UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs Green Odds, Best Bets, and Predictions
So I did a little bit better with my picks last week, but still not good enough. I got embarrassed in the main event, and I technically gave two picks for one of the prelim fights so that doesn’t count either.
But this week brings us a brand new slate of fights with lots of unknown fighters–so making picks will be hard for everyone, not just me. The card has a handful of DWCS fighters making their pro Octagon debut, but is headlined by two UFC veterans in Islam Makachev and Bobby Green.
Islam was first slated to fight #3 ranked Lightweight Beniel Dariush, but a broken leg barred him from competing. Bobby Green, who just grabbed a unanimous decision win over Nasrat Haqparast two weeks ago, stepped up and took the fight on incredibly short notice.
The card also sees UFC veteran Misha Cirkunov take another stab at the middleweight division, going up against Wellington Turman, who is 2-3 in his UFC career. I think the true fight of the night will come between Joel Alvarez and Arman Tsarukyan, who are both putting their four-fight win streaks on the line in this lightweight bout.
All in all, the entire card should make for an exciting afternoon–and if you want to get in on the action yourself, you can click HERE to see which sportsbooks are available in your area. The odds for this story will be taken from BetMGM Sportsbook.
Anyway, here are my best bets for this week's UFC card.
Terrance McKinney vs Fares Ziam
This is a lightweight matchup between two young UFC prospects, Terrance McKinney (1-0 in UFC) and Fares Ziam (2-1 in UFC). We didn’t get to see much of McKinney in his octagon debut, seeing as he finished his opponent in just seven seconds. However, he comes into the UFC with a deep history of putting guys to sleep, so I guess it was the perfect introduction.
We’ve actually gotten to see a lot of Ziam in his first three UFC fights, seeing as he’s gone to decision in each of his fights. While Ziam has already accumulated 15 minutes of octagon time, he hasn’t done much to prove his abilities. Honestly, I’m even shocked he’s a favorite in this fight.
McKinney has actually finished his last four fights all in the first round, and all within one minute and thirty seconds of the fight starting. He’ll be looking to keep his hype train rolling with a second win over Farez Ziam.
Pick: Terrance McKinney to Win (+100)
Ignacio Bahamondes vs Zhu Rong
This is another matchup between two young up-and-comers again in the lightweight division. Ignacio Bahamondes (1-1 in the UFC) has two of the most incredible KO’s you’ll ever see: a front kick in his contender series fight, and a spinning heel kick in his last fight in August. Bahamondes is an incredibly unique and awkward striker and is a nightmare matchup for any fighter in the division.
Zhu Rong, also 1-1 in the UFC, is coming off of a TKO finish over Brandon Jenkins back in December, and will try to keep the momentum rolling against Bahamondes. I’m going to do something crazy, and offer a Bonus Pick right off the bat: Exact Method of Victory: KO/TKO/DQ (+130). Someone is going to sleep in this fight–both of these fighters are super technical, which means either one could catch the other with a knockout blow at any moment.
All in all, I feel like Bahamondes will use his length and kicks to keep his distance, which will eventually get his hand raised.
Pick: Bahamondes to Win (-195)
Joel Alvarez vs Arman Tsarukyan
Still prospects in their own right, Alvarez and Tsaruykan both come into this fight with four-fight win streaks of their own. Alvarez has finished each of his four wins, two via TKO/KO and two via submission. Tsaruykan has three decision wins in his stretch, and his most recent win was a first-round TKO over Cristos Giagos in September.
Tsaruykan comes into this fight the favorite, which, if I’m being honest, I don’t quite understand. Joel Alvarez just beat Thiago Moises (who was once thought of as a rising prospect) in November, and has proven his ability to finish the fight however he wants to.
I’ll be going heavy on Alvarez in this one, especially because you can get him at plus money.
Pick: Joel Alvarez (+180)