UFC Fight Night 162: Askren vs Maia Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

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On Saturday, October 26th, the UFC will be live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore, for UFC Fight Night 162: Askren vs Maia also known as UFC on ESPN+ 20. This event will feature a welterweight battle between Demian Maia and Ben Askren.

Unlike recent shows, this UFC show has undergone a handful of changes due to injuries and removals. Almost a half dozen originally scheduled fights were either removed, rebooked or rescheduled.

In total, UFC Fight Night 162 will feature 11 fights, which is a bit on the lower side considering they usually have 12 to 14 fights per card. Keep in mind the time difference as well. Since this show takes place in Singapore, it will begin at 5 AM ET. The entire event will stream on ESPN+.

UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of UFC Fight Night 162 fights. Let’s step inside the betting octagon and examine these current betting lines, identify possible betting value or upsets, and KO our picks.

UFC Fight Night 162 Prelims

The preliminary card features six fights and is set to begin at 5 AM ET on ESPN+

Karol Rosa (+170) vs Julia Avila (-195)

This bout was recently removed from the card after Rosa withdrew from the fight due to a knee injury. There are no plans to reschedule this fight or to replace it on the card with another matchup.

Jeff Hughes (10-2, 1 NC) vs Raphael Pessoa (9-1)

  • Jeff Hughes (-225)
  • Raphael Pessoa (+190)

Pessoa made his UFC debut in August but ended up losing via submission near the end of the 1st round. He spent most of his career with international promotions before fighting in LFA 13 months ago. Seven of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with six victories by way of TKO/KO.

Jeff Hughes is a former LFA heavyweight champion who came over to the UFC in July 2018. He earned a contract on DWTNCS after scoring a 1st round KO. His first UFC fight was seven months ago against Maurice Greene, a guy he beat in April 2018 for the LFA title. Greene scored the split decision victory.

Hughes stepped back into the octagon six weeks ago against Todd Duffee, but that fight ended in a No Contest after an accidental eye poke. So, Hughes is still looking for his first UFC victory. Half of his pro wins have come via stoppage. All four of his TKO/KO wins have come in the 1st round.

For this fight, Hughes should win by TKO. Pessoa doesn’t have the striking skills or the ground game to defeat Hughes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight ends in the 1st round.

UFC Bet: Jeff Hughes (-225)

Aleksandra Albu (3-1) vs Loma Lookboonmee (3-1)

  • Aleksandra Albu (-105)
  • Loma Lookboonmee (-115)

Albu has fought three times under the UFC banner and has a record of 2-1. She has a concerning trend of fighting every two years. This bout will be the first time she’s fought twice in the same year. Albu will be the bigger fighter in this bout, and she also has the better grappling game.

Lookboonmee is a veteran of Muay-Thai and has a nasty arsenal of punches, kicks, knees and elbows. She made her MMA debut in January 2018 and has quickly adapted to the sport. Although she is smaller, Loma has a massive advantage in striking.

Albu’s best chance is to get this fight to the mat. However, that’s easier said than done. I see Loma keeping this contest at a distance as she tears up Albu with kicks. Eventually, Loma will either get the TKO or cruise to a unanimous decision win.

Both women offer betting value, which means you could see a good return on whomever you back. For me, I can’t ignore the massive striking advantage for Loma.

UFC Bet: Loma Lookboonmee (-115)

Sergey Pavlovich (13-1) vs Maurice Greene (8-2)

  • Sergey Pavlovich (-240)
  • Maurice Greene (+205)

As mentioned above, Maurice Greene got a big UFC win over Jeff Hughes seven months ago. He followed that up with a 1st round TKO win over Junior Albini. Greene is now on a three-fight win streak and not only making noise outside of the octagon but inside as well.

Six of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage with four victories by way of submission. Both of his losses have come via decision. He’s never been stopped in a pro fight.

Pavlovich was 12-0 when he entered the UFC but went up against the powerful Alistair Overeem and lost via 1st round TKO. However, he was able to bounce back six months later when he defeated Golm via 1st round KO in April. Ten of his 13 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Despite his striking power, Pavlovich has an even stronger wrestling background. Greene is going to be outmatched on the feet or on the mat. Pavlovich will take this fight wherever he wants. I believe he’s going to get the TKO in this contest.

UFC Bet: Sergey Pavlovich (-240)

Enrique Barzola (17-4) vs Movsar Evloev (11-0)

  • Enrique Barzola (+158)
  • Movsar Evloev (-183)

I’m a bit surprised that this fight didn’t make it on the main card. It’s going to be a solid fight between two grapplers who can also stand and strike.

