha Ricci and, for the most part, she didn’t even try. She only really committed to one or two attempts and spent the rest of the time listlessly plodding after Ricci. Baffling, honestly.
Speaking of baffling, that was an all-time bad performance by Brundage. He seemed laser-focused on trying to lose. For example, he broke even on the feet and hit some easy takedowns on Sedriques Dumas, but insisted on fruitlessly jumping for guillotines and then acting like a dead fish off of his back. His gameplan was asinine to the point of being indistinguishable from a dive.
I really didn’t think Chepe Mariscal’s judo would play such a factor. Peek did a good job of consistently getting to his feet, but couldn’t handle Mariscal mixing up his grappling and striking. In short, it was a much stronger performance from Mariscal than I expected.
Everything was going great until it wasn’t — he slowed down just enough for Onama to ruin him (watch it).
Well, only so much I can say about a fight that lasted a half-minute before Austen Lane nearly scooped his eyeballs out.
Ribas had the right gameplan and was executing it well, pressuring Barber and hitting takedowns, but going for that kneebar was an unforced error that spelled the beginning of the end.
What Went Right?
Yeah, nah, he didn’t win that fight. I can see how the judges would score it for him, as I thought he lost the first two rounds 60/40ish, but neither he nor I deserved to see that pick pay off.
He tried to blow it with a lack of activity down the stretch, but managed to just eke it out.
He also tried to throw the fight away by letting Wellington Turman out-work him in the third round.
UFC Vegas 76 Odds For The Under Card:
Rinat Fakhretdinov (-200) vs. Kevin Lee (+170)
As skilled as Kevin Lee is, I’m not sold on him as a Welterweight. He got overwhelmed by Daniel Rodriguez after a decent first round and failed to impress against the shambling corpse of Diego Sanchez last time out (watch highlights). I’m not 100 percent sold on Fakhretdinov, either, but he’s a huge Welterweight with strong wrestling, which is a nice set of traits to have against an undersized grappler prone to fading. In other words, go ahead and toss “Gladiator” in there.
Joanderson Brito (-1400) vs Westin Wilson (+850)
These are some boxing-ass odds, but I can’t say I disagree. Wilson is out-gunned in every conceivable aspect of mixed martial arts (MMA) and got flatlined by Teruto Ishihara the last time he fought a warm body. It’s probably not worth betting on Brito, though, because you’d need a huge investment to get any kind of meaningful boost in a parlay.
Karol Rosa (-175) vs. Yana Santos (+150)
Even with her recent struggles, I like Rosa here. There’s an argument to be made that Santos should be 1-4 in her last five, and she’s repeatedly shown durability and wrestling issues that Rosa has the skills to exploit.
Guram Kutateladze (-600) vs. Elves Brener (+450)
Go ahead and slap Kutateladze in a parlay if you’re desperate for a little extra juice. He’s a far better striker than Brener and has proven monstrously difficult to hold down, making him a safe investment.
Ivana Petrovic (-210) vs. Luana Carolina (+180)
I like Petrovic at these odds. She’s got excellent top control and solid takedowns, especially from the clinch in which Carolina often finds herself. While Petrovic does have a tendency to get clipped, she’s extremely difficult to finish and fights well through adversity.
Alexandr Romanov (-135) vs. Blagoy Ivanov (+115)
Hold off on this fight until the weigh-ins. If Romanov comes in less than 240 pounds, he’s probably got this, but Ivanov might be worth a look if “King Kong” is as flabby as he was against Alexander Volkov.
UFC Vegas 76 Odds For The Main Card:
Sean Strickland (-165) vs. Abus Magomedov (+140)
Much as I loathe watching Strickland, I don’t see any reason not to invest in him. Magomedov has one win in the last 2.5 years and that was against a UFC washout in Dustin Stoltzfus. He has no experience going five rounds, looks out-classed on the feet, and lacks the wrestling skills to actually implement his top game against an experienced grappler like “Tarzan.” In short, expect a classic Strickland jabfest.
Damir Ismagulov (N/A) vs. Grant Dawson (N/A)
Weirdly, DraftKings hasn’t posted moneyline odds for these two, only over/unders. Honestly, though, it’s probably worth steering clear unless you can get Ismagulov as an underdog. Otherwise, the threat of Dawson’s takedowns make Ismagulov too risky and Dawson’s cardio issues make him too risky as well.
Michael Morales (-240) vs. Max Griffin (+200)
I’d leave this be, as Griffin is prone to razor-close fights and Morales — who hasn’t fought in nearly a year — is still largely unproven.
Melissa Gatto (-210) vs. Ariane Lipski (+180)
Lipski is someone I just can’t seem to get a bead on, so while I do favor Gatto after watching her score takedowns against a very capable wrestler in Tracy Cortez, I’ve got a gut feeling telling me to leave it alone.
Ismael Bonfim (-315) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (+260)
Bonfim should be able to sprawl-and-brawl his way to victory, though these lines do seem overly lopsided. Probably still some value there, though.
Bruno Ferreira (-190) vs. Nursulton Ruziboev (+160)
I wouldn’t touch this one. Ruziboev can be boom-or-bust, and while he’s far stronger than Ferreira on the mat, he’s also not a particularly fearsome striker.
UFC Vegas 76 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Guram Kutateladze and Sean Strickland: Bet $92 to make $80
- Parlay — Karol Rosa and Ismael Bonfim: Bet $70 to make $74.90
- Parlay — Rinat Fakhretdinov and Ivana Petrovic: Bet $60 to make $72.60
At least it’s free on ESPN, right? See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $507.34
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 76 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 (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 76: “Strickland vs. Magomedov” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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