TABATHA RICCI VS. GILLIAN ROBERTSON
The women's strawweight division of 115 pounds where this fight takes place is, in my opinion, the best women's division in the UFC. Robertson's record is a rare case of being misleading in combat sports, she is 12-7 as of now but I think she gets the job done in this fight. Ricci is 3-1 in the UFC and on a three fight winning streak while Robertson is 9-5 in the UFC and on a two fight winning streak. I think there will be a lot of grappling and attempted takedowns in this fight and that's why I give the edge to Robertson. Robertson is an accomplished grappler with seven wins by submission in her tenure with the UFC. Ricci has faith in her ground game as well and recently won her last fight in March of this year by submission. All this being said I think where this fight will take place will heavily favor Robertson and I predict a submission finish for her ending the budding hype train Ricci has cultivated for herself. At +110 on DraftKings as of Friday, June 23rd, 2023 I like Robertson in this fight.
WELLINGTON TURMAN VS. RANDY BROWN
I honestly am very unsure of how to call Wellington Turman Vs. Randy Brown. My lack of faith in both men has me curious as to the odds for this one. I'm shocked Brown is a - 230 favorite to Turman's +195 underdog status. I'll take Turman at these odds as I'm shocked Brown is such a heavy favorite coming off a huge loss in February of this year to Jack Della Maddalena, a fighter who I believe very much in their potential. Brown and Turman have both had rough runs in the UFC thus far with each man failing to make much headway but I believe with their records someone is going to get finished with strikes in this fight. At current Draftkings odds I believe this fight is a lot closer than people think and I'll take Turman to KO or TKO Brown as I believe this will be a striking affair.
BRENDAN ALLEN VS. BRUNO SILVA
Brendan Allen Vs. Bruno Silva is a battle of Kryptonite Vs. Kryptonite. Allen is susceptible to being finished with strikes, to the extent the pillow fisted Sean Strickland was able to TKO Allen in November 2020. The same Sean Strickland with only three KO/TKO victories in the UFC to his name, he just isn't able to hurt and finish UFC caliber guys. Bruno Silva has amassed a UFC record of 4-2 with all four wins coming by KO/TKO while one loss was to submission ace Gerald Meerschaert. Silva excels in the striking where Allen is susceptible to being hurt and finished while Allen excels in grappling and finding submission finishes which is a weakness of Silva. Allen has six submission finishes in the UFC and if he is able to take this fight to the mat, he comfortably submits Silva. If in any way his plan is challenged, and every fight starts standing, Silva's power will overwhelm Allen and lead to another finish by strikes for Silva. At +160 to Allen's -190, do what you will with my provided info, but I'll take Silva by KO/TKO in this fight. Can't fault anyone putting Allen by submission on their bet slip either as this fight is closer than most think due to the nature of both men's wins and losses being so glaringly obvious.
AMANDA RIBAS VS. MAYCEE BARBER
Amanda Ribas Vs. Maycee Barber is an exciting fight in women's flyweight of 125 pounds. Maycee Barber was touted as the future of the division, it's even her fighting nickname, but her quick rise was cut short by two losses in a row and an injury that took some of her time away for recovery. She's now on a four fight win streak but two of those wins were very controversial split decision victories over Andrea Lee and Miranda Maverick. Many fans and pundits believe she should be 2-2 as a result but the judges make these decisions and disagreed. Ribas is genuinely 2-2 in her last four, but she is the favorite in this fight for a reason to me. At -180 to Barber's +155, I like Ribas in this fight. Barber has lost a lot of momentum in her time in the UFC and skated by with two very controversial decision wins. Ribas by submission seems likely to me and I think she will utilize her grappling to avoid Barber's strikes and secure a submission finish. Grappling seems to be an area where Barber struggles and Ribas is at least quite proficient.
JOSH EMMETT VS. ILIA TOPURIA
I desperately wanted to cling to anything I could think of to justify taking Josh Emmett as such a huge underdog to Ilia Topuria but I couldn't commit. Emmett's veteran status and experience doesn't do it for me, his KO power doesn't, his wrestling skill doesn't, I think it's Topuria's time and anything Emmett can do Topuria can do better. Topuria is an accomplished grappler to counter Emmett's wrestling and Topuria has power in his hands to challenge Emmett's. Topuria has youth and momentum on his side and the only way I see Emmett winning is a freak of nature right hand that he's capable of but unlikely to land. Topuria has also demonstrated a strong chin to take strikes, absorbing a flush headkick from Jai Herbert like it was nothing, experiencing a very brief knockdown. Topuria by submission finish set up by his striking is what I'm going with and at a -340 favorite to Emmett's + 280, this is one of the biggest betting discrepancies on the whole card. If you're feeling froggy take Emmett by KO with such lopsided odds as anything can happen in MMA and one strike can change the fight but I'm all in on Topuria even at those odds.
LAST WEEK'S LOSSES, HELLO DARKNESS MY OLD FRIEND
Last week for the Vettori VS. Cannonier card I really crapped the bed. I was 0-3 with all my picks being handily destroyed in each of their fights. This brings my current record to 1-4 on predictions and I'm hoping I rebound this week. In the words of Conor McGregor, "We either win or we learn", I'm not really sure what I learned other than sucking last week but here's to hoping for a better record this week. In any case, this is the first UFC fight card I've looked forward to in quite some time and I will enjoy watching. As always all betting odds are sourced from Draftkings and I thank you all for reading.