Barzola has been with the UFC for almost four years and has an octagon record of 6-2. He dropped a contest against Kevin Aguilar in March, which snapped a four-fight win streak. Barzola was able to bounce back in August when he defeated Bobby Moffett via split decision.

Eight of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage. The other eight have come via decision. When going the distance, Barzola is 8-4-1.

Evloev was a longtime M-1 bantamweight champion who finally made the jump to the UFC in April. He won his octagon debut over Sung Woo Choi via unanimous decision. Evloev is a dominant grappler with improving boxing skills. Seven of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage.

I think these two are even when it comes to striking. On the mat, Evloev has a clear advantage, and I believe this is where he will win the fight. Evloev will either score a late-round TKO via ground and pound, or he will grind out a unanimous decision win in his 2nd UFC fight.

UFC Bet: Movsar Evloev (-183)

Rafael Fiziev (6-1) vs Alex White (13-5)

  • Rafael Fiziev (-200)
  • Alex White (+170)

Alex White has been with the UFC for 5 ½ years and has a record of 4-5 inside the octagon. He’s dropped two of his last three fights and five of his last eight bouts. Furthermore, he seems to have struggled against higher caliber opponents, which is evident with losses to Anthony Rocco Martin and Jim Miller.

White last fought in March and defeated Dan Moret via unanimous decision. Ten of his 13 wins have come via stoppage. Three of his five losses have come via decision.

Fiziev has a Muay-Thai background and brought those striking skills into the UFC six months ago. Unfortunately, he lost in his octagon debut via TKO after eating a spinning back kick by Mustafaev in the 1st round. Five of his six pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Fiziev’s debut was a complete dud. It was so disappointing that I want to pick White to win this fight. However, I can’t bring myself to do so. Fiziev is a superior striker to White, and that will be a huge difference. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fiziev gets a 1st round TKO on Saturday.

UFC Bet: Rafael Fiziev (-200)

Ashley Yoder (7-4) vs Randa Markos (9-7-1)

  • Ashley Yoder (+130)
  • Randa Markos (-150)

Ashley Yoder was originally scheduled to face Yan Xiaonan, but that fight was changed due to Xiaonan pulling out because of a foot injury. Randa Markos stepped in to take the fight.

I love Yoder’s nickname of “The Spider Monkey.” I wish I could pick her to win this fight based on that name alone. Unfortunately, she has a lot working against her in this contest. Yoder does have a two-fight winning streak and a decent ground game, but she’s giving up six inches in reach and three inches in height.

Markos has been inconsistent since joining the UFC in 2014. She’s been alternating between wins and losses ever since stepping inside the octagon. She’s also coming off a loss to Gadelha via unanimous decision. So, if her pattern holds true this weekend, then she will get the win.

Putting trends aside, Markos does have a size advantage. She’s also a slightly better striker and can do more on the mat than Yoder. Twelve of her 17 pro fights have gone the distance. She has a record of 5-6-1 in those contests. Seven of Yoder’s 11 pro fights have gone the distance, and she’s 3-4 in those fights.

This matchup has “decision” written all over it. It’s either going to be a grappling match that goes three rounds or an up and down affair with takedown attempts by both women. Either way, I’m taking Markos to win via decision.

UFC Bet: Randa Markos (-150)

UFC Fight Night 162 Main Card

The main card of the event features five fights and is set to begin at 8 AM ET on ESPN+.

Muslim Salikhov (15-2) vs Laureano Staropoli (9-1)

  • Muslim Salikhov (-162)
  • Laureano Staropoli (+142)

Despite being added three weeks ago, this fight is a serious contender for “Fight of the Night” as these two men love to strike and are very good at it.

Staropoli is on a seven-fight win streak, including capturing victories in his two UFC fights. Staropoli defeated both Hector Aldana last November and Thiago Alves five months ago via unanimous decision.

Despite winning both fights via decision, Staropoli does pack a punch as he’s scored five TKO/KO wins in his career. His lone loss did come via TKO/KO, but that was six years ago in just his third pro fight.

Salikhov is a highly accomplished mixed martial artist with a background in kickboxing and Kung Fu. He’s a deadly striker with 12 TKO/KO wins in his MMA career. Salikhov made his UFC debut two years ago but lost via submission. He bounced back with two wins via KO over Ricky Rainey and Nordine Taleb.

