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We are coming off of a great event at UFC Vegas 29 which was capped off with a five-round war between two of the Featherweight division’s best “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Dan Ige. We went 5-3 (63%) on our bets and are looking to build on our three-event winning streak at UFC Vegas 30.
On tap for this week, we have a Heavyweight showdown between two of the best technical strikers in the entire division: #3 Cyril Gane and #5 Alexander Volkov. This fight card is littered with exciting fights, starting with the prelims all the way to the main event. With that said, let’s dig deep into the odds.
Renato Moicano (-230) vs Jai Herbert (+184)
To kick things off on the main card, we have a fight in the Lightweight division between Renato Moicano and Jai Herbert. Both Moicano and Herbert are in a tough spot as they are coming off of losses and looking to get back into the win column.
The former Featherweight title contender Renato Moicano is having mixed success in his newly minted Lightweight division. He is 1-1 since moving up, and in his lone loss, it was clear that there are some durability issues. If Moicano can mix in the calf kicks along with his underrated grappling, he can get back into the win column.
Jai Herbert’s UFC debut didn’t go quite as planned, as he was on the wrong end of a brutal knockout at the hands of Francisco Trinaldo. Herbert will have a sizable height (2″) and reach (5″) advantage that he will need to utilize to keep this fight fought at his range and outside of the grasp of Moicano.
Herbert has shown that he has some pop in his strikes, but he has also shown that he fades down the stretch. Moicano will need to avoid getting into a firefight like he did against Fiziev. If Moicano can utilize his grappling and his pressure striking, he can get himself right back into the win column.
The Pick: Renato Moicano (-230)
Tim Means (-144) vs Nicholas Dalby (+118)
After a fallout last week in his fight against Danny Roberts, Tim Means will be taking on Nicholas Dalby on short notice. The clash between these two high level strikers is going to make this fight an interesting one to watch.
Nicholas Dalby is coming off his best win since his return to the octagon. His karate style of striking makes it hard for the opposition trying to get a read on him. Having the unorthodox style of fighting will help him be successful in this short notice fight against Means. If he is able to utilize his movement and mix in some grappling, he can steal this fight on the judges’ scorecards.
Tim Means, even at age 37, is performing at a high level, winning two fights in a row. The pace and pressure that he puts on his opponents is relentless. That tends to wear on his opponents over the course of a 3-round affair. He is going to need to find his range and keep the pressure on Dalby to get his hand raised Saturday night.
Because of the short notice of this fight, the advantages lie with Nicholas Dalby. Means was getting ready for a fight with a completely different type of fighter, Danny Roberts. Dalby possesses a much trickier challenge for Means. With his style of striking, Dalby should be able to use his distance management well and land some takedowns to win on the judges’ scorecards.
The Pick: Nicholas Dalby (+118)
Andre Fili (-230) vs Daniel Pineda (+184)
In the Featherweight division, we have a scrap between two all-action fighters, Andre “Touchy” Fili and Daniel Pineda. This fight has the potential to be the fight of the night and one you surely will not want to miss.
Andre Fili is just 1-2 in his last 3 fights and is looking to get back on track with a win here against Daniel Pineda. Fili will have a sizable reach advantage of 5.5 inches, which he should be able to utilize quite well. He will need to use that reach to keep away from the power of Pineda and mix in some takedowns in order to get his hand raised.
Daniel Pineda has since gone 1-1 in his return to the octagon just last year. He has the ability to finish fights either on the feet or on the mat. He’s going to need to bring the pace and pressure much like he did against Cub Swanson to get the win over the tough Andre Fili.
This is going to be a closely contested scrap between these two fighters, a lot closer than the line suggests. Expect things to get dicey for Fili in the early portion of the fight but as the fight progresses, he should take over as Pineda fades. Fili will be able to capitalize on the gassed Pineda and potentially put him away in the later portion of the fight.
The Pick: Andre Fili (-230)
Raoni Barcelos (-230) vs Timur Valiev (+184)
This is one of the most underrated fights of the entire night, a fight in the bantamweight division between Raoni Barcelos and Timur Valiev. These fighters are arguably the two top prospects in the bantamweight division facing off against one another.
Raoni Barcelos comes in with an almost perfect 16-1 record and has yet to taste defeat inside the octagon. He faces his stiffest test yet in Timur Valiev but one he should be able to pass. Barcelos is one of the most complete fighters in the bantamweight division, and he is going to put on a show on Saturday night.
