Mixed martial arts is back in action on Saturday after a couple weeks hiatus. UFC on ESPN 9 prelims betting will take place from the fight APEX in Las Vegas, once again without fans due to Covid 19. The main card is headlined by Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns but 6 fights are strewn out over the prelims including one impressive women’s flyweight match.
Chris Gutierrez (-120) vs. Vince Morales (-110)
The undercard gets started with Chris “El Guapo” Gutierrez (14-3-0) taking on Vince “Vandetta” Morales (9-4). Gutierrez has the momentum in this one after posting back-to-back wins by decision. Morales has gone to a decision in all three of his UFC fits so there’s a great chance this one goes the distance (-285). Morales has yet to even attempt a takedown so this fight will be decided standing up.
Pick: Gutierrez -120
Casey Kenney (-300) vs. Louis Smolka (+230)
The second bout on UFC on ESPN 9 prelims betting is a bantamweight match with the 13-2-1 Casey Kenney a huge -300 favorite. That’s too much to lay in this one but is it a sure thing? The odds make sense considering Louis Smolka is fighting on just a little over a weeks notice but he has finished off opponents by submission and TKO in 2 of his last 3 fights (losing by sub in the 1st as well). Kenney lost via decision his last time out but has fought much more recently (February compared to September).
Pick: Fight Does Not go the Distance +170
Tim Elliott (-165) vs. Brandon Royval (+135)
Tim Elliott (16-10-1) seems like kind of a strange favorite here after dropping his last two fights and 3 of 4 overall. Elliott has submitted via choke in the 1st round in two of those three losses but also finished off Mark De La Rosa with a 2nd round submission. Brandon Royval (10-4)l is making his UFC debut but has won 5 out of 6. Elliott’s akward style and the unknown of Royval make this fight a potential show stealer.
Pick: Elliott by 3-round decision +155
Jamahal Hill (-135) vs. Klidson Abreu (+105)
Jamahal Hill goes by the nickname ‘Sweet Dreams‘ but his first fight in the UFC ended up in a decision back in January over Darko Stosic. It was a win for Hill, of course, pushing his record to 7-0 in mixed martial arts. Hill is 4″ taller and has a 5″ reach advantage over Saturday’s opponent Klidson Abreu (15-4). Abreu has lost 2 of his 3 fights in the UFC but has taken all of them the distance.
Pick: Hill -135
Daniel Rodriguez (-340) vs. Gabriel Green (+260)
Daniel Rodriguez (11-1) looks like an experienced vet in this one even though he has just one UFC fight under his belt. That’s because Gabe Green (9-2) is making his UFC debut. “D-Rod” was impressive in his first match with the organization, finishing off Tim Means with a guillotine choke in the 2nd round. Green has a 6-fight win streak, but only found out about the fight 4 days ago when Kevin Holland suffered an undisclosed injury. Rodriguez has won 5 fights since September 2018 – Green hasn’t fought over that span because of injuries.
Pick: Fight Completes 2 Full Rounds +160
Antonina Shevchenko (-145) vs. Katlyn Chookagian (+115)
Katlyn Chookagian (13-3) lost to a different Shevchenko, Valentina, in a battle for the women’s flyweight championship at UFC 247. She now finds herself back on the prelim card but this time against Antonina Shevchenko (8-1). The 36-year-old Antonina is the older of the two fighting sisters, but she’s 2-1 in the UFC coming off a rear naked choke submission win over Lucie Pudilova but way back in August. Chookagian has motivation and not nearly as much ‘octagon rust’ after fighting in February.
Pick: Katlyn Chookagian +115