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UFC Orlando: Thompson vs. Holland Odds, Predictions, and Free Picks
Updated Record: 61% (+25.6 Units)
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Prelims: 7:00 PM EST - ESPN/ESPN+
Main Card: 10:00 PM EST - ESPN/ESPN+
Another week brought more profits, finishing November 19th’s UFC Fight Night (3-0, +5.81u) before the Thanksgiving break. The clean sweep two weeks ago brings our Substack record to 61% (+25.58 units), with a $100 bettor now up over $2,500 since we got this thing started.
Only three cards remain between now and the end of the year, as we’ll look to close out a red-hot 2022 with more winners in each. We return this week with a jam-packed card in Orlando, with the entire night of fights being broadcast for free on ESPN.
Headlined by a banger at the top between “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin Holland, I’ve found a handful of spots I like both on the prelim and main card.
Let’s dive in.
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Marcelo Rojo vs. Francis Marshall
I typically stay away from fights with one fighter making their UFC debut, but I can’t look away from Marshall in this spot. Earning his contract via DWCS in August, Marshall knocked off a fellow undefeated fighter in Connor Matthews via a unanimous decision to get here.
11 years Rojo’s junior, Marshall has also been the more active fighter, fighting twice since we last saw Rojo in the octagon. With just two UFC fights in his own right, Rojo is 0-2 since joining the promotion, with both fights ending inside of the distance.
While the odds have gotten away from us a bit, I still think there’s some value in Marshall, who also holds edges nearly across the board, at anything less than -200.
Pick: Francis Marshall (-165 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.65 units
Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce
Things were in dire straights for Elkins not long ago, losing four straight fights heading into the winter of 2020. Since then, “The Damage” has won three of his past four, most recently an April victory over Tristian Connelly.
For Pearce, however, following a successful stint with Bellator, he joined the UFC in July 2019 via DWCS, going 5-1 in the time since with four of his wins coming inside of the distance. In this fight, he also holds sizeable edges in significant strikes landed per 15 minutes, as well as striking accuracy. Additionally, his takedown game is another massive edge, in takedown average per 15 minutes (3x) and takedown accuracy (2x) leading the way.
Add in the eight-year age advantage with the many more paths to victory, and I like the value here for Pearce to handle this one inside of the distance.
Pick: Jonathan Pearce - Inside the Distance (-110 BetOnline.ag) to risk 2.2 units
Angela Hill vs. Emily Ducote
At 37 years old, Angela Hill is a veteran of this strawweight division and has been through some absolute battles in her day. Father time, however, remains undefeated.
Coming into this fight having lost three of her past four and five of her past seven, Hill may have beaten Loopy Godinez in her last fight but she draws a different kind of fighter in this one. Entering the octagon at 28 years old Saturday, Ducote is a former Invicta FC champion who won her UFC debut in July (Jessica Penne, decision) with similar ambitions in tow.
Facing Hill, she holds large edges in striking, and what she lacks on the ground she makes up for with a 100% takedown defense. In one of my favorite plays of the night, I’m taking Ducote in a fight I think she wins with relative ease.
Pick: Emily Ducote (-120 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 3.6 units
Niko Price vs. Phil Rowe
A pair of journeymen welterweights will square off in the final bout of the prelim card, as Niko Price takes on Phil Rowe. For Price, 11 straight fights ending inside the distance to start his UFC career have been followed up with two straight decisions, his latest a victory over Alex Oliveira in October of 2021.
He’ll return after the 400+ day layoff to take on a surging Rowe, who has finished 100% of his wins inside of the distance. Since joining the UFC via DWCS, three of his four fights with the UFC have ended via KO/TKO, his latest in February vs. Jason Witt.
With high striking volumes from both fighters, both also tend to absorb a lot of strikes with Price taking 5.67 per minute. I like for this one to end violently as well.
Pick: Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision (-200 BetOnline.ag) to risk 4 units
Jack Hermansson vs. Roman Dolidze
We’re fading some line movement here, but I think Dolidze has a better chance of getting this one done than the market believes. Losing just one fight since turning professional in 2016, Dolidze lost a back-and-forth affair with Trevin Giles in March 2021 but has since gone on to win three straight (two via KO/TKO).
As for “The Joker”, joining the UFC in 2016 saw him win seven of his first nine with the promotion, but he has gone just 3-3 since with his latest loss a bad one vs. Sean Strickland. He did get back in the winner’s circle in July with a decision win over Chris Curtis, but there en-lies his main issue as I see it.
Four straight fights where he’s let the judges decide will likely be ended here, as Dolidze isn’t a guy who will let him settle in. While they are fairly even in striking, Dolidze holds large edges on the ground in both submission averages (3x) and takedowns (accuracy 2x, average 1.5x), and simply has more paths to victory.
With a win here putting Dolidze firmly on the map in the division, I like him to get it done.
Pick: Roman Dolidze (+155 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich
This fight is good enough to be the main event, so the fact we’re getting it behind the co-main is a real testament to how good this card could be. Coming in off his first loss since 2019, the rising superstar Tai Tuivasa (#4) needs a win here to get back on track, but is running into an absolute killer in Sergei Pavlovich (#5).
All four of Pavlovich’s fights with the UFC have ended in the first round via KO/TKO (4-1), as all but three of his 17 (16-1), professional fights have done the same.
For Tuivasa, while more technical than many would think at a glance, he was in over his head in September vs. Ciryl Gane, who picked him apart with a second-round TKO. Unfortunately for “Bam Bam” fans, this fight reads similarly in terms of ability.
Coming in, Pavlovich holds edges in knockdown average per 15 minutes (4x) and significant strikes landed per minute (1.5x); the only two metrics that matter in this style of fight. While anything can happen in this division and I do typically weigh metrics less at heavyweight, I think Pavlovich is the clear pick in this battle of goliaths.
Pick: Sergei Pavlovich (-200 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 2 units
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay)
Amanda Ribas + Phil Rowe + Roman Dolidze + Kevin Holland + Matheus Nicolau (+2169 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Francis Marshall (-165 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.65 units
Jonathan Pearce - Inside the Distance (-110 BetOnline.ag) to risk 2.2 units
Emily Ducote (-120 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 3.6 units
Price/Rowe Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision (-200 BetOnline.ag) to risk 4 units
Roman Dolidze (+155 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1 unit
Sergei Pavlovich (-200 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 2 units
*All odds as of the day of posting.