After weeks of inactivity, UFC is hitting us with their second card in four days. Following the epic UFC on ABC card that saw Max Holloway break his own record for strikes landed, the UFC is headed back to ESPN with a card that has pretty big welterweight implications. There's not much in the way of value bets but given what we have I was able to make a parlay that I feel pretty strong about. Let's get into it.
Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Sergey Morozov
A few months after Khabib Nurmagomedov retires from competition, his cousin Umar is making his UFC debut. Despite his relation to Khabib, Umar isn’t one to grapple someone to death. He has an impressive catalogue of kicks (check below to see) and has a fun, fan-friendly style. He’s going against a skilled Sergey Morozov, another experienced wrestler from the Caucuses, who should be tough but not tough enough for Umar to overcome. While I believe -500 is kind of ridiculous odds for someone in their debut fight, I’m still taking Umar to win.
Ricky Simon vs. Gaetano Pirrello
Ricky Simon was once the hottest prospect at bantamweight before he was stopped by the legend Urijah Faber. He’s since been beaten by another elite talent in Rob Font, but he rebounded with a win over Ray Borg. He was originally supposed to fight Brian Kelleher, but he has COVID so on a few days notice Gaetano Pirrello is taking this in his first fight for the UFC. Pirrello deserves all the respect for stepping in on such short notice. He’s about to get a rough welcome to the UFC. Simon wins this rather cleanly.
Neil Magny vs. Michael Chiesa
The headliner for this card is between two long grappling heavy welterweights. Don’t expect this to be a wall and stall snoozefest though as Magny and Chiesa are fun to watch on the mat. Both are coming off arguably the best wins of their careers (Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos respectively). While many are expecting this to be a submission war, I expect this one to stay standing. Neil Magny showed the best striking of his career against Robbie Lawler with an improved jab and a newfound ability to truly mix everything together. I anticipate Magny outclassing Chiesa on the feet, a place where Chiesa is average at best. If it does get to the ground, they’re about even in my eyes. Magny at -150 is incredible value to me.
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