Alexandre Pantoja (-190) vs Askar Askarov (+155)
Alexandre Pantoja (22-4) is coming into UFC fight night 173 betting off a stellar 1st round KO back in December. It was a nice bounce back fight for “The Cannibal” after losing a DEC last July following a 3-0 start to his UFC career.
Askar Askarov (11-0-1) has some nice value as he’s never lost a fight in his MMA career. “Bullet” had a split decision in his UFC debut in September but followed that up with a DEC win in January. As expected, this fight to go ‘over’ 2.5 rounds is listed at -225 meaning this one likely comes down to the judges. 3 of Pantoja’s last 4 wins have come in the 1st round though.
Pick: Under 2.5 rounds +175
Ariane Lipski (-125) vs Luana Carolina (-105)
There’s a good chance the Ariane Lipski (12-5) vs Luana Carolina (6-1) fight goes the distance. Lipski is 1-2 in the UFC with all three bouts going 3 rounds. Carolina won her octagon debut in May 2019 also via decision. This fight to go over 2.5 rounds is a whopping -350 wager.
6 of Lipski’s 12 career wins have come via KO. Carolina comes in on a 6-fight win streak though after losing a DEC in her opener. In this virtual toss-up bout go with the slight underdog.
Pick: Carolina -105
Marc Diakiese (-170) vs Rafael Fiziev (+140)
Marc Diakiese (14-3) lost the only three fights of his career in a consecutive stretch from July ’17 to July ’18. He’s bounced back a bit with two straight decision wins to push his UFC mark to 5-3. Rafael Fiziev (7-1) would seem to have value here coming off a DEC win last October. Fiziev also fell prey to a 1:26 spinning back kick KO in his octagon debut though.
This fight to go ‘over’ 2.5 rounds is -200 meaning the judges will likely decide the winner. 13 of their combined 21 wins have come early though and under 2.5 at +160 is too good to pass up, especially with all the uncertainty of “Fight Island”
Pick: NO fight does not go 2.5 rounds +160
Jack Hermansson (-115) vs Kelvin Gastelum (-115)
It’s a matchup of two fighters trying to get right when Jack Hermansson (20-5) meets Kelvin Gastelum (16-5). Hermansson would seem to have the value even after a loss in September as he had a 4-game fight win streak prior to that. Hermansson had won 6 of 7 fights prior to his last loss.
Gastelum has dropped two in a row, his last being a split decision in November. A 3rd straight defeat is looking likely as well as Hermansson has a 4″ height, 6″ arm reach, and 7″ leg reach in this bout. The fact that oddsmakers have made this UFC fight night 173 betting matchup a -115 ‘toss up’ is dumbfounding actually.
Pick: Hermansson -115
Deiveson Figueiredo (-225) vs Joseph Benavidez (+175)
The main event for UFC fight night 173 betting is a rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) and Joseph Benavidez (28-6). Figueiredo missed weight in February costing him the flyweight belt after a 2nd round TKO of Benavidez. The two fighters will once again battle for the strap on Saturday
It’s hard not to like Figueiredo in this one as he comes in on a 3 fight win streak – two ended early. Benavidez has experience though having fought in the UFC since 2008. It’s the second matchup and the strategy should be on full display with these two familiar opponents.
Pick: Fight completes 3 full rounds -115