UFC Fight Night 223 Picks
Ricky Simon and Song Yadong will headline UFC Fight Night 223 this weekend after their bout was delayed by a week.
The legendary submission artist Rodolfo Vieria also returns, as does the unbeaten Waldo Cortes-Acosta in this stacked Fight Night card at the Apex.
To get you ready to bet on the UFC this weekend, here are our picks.
Ricky Simon vs. Yadong Song
After the cancellation of this fight on last week's card, Ricky Simon and Yadong Song are now the new main event at UFC Fight Night 223.
It's a fight that could easily steal the Fight of the Night bonus with Song looking for his fifth Performance of the Night award in his 12th UFC fight at the age of 25. In fact, up until his recent loss to Cody Sandhagen, Song was on a tear through the bantamweight division after securing eight wins in his first 10 UFC fights.
This has seen him rack up sensational knockouts over Julio Acre, Marlon Moraes and Alejandro Pérez, while Song has even defeated the No. 5-ranked Marlon Vera.
Simon has put together a four-fight winning streak since his back-to-back losses in 2019 to Urijah Faber and Rob Font, and he became the first person to beat Jack Shore last July. He is also the last person to beat future title challenger, Merab Dvalishvili, which makes this fight very tough to call.
Song is undoubtedly the better striker, while Simon is the better grappler. It could create a bit of a chess match, but Song’s power might just be too much to handle for the American.
Yadong Song to win by TKO/KO is +200 with FanDuel Sportsbook.
Caio Borralho vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk
Two men looking to jump into the middleweight rankings will clash here as Caio Borralho looks to make it 12 wins in a row on just his fourth fight in the UFC against Michał Oleksiejczuk.
Borralho has been sensational in his 14 fights in MMA, losing only once back in his second-ever fight in 2015. He has since secured three more TKO/KO wins, six decision victories and forced the tap from three opponents.
The Brazilian will have a tough task against a ferocious striker like Oleksiejczuk, with the Pole recording 13 of his 18 wins via TKO/KO and knocked out Cody Brundage to earn the Performance of the Night award back in December.
Borralho is far the superior fighter, however, and we think he’ll win this one.
Borralho to win on points is +250 with BetMGM Sportsbook.
Rodolfo Vieria vs. Cody Brundage
It’s the return of one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in MMA right now when Rodolfo Vieria looks for a swift return to the win column against Cody Brundage.
Both fighters have won eight times so far, but Vieira probably likes his chances against a blue belt like Brundage. The Brazilian is a four-time jiu-jitsu world champion, a seven-time Abu Dhabi World Pro champion, a two-time Pan American and European champion, and ADCC Submission Grappling world champion.
Vieira is arguably the best heavyweight at jiu-jitsu in UFC history, and we think he will get his hands on Brundage and force the tap, as he has won seven of his eight fights in this manner. The American has also lost two of his past four fights in the UFC.
Rodolfo Vieria to win by submission is -115 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Julian Erosa vs. Fernando Padilla
Despite being the favorite to beat Fernando Padilla, Julian Erosa will have a tough task in doing so.
Padilla is still only 26 and heads into this fight off the back of eight submission wins from his 14 victories and he has also won his past two fights after taking two years out during the pandemic.
Erosa was TKO'd by Alex Caceres back in December and he has now lost 10 times in 38 fights. Erosa has won 11 fights by knockout and 12 by submission, and as only six of Padilla's fights have gone the distance, we think this one could be over quickly.
Fight to not go the distance is -210 with FanDuel Sportsbook.
Marcos de Lima vs. Waldo Cortes Acosta
Two hard-hitting heavyweights go head-to-head in this one, as Waldo Cortes Acosta puts his unbeaten record on the line against the veteran, Marcos de Lima.
It's been a topsy-turvy past eight years for de Lima with him now losing six times and winning only eight. In fact, every time he won a fight between 2015-2020, he followed this up with a loss.
Cortes-Acosta has won all nine of his fights in MMA so far with eight of those nine victories coming in the past 20 months. He is also three inches taller than de Lima and has a bigger reach, so we’re picking him to get another knockout against a 37-year-old who is past his best.
Cortes-Acosta to win by TKO/KO is +350 with Unibet Sportsbook.
Josh Quinlan vs. Trey Waters
A fight that could make an argument for Fight of the Night kicks off the main card with the unbeaten Josh Quinlan fighting Trey Waters, who has just one loss in his career.
It means there is a lot on the line for these two inexperienced fighters, with only one of their combined 14 fights going the distance. On Saturday night, we expect more fireworks.
Waters has finished three of his fights via TKO/KO and submitted three other opponents. He has lost via submission once, while Quinlan's unbeaten record sees him come into this fight with four TKO/KO wins and two submission victories.
Quinlan is the unbeaten fighter and he is our pick in this one.
Josh Quinlan to win by TKO/KO is +110 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
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