UFC Fight Night 164 Betting Preview, Odds and Fight Predictions

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On Saturday, November 16th, the UFC will be live from the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for UFC Fight Night 164 also known as UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Jacare and UFC on ESPN+ 22. The main event of the night is a light heavyweight bout between Jan Blachowicz and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

The co-main event on the night is another light heavyweight bout as one of Brazil’s most revered fighters Mauricio “Shogun” Rua takes on Paul Craig. Due to this show taking place in Brazil, some of UFC’s most notable Brazilian fighters and prospects will highlight the fight card.

In total, UFC Fight Night 164 is scheduled to have 12 bouts. The prelims are set to begin at 5 PM ET with a main card start time of 8 PM ET. The entire event can be seen live on ESPN+.

UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of UFC on ESPN+ 22 fights. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these current MMA betting lines, identify possible betting value or upsets, and KO our picks.

UFC Fight Night 164 Prelims

The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 5 PM ET.

Vanessa Melo (10-6) vs Tracy Cortez (6-1)

  • Vanessa Melo (+170)
  • Tracy Cortez (-200)

The UFC had to put in some work to make this fight happen. It was originally scheduled as a bout between Duda Santana and Leah Letson. However, Letson was removed from the card due to undisclosed reasons. Tracy Cortez replaced Letson.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the matchmaking madness. Two weeks ago, Santana was removed from this bout and replaced by Vanessa Melo.

Melo debuted in the UFC two months ago on short notice and lost via decision to Irene Aldana. She also missed weight as she came in at four pounds over the limit. Prior to that loss, Melo had won five straight bouts including a notable win over Jan Finney in another promotion.

Cortez is on a six fight win streak and earned this shot after winning on DWCS in July. The 25-year old has already fought in Invicta FC and Combate Americas. Four of her six wins have come via decision.

Melo’s best chance at winning is by catching the straight forward Cortez with a nasty counter shot. However, I just don’t see that happening. Most likely, Cortez will take down Melo to the mat and smother Vanessa with too much grappling. Cortez wins this via unanimous decision after grinding Melo into the mat.

UFC Bet: Tracy Cortez (-200)

Ariane Lipski (11-5) vs Veronica Macedo (6-3-1)

  • Ariane Lipski (+105)
  • Veronica Macedo (-125)

This event was originally scheduled for Ariane Lipski to take on Priscila Cachoeira. That matchup was scrapped due to Cachoeira being removed from the card for a failed test. Veronica Macedo has replaced Cachoeira.

Macedo snapped a three fight losing streak inside the octagon by defeating Viana three months ago via 1st round submission. Now, that she’s back on the winning track, Macedo looks to notch another win over a named opponent and put together her first UFC winning streak.

Lipski is a former KSW champ and was on a nine fight win streak before entering the UFC and losing both of her bouts inside the octagon. She dropped her debut to Calderwood and her second contest to McCann. These are two solid fighters that Lipske was matched up against.

It appears that the 25 year old wasn’t quite ready for a caliber of talent, but I wouldn’t count her out just yet. She’s still learning and evolving as a fighter. Eight of her 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.

Lipske’s two previous opponents were better grapplers than Macedo is. I don’t see Veronica having as much success taking down Lipske as McCann and Calderwood did. So, I expect this fight to stay upright until Arian Lipske ends it via TKO. I’m going with Lipske in the slight betting upset.

UFC Bet: Ariane Lipski (+105)

Douglas Silva de Andrade (25-3, 1 NC) vs Renan Barao (34-8, 1 NC)

  • Douglas Silva de Andrade (-240)
  • Renan Barao (+200)

At one point in time, Barao was one of the best bantamweights in the world. He was beating some of the sport’s best in the weight class, like Urijah Faber, and competing for titles. Now, he’s mostly just a shell of his former self which is evident in his record over the last few years.

