The main event at UFC Fight Night 125 (Saturday, Feb. 3) sees Lyoto Machida (22-8) continue to play the role of middleweight gatekeeper when he takes on rising star and former Alabama football player Eryk Anders (10-0).
In the co-main event, John Dodson (19-9) will be looking to dance his way to a victory over jiu-jitsu specialist Pedro Munhoz (15-2).
But there isn’t much value for bettors in the big fights — if you can call them that. Instead, you have to dig down into the undercard to find the bargains.
Last week’s picks for UFC on FOX 27 went pretty well, going 2-1 on straight bets and 2-1 on props. We won’t talk about the parlays. Our overall record is now 16-10 and we’re still sitting pretty with a profit $87.58 and a 62-percent winning percentage.
I’m playing it relatively safe at UFC Fight Night 125, but there is an intriguing underdog worth a minimum bet along with a few method-of-victory props that look tasty.
Best Bets to Win
Marlon Vera (-125) vs. Douglas Andrade (+105): Bantamweight
As mentioned above, there isn’t a lot to chew on, betting-wise, on this card. However, Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-2) is a small underdog hidden in the prelims who is definitely a bargain at this price. He has finished 19 of his 24 wins via knockout and he’s facing Marlon Vera (10-4-1), who’s earned 60-percent of his wins by submission.
When you look at the tale of the tape on this fight, Vera clearly has the advantage in reach in both arms (70-inches) and legs (40-inches) and, of course, he holds the edge in the grappling department. The problem for Vera is that he has a tough time getting dudes to the mat, with a takedown success-rate of only 30-percent.
As dangerous as Vera is, he doesn’t have the boxing acumen to hang with Andrade. If he can’t get the fight to the ground, he will be spending a lot of time in Andrade’s wheelhouse, which will not go well.
Unless Vera can either land a lucky shot early or get the fight to the mat, Andrade should be able to make quick work out of “Chito” and that’s why +105 is a solid bet.
My bet: $25 on Douglas Andrade (+105)
Potential payout: $26.25 profit
Best Prop Bets
While there aren’t any over/under rounds wagers that entice on this card, there are a couple of juicy method-of-victory props to play.
Andrade to win via finish (+350)
Douglas Andrade can crack and has the ability to finish off Marlon Vera. As discussed, Vera will likely be aiming for takedowns, and although he is great when the fight does go to the ground, his actual takedown accuracy is a measly 30-percent. That should open things up for Andrade on the feet and it makes this ostensible longshot worth a taste.
My bet: $25 on Douglas Andrade to finish (+350)
Potential payout: $87.50 profit
Polyana Viana Mota to win via finish (+110)
Mota may have very rigid stand-up and throws some ugly punches, but she is a force to be reckoned with on the ground. Maia Stevenson has never faced an opponent like Mota and as soon as this fight goes to the ground, it’ll be over. There is a ton of value in this prop at +110.
My bet: $25 on Polyana Viana Mota to finish (+110)
Potential payout: $27.50 profit
Best Parlay Play
As much as Pedro Munhoz is a threat on the ground against John Dodson, he will have a rough time trying to get Dodson to the mat. Thus, it will be “The Magician” doing what he does best: picking the Brazilian apart with punches.
Alan Patrick doesn’t win pretty, but when has that ever mattered to bettors? He wins. Although Damir Hadzovic has pretty good hands, Patrick knows how to suffocate his opponents in the clinch and on the ground. Patrick should be able to grind out another decision win.
My bet: $50 on Alan Patrick (-220) + John Dodson (-149)
Potential payout: $71.54.
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