Dread it, run from it, deny it, another Holly Holm main event is fast approaching. As I try to cater to all audiences from the casual MMA fan to the hardcore, I will say Holly Holm is a legend in the sport and a sure-fire Hall of Fame candidate. I just hate that Holm, the first woman to not only beat Ronda Rousey but also knock her out cold, is appearing to stick around the sport in what I feel is her decline that has been going on for a few years now. It's my humble opinion and hope that win or lose Saturday night Holly can retire from the sport. She's achieved championship status before, the pinnacle of the sport and was a pioneer in women's MMA, for her many accomplishments I salute her. Being honest if you're an avid viewer of the UFC you know this card is weak but 290 really spoiled us and we still have that hangover. If you're tuning in this weekend and not keeping up, I won't lie and try to sell this card to you lol. I will go over some interesting fights I can glean info from to help identify tantalizing match ups present on a thin card.
AUSTIN LINGO VS: MELQUIZAEL COSTA
This fight is flying under my radar and everyone else's but I just looked at the odds and I'm intrigued. I like Lingo as the +195 underdog according to DraftKings compared to Costa as the -230 favorite. I feel the odds should be a little closer. Lingo has less overall fight experience at 9-2 to Costa at 19-6 but Lingo is 2-2 in the UFC, and this is only Costa's second UFC fight overall. Both men are coming off 2nd round submission losses but Lingo was very competitive in his fight until he got caught. Looking at the UFC matchup statistics on their website Lingo is at 0.55 takedowns average in his UFC tenure while Costa is 0.00. Very modest numbers for both men but Lingo's accuracy on those is 66% to Costa's 0% and the key I see is Lingo's takedown defense is at 78% to Costa's 42%. With both men coming off submission losses I'd see grappling being a key to victory in this fight and if Lingo is the one initiating these exchanges, I feel he will come out on top. He has a way better chance of defending Costa's takedowns and getting his own takedowns to get a submission victory. I'm going Lingo on this one.
NAZIM SADYKHOV VS: TERRANCE MCKINNEY
This fight won't last long but for as long as it will be it's going to be entertaining. Nazim is coming off a TKO win in February of this year in the UFC and Terrance is coming off a brutal flying knee KO loss from January this year. I was on the Mckinney train until that happened but with that being his second brutal KO loss in the UFC I'm starting to get concerned. It's tough for a young prospect to come back from those losses and Nazim seems poised to steal that shine for himself. Ben did a great breakdown for me on the podcast entitled "Crazy hot streaks and this weekend's best bets" so check that out as he took the words right out of my mouth with his great insight. Nazim is operating at a 5.17 significant strike rate per minute while Mckinney is 3.78. Nazim is more accurate with those at 52% to Mckinney's 48%. Nazim defends against strikes at a 56% rate to Mckinney's 43% defense rate. Mckinney statistically holds the grappling edge, but this is supposed to be a high paced striking affair and both men have dynamite in their hands but it's all about who can land first to end the fight and I give the edge to Nazim. I'm surprised with Mckinney's recent woes that Nazim isn't more of a favorite as DraftKings odds currently have Nazim at -150 to Mckinney's +130 though Mckinney has slipped in the past few days in the odds. At any rate, I believe this is more of a mismatch and I'm taking Nazim by a TKO or KO finish.
JACK DELLA MADDALENA VS: BASSIL HAFEZ
This fight isn't worth a betting discussion as Jack is a ridiculous favorite, but I won't pass up a chance to gush and shill for Jack if I get it. Jack was supposed to have a banger of a fight on UFC 290 we just had but unfortunately his opponent had to withdraw with injury and the newcomer who replaced him withdrew with another serious medical issue. Jack has had bad luck securing opponents and Bassil is another UFC newcomer scheduled to finally give Jack his fight this Saturday. Should be an easy fight for Jack and if you're not an avid fan I'll tell anyone who will listen that Jack is a promising prospect and the 170-pound division's next big thing. His boxing is crisp and precise mixing up shots to the head and body, something still lacking in all levels of MMA to this day. Too many fighters head hunt and look for the highlight KO that way but Jack can also get the reel going with vicious body shots. His grappling is severely underrated, and he will use his striking to set up submission finishes like he did against Randy Brown. Unfortunate that this fight does nothing for him in the rankings and he's earned a step up in competition, but he can't control his opponents getting injuries in training camp. Tune in to this to see what I'm excited about.
HOLLY HOLM VS: MAYRA BUENO SILVA
I'll be honest, even though this is the main event I didn't want to write about it as it didn't excite me until I looked at the odds. Being that I primarily analyze betting odds on fights I gotta push and at least point out I don't hate Holm as the favorite in this fight. -175 to Silva's +150 underdog status. Silva is a submission and grappling machine, but Holm was a world class boxer and world champion in that sport before transitioning to MMA. Can anyone remember what happened last time Holm faced a submission ace and world-renowned grappler? Holm easily avoided Rousey and her grappling attempts and Rousey was a fish out of water in the striking exchanges where Holm held clear advantage. If Silva can't impose her grappling Holm will comfortably cruise to a decision victory and hopefully retire on a good note. This has shades of Robbie Lawler VS Niko Price last week where the UFC gave the vet in Robbie a gracious and fun fight send off to set up a nice retirement promo. Holm has only been submitted in MMA once by the legendary Miesha Tate in 2016 and I think Silva isn't the grappler that Tate was when she competed.
THE RECORD SO FAR, SWEET REDEMPTION
I beat myself up when I'm wrong and try not to gloat too much when I'm right, I'm a simple man. Going into UFC 290 last week I desperately needed a break as my record was at 2-8. Catching a break is an understatement as I thankfully went 5-1 with my predictions for 290 with the only blemish being I thought Whittaker would win handily against Du Plessis. In fairness hardly anyone thought Du Plessis would go out and dismantle Whittaker the way he did. Personally, I was happy to be wrong on that because I love Whittaker and he's a legend and former champ but 185 desperately needed new blood and Du Plessis is now setting himself up as the new challenger to Israel Adesanya. I look forward to that fight hopefully being made and doing analysis on it when the time comes. My record is still pretty terrible at 7-9 but I'm hoping to ride the streak and continue positive trajectory. Looking to the future, next weekend's July 22nd UFC Fight Night looks promising and I'm most excited to hopefully make my first of many Bettor in Green podcast appearances around the week of July 29th. July 29th is the next UFC PPV and has numerous great fights top to bottom providing me with a plethora of content to pour over and keep me busy. Watching tv earlier today before this article I was reminded Jake Paul is fighting UFC legend Nate Diaz in a professional boxing match on August 5th this year and after looking at odds quickly wished I had amnesia. Unless there's a dramatic odds swing or crazy event I probably won't say much about that card as I only know about one other match up on that card I'd feel comfortable talking about. Last update would be time and schedule permitting when the UFC has dry spells in between PPVS like now I'd be interested in expanding analysis to the UFC's number two competitor in America which is Bellator. I'm grateful for the ability to make MMA related content and Bellator periodically has interesting enough match ups for me to enjoy doing analysis and betting odds on to diversify content. As always thank you for reading and supporting me and the great guys at Bettor in Green podcast, check them out on YouTube and watch for me to appear soon.
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