Timur Valiev had a ton of hype coming into his UFC debut, only to suffer a come-from-behind knockout loss to Trevin Jones. He has since gotten back on track with a dominant win over Martin Day. Much like Barcelos, Valiev is a well rounded mixed martial artist, and he is going to need to utilize every tool that he has to get his hand raised in this fight.
Barcelos seems to have the edge in size, strength and power, while Valiev has the advantages in speed and technique. The advantages that Valiev may have in the technical aspect don’t outweigh his disadvantages in the size and power. Barcelos will be the one landing harder shots and dictating the pace of this fight, ultimately winning a hard fought 3-round decision.
The Pick: Raoni Barcelos (-230)
Tanner Boser (-184) vs Ovince Saint Preux (+148)
In the co-main event, we have the first of two heavyweight fights with a fight between Tanner Boser and Ovince Saint Preux. Both fighters are taking this fight against one another on short notice and are looking to get back into the win column.
Tanner Boser is coming off yet another tough luck loss at the hands of the judges’ scorecards. Boser, who fought not too long ago, is still in shape and ready to go for this short notice opportunity against Ovince Saint Preux. He will have a massive volume advantage in this fight, so he should have no problems out-striking Saint Preux at range. As long as Boser doesn’t get caught on the feet or play the clinch game against the fence, he should be able to finally get a win on the judges’ scorecards.
Ovince Saint Preux is stepping up in weight to take on Tanner Boser after his opponent at 205 lb, Maxim Grishin, withdrew from their fight. The last time Saint Preux fought at heavyweight was an ugly split decision loss to Ben Rothwell. At that weight class, Saint Preux seemed to be slower than he normally is at Light Heavyweight. If Saint Preux doesn’t catch Boser on the feet or drag this fight to mat, he is going to have a lot of trouble keeping up with Boser fighting his type of fight at distance.
Tanner Boser should be able to do as he pleases fighting at range. His distance striking and footwork are some of the best in the entire heavyweight division. Unless Ovince Saint Preux is in the best shape of his life since his last stint at Heavyweight, it is hard to imagine him giving Boser any type of trouble in this fight.
The Pick: Tanner Boser (-184)
Ciryl Gane (-168) vs Alexander Volkov (+136)
In the main event, we have a fight between two of the best Heavyweight fighters on the planet. #3 Cyril Gane will take on #5 Alexander Volkov. A win from either fighter can put them in the title contention, which will spark a very competitive fight.
Ciryl Gane is coming into the biggest fight of his career still undefeated at 8-0. He was the top Heavyweight prospect coming into his UFC debut back in 2019 at just 3-0, and now he is potentially one fight away from a title fight. Gane has exceptional kickboxing skills, but his underrated grappling will need to be the difference maker here in this fight. If he is able to mix in the takedowns with his striking, he can certainly extend his undefeated record to 9-0.
Alexander Volkov has looked like a brand new fighter since adding on size to his already large frame. Ever since his loss to Curtis Blaydes, Volkov has added 20 lbs of muscle, which resulted in back-to-back knockouts. Volkov was already one of the deadliest strikers in the Heavyweight division and now adding the type of power that he’s generating makes him that much more dangerous to deal with.
This is a very big test for Gane and one I’m not sure he is ready for just yet. He has exceptional kickboxing and distance striking, but he has yet to face anyone with the striking skills that Volkov possesses. Volkov will show his improved takedown defense against Gane and win the distance striking battle.
The Pick: Alexander Volkov (+136)
This fight is going to be an absolute barn burner. Both of these fighters have finishing abilities on the feet as well as on the mat. Pineda hasn’t seen the judges (win or lose) since 2016 and has fought 10 times since then. Expect someone to get finished inside the distance in this fight.
There is some value on the newcomer Jeremiah Wells taking this fight on short notice. He has been on the UFC’s radar for quite some time now. He is a strong wrestler with a BJJ Black Belt under the well respected Daniel Gracie over at Renzo Gracie Philadelphia. He has never been finished in his professional career, and he is someone that will fight for your money. You can expect Wells to exceed his value in this fight against the veteran Warlley Alves.
Charles Rosa has a great stylistic matchup here against Justin Jaynes. Jaynes is a tough, gritty veteran of this sport that looks to head hunt and knock out his opponents. Lucky for Rosa is as tough as they come as he has only been knocked out by Shane Burgos in his entire career. Rosa should be able to weather the early storm of Jaynes and completely take over in rounds 2 and 3 to win a clear cut decision.