It’s a Saturday MMA extravaganza as the UFC will host two events in two separate countries. With UFC Fight Night: Mousasi vs. Hall 2 in Belfast, Ireland and UFC Fight Night: Bader vs. Nogueira 2 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, we get 25 bouts in total, with plenty of fun bets to select from.
While it would be fun to provide you with options to consider for every single bout, I am confident the last thing you would like to read is a novel about what ifs and what could happen. We can analyze the various matchups at nauseum, break them down on paper, but as you know, “paper doesn’t fight paper”. This is MMA, and the old adage often rings true: anything can happen.
But, if things are going to happen, why not try and predict them, consider putting a few dollars down to make it fun and hope our MMA Crystal Ball is actually crystal clear, and not a murky mess.
Let’s take a look at the Belfast card …
I’m excited for the octagon debut of 12-0, undefeated bantamweight Brett Johns (-210), a fighter I’ve seen compete numerous times in person with Titan FC. He’ll be facing off against Kwan Ho Kwak (+190), who is an underdog in this tilt, despite also being undefeated at 9-0. While I do believe Johns will emerge victorious, he’s coming off a knee injury and getting the finish will be a challenge. It’s not the greatest option to select, but I feel safe going with the +110 with Brett winning via decision.
Then there’s the lightweight scrap between Kevin Lee (-115) and Magomed Mustafaev (+105). For some reason, this matchup feels like it’s going to play out like two heavyweights going at it: it won’t go the distance and someone could be going to sleep. Flip a coin on this one, cause I’m kind of liking the Lee via T/KO at +585 or Mustafaev via T/KO at +255.
The event will also see a flyweight tilt between Kyoji Horiguchi (-200) and Ali Bagautinov (+185). While my Fightful Podcast host Sean Ross Sapp favors Horiguchi big time, I’m not so sure I’m buying what he’s selling. Yes, Kyoji can win this bout but I don’t believe these odds are telling the true story here. Looking at the various prop bets, I’m leaning towards this one also going to a decision, with Horiguchi winning one at -110 or Bagautinov winning one at +284. Both are safe bets to me.
In the main event, Gegard Mousasi is heavily favored at -525 while Uriah Hall, who defeated him already once before, is the underdog at +450. Since that loss though, Mousasi has gone 3-0, with a brutal beatdown of Vitor Belfort in his last bout, while Hall has gone 0-2, losing via TKO vs. Derek Brunson in his last bout. At +170, it seems most of the public is looking for another T/KO by Mousasi, effectively evening the score with Hall in Belfast. I tend to agree.
Moving on to the Sao Paulo show, Justin Scoggins (-175) will be making his bantamweight debut vs. Pedro Munhoz (+165). If Justin can keep this fight standing or keep his limbs in check, the T/KO victory at +335 looks tempting. But if he cannot, and Munhoz does get it to the ground, that +760 via submission looks great. Unfortunately, it’s a number that has been dropping over the past two days.
Krzysztof Jotko (+150) vs. Thales Leites (-160) is an interesting bout to dissect. Provided Leites can focus on getting this one down to the mat, and not going toe to toe with his opponent, the +275 on a Leites submission is a fantastic fun bet.
As for the final three bouts of the evening, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn’t believe all three of them will end in some sort of finish. If you ask me, Claudia Gadelha via T/KO (+531) or submission (+410) are both safe plays, as is the T/KO (+105) for Thomas Almeida over Albert Morales.
In closing, the main event between favorite Ryan Bader (-345) and and underdog Antonio Rogerio Noguiera (+315) screams T/KO for “Darth Bader”. If you agree, you can get the prop at +120.
If you disagree, feel free to let me know as well … give me your fun bets for both of these events, by hitting me up on social media: @ShowdownJoe.