After delivering fireworks with UFC 290 last weekend — the best event to date in 2023 — UFC returns to its unpopular Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, this weekend (Sat., July 15, 2023) for a decidedly more low-key card headlined by Holly Holm vs. Mayra Bueno Silva. ESPN/ESPN+ viewers will also see Jun Yong Park battle Albert Duraev and rising Welterweight star, Jack Della Maddalena — who got hosed last week — sticking around “Sin City” to punch Bassil Hafez in the face on super short notice.
There’s still plenty of summer to enjoy, so let’s ensure you’ve got the liquidity for it ...
I firmly believe he would have gotten the decision if he hadn’t slipped near the end of the second, but full credit to Dan Hooker for fighting his butt off in a way I didn’t think he was capable enough anymore (broken bones galore). No complaints about the decision.
I knew she could be hurt; I just figured, incorrectly, that she’d clip Denise Gomes first.
Dricus Du Plessis fought the most put-together fight of his life and Whittaker just couldn’t keep up (watch highlights).
What Went Right?
Tatsuro Taira, Esteban Ribovics, Alonzo Menifield, Cameron Saaiman, Vitor Petrino, Jesus Aguilar and Alexander Volkanovski
Good work, team, even if Tatsuro Taira cut it a bit close.
UFC Vegas 77 Odds For The Under Card:
Melsik Baghdasaryan (-170) vs. Tucker Lutz (+145)
I’m torn. On one hand, Lutz looked absolutely awful against Daniel Pineda. On the other, Baghdasaryan trains under Edmond Tarverdyan and hasn’t really faced a focused wrestler yet. Eh, what the heck, go with Melsik. I genuinely think he’s got what it takes to sprawl-and-brawl, and if he loses, at least you get the consolation prize of something bad happening to Edmond.
Viktoriia Dudakova (-210) vs. Istela Nunes (+180)
Skip it. Dudakova is green and Nunes tends to fall apart when the early finish isn’t there.
Jack Della Maddalena (N/A) vs. Bassil Hafez (N/A)
Bet on “JDM” if you can get him at better than, like, -600. Hafez is a tank, but he’s got a very limited striking arsenal and his wrestling shouldn’t be a threat to someone who overpowered Ramazan Emeev.
Melquizael Costa (-210) vs. Austin Lingo (+180)
Yeah, go ahead and put “Melk” in there. His big weakness is how easy he is to take down, which won’t be an issue against a focused boxer in Lingo. On the feet, Costa’s kicks look like more than Lingo can handle, so he’s a decent investment.
Evan Elder (-275) vs. Genaro Valdez (+230)
Hard to pass up Elder, even at nearly 1:3 odds. He’s a far better boxer than Valdez, showed off a great chin against Sadykhov, and hits more than hard enough to smash the amazingly hittable “Rayadito.”
Azat Maksum (-410) vs. Tyson Nam (+310)
Not touching this. While Maksum is younger and far more well-rounded, he can leave his chin out, which is bad news against a dangerous counter-puncher in Nam. At the same time, Nam cannot be trusted to throw enough volume to win a decision if the knockout isn’t there, so betting on him isn’t recommended.
That said, the over 2.5 is at +115. Since I like Maksum to win but fail to finish Nam, that seems like the way to go.
Alex Munoz (-150) vs. Carl Deaton III (+130)
I’m going Munoz, even with the layoff. Deaton’s takedown defense looked grievously underdeveloped against Joe Solecki and he’s nothing to write home about on the feet, either. If Munoz’s gas tank is good and he’s in the headspace to commit to takedowns, he should win without issue.
Ailin Perez (-190) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (+160)
I want to bet Perez by dint of Evans-Smith being terrible, but the latter’s been out for years and we all saw Veronica Hardy return from a huge layoff looking like a completely different fighter. Leave it be.
UFC Vegas 77 Odds For The Main Card:
Holly Holm (-180) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (+155)
I wouldn’t bet on this one, largely because of Bueno Silva’s questionable decision-making. She’s dangerous enough to beat Holm in the clinch now that “The Preacher’s Daughter” is more focused on grinding than doing her classic “ISH-ISH-ISH” routine, but at the same time, she’s overly willing to accept bad positions and has no cage cutting skills. If you want to put money down, put a bit on Bueno Silva, but be prepared for some frustration.
Jun Yong Park (-155) vs Albert Duraev (+135)
This looks plenty winnable for “The Iron Turtle.” Duraev clearly does not have more than two rounds of gas, and though Park can be a bit easy to take down, he’s extremely difficult to hold down. Park’s pace looks like more than Duraev can handle, so while it could get a bit hairy if Duraev manages to stay functional past the first half of the second round, Park’s got enough going his way to merit a look.
Norma Dumont (-145) vs. Chelsea Chandler (+125)
Too close to call. Though Dumont is unquestionably the superior boxer, Chandler hits like a truck and really only needs to get on top once to finish things.
Francisco Prado (-120) vs. Ottman Azaitar (EVEN)
Not sure if I can justify this as more than a gut feeling, but I like Prado here, as he’s a lot younger and more well-rounded than Azaitar. On top of that, Azaitar is an ultra-aggressive knockout puncher who got folded like a lawn chair last time, which can’t be good for his confidence. While Prado didn’t exactly set the world on fire against Jamie Mullarkey, Azaitar has neither Mullarkey’s boxing chops nor his grappling skills.
Nazim Sadykhov (-145) vs. Terrance McKinney (+125)
Considering McKinney’s current identity crisis, Sadykhov seems like a decent investment. “T-Wrecks’” attempt to reinvent himself into a more patient fighter allowed Ismael Bonfim to exploit his lingering technical deficiencies, and between Sadykhov’s counter-punching and counter-wrestling skills, he has the means to do the same. Just keep it small, as Sadykhov has been clipped before.
UFC Vegas 77 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Maksum/Nam Over 2.5: Bet $30 to make $34.50
- Parlay — Melquizael Costa and Nazim Sadykhov: Bet $30 to make $44.70
- Single bet — Alexander Munoz: Bet $60 to make $40
- Parlay — Evan Elder and Jun Yong Park: Bet $40 to make $49.60
- Single bet — Francisco Prado: Bet $36 to make $30
- Parlay — Evan Elder and Melsik Baghdasaryan: $30 to make $34.80
Yeah, UFC Vegas 77 is ... yeah. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $306.74
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 77 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 77: “Holm vs. Bueno Silva” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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