UFC 264: Undercard Betting Guide & Predictions - 7/10/21
My picks are in bold. All odds are mean odds taken from www.bestfightodds.com
Carlos Condit (Opened at +150, currently at +156) vs.
Max Griffin (Opened at -175, currently at -190)
I’d love to see Condit continue his career resurgence but this is a bit of a tough one. Condit defeated Court McGee and Matt Brown in his last two but he gets a step up here in Griffin. Before I even started researching this one I thought Griffin was going to be the “young gun” coming up to derail Condit’s resurgence but it turns out Griffin is 35 to Condit’s 37. Griffin definitely has an athletic edge but this is not as lopsided as the odds suggest. I think Griffin’s athleticism and aggression might be the factor here however. He’s shown a penchant recently for walking down guys with strikes and then mixing in the grappling. Even if it doesn’t work it is likely going to be enough to stifle Condit’s awkward style. So the order of operations for me on this one is: passing on the bet, picking Griffin to win, but rooting for “The Natural Born Killer” to upset.
Niko Price (Opened at +150, currently at +152) vs.
Michel Pereira (Opened at -175, currently at -172)
I mentioned this one in my card preview article and I’m pretty pumped for it. These are two wild men and it should be a blast. Pereira has dialed back his craziness a bit for sure but it’s actually for the best as he’s at his best countering his opponent. That seems to be a perfect recipe for Pereira since Price is an aggressive striker. I’ll take Pereira to win but there is a huge layer of unpredictability to Pereira so will pass on the bet (and probably why the line hasn’t changed too much).
Ryan Hall (Opened at +185, currently at +198) vs.
Ilia Topuria (Opened at -220, currently at -248)
Ryan Hall is going to throw wheel kicks and pretend to slip or pull guard for 15 minutes. That sounds crazy but he’s a leg lock wizard who has been utilizing this strategy for success his entire career. Topuria is better in a lot of ways but one mistake or miscalculation and his ankle could be snapped. I don’t see that happening but this is a very intriguing matchup. I think Topuria is crafty enough on the ground to avoid getting subbed so he’s my pick. No real value on that line though. This could end up being a very bizarre fight.
Dricus du Plessis (Opened at +110, currently at -119) vs.
Trevin Giles (Opened at -130, currently at -104)
Bookies have this as the closest fight on the card which is pretty accurate. I’ve flip flopped on this one actually so take that into consideration. I’m hoping that Giles doesn’t just self-destruct and shoot in on a takedown and get guillotined (du Plessis has a decent choke and is strong enough to get the finish in this realm if Giles serves it up). If this stays on the feet (which is the strategy that Giles SHOULD employ) then Giles should exploit his edge in technique on route to the win. Du Plessis didn’t give me any indication he’s looking to grapple in his fight with Perez last October so I’m going to side with Giles.
Early Preliminary Card
Jessica Eye (Opened at +150, currently at +162) vs.
Jennifer Maia (Opened at -175, currently at -195)
Ugh. This fight should be garbage. I’ve watched a bunch of fights from both girls trying to find an edge here and it’s taken the best out of me. This one is probably going to decision and will most likely end up as a split at that. I think Maia is going to win the striking exchanges and will hopefully score some takedowns to seal it but the judges have been all over the place with awarding effective grappling lately. Maia by decision at +110 is pretty good value and probably worth a sprinkle in prop territory.
Omari Akhmedov (Opened at +165, currently at +142) vs.
Brad Tavares (Opened at -190, currently at -172)
Tavares has ridiculously good takedown defense and that will probably be the x factor here. That doesn’t mean he won’t get held against the cage for incredibly long periods of time defending it though. Combine that with Tavares’s tendency to be a bit passive and a fight that is incredibly winnable for him may end up being way closer than it should be. I’ll side with him for the pick but not much value betting him.
Zhalgas Zhumagulov (Opened at -400 , currently at -335) vs.
Jerome Rivera (Opened at +300, currently at +260)
Can’t believe I’m saying this but this will probably be the best fight on the early prelim card. I researched both guys, watched a pile of their old fights and then felt great about Zhumagulov. Then I checked the odds and well...that sucks. Everything analytically says Zhumagulov should finish Rivera but with a low output style, Rivera could make this close. Especially if he doesn't get finished. Odds are way too wide but I’m not willing to take the flyer here. Easy pass.
Alen Amedovski (Opened at -175, currently at -136) vs.
Hu Yaozong (Opened at +150, currently at +112)
Yaozong made his UFC debut at heavyweight, lost. Then he dropped to light heavyweight, lost. Then he got suspended by USADA and somehow still didn’t get cut by the UFC. Once again he has dropped a weight class and is fighting at middleweight for this. He hasn’t fought since 2018 but his opponent, Amedovski, hasn’t fought since 2019. Amedovski could certainly thump Yaozong out early (we saw Yaozong get dropped and battered against Coulter) but we also saw Amedovski get soundly out grappled against Jotko (and Yaozong has legit Greco-Roman grappling so there’s avenues for both guys). But who knows how these guys will look after the layoffs and the division changes. I’m going to side with Amedovski just because Yaozong’s striking defense is atrocious and Amedovski has some power but that is assuming that both guys have not changed much from their previous efforts. With the layoff, there’s room for big improvements from both guys which adds quite a level of unpredictability. Even still, this should be a legitimate weight cut for the first time in Yaozongs career and combined with the fact he’s no longer on that muscle sauce, I’ll pick Amedovski but will pass on betting on it.
Moneyline & Parlay
Topuria & Tuivasa (Tuivasa is on the main card which can be found here)
Maia by Decision