The Taleb fight was roughly six weeks ago, and it ended late in the 1st round. Salikhov is on a quick turnaround but has no problems with it.

For this fight, I’m going with Salikhov to win via TKO. However, I would not be surprised if Staropoli pulled out a win as I do give him a puncher’s chance, and I believe he’s worthy of a small flier.

UFC Bet: Muslim Salikhov (-162)

Cyril Gane (4-0) vs Don’Tale Mayes (6-2)

  • Cyril Gane (-300)
  • Don’Tale Mayes (+250)

Don’Tale Mayes is on a three-fight win streak after dropping a bout on DWTNCS two years ago. Despite that loss, UFC has given him two more opportunities on DWTNCS, and he’s won both via TKO. He now has scored four TKO/KO wins in eight pro fights.

Gane is a rising prospect who continues to get better every time he fights. He made his UFC debut in August and submitted Pessoa late in the 1st round. All four of his pro fights have ended via stoppage. Not only does he have skills in the octagon, but he looks the part of a heavyweight fighter as well.

With that said, not many fighters have been willing to step inside the octagon to face him. Gane commented on how it’s been hard finding opponents:

“The matchmakers had to go to seven people to find someone to fight me on the roster. There wasn’t anyone ready to give me that chance to fight me. I guess because I don’t have a big name yet, they didn’t see any interest to fight me. Anyway, there were seven people who turned back the contract from the UFC.”

After Gane wins this fight, it will be even harder to find someone to face him in his next trip inside the octagon. Gane is being brought along slowly with the UFC, but he’s too dangerous of a heavyweight for notable fighters to take on right now.

For this contest, I’m taking Gane to gain his 5th career win as he scores a TKO against Mayes.

UFC Bet: Cyril Gane (-300)

Frank Camacho (22-7) vs Beneil Dariush (16-4-1)

  • Frank Camacho (+137)
  • Beneil Dariush (-157)

This is going to be a solid lightweight battle that could also contend for “Fight of the Night” honors.

After two straight losses, Camacho decided to come back down to lightweight as his foray into the welterweight division didn’t go so well. His return to this weight class was a success as he defeated Nick Hein via 2nd round TKO in June. That was the 17th TKO/KO win of his career.

Dariush has been a lightweight contender for a few years now. He’s also a hard-hitting fighter with a strong grappling game. Ten of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven victories by way of submission.

Despite the buzz for this fight and the potential to earn a bonus, Dariush doesn’t share the same enthusiasm as others. He sees this fight as a “lose-lose” scenario:

“He always goes there, and it’s always a war, and if he loses, he always loses by a hair. So for me to win this fight, it’s not going to do much for me. And if I lose this fight, it looks bad. It’s an interesting situation to be in. I don’t know where I’m going to go from here afterwards. I almost feel like the UFC might not be happy with me because Frank Camacho, he’s so dang tough.”

These comments were rather eye-opening. It’s not often you hear fighters talk like this. It’s as if Dariush feels like he’s already lost. Nevertheless, a win over Camacho would put more wind in his sails, and it might even put him back in the Top 15 for the division.

I believe Dariush is going to pick up this hard-fought win and extend his streak to three straight victories. He appears to have righted the ship after dropping two of three fights. I’m taking Dariush to win via decision. He’s 6-0-1 when going the distance. Camacho is 3-2 when going to the judges.

UFC Bet: Beneil Dariush (-157)

Michael Johnson (19-14) vs Stevie Ray (22-9)

  • Michael Johnson (-300)
  • Stevie Ray (+250)

This co-main event lightweight bout does very little for me. Not only are the betting odds unappealing, but this matchup itself feels more like a prelim contest than a co-featured fight.

Stevie Ray comes into this contest having lost three of his last four fights. He last stepped inside the octagon in June and lost via KO just two minutes into the fight. However, he’s still 6-4 in the UFC. Fourteen of his 22 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission.

Michael Johnson used to be a contender. Now, he’s more of a stepping stone and gatekeeper for the Top 15. Johnson has lost four of his last six fights and six of his last nine fights. He last stepped inside the octagon in March and lost via 3rd round KO to Josh Emmett.

It’s shocking just how bad Johnson has been over the last four years. He’s lost to all of the top fighters like Dariush, Diaz, Nurmagomedov, Gaethje, and Elkins. This is the man with wins over Lauzon, Guillard and Barboza. He’s also the last fighter to beat Tony Ferguson.

