One week before the blockbuster UFC 291 pay-per-view (PPV) show, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heads across the pond for Top Aspinall’s triumphant return to action opposite Marcin Tybura. Earlier that afternoon, Molly McCann looks to bounce back from defeat against The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran, Julija Stoliarenko, and Nathaniel Wood attempts to continue his resurgence at Andre Fili’s expense.
The heat wave shows no signs of slowing down, so let’s get you some bills to fan yourself with ...
Nothing, for once, though Evan Elder did give me a scare when Genaro Valdez clipped him in the second.
UFC London Odds For The Under Card:
Daniel Marcos (-140) vs. Davey Grant (+120)
While I favor Marcos’ youth in this match, Grant is so prone to out-of-nowhere heroics that I’d avoid betting on it.
Danny Roberts (-110) vs. Jonny Parsons (-110)
Too close to call. Roberts is fragile and Parsons is flawed, making this overly volatile.
Joel Alvarez (-190) vs. Marc Diakiese (+160)
Diakiese has reverted to a pure wrestler lately, which bodes ill against an extremely adept submission artist. Plus, “Bone Crusher” looked so lost on the feet against Michael Johnson that I don’t like his chances there, either. Try a medium-sized bet on “El Fenomeno.”
Jamal Pogues (-145) vs. Mick Parkin (+125)
Small bet on Pogues just based on his hand speed, experience and wrestling. Parkin looks solid, but his Contender Series opponent was the first warm body he’d faced.
Makhmud Muradov (-315) vs. Bryan Barberena (+245)
Really no reason not to throw Muradov in a parlay. Barberena is desperately undersized at Middleweight — far slower than Muradov — and has no answer for “Mach’s” wrestling.
Ketlen Vieira (-155) vs. Pannie Kianzad (+135)
Rather not touch this one. Odds are they’ll spend most of the time in the clinch, where both women have enjoyed mixed success of late.
Chris Duncan (-150) vs. Yanal Ashmouz (+130)
Duncan’s lack of speed and striking defense make Ashmouz a very appealing underdog. Though Duncan is taller, rangier and a more technically adept kickboxer than Ashmouz, he’s been hurt on multiple occasions in recent bouts. Plus, Duncan relied on his wrestling against Omar Morales, which doesn’t look doable against a powerhouse like Ashmouz. Believe in “Red Fox.”
Bruna Brasil (-150) vs. Shauna Bannon (+130)
Gotta take Bannon as the underdog. Even if Denise Gomes turned out to be way better than we expected, Brasil showed a ton of red flags in that bout, namely a tendency to slowly retreat with her hands down. Bannon is skilled enough to punish that bad habit on the feet and, while not a top wrestler, looks sharp enough to take it to the mat if necessary.
Jafel Filho (-125) vs. Daniel Barez (+105)
Put a very small amount down on Barez. He’s an adept wrestler with scarier hands than Filho, plus crushing low kicks that “Pastor” has proven vulnerable to in the past.
UFC London Odds For The Main Card:
Tom Aspinall (-450) vs. Marcin Tybura (+340)
It’s easy to forget that Tybura is 7-1 in his last eight, but while he’s incredibly underestimated, he also seems entirely out-classed. Aspinall has the faster, heavier hands, not to mention ostensibly superior wrestling. Use Aspinall to beef up a parlay.
Molly McCann (-215) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (+185)
Even if Stoliarenko does successfully cut to 125 pounds, which is far from a given considering her track record, she’s 1-5 in the Octagon. McCann’s aggression and sheer volume look like strong weapons in this matchup, and though she’s had issues with other grapplers before, Stoliarenko is a notoriously poor takedown artist. Moderate bet on McCann, keeping in mind that she’s in trouble if she gets lazy on top.
Try the Over 2.5 at +115, too. Stoliarenko is tough as nails and McCann’s two spinning elbows are her only finishes since 2018.
Nathaniel Wood (-195) vs Andre Fili (+165)
Both men have had durability issues in the past, and though I favor Wood’s overall technical skills, Fili’s height and reach advantages make it a toss-up. Leave it be.
Andre Muniz (-215) vs. Paul Craig (+185)
Rather not touch a Paul Craig fight, especially not after Muniz came out so flat against Brendan Allen.
Fares Ziam (-155) vs. Jai Herbert (+135)
Ziam looked so uncharacteristically sharp against Michal Figlak that I have to take him here. He’s nearly a decade younger than Herbert on top of being the superior wrestler and theoretically the more durable of the two. So long as “Smile Killer” maintains that sort of aggression here, his jab and top control will carry him to victory.
Lerone Murphy (-140) vs. Josh Culibao (+120)
Skip it. Both possess excellent skills and lingering flaws that make this a toss-up.
UFC London Best Bets:
- Single bet — Yanal Ashmouz: Bet $40 to make $52
- Single bet — Shauna Bannon: Bet $50 to make $65
- Single bet — Daniel Barez: Bet $30 to make $31.50
- Single bet — McCann/Stoliarenko Over 2.5: Bet $40 to make $46
- Parlay — Tom Aspinall and Jamal Pogues: Bet $40 to make $40.40
- Parlay — Makhmud Muradov and Fares Ziam: Bet $50 to make $58
- Parlay — Joel Alvarez and Molly McCann: Bet $35 to make $43.05
Fight fans of competitive matchmaking should find plenty to enjoy outside of UFC London’s main event. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $540.34
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC London fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 3 p.m. ET.
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