UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Holland Betting Picks
Following a week break from UFC action, the leading MMA organization returns to our screens this and to Orlando this Saturday night with a magnificent Fight Night card to sit back and enjoy
Here’s our betting picks for the UFC this weekend in Florida.
Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland
In a Fight Night headliner that could easily make its way onto a PPV event, Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland will clash in the octagon as two of the best strikers at welterweight look to have a push towards the title.
What makes this bout so enticing is how excellent both men are in the striking department. Thompson has been struggling in his MMA career over the past years, but this is set to be his first fight in almost 365 days after a loss to Belal Muhammed. At the same time, however, this fight with Holland will also be Thompson's first against a striker since beating Geoff Neal two years ago, as both Gilbert Burns and Muhammed simply took him to the ground and won the fight with ease as a result.
In fact, whenever Thompson has met with a striker, more often than not, he has won the fight. Holland, on the other hand, holds a second-degree black belt in Kung Fu and is arguably the toughest striker Thompson has had to face in his UFC career. The 30-year-old is also nine years younger than Thompson and boasts of a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu too, which only adds to the reason why Holland is the clear favorite in this fight.
As it’s a battle between two elite standup men, it could go either way. Thompson, however, does not seem to be aging too well in the sport and we think he’ll lose once more here.
Kevin Holland by points is +400 with FanDuel
Bryan Barberena vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
It’s the biggest fight in the career of Bryan Barberena this weekend when he meets with the former lightweight title holder, Rafael Dos Anjos, and the ex-champion may have to win if he is to stay in with a shout of another move towards the belt.
Dos Anjos lost to Rafael Fiziev in his last fight back in July following an excellent KO win from the muay thai specialist. Dos Anjos did turn back the clock in his two fights prior to that loss, however, beating Renato Moicano and Paul Felder on points to end a run of only one win in his last five fights. This is also a move back up to welterweight for the former lightweight champion after a fight at lightweight and catchweight bout at 160 lbs.
As for Barberena, he has a topsy-turvy MMA record and a mix of six losses and eight wins in the UFC. On the other hand, his losses at welterweight in the UFC have come to elite names like Vicente Luque, Colby Covington and Leon Edwards, while Barberena has also managed to win his last three fights and secured two Fight of the Night awards in his past two wins over Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler. This does also mean it's been over a year since the American's last loss in the UFC.
Dos Anjos does have too much experience and MMA ability over Barberena, and we anticipate he will get a comfortable points victory in this one.
Rafael Dos Anjos by points is -125 with FanDuel.
Matheu Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell
After one of the greatest comeback wins in UFC history, Matt Schnell is back in action as he looks to make a run toward the title against the rising star, Matheu Nicolau.
This fight does also see #6 in the world take on #7 in the flyweight rankings and the winner will no doubt force themselves into the title talk, especially if it is a convincing victory. Schnell has won the Fight of the Night award in his last two fights, but lost to Brandon Royval via guillotine choke in round one, before his stunning comeback win over Su Mudaerji where he won via triangle choke.
In that last fight, Schnell was outclassed and beaten quite severely on the feet, however, as he was knocked down multiple times and seemingly on the verge of getting knocked out before his submission victory. That win now also means 16 wins in 23 fights in MMA, nine of which have come through submission.
Nicolau is a clear favorite at -330, and with 17 wins and just two losses in his 12-year MMA career, it's clear to see why. In fact, the Brazilian is a specialist in submissions himself with a black belt in jiu-jitsu and comes into this fight on a five-fight win streak, with only Manel Kape managing to win a round off him during this time.
Nicolau likely gets the win on a decision, as it is not a smart idea to go to the ground with Schnell.
Matheus Nicolau by points is +155 with DraftKings
Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich
Tai Tuivasa is back in action after losing to Ciryl Gane back in September in what was a thrilling battle between two elite heavyweights. In reality, the Australian was outclassed and never looked like winning the fight, but this still cannot force us to forget that he had won five fights in a row just prior to this, beating top names like Greg Hardy, Harry Hunsucker, Stefan Struve, Augusto Sakai and Derrick Lewis all by TKO/KO.
Sergei Pavlovich comes into this bout off the back of beating Lewis, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Maurice Greene and Marcelo Golm all by TKO/KO. This now means he has won 13 bouts in this manner from his 16 wins, and his only defeat in his MMA career came at the hands of Alistair Overeem on his UFC debut.
With 13 wins via TKO/KO each across a combined record of 35 fights, we’re backing this one to end with another knockout.
Under 1.5 rounds is -225 with FanDuel
Jack Hermansson vs. Roman Dolidze
After an injury to Dereck Brunson, Jack Hermansson will now battle with Roman Dolidze as two of Europe’s best grapplers meet in the octagon. In some ways, despite the fighting form of Brunson over the past few years, Dolidze is a tougher fight.
The Georgian has combined his excellent wrestling prowess with knockout ability, knocking out Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus in his past two fights, earning the Performance of the Night award in both bouts.
Hermansson also made easy work of Chris Curtis back in July, but after losses to Jared Cnnonier, Marvin Vettori and Sean Strickland, it does mean the Swede has failed to win two fights in a row since early 2019.
As this fight involves two grapplers who can comfortably strike with one another, we’ll likely get to the judges’ scorecards in this one.
Jack Hermansson and Roman Dolidze to go the distance is -112.
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