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UFC Fight Night MMA Betting Odds (2/4)

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The UFC continues its 2023 this weekend when it hosts Sergei Spivak vs. the hard-hitting Derrick Lewis. A fight that was scheduled for November of last year was postponed due to a Lewis injury. This time around the two will meet in Vegas, but this time Lewis is in the best shape of his life and looking to end his career on a high note.

 

Also featured on this card is newcomers from last year’s Contender Series as well as the finale for the “Road to the UFC” Tournament. Many don’t think this card is exciting because of the start time of 10 p.m. ET and because of the fighters not being well known, but this card has a lot of fire power and outside of the start time has potential to be one of the best cards of the year. Fights are always exciting and as always, I take a look at each fight on the card this week and breakdown my favorite fights and give you guys the best bet for each. All odds are per BetMGM.

Main Card

Spivak vs. Lewis Odds

Sergei Spivak -240; Derrick Lewis +200

Spivak/Lewis was supposed to happen in November of last year, but a Lewis injury caused the fight to be rescheduled. Since then, Lewis has lost significant weight and looks to be in the best shape of his life heading into the home stretch of his MMA career. Lewis has never run from a fight and has always been the type of fighter to give the fans what they want — violence. Stepping into challenge Lewis is a surging Spivak, who is a moderate favorite with an implied 70% win probability. He is currently 4-1 in his last five and looking to keep his two-fight win streak alive. Spivak doesn’t carry as much firepower as Lewis but does have more tools in his belt to get the job done. Both fighters are similar in terms of height, reach, output and accuracy, but the biggest difference comes in the takedown department where Spivak averages four takedowns per 15 minutes. Lewis does have a 55% takedown defense and has been known to just get up when in a bad spot, but similar to how the Tuivasa fight went for Spivak, I expect Spivak to fight carefully and choose the path of least resistance and wrestle. The first few takedowns may be stuffed but I expect Spivak to find success and really test the new gas tank of skinny Lewis. Give me Spivak to win by late stoppage by ground-and-pound or submission. There is a bit of value on Lewis with him being at +200 odds but if he doesn’t connect power, I don’t see him winning many other ways. 

The Bets: Spivak by KO/TKO or submission -170/Spivak by submission +300

Jung vs. Clark Odds

Da-un Jung -230; Devin Clark +190

Two very big light heavyweights are set to do battle when Jung faces Clark in the co-main event. Both fighters are coming off KO losses in their last matchups and are looking to right the ship and get back into the win column. Jung averages 8:13 of fight time, has a 78-inch reach and fights out of an orthodox stance. Jung throws powerful straight punches and counters well. Against Dustin Jacoby, he was having success landing the straight right over the leg kick, but he was eventually caught making a mistake and suffered a flash knockout. I believe Jung could have won that fight if he was a bit more patient, and I believe the same can happen here against Clark. Clark is a world-class athlete and has the physique, athleticism and wrestling prowess to find success at this level. Still, Clark tends to fall in love with his power and ends up brawling in fights and making mistakes that leave him exposed to counter-punchers like Jung. I would like the chances for Clark in this fight a bit more if Jung wasn’t well versed in the wrestling department, but Jung defends takedowns 88% of the time and also attempts nearly three takedowns per 15 minutes. The path to victory for Clark would be for him to wrestle, and he could find some success early, but the longer this fight goes the more of a chance that Clark gets caught with a straight right counter or hook. Give me Jung to win and find a finish inside the distance. 

The Bets: Da Un Jung vs. Clark fight goes the distance -180/Da-un Jung by KO/TKO or submission -105

Kinoshita vs. Fugitt Odds

Yusaku Kinoshita -350; Adam Fugitt +260

Two newcomers in the UFC step into the octagon this weekend to make a statement when Kinoshita faces the American Fugitt. Kinoshita made his debut on the Contender Series and made his statement with a knockout win over an undefeated fighter. Fugitt stepped in on short notice against a highly touted and talented Michael Morales. Fugitt was not expected to make it out of the first round in his debut and not only did he survive but he showed toughness, power and the will to win. Morales would find the finish in the third round, but that was after he was gassed out and with nothing left to give. With a full camp, I believe Fugitt can be a real contender and this matchup is good for him as he finally gets to display his tools after having a full camp. Fugitt, does have slightly more experience in the octagon as well as a six-inch reach advantage in this matchup. Still, the big issue with Fugitt is that he absorbs 7.43 significant strikes per minute and that doesn’t bode well for him against a striker like Kinoshita who averages nearly six significant strikes per minute. Fugitt in my opinion is a live dog in this fight, but I will be backing Kinoshita as I believe he is the better striker and will be able to weather the takedowns coming from Fugitt. Fugitt is very durable and is capable of tying up his opponents against the fence which will cause this fight to go on into the later rounds where I believe Kinoshita will find a finish or win dominantly on the score cards. 

