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UFC Fight Night: Cannonier vs. Strickland Odds, Predictions, and Free Picks
Updated Record: 60% (+27.33 Units)
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
Prelims: 4:00 PM EST - ESPN+
Main Card: 7:00 PM EST - ESPN+
UFC 282 was yet another winner for subscribers, as we finished the night +2 units despite having our biggest bet canceled to start the card. We were taking some shots with Perrin and Daukaus, but I felt confident enough in our favorites that we’d stay profitable.
The results brought our Substack record to 60% (+27.33 units), with a $100 bettor now up over $2,700 since we got this thing started.
Our attention now turns to the last card of the year, as two middleweights in Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland face off in what should be a high-voltage main event. There isn’t a ton I love on this card, but let’s dive into the spots I am on.
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Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Cory McKenna
We missed the best of the number here but I still think there’s some value on a number I have in the -250 range. Cory McKenna picked up her first win in the UFC the last time we saw her in the octagon, a second-round submission over Miranda Granger.
A grappling specialist, my concern for her here is in her inability to take down Vlismas, who comes into this fight with a 73% takedown defense, largely canceling out McKenna’s grappling edge.
In striking, Vlismas wins out in spades with edges in knockdowns, significant strikes, and fewer strikes absorbed per minute (as well as striking defense).
Throw in a two-fight win streak with dominating performances over Gloria de Paula and Mallory Martin, and I think Vlismas takes this one with relative ease.
Pick: Cheyanne Vlismas (-190 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 3.8 units
Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green
Since opening as a pick-em, this number has moved sharply in favor of Dober and I’m in total disagreement with the market here. Having gone three rounds (losses) with Islam Makhachev and Brad Riddell before beating Terrance McKinney and Rafael Alves, I understand the Dober love but am fading it vs. a fighter in Green I think is undervalued.
Green comes in at a discount here, recently losing to Makhachev in February just before he claimed the belt, but with edges in this matchup across the board. Notably, Green’s biggest edges come on the ground, but no one expects these two to do anything but stand and swing.
Both are on the wrong side of 34, however, and I expect a more conservative approach from both fighters than many expect as time is running out for a serious run in the division. I also expect Green to methodically strike from a distance and rack up points, looking for a kill shot but content without one.
If they do decide to stand and throw until the lights go off, give me the longer and sharper Green in that instance as well.
Pick: Bobby Green (+135 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 2 units
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Damir Ismagulov
Joining the UFC in April 2019, Tsarukyan was done no favors as he was handed Makhachev right out of the gates, fighting formidably before losing a decision. He’d go on to win his next five with the promotion, before most recently losing to Gamrot in another close decision in June.
As for Ismagulov, a former M-1 champion, he’s started off his UFC career with five straight wins, all decisions, and in my opinion, all vs. relative layups in this division.
The road gets much steeper here, however.
Not only does Tsarukyan have six years of youth on his side, but he comes into this fight with edges in knockdowns, significant striking, as well as strikes absorbed. He also holds a nearly 2x advantage in takedowns, though neither has a submission victory in 5+ years.
Add in that Tsarukyan holds those advantages against stiffer competition, and I have him as the clear side in this fight, having should be priced well over -200.
Pick: Arman Tsarukyan (-175 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 3.5 units
Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland
Despite three of his past four fights going the distance, “The Killa Gorilla” still has an 80% finish rate coming into this fight. Having gone five rounds with Izzy in July (loss), I expect Cannonier motivated to put this one away early as he makes one final push for another title shot.
As for Strickland, his first-round KO loss via current middleweight champ Alex Pereira was his first KO/TKO exit since 2018. Even still, 56% of his wins have come inside the distance, and I expect a similar mentality as Cannonier here with his propensity to stand and throw.
In what will be a five-round fight and the last one of the UFC’s year, I’m betting on there being fireworks.
Pick: Under 4.5 Rounds (+110 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay)
Maheshate + Julian Erosa + Said Nurmagedov + Jared Cannonier (+1157 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Cheyanne Vlismas (-190 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 3.8 units
Bobby Green (+135 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 2 units
Arman Tsarukyan (-175 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 3.5 units
Cannonier/Strickland Under 4.5 Rounds (+110 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
*All odds as of the day of posting.