It’s an all-Brazilian affair this Saturday (Aug. 12, 2023) when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to the familiar halls of its APEX venue in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Vegas 78’s main event pits Rafael dos Anjos against bonus-winning machine, Vicente Luque, while former blue chip prospect, Hakeem Dawodu, tries to right the ship in a Featherweight clash with Cub Swanson. If you’ve got ESPN, you can watch this one for “free,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t get money involved anyway. Let’s have a look ...
What Went Wrong at UFC Nashville?
Assu Almabaev’s standup was as pedestrian as ever, but Osbourne just couldn’t deal with the wrestling. I’d figured that Osbourne’s length and grappling could keep Almabaev from making a good shot; however, unfortunately for him, Almabaev’s single-leg was more than he could handle.
It’s about time Ludovit Klein put it all together. My assumption that Bahamondes had fixed some of the issues that let John Makdessi box him up proved incorrect, and with Klein having seemingly fixed his cardio, Bahamondes couldn’t handle the speed.
What Went Right?
Wasn’t how I thought he’d handle it, but can’t argue with the results.
Save for that armbar scare in the second, about as expected. Jake Hadley’s tall, square stance just doesn’t respond well to wrestlers.
I knew coming in that Harris’ front choke would seal the deal. I just thought he’d clip Jeremiah Wells, not get bullied for two rounds before pulling the anaconda out of nowhere. Still, a win’s a win.
UFC Vegas 78 Odds For The Under Card:
Marcus McGhee (-355) vs. JP Buys (+280)
The laws of comedy dictate that now that I’ve completely given up on Buys, this will be the fight where he finally turns things around. Still, he’s the smaller man, taking this fight on short notice, and mentally collapses when he gets hit. McGhee is bigger, a much scarier hitter, and showed off solid takedown defense against Journey Newsom. He’s hard to pass up.
Terrance McKinney (-298) vs. Mike Breeden (+240)
Skip it. McKinney has the skills to blow Breeden out of the water, but he tends to fall apart as fights progress and Breeden is a handful once he gets a bit of momentum.
Francis Marshall (-170) vs. Isaac Dulgarian (+142)
A very small bet on Marshall makes sense. He’s not going to have to chase Dulgarian the way he did William Gomis, and though Dulgarian has a strong wrestling base and a history of quick finishes, his strength of schedule is weak and he hasn’t shown he can fight past the first. Marshall is skilled, seasoned and well-rounded enough to spoil Dulgarian’s debut.
Martin Buday (-218) vs. Josh Parisian (+180)
Parisian gets hit — and taken down — a lot. On my scorecard, he’s 1-4 in the Octagon, and he was getting battered in that one win before wrestling his way to victory. Though Buday is a lot slower than Parisian, his activity and strength in the clinch should be enough to carry him to victory.
Jaqueline Amorim (-238) vs. Montserrat Ruiz (+195)
Amorim should submit Ruiz inside of five minutes, but I’d rather not bet on someone who only had five minutes of gas last time.
Da’Mon Blackshear (N/A) vs. Jose Johnson (N/A)
Odds aren’t out at time of writing. If you can get Blackshear at better than -200, go for it. He looked solid as hell last time out and should be able to match Johnson everywhere, especially with his wrestling.
Luana Santos (-155) vs. Juliana Miller (+130)
I believe in Santos. She hits a lot harder than Miller — and considering Veronica Hardy took down Miller at will — Santos has a clear “Plan B” if things somehow get hairy.
UFC Vegas 78 Odds For The Main Card:
Rafael Dos Anjos (-120) vs. Vicente Luque (EVEN)
Even if Luque wasn’t coming off a brain bleed (details here), I wouldn’t want to touch this one. Luque’s fight with Belal Muhammad showed that he can still struggle with takedown-heavy pressure, but dos Anjos hasn’t consistently been able to out-muscle Welterweights. In short, it’s a 50/50 fight with functionally 50/50 odds.
Hakeem Dawodu (-230) vs. Cub Swanson (+190)
While I’ve given up on Dawodu ever reclaiming the brilliantly violent form that first brought him to the Octagon, he’s hard to pass up here. Swanson proved he can still destroy stationary targets like Daniel Pineda and Darren Elkins, but had no answer for the rangy offense of Jonathan Martinez. Dawodu is an extremely active leg kicker with the skills to take Swanson apart in similar fashion.
Khalil Rountree Jr (-192) vs. Chris Daukaus (+160)
I ordinarily stay away from Rountree fights, but I’ll make an exception here. Daukaus has five knockout losses on his record, three of which came in his last three fights, and Rountree has looked abnormally consistent of late. Dropping to 205 pounds isn’t going to fix what ails Daukaus when speed and fluidity were his reasons for success, and though he’s definitely a more technical striker than Rountree, we’ve seen Daukaus smashed by raw violence more than once.
Iasmin Lucindo (-192) vs. Polyana Viana (+160)
Definitely give me Lucindo here. She’s always been a strong grappler and her striking looks to be coming together. Viana’s been able to catch a few of UFC’s weakest Strawweights, but her fight with Tabatha Ricci showed that she’s still easy to take down. Lucindo should be able to dominate from the top and control the standup through volume and power.
Tafon Nchukwi (-142) vs. AJ Dobson (+120)
On one side is Nchukwi, a painfully slow fighter coming off of two highlight-reel knockout losses. On the other is Dobson, who let Armen Petrosyan kick him in the legs 52 times without ever adapting. Skip it.
Josh Fremd (-325) vs. Jamie Pickett (+260)
Pickett is arguably the worst Middleweight on the roster and Fremd seemed like he finally put it all together against Sedriques Dumas last time out. Fremd is your friend here.
UFC Vegas 78 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Josh Fremd and Francis Marshall: Bet $20 to make $21.40
- Single bet — Luana Santos: Bet $30 to make $19.35
- Single bet — Iasmin Lucindo: Bet $30 to make $15.62
- Parlay — Martin Buday and Hakeem Dawodu: Bet $25 to make $27.25
- Parlay — Marcus McGhee and Khalil Rountree Jr.: Bet $20 to make $18.98
UFC Vegas 78 looks plenty violent, if nothing else. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $125.34
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 78 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN/ESPN+) at 10 p.m. ET.
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