I’m not confident in either man to win this fight. I’m certainly not comfortable with wagering on either fighter. With that said, the safe play is still with Johnson. He’s shown a better overall fight game than Ray has. And, he has a more impressive resume.

Johnson is battle tested, and I expect him to win on Saturday via decision.

UFC Bet: Michael Johnson (-300)

Ben Askren (20-1, 1 NC) vs Demian Maia (27-9)

  • Ben Askren (-172)
  • Demian Maia (+147)

Demian Maia is about as respected as they come in the UFC. At age 41, he still competes at a high level and is a very dangerous grappler. His submission skills have led to 13 wins by tap out. Further proof of his value in the sport is that he’s ranked 10th in the welterweight division, one spot ahead of Askren.

Maia has won two straight fights after dropping three in a row to the top men of the weight class: Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman.

This will be Maia’s 31st appearance in the UFC, where he has a record of 21-9. Eleven of his finishes have come in the 1st round. He’s only been stopped one time, and that was 10 years ago.

Ben Askren is desperate to get a big win this weekend after going 1-1 in his first two UFC fights. Not to mention, his first bout against Robbie Lawler ended with some controversy where many felt he was losing the fight.

Askren’s status in the hotly contested division is hanging by a thread. If he loses again, then he will plummet down the rankings. This is something that’s not lost on Askren. He doesn’t want to think about another loss.

Nevertheless, he knows that he’s in for a tough fight against Maia and has prepared for many outcomes on the mat:

“I’m not gonna go out there and do dumb stuff to take Demian down, like, real risky stuff. I’m not gonna do that. But I will go for the takedowns, and I am very comfortable on the ground. I’m preparing for a lot of positions that I think we’ll see in the fight. So, I’m not gonna just dive in for takedowns, but I probably will get my takedowns, I will secure top position. I think I’m a very dominant top position and I’ll be able to stuff all of his sweeps and land a lot of damage from top.”

I agree that Askren can and will do a lot of damage from the top. His top control should be the difference in the fight. Covington, Usman, Woodley all used top-notch grappling skills to overpower Maia and win the fight.

Askren is a better grappler and wrestler than all three of those champion(s). He’s a former Bellator and ONE Championship welterweight champ. He’s a former two-time National Champion in Division 1 wrestling. He’s a four-time Division 1 All-American wrestler.

As long as Askren doesn’t eat any flying knees to start the fight, he will win this contest in what should be a highly technical grappling battle. For the fans who love striking, this main event match isn’t for you. For everyone else who loves the sport of MMA and its various styles, this is going to be a great fight.

For me, I’m taking Askren to win. This is the perfect opportunity for Ben to rebuild his brand. A solid win on Saturday will allow him to call out a Top 10 opponent. Maybe a fight against Woodley or Covington if he loses. That would be a big main event.

Askren will either get the unanimous decision on Saturday or score a late-round stoppage. He does have 12 stoppage victories on his resume. He’s also 7-0 in decisions. Maia is 11-8 when going to the scorecards.

UFC Bet: Ben Askren (-172)

UFC Fight Night 162 Betting Value

The following fighters offer betting value based on their current MMA odds, UFC Fight Night 162 matchups and career success:

  • Loma Lookboonmee (-115) will make her UFC debut this weekend against Aleksandra Albu (-105). She’s a slight favorite, but both women offer betting value. I believe Loma’s striking arsenal will be the difference in this contest.

Final Thoughts on UFC Fight Night 162

There are three fights that I’m interested in on this card. Otherwise, it’s a throwaway event for me. And, waking up at 5 AM PT for the main card doesn’t seem appealing either. With that said, I’m looking forward to Askren vs Maia.

As far as betting value, there’s not much at all on this card, which is disappointing. Most of the matchups heavily favor the better, more established fighter. The risks might not be worth the rewards.

In all honesty, I’m more excited about the Bellator 232 card than I am this event. I’m even more excited for Prograis vs Taylor as well. With that said, this is going to be an exciting fight sports weekend.

UFC Fight Night 162 Betting Recap

  • Jeff Hughes (-225)
  • Loma Lookboonmee (-115)
  • Sergey Pavlovich (-240)
  • Movsar Evloev (-183)
  • Rafael Fiziev (-200)
  • Randa Markos (-150)
  • Muslim Salikhov (-162)
  • Cyril Gane (-300)
  • Beneil Dariush (-157)
  • Michael Johnson (-300)
  • Ben Askren (-172)
Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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