UFC Vegas 59: Odds, Predictions, and Free Picks
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV
Prelims: 7:00 PM EST - ESPN/ESPN+
Main Card: 10:00 PM EST - ESPN/ESPN+
After three weeks on the road, the UFC heads back to the Apex this weekend as they are starting to get back into a pre-pandemic routine of hosting there just once a month. Outside of the top 10 matchup (Santos vs. Hill) in the main event, there are a lot of younger fighters on this card looking to make a name for themselves.
A day earlier than expected, but let’s get into it.
Cory McKenna vs. Miranda Granger
This checks a lot of boxes for me before even getting into the advanced metrics, with it being almost two years since Granger last was in the octagon (ring rust), as well as being seven years McKenna’s senior (~65% of fights with an age difference of 5+ years go the way of the younger fighter).
Now let’s talk about the metrics.
Coming into this fight, the more active McKenna holds edges across the board, including on the ground where Granger specializes. This one might go the distance, but look for McKenna to settle in earlier and rack up her points.
Pick: Cory McKenna (-225 at DraftKings) to risk 2.25 units
Jason Witt vs. Josh Quinlan
Typically, I will stay away from fights featuring one fighter making their UFC debut, but I’m on DWCS product Josh Quinlan in this fight. Officially 5-0-1, Quinlan’s “draw” came in his DWCS win in September, originally a first-round KO over Logan Urban that was later ruled an NC from a failed drug test. It’s also worth noting all of Quinlan’s wins have come inside the distance.
On the otherside, we mostly know who Witt is, having now lost three of four in the UFC, with his three losses coming via KO/TKO inside of two rounds.
Quinlan’s striking metrics jump off the page, and the scary thing is his formal training comes in jiu-jitsu, having ended two of his fights via rear-naked chokes. The UFC debutant gets it done in his first fight in the big leagues.
Pick: Josh Quinlan (-210 at DraftKings) to risk 2.1 units
Terrence McKinney vs. Erik Gonzalez
This reminds me of the Smith/Ankalaev fight last week in that it’s completely lopsided across the board, but I’m not passing on this one. Holding minimum 2x edges in both striking and grappling, McKinney hasn’t fought the best in the weight class (yet), but also has never had a fight go the distance. The last time we saw him in the octagon was a first-round KO via Drew Dober, who we just saw’s caliber at UFC 277.
A “get back on track” opponent, Gonzalez failed his first UFC test in October against Jim Miller, and now is going into even deeper waters to face McKinney. Look for this one to end violently and early.
Pick: Terrence McKinney to win via KO/TKO (+130 at BetOnline) to risk 1 unit
Augusto Sakai vs. Sergey Spivac
After four straight wins to start his UFC career, Sakai started seeing real opponents in late 2020; losing three straight since then all via KO/TKO. The slight edges he holds in striking here are canceled out with absorbing 25% more, critical for sustainment at this weight class.
Spivac also holds the large edge in the ground game, a perfect 6-0 in fights decided on the ground. With his only loss since 2020 coming against heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall, a win here gets Spivac into the rankings and I think we see a motivated effort.
On average 80% of these two’s fights have ended inside the distance, and I think we see the same here.
Pick: Sergey Spivac Win Inside the Distance (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
Vicente Luque vs. Geoff Neal
This is a quality welterweight matchup that I think is more mismatched than the odds here imply. Luque comes into this fight having lost his first fight since 2019 a decision loss to title contender Belal Muhammad in April.
A closer look at that fight with Muhammad, a decision loss, shows Luque won the striking battle but lost the fight on the ground in a big way; leading to the decision loss.
Grappling won’t be a concern here against Neal, however, Neal has one fight after another shown a propensity to stand and strike which should lead to trouble for him. With this fight being critical for both’s path to a title, I expect a conservative approach but for Luque to ultimately win out as the more skilled fighter.
Pick: Vicente Luque (-165 at Caesars Sportsbook) to risk 1.65 units
BMP of the Week (Beer Money Parlay)**
Cory McKenna + Silva/Egger Under 2.5 Rounds + Luque/Neal Over 2.5 Rounds + Thiago Santos (+2798 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Cory McKenna (-225 at DraftKings) to risk 2.25 units
Josh Quinlan (-210 at DraftKings) to risk 2.1 units
Terrence McKinney to win via KO/TKO (+130 at BetOnline) to risk 1 unit
Sergey Spivac Win Inside the Distance (-125 at DraftKings Sportsbook) to risk 1.25 units
Vicente Luque (-165 at Caesars Sportsbook) to risk 1.65 units
All current and historical picks are tracked here.
*All odds as of the day of posting.
**Parlays are the fastest way to lose money in sports betting. That said there is nothing more fun. Have at it, but only with our weekly drinking (High Noons at JC HQ) money.
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