The Bets: Kinoshita vs. Fugitt over 1.5 rounds -185/Kinoshita by KO/TKO or DQ +135

Choi vs. Nelson Odds 

Kyle Nelson +150; Dooho Choi -185

Second on the main card is a fight in the featherweight division between Nelson and the Korean superboy Choi. Both fighters are on a bit of a slump currently and are looking to this fight to keep them in the UFC. Choi is fighting for the first time since 2019 after serving a mandatory military term. Choi has all the technical ability and power in his hands, but at times can be left open while taking risks. Against Charles Jourdain, Choi was caught with a counter right hook while attempting an uppercut. This type of mistake is what Nelson can take advantage of if he doesn’t rush and leave himself exposed as he often does. Nelson is a good fighter but usually falls off a cliff after the first round. A fast starter, Nelson doesn’t want to include the judges in his fights and has eight first-round finishes in his career to prove it. Yet, that mission to finish fights early comes at the price of his gas tank, which doesn’t hold up well the longer the fights go. Both fighters average less than 10 minutes of fight time, and I don’t expect this fight to go the distance. This fight may very well be a coin flip, but I’m going to back the sharper and more powerful fighter in Choi. 

The Bets: Dooho Choi ML -180/Choi by KO/TKO or DQ +100

 

Prelims 

Nakamura vs. Kazama Odds

Rinya Nakamura -450; Toshiomi Kazama +340

My favorite fight of the night takes place when Nakamura faces Kazama. Both fighters are new to the UFC and will be looking to make a statement this weekend. The line in my opinion is a bit high and Kazama is a live dog in this spot. Nakamura is a very good fighter and well rounded everywhere the fight goes. My only concern for Nakamura is if he’s not able to control Kazama on the ground like he’s done to past opponents. Kazama may be outsized in this matchup but his grappling prowess and technique are very high level and will be what keeps him out of trouble on the ground. For that reason, I believe that if there is a finish in this fight it will come late and in the form of a knockout or tko because of how well matched these fighters are on the ground. Both fighters are similar in height and reach, but where they differ makes all the difference in this fight. Nakamura averages nearly eight significant strikes per minute compared to Kazama’s 1.67. Nakamura also averages 5.22 takedowns per 15 mins compared to Kazama’s two. Kazama is well rounded and is capable of finding a win, but in this matchup I believe he is simply outclassed in all levels. Nakamura will not have his way like he’s had in the past, but I do expect him to have success and dominate. 

The Bets: Rinya Nakamura by KO/TKO or DQ +110/Nakamura vs. Kazama over 1.5 rounds -135

Park vs. Choi Odds

Hyun Sung Park -210; Seung Gok Choi +165

Two very talented newcomers step into the octagon this weekend when Park faces Choi in the flyweight division. The lines have Park as the moderate favorite in this matchup, but this fight is a lot closer and the styles and techniques of each fighter are almost identical. Both can strike, have a foundation in grappling and are Korean, which makes this a win for the country no matter who wins. Yet the differences come in the numbers, Park attempts 4.28 takedowns per 15 minutes, triple what Choi produces. Park also throws nearly five significant strikes per 15 minutes, also triple the amount thrown by Choi. Choi does land a bit more accurately, but I don’t believe he produces enough action to control the dance. Choi also averages 15 minutes of fight time, which indicates how patient he can be. Park on the other hand averages less then four minutes of fight time which indicates that not many mistakes can be made by Choi if he hopes to win. Still both fighters are very durable and neither possesses lights out power so if Choi can keep himself out of sub attempts, I believe Park will dominate and win on the score cards. 

The Bets: Hyun Sung Park ML -180/Hyun Sung Park by points +165

Taira vs. Aguilar Odds 

Tasturo Taira -1100; Jesus Aguilar +750

Kicking off the late-night fight card are two highly touted grapplers when Taira faces Aguilar. Perhaps the biggest favorite on the card come fight night, Taira holds a similar skill set to his opponent and looks to grapple his way to victory. The difference between the fighters is that everything Aguilar can do, Taira can do at a higher level and with more precision. Taira, averages 3.25 significant strikes per minute, and on the ground averages 2.47 takedowns per 15 minutes. He also has a height advantage of three inches and a reach advantage of eight inches. Aguilar is tough and comes from a tough camp and as an 8-1 fighter does belong in the UFC, but this matchup I don’t think favors him, and it’s why Taira will roll in this one. 

The Bets: Tatsuro Taira by submission -165/Taira by KO/TKO +500

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