MMA Picks: Betting Advice for UFC Vegas 61

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MMA Picks: Betting Advice for UFC Vegas 61
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UFC action returns to our TV screens this Saturday night with a packed Fight Night in Las Vegas as Mackenzie Dern, Randy Brown and Sodiq Yusuff take to the octagon.

We’ve put together our betting advice for this weekend’s UFC Vegas 61.

Mackenzie Dern vs. Xan Xiaonan

Dern and Xiaonan will meet in the octagon this weekend as the sixth-ranked Chinese mixed martial artist meets with No. 5 in the strawweight rankings. Given the current standings of the strawweight division, the winner of this fight could easily put their name forth for a shot at the title next.

Dern got back to the win column last time out when she got a split decision win over Tecia Torres. The Brazilian lost to Marina Rodriguez just before this in a Fight of Night battle, which ended a previous four-fight win streak. She now heads into this fight with seven wins by submission and five by decision and still no KO/TKO victory on her record. 

Xiaonan has lost her last two, and this might be her last chance to put her name in title contention at 33 years old. A six-fight win streak just before this saw her register wins over Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Angela Hill and Cláudia Gadelha. If she can find this form once more, Xiaonan has a chance. 

We think Dern should get the job done, however.

Mackenzie Dern to win on points is +420 with FanDuel Sportsbook.

Randy Brown vs. Francisco Trinaldo 

Trinaldo has put himself back in contention to rocket further up the welterweight rankings after victories over Dwight Grant and Danny Roberts. Ahead of this one, the 44-year-old's only loss in his past six has been in a decision to Muslim Salikhov. Trinaldo has also racked up impressive wins over Jai Herbert and Bobby Green.

Brown, however, has not lost since a KO defeat to Vicente Luque, as he submitted Alex Oliveira and beat both Jared Gooden and Khaos Williams via decision in recent fights. Both fighters are in form, but we think Brown’s time is now, and the 44-year-old Trinaldo will struggle here against a knockout artist like Brown.

Randy Brown by KO/TKO is +250 with FanDuel Sportsbook.

Roani Barcelos vs. Trevin Jones

Barcelos is another Brazilian on the card here and he heads into this fight in the midst of a two-fight losing run, as Timur Valiev and Victor Henry defeated him on points. The 35-year-old still has some notable victories in his short UFC career so far, beating Said Nurmagomedov on points and Chris Gutierrez via submission.

Jones has also lost twice in a row recently, with his TKO win over Mario Bautista being his only victory in the UFC since joining back in 2020 — his debut with Valiev got overturned to a no contest after testing positive for marijuana shortly after.

The odds favor Barcelos quite heavily in this one, which makes sense given his greatly superior jiu-jitsu skills and 50% knockout ratio from his 16 wins. We think Barcelos will win here.

Raoni Barcelos to win on points is +125 with FanDuel Sportsbook. 

Sodiq Yusuff vs. Don Shainis

Yusuff's reputation is still very well respected in the featherweight rankings with the Nigerian losing only two fights in his career and just one in the UFC. His only UFC loss was to Arnold Allen, and there is nothing to suggest he won't still be a contender in the near future. Yusuff defeated Alex Caceres in his last fight via decision to get back to the win column. 

Shanis is on a five-fight winning streak, however, and with this being his UFC debut, it's clear to see why the odds favor Yusuff so greatly. It should be a relatively comfortable win for the 29-year-old Nigerian, and we think it’ll be a KO/TKO victory for him. 

Sodiq Yusuff by KO/TKO is -150 with FanDuel Sportsbook.

John Castaneda vs. Daniel Santos

Castaneda will be aiming to rack up his third win in a row since losing to Nat Wood on his UFC debut after he defeated Eddie Wineland via TKO and Miles Jones through an excellent submission. Castaneda also has eight wins via TKO/KO now and with only five losses in his 14 fights, there is a chance the 30-year-old can begin to make a name for himself in the bantamweight division this weekend.

As for Santos, this will be just his second UFC fight after losing via decision to Julio Arce on his debut. This was just his second-ever loss in MMA and his first since 2019, but once again, this fight looks like one step too far for the Brazilian — we think he'll lose on point here.

John Castaneda to win on points is +160 with FanDuel Sportsbook.

Mike Davis vs. Viacheslav Borshchev

Two fighters known for their excellent knockout ability will meet in this one as Davis and Borshchev clash in the octagon. Davis has had three fights in the UFC now, and comes into this one after a sensational KO win over Thomas Gifford and a decision victory over Mason Jones after losing to Gilbert Burns via submission on his UFC debut.

Borshchev won his UFC debut against Dakota Bush from a sensational punch to the body — a rare sight in MMA. Marc Diakese beat him via unanimous decision just two months later, however, and with only six wins on his record at 30 years old, he still has a lot to prove heading into this one.

As we can’t pick a winner, we’re heading for either fighter to win via TKO/KO.

Fight to end via KO/TKO is -105 with FanDuel Sportsbook.


These are some other bets worth a look on this week’s schedule:

  • Tabatha Ricci to win on points is -120 against Jessica Penne.
  • Guido Cannetti by points is +950 against Randy Costa.
  • Maxim Grishin to win on points is +160 against Philipe Lins.
  • Brendan Allen by KO/TKO against Krzysztof Jotko is +550.
  • Alekey Oleynik to win by submission is +260 against Ilir Latifi.
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