Junior Dos Santos (-160)
This is a great fight from a matchmaker perspective, as we know Junior Dos Santos is one of the best heavyweights in the world, while Tau Tuivasa is a young sensation, who is looking to break into the higher level of heavyweights. This is somewhat of a simple fight to outline, as the majority of it should play out on the feet. Tuivasa is a powerful knockout artist, while Dos Santos features more technical striking with significantly better cardio. Dos Santos has been knocked out in each of his last three losses, but those were against Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, and Cain Velasquez. In the UFC, Tuivasa has won a questionable decision over Andrei Arlovski, while knocking out two of the worst heavyweights on the roster. I feel the technical striking and gas tank of Dos Santos, including the step up in competition, will be too much for Tuivasa to handle. Keep in mind, Tuivasa could score a quick knockout, but I feel Dos Santos’ crisp striking will be able to avoid that situation long enough for Tuivasa to gas.
Bet 2 units on Dos Santos to win 1.3 units
Wilson Reis (+130)
Reis has lost three consecutive fights, but they have each been against elite competition. The three losses have come against John Moraga, Henry Cejudo, and Demetrious Johnson. Prior to that, his only loss since 2014 has come against Jussier Formiga, who is on the verge of a title shot. Since then, Reis has five wins against high level, but not elite level competition. His opponent, Ben Nguyen, struggled a bit before making it to the UFC, where he owns a 4-2 record. He has been finished in each of his seven career losses, and Reis is an elite level BJJ practitioner. Similarly to Tuivasa, I simply don’t believe Nguyen is ready for this step up in competition. Overall, this should be Nguyen’s fight to lose on the feet and Reis’ fight to lose on the ground. Reis’ BJJ is far too advanced for Nguyen, and he should have very few problems getting this fight to the ground.
Bet 1 unit on Reis to win 1.4 units
Tony Martin (-105)
Anthony Rocco Martin is the slight underdog this Saturday against Jake Matthews. Matthews is a difficult challenge for Martin, but ultimately, one that he should be able to tackle. Matthews only has one “bad” UFC loss to Andrew Holbrook, which was a split decision. He also has losses to Kevin Lee and James Vick, but both of those fighters are capable of winning against Martin. Martin’s UFC career started off a bit rocky, losing to both Rashid Magomedov and Beneil Dariush, but over his last six fights, he lost once, which was a split decision against Olivier Aubin-Mercier. The 28-year-old seems to be at the top of his game, and American Top Team should be able to come up with a game plan that isolates Matthews’ weaknesses. He is a young fighter, and young fighters make mistakes. If he makes a mistake this weekend against Martin, his loss count will expand by one.
Bet 1.05 units on Martin to win 1 unit
Parlay 1 unit on Justin Willis, Sodiq Yusuff, Kai Kara France, Keita Nakamura, and Damir Ismagulov to win 3.9 units