The UFC is back on ESPN with a Fight Night card headlined by two strawweight contenders in Mackenzie Dern vs. Marina Rodriguez.
This card gets started with the preliminary card at 1:30 P.M. EST, and the main card gets going at 4 P.M. EST with 10 fights on tap.
Here are three fight previews to dive into, including a look at the main event. All odds are courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.
Main Event: Mackenzie Dern (-180) vs. Marina Rodriguez (+150)
I do lean with Dern winning this fight by submission, but the price at WynnBET is too short of what I was hoping for, sitting at +100.
There are two likely outcomes in this bout, either Dern by submission or Rodriguez winning by knockout. Rodriguez has been susceptible to takedowns in the past and Dern is as dangerous in the division.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez has immense power and can piece Dern in the stand up, forcing Dern to initiate takedowns, and in turn a ton of action.
I’d look to play the under 2.5 despite the price of -145, but I expect fireworks and a quick finish. I’d also be willing to use Dern as a parlay piece because I do see her having a easier path to a victory.
Pick: Under 2.5 (-145), lean Dern ML
Chalk Parlay: Matheus Nicolau (-195) and Randy Brown (-225)
I’ll parlay two considerable favorites to give me a +116 payout.
We’ll start with Nicolau, who should have no issue out-pointing the 35-year-old Tim Elliot.
Elliot is always going to push a serious pace, but that can backfire when he faces a formidable grappler, which Nicolau is. While Elliot lands more than four takedowns per 15 minutes, he puts himself in dangerous situations (see: Brandon Royval fight).
Nicolau has a 100% takedown defense while landing more than one per 15 minutes, per UFCStats.com; he is the younger, better fighter and I see him taking control of this one after Elliot gasses.
I’ll close this parlay with Brown, who should have no issue with Jared Gooden. Gooden is getting too much credit in this line after a first round knockout this past summer, but he is Gooden 0-2 outside of that win in the UFC. Meanwhile, Brown may have lost to better competition such as Vincente Luque, but he is stepping down in class and should roll here.
Prop Bet: Chris Guttierez by Decision
This line is not out yet at WynnBET, but at anything under -125 I’ll be on Gutierrez to beat Felipe Colares by decision.
Gutierrez has some of the strongest leg kicks in the UFC and I expect him to chop down Colares’ lead leg early and often. Once that happens, ‘Cabocao’ isn’t going to be able to secure takedowns and control the fight.
Gutierrez’s packs a punch, but Colares is yet to be knocked out in his career, both losses are by decision, and I see ‘El Guapo’ winning on the scorecards.
Pick: Chris Gutierrez by Decision at -125 or better