From out of left field comes a Welterweight battle between former Lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis, and two-time Welterweight title challenger, Stephen Thompson, headlining this Saturday’s ESPN+ 6 card in Nashville, Tennessee. UFC Fight Night 148’s main card also includes a Heavyweight clash between Curtis Blaydes and prospect Justin Willis, as well as the Flyweight division’s most entertaining knockout artist in Deiveson Figueiredo taking on Jussier Formiga.
Something, something … clever segue. Let’s get to gambling!
What Went Wrong at UFC Fight Night 147 (a.k.a. ESPN+ 5)?
Tom Breese pulled out from an extremely winnable fight (details here), Marc Diakiese fought the smartest fight of his career, and Danny Roberts couldn’t stop the takedown. Unlike Dana White, I’m honestly not that peeved about the Roberts stoppage on a selfish level, though. I had him down 20-18 and he hadn’t done enough for a 10-8 in the third round. It was still bogus and I feel for Roberts, but I’m not going to try to claim a moral victory here.
UFC Fight Night 148 (ESPN+ 6) Odds For The Undercard:
Bobby Moffett (-175) vs. Bryce Mitchell (+155)
Marlon Vera (-150) vs. Frankie Saenz (+130)
Alexis Davis (-150) vs. Jennifer Maia (+130)
Angela Hill (-155) vs. Randa Markos (+135)
Chris Gutierrez (-200) vs. Ryan MacDonald (+170)
Eric Shelton (-210) vs. Jordan Espinosa (+175)
Thoughts: Frankie Saenz looks to be a solid underdog pick, while Chris Gutierrez deserves to be a larger favorite.
As good as Marlon Vera is, his wrestling just isn’t up to snuff. He’s been taken down in eight of his 10 UFC appearances and only had to defend one cumulative takedown in those two others. Saenz can win this by just staying in Vera’s face and shooting as many takedowns as possible.
Gutierrez actually opened as an underdog against Ryan MacDonald, perhaps as a product of the latter’s undefeated record. Then people noticed that MacDonald’s striking defense is so bad he nearly got finished by a guy with a losing record two fights ago. Gutierrez’s only concern here is his takedown defense, but considering MacDonald didn’t think to try wrestling a guy with six submission losses until after he’d been pummeled for over a round, I don’t think that’ll be an issue.
UFC Fight Night 148 (ESPN+ 6) Odds For The Main Card:
Stephen Thompson (-460) vs. Anthony Pettis (+365)
Curtis Blaydes (-300) vs. Justin Willis (+250)
John Makdessi (-335) vs. Jesus Pinedo (+275)
Deiveson Figueiredo (-145) vs. Jussier Formiga (+125)
Luis Pena (-270) vs. Steven Peterson (+230)
Maycee Barber (-255) vs. J.J. Aldrich (+215)
Thoughts: One longshot and one parlay anchor, coming right up.
Luis Pena is almost half a foot taller than Steven Peterson and will have a six-inch reach advantage. He’s also trying to cut to 145 pounds for the first time despite standing 6’3” and has serious holes in his wrestling game. Peterson isn’t good for much besides spamming takedowns and being virtually indestructible, but unless Pena has made huge strides since his Octagon debut and has zero issues with his weight cut, that might be all he needs.
Maycee Barber is the safety pick this time around. JJ Aldrich’s takedown defense leaves way too much to be desired against a ground-and-pounder of Barber’s caliber and her technical striking isn’t enough to overcome Barber’s aggression and stopping power.
UFC Fight Night 148 (ESPN+ 6) Best Bets:
- Single bet — Frankie Saenz: Bet $30 to make $39
- Parlay — Chris Gutierrez and Maycee Barber: Bet $40 to make $43.60
- Single bet-Steven Peterson: $20 to make $46
Two striking phenoms and the Flyweight God of War make for a fun evening of fights. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 148 results on fight night, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you’ve got riding on the sportsbook.