While Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira gear up for their title rematch at UFC 294 next month, the ultra-deep Lightweight division offers another banger this Saturday (Sept. 23, 2023) when Rafael Fiziev battles Mateusz Gamrot inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC Vegas 79 will also see Bryce Mitchell return to action against the always-game Dan Ige and Marina Rodriguez rematch Michelle Waterson-Gomez. Next week’s a rare free weekend from the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, so let’s squeeze as much profit out of Saturday’s battles as we can. Here’s how ...
I can’t complain about the scores too much when I had Grasso eking out the fourth round, but damn was it frustrating to watch. Outside of the knockdown, all of Shevchenko’s issues were self-inflicted; while the bad shot that let Grasso knee her in the face was cringeworthy, it was that absolute mess in the fifth that’s inexcusable. Literally all she had to do was keep jabbing Grasso’s face off — as she had for the previous three-or-so minutes — and she’d have won with zero controversy. Alas.
He had the right gameplan in the first, keeping Kyle Nelson at bay with front kicks and slipping-and-ripping whenever Nelson tried to force his way in, but seemed to completely lose focus after Nelson clipped him in the second. Frustrating, to say the least.
What Went Right?
Raul Rosas Jr., Jack Della Maddalena, Lupita Godinez, Roman Kopylov and Josefine Knutsson
Dominant performances from everyone besides Della Maddalena, who still won the first and third rounds fairly decisively.
UFC Vegas 79 Odds For The Under Card:
Daniel Argueta (-185) vs. Miles Johns (+154)
Try a medium-sized bet on Argueta. Johns, though more well-rounded, is gun-shy to the point of absurdity and often fails to properly utilize his weapons. Argueta can win this through sheer persistence and aggression, so be sure to invest.
Andre Fialho (-175) vs. Tim Means (+145)
I like Means as an underdog, honestly. Though by far the older and more shopworn of the two, he’s still fairly sharp on the feet, while Fialho got virtually skunked by Muslim Salikhov and Jake Matthews. Fialho’s been knocked out three times in a row and had few moments of success in those bouts; on top of that, he lacks the grappling skill that usually gives Means issues. “The Dirty Bird’s” got one more flight in him.
Jacob Malkoun (-485) vs. Cody Brundage (+370)
Can’t argue with these lines. Brundage flat-out ceases to function when put on his back, to the point where even the largely hapless Sedriques Dumas sat in his guard for 11 minutes to no ill effects. It won’t be pretty, but Malkoun wins easy.
Mohammed Usman (-166) vs. Jake Collier (+136)
Skip it. I’d tab Collier as a tempting underdog based on the fact that he has actual mixed martial arts technique, but Usman knows how to stink out a joint and we just saw Collier struggle with another lumbering ox in Martin Buday.
Mizuki Inoue (-298) vs. Hannah Goldy (+240)
Even with Inoue’s time away, it’s hard to imagine her losing here. Goldy has consistently underwhelmed in the Octagon and been out-classed on the feet by lesser strikers than Inoue.
Tamires Vidal (-238) vs. Montserrat Rendon (+195)
Neither woman has impressed me, but Vidal is a decade younger, hits harder than Rendon, and is stronger in the clinch. Just don’t go crazy; Rendon has a Leonard Garcia-esque knack for winning bogus decisions.
UFC Vegas 79 Odds For The Main Card:
Rafael Fiziev (-166) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (+140)
Too close to call. Fiziev’s massive striking advantage and strong takedown defense are offset by inconsistent cardio, which held up against Raphael dos Anjos’ pressure cooker, but failed him against Bobby Green. Too much ambiguity for my taste.
Bryce Mitchell (-205) vs. Dan Ige (+170)
All signs point to a return to form for Mitchell. Last year, Ige’s takedown defense folded in the face of Movsar Evloev’s high-volume takedown assault, which Mitchell has the means to replicate. Though Ige does pack a punch, Mitchell more than proved his ability to walk through fire in his war with Andre Fili and subsequent bulldozing of Edson Barboza. In short, bank on “Thug Nasty.”
Charles Jourdain (-145) vs. Ricardo Ramos (+114)
Put a little flyer on Ramos. As much as I love Jourdain, his defensive grappling is a bugbear he can’t shake. Shane Burgos and Nathaniel Wood consistently defused his high-flying striking with clinches and takedowns. After seeing Ramos neutralize another rangy, high-volume kickboxer in Bill Algeo, I feel safe recommending an underdog bet.
Bryan Battle (-175) vs. AJ Fletcher (+145)
Try a bit on Battle. While Fletcher is better than his 1-2 UFC record would suggest, Battle’s got nearly a foot of reach on him and the know-how to use it.
Marina Rodriguez (-310) vs. Michelle Waterson-Gomez (+245)
Rodriguez already beat her once, but her iffy performances lately, combined with the fact that Waterson-Gomez was very unfortunate to not get the decision over Luana Pinheiro last time, make me hesitate to recommend a bet at such lopsided odds.
UFC Vegas 79 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Tim Means: Bet $50 to make $72.50
- Parlay — Jacob Malkoun and Ricardo Ramos: Bet $40 to make $63.20
- Parlay — Dan Argueta and Bryan Battle: Bet $40 to make $56.80
- Single bet — Bryce Mitchell: Bet $90 to make $43.90
- Parlay — Mizuki Inoue and Tamires Vidal: Bet $60 to make $53.57
UFC Vegas 79’s main event alone is worth a watch, so be sure to tune in. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
August Bailout: $500
Current Total: $653.13
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 79 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 79: “Fiziev vs. Gamrot” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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