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UFC Vegas 47 Betting Breakdown

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Welcome to my betting breakdown for UFC Vegas 47: Strickland vs. Hermansson.

After a few fun cards to begin 2022, the UFC octagon was empty last weekend. This week, the biggest promotion in MMA returns with a 13-fight card going down at the Apex facility in Las Vegas. This weekend marks the first event within a string of eight consecutive weekends with a UFC event. Sean Strickland and Jack Hermansson will take center stage Saturday night in a pivotal bout at the top of the middleweight division. This card doesn’t feature a ton of household names but has some fun matchups that should hopefully lead to an entertaining evening of bouts. Currently, I have four bets finalized for this weekend. However, I will surely be adding at least one more play prior to the card. You can find all my plays for free in the FTN Bet Tracker

 

I’ll be writing this column weekly, with extended breakdowns for up to three of my best bets. I will be in the FTNBets Discord for about two hours before the early preliminaries this weekend to answer any questions that readers might have. We’d love to continue building the community through Discord. 

If you’re interested in DFS and betting takes for every fight on this card, you can check out The Undisputed MMA Show with Jon Kelly and me.

Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Chidi Njokuani Odds

Barriault -110, Njokuani -110, DraftKings Sportsbook

Barriault got off to a rough start in the UFC, losing three consecutive close fights prior to having his first win inside the promotion overturned due to a positive drug test. Since then, though, he’s put together a nice two-fight win streak over Abu Azaitar and Dalcha Lungiambula. Stylistically, MAB is a well-rounded fighter with no clear weaknesses in his game and great tools such as cardio and durability in his back pocket. MAB has improved his striking and grappling while being able to push a great pace at 185 pounds. 

Njokuani has been around the MMA space for a long time and will finally make his UFC debut Saturday night after a dominant performance on Contender Series last year. Njokuani had an extended run in Bellator earlier in his career and has fought a strong strength of schedule for a UFC debutant. Stylistically, Njokuani excels in the clinch where he possesses dangerous knees and elbows. His distance striking is solid as well, but he isn’t an especially high–output striker and doesn’t possess a ton of one-punch knockout power. If there’s a red flag when looking at Njokuani, it’s that he seems to get broken in a lot of his losses, as he seems to struggle when facing adversity. 

While MAB isn’t the most talented guy on the roster by any stretch, cardio and durability can take you a long way at 185 pounds. Njokuani likely has a striking advantage in this fight at distance, but MAB is typically able to make fights ugly and fight to his strengths. I expect a gameplan full of cage-pushing and pressure from the Canadian in this spot that could put “Chidi Bang Bang” on the backfoot and retreating without implementing an optimal gameplan. I respect Njokuani as a fighter but will side with the more proven fighter that has serious durability and cardio advantages. 

Bet

  • Marc-Andre Barriault -110 1x until -110
 

Hakeem Dawodu vs. Mike Trizano Betting Odds

Dawodu -165, Trizano +145, DraftKings Sportsbook

Dawodu had put together a nice five-fight win streak in the UFC featherweight division that came to an end last June at UFC 263 against Movsar Evloev. Dawodu is primarily a striker who possesses impressive metrics — he has never been outstruck at distance inside the UFC. However, his ground game was exposed against an elite wrestler in Evloev last time out and Dawodu tends to have very competitive fights, which is part of the reason that he’s been to three split-decisions inside the UFC. 

Trizano won The Ultimate Fighter in July of 2018 but has only fought inside the octagon three times since due to injury layoffs. However, when Trizano has competed he has been impressive, most recently against Ludovit Klein in May when he won a unanimous decision as a considerable betting underdog. Like most pupils that fight out of Team Tiger Schulmann, Trizano is primarily a striker. “The Lone Wolf” has a big frame at 145 pounds and although he doesn’t push a rampant pace in terms of striking output, Trizano works well behind his jab and keeps opponents at bay. Trizano’s lone UFC loss came against Grant Dawson in a matchup where he was thoroughly outgrappled. Despite Trizano having a wrestling background, he has been taken down in all four of his UFC fights. 

This is a fun matchup between two ultra-solid strikers that will likely look to keep the fight on the feet. Although both men have struggled with takedown defense historically, it seems unlikely that either man will shoot multiple takedowns on Saturday. Originally, I had some interest in playing Trizano as a moderate underdog in this matchup as I think this will be a fairly even scrap. However, the fact that Dawodu has never been outstruck at distance makes it hard to bet against him in a fight that likely looks like a kickboxing match for the entirety of the fifteen minutes. Speaking of fifteen minutes, my bet on this matchup is for the fight to reach the judges’ scorecards. Both of these guys are durable and have never been knocked out. On top of that, neither man fights at an especially fast pace. I expect this to be a relatively competitive matchup with a key factor to watch being Trizano’s jab against Dawodu’s leg kicks. Ultimately, I’m passing on the moneyline and hoping we see a full three rounds of action. 

Bet

  • Hakeem Dawodu/Mike Trizano Fight GOES The Distance -190 1x until -205
 

Sean Strickland vs. Jack Hermansson Betting Odds

Strickland -220, Hermansson +180, DraftKings Sportsbook

Strickland suffered career-threatening injuries following a motorcycle crash about three years ago but has been very impressive in his return to the cage, going 4-0 up at 185 pounds following his previous run at welterweight. Strickland is predominantly a striker and has some very impressive output on the feet, landing nearly 5.5 strikes per minute against his opponents. While Strickland would prefer to primarily box with his opponents, he has showed off other skills inside the octagon, most recently taking down Uriah Hall four times in a main event last summer. Strickland is a well-rounded fighter with very few weaknesses and his three UFC losses have come to elite competition: Santiago Ponzinibbio, Kamaru Usman and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. 

Hermansson will make his 15th walk to the octagon this weekend in his fourth headlining appearance. Hermansson has alternated wins and losses over his last four matchups, most recently winning a decisive decision against Edmen Shahbazyan in the Joker’s sole 2021 appearance. While Hermansson has evolved into a well-rounded fighter at this stage in his career, he still has found most of his UFC success through grappling. Hermansson is a solid but not spectacular wrestler, however, when he is able to get fights to the ground, he is lethal from top position in terms of both his ground and pound as well as his submission offense. Hermansson has vastly improved his offensive striking and although he tends to absorb a lot of strikes coming back at him, Hermansson is fairly durable and typically fights through adversity well.

It makes a lot of sense for Strickland to be a favorite in this matchup. Every fight begins on the feet and his striking output is likely going to be too much for Hermansson to win minutes on the feet. Additionally, Strickland has a 82% takedown defense throughout his UFC career and typically does a good job dictating where fights take place. However, Hermansson has a clear path to victory should he get this fight to the ground repeatedly and Strickland’s defensive grappling is less tested than most appear to think. Since returning from his injury, Strickland has had to defend only one takedown and has not been on his back at all. Hermansson is a near-lock to attempt plenty of takedowns in this fight and while it’s possible that Strickland’s defense holds up, there is also a pretty decent chance that Hermansson is able to get to dominant positions repeatedly and have the potential to finish the fight or win rounds by a wide margin. I’ll take the shot on Jack here. 

Bet

  • Jack Hermansson +195 1x until +185
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