Women’s Bantamweight knockout artist, Irene Aldana, looks to become the promotion’s fourth Mexican titlist this Saturday (June 10, 2023) when she challenges women’s G.O.A.T., Amanda Nunes, atop UFC 289, which will take place inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ESPN+’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-feature sees Beneil Dariush attempt to finally secure a Lightweight title shot at Charles Oliveira’s expense, while rising Canadian Welterweight Mike Malott takes on upset artist Adam Fugitt.
It’s another overpriced PPV, so let’s see if we can’t replenish your funds a bit ...
I don’t disagree with the judges’ scorecards. Nurmagomedov got off to a great start, but was weirdly passive afterward, allowing Zaleski to claw his way back into the fight. I do, however, want to acknowledge that Zaleski’s takedown defense held up a lot better than I thought it would.
I also want to acknowledge that Ron McCarthy is a weirdo for giving Zaleski the first round, but not the second.
I genuinely thought he’d have a lot more wrestling success against Da’mon Blackshear, and I certainly didn’t expect him to sell out on fruitless leglocks. I also underestimated Blackshear’s grappling in the process.
And everything was going so well. The pressure was working a treat (even though the takedowns weren’t coming), but he got sloppy and ran headlong into a punch he couldn’t withstand. Them’s the breaks.
His tactics worked for a bit, but to his credit, Don’Tale Mayes made the necessary adjustments, upped his output, and ultimately brought the infamous Arlovski chin back to the forefront.
What Went Right?
Elise Reed, Daniel Santos and Tim Elliott
We could have done without Reed giving up early takedowns and Santos making things difficult for himself by kicking Johnny Munoz in the nuts (gory details here), but they got the job done.
UFC 289 Odds For The Under Card:
Nassourdine Imavov (-150) vs. Chris Curtis (+130)
Imavov underwhelmed against Sean Strickland to the point where an underdog bet on Curtis makes sense, as “The Action Man” looks to have the skills and toughness to exchange with Imavov. I’d ordinarily hold off, seeing as Curtis had no answers for the rangy offense and low kicks of Jack Hermansson, but Imavov’s complete inability to deal with Strickland’s bog-standard 1-2s has me thinking he’ll give Curtis the close-quarters scrap he wants.
Miranda Maverick (-295) vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius (+245)
Slap some down on Maverick. She’s had some issues with takedown defense, but she’s overall a much stronger grappler than Jasudavicius, not to mention a faster and more versatile striker.
Aoriqileng (-125) vs. Aiemann Zahabi (+105)
A small bet on Aoriqileng seems prudent. Zahabi is a notoriously weak takedown artist, which makes Aoriqileng’s poor defensive grappling a non-factor. On the feet, Aoriqileng hits harder and lands more — and though Zahabi could try the pure spoiler approach that carried him past Ricky Turcios — “The Mongolian Murderer” figures to be a far less passive foe.
Blake Bilder (-240) vs. Kyle Nelson (+200)
Bilder has a sufficiently weak chin that I don’t feel comfortable putting money on him.
David Dvorak (-275) vs. Steve Erceg (+230)
Erceg’s got great counters and submissions, and while I do think Dvorak’s going to overpower him down the stretch, “The Undertaker” gets hurt worryingly often and a club-and-sub from “Astro Boy” is too feasible to warrant a bet.
Diana Belbita (-110) vs. Maria Oliveira (-110)
Actually really liking Belbita’s odds here. Oliveira has some serious defensive issues that allowed Marina Rodriguez to brutalize her on Contender Series and Vanessa Demopoulos to drop her hard last time out. Belbita’s big weakness is her ground game, which Oliveira lacks the skills to exploit, and “Warrior Princess” can match Oliveira’s strike output with superior power.
UFC 289 Odds For The Main Card:
Amanda Nunes (-320) vs. Irene Aldana (+265)
Speaking as a fan of Irene Aldana, Amanda Nunes is a steal at -320. Aldana struggles badly to cut off the cage (as we saw when Holly Holm ran circles around her for 25 minutes) and gave up multiple takedowns to both Holm and Macy Chiasson. Nunes is a stronger wrestler than either of them, so even if Aldana does pose a threat in the pocket, there’s not a lot stopping “The Lioness” from playing keep-away and taking it to the ground as needed.
Beneil Dariush (-145) vs. Charles Oliveira (+125)
This is way too close to call. Two extremely well-rounded fighters with come-forward styles and a tendency to get dropped in dramatic fashion.
Mike Malott (-205) vs. Adam Fugitt (+175)
Skip it. Fugitt really impressed me against Yusaku Kinoshita, so while I’m not prepared to pull the trigger on an upset bet, I’m also not keen on betting on Malott.
Dan Ige (-250) vs. Nate Landwehr (+210)
Nate Landwehr rules and I hope we see him in the Octagon for years to come. That said, Ige looks like a real problem for him, being too tough to knockout and too well-conditioned to grind out. Ige’s also got some real power, which is an issue for someone in Nate who’s been cracked badly in the opening round before. There’s a chance that Landwehr out-wrestles him, but there’s enough going Ige’s way to earn my nod.
Marc-Andre Barriault (-145) vs. Eryk Anders (+125)
Skip it. Both Barriault and Anders have had some bad losses, and Anders rediscovering his power last time out makes this more volatile than I’d like.
UFC 289 Best Bets
- Single bet — Chris Curtis: Bet $30 to make $39
- Parlay — Amanda Nunes and Diana Belbita: Bet $40 to make $60
- Parlay — Miranda Maverick and Dan Ige: Bet $46 to make $40
- Single bet — Aoriqileng: Bet $37.50 to make $30
Well, at least UFC 289’s top two fights are good. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $605.76
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 289 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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