Since his victory over Faber in February 2014, Barao has gone 2-7 in his last nine bouts which includes a four fight losing streak. His last victory was 38 months ago against Phillipe Nover. Baroa was last in the octagon this past February and he lost via KO in the 2nd round to Luke Sanders.

Andrade is in need of another win after dropping two of his last three fights including his most recent bout against Petr Yan 11 months ago. He’s 3-3 inside the octagon, but those three losses have been against some solid competition which Barao is no longer considered.

Barao has gone the distance in five of his last six fights and is 11-5 overall when seeing the judges. However, his last bout against Sanders made me cringe. That knockout was tough to watch and this fight has the potential for another one.

Barao’s time is up and the UFC really needs to say “enough is enough.” Both men are from Brazil, but this would be a great time for Barao to end his career regardless of who wins or loses.

I’m taking Andrade to win via 2nd round TKO. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes this in the 1st round. 19 of his 25 pro wins have come via TKO/KO with nine of those wins coming in the opening round.

UFC Bet: Douglas Silva de Andrade (-240)

Warlley Alves (13-3) vs Randall Brown (11-3)

  • Warlley Alves (-120)
  • Randall Brown (+100)

This is the second of three prelim fights with close betting odds. Randall Brown comes in as the slight underdog despite winning his last fight via TKO over the rugged Bryan Barberena. Brown sports a 5-3 record in the octagon since debuting with the UFC in the beginning of 2016.

Brown is 2-1 in his last three fights over the last two years as he did lose to Niko Price in July 2018. This will be Brown’s second fight in 2019 and the first time he’s fought twice in one year since 2016 when he had four bouts. Nine of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with six victories by way of TKO/KO.

Warlley Alves will have the fan support over his Jamaican counterpart as he’s from Brazil. He last fought in May and defeated Sergio Moraes via 3rd round KO. Alves is 3-1 in his last four fights which dates back to October 2017.

For his career, Alves is 7-3 in the octagon. He has fought many top welterweights like Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington. In fact, Alves is the last man to have defeated Covington which took place nearly four years ago. Nine of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six victories by way of submission.

Brown will have a four inch height and six inch reach advantage over Alves. However, Warlley will have the power, strength, grappling and submission advantages. Brown has only one submission loss in his career and that came against Michael Graves 3 ½ years ago.

Alves is much better than Graves in my opinion and I expect him to get this victory via submission in front of his fellow countrymen. Warlley has the potential to shoot up the ranks. Unfortunately, he’s failed to live up to that potential at times. This won’t be one of those occasions. Take Alves in this fight.

UFC Bet: Warlley Alves (-120)

Francisco Trinaldo (23-7) vs Bobby Green (24-9-1)

  • Francisco Trinaldo (-125)
  • Bobby Green (+105)

In the third of three prelim fights with close betting odds, Brazil’s Francisco Trinaldo takes on America’s Bobby Green in a lightweight contest.

Green is the slight underdog who’s had a rough go inside the octagon as of late. Over the last five years, Green has gone 1-3-1 during that span. He hasn’t fought in 11 months due to injuries and has seen his share of controversial outcomes.

Green was once a rising star in the division, but that brightness was snuffed out with a three fight losing streak to fighters like Barboza, Poirier, and Magomedov. 17 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage. 12 of his 34 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 7-5 in those contests.

Trinaldo may be 41 years old, but he’s built like a brickhouse and appears to subscribe to the same genetic blueprints as Yoel Romero. It’s as if both men defy father time by bathing in the fountain of youth.

Trinaldo has alternated between wins and losses over the last three years, but was robbed against Hernandez in July. The judges got that fight wrong according to many fans and pundits.

Trinaldo is 13-6 in his UFC career with wins over top fighters like Paul Felder. He looked great against the younger Alexander Hernandez in July and many pundits felt that he won. 13 of his 23 pro wins have come via stoppage. 14 of his 30 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 10-4 in those contests.

I expect this fight to be a close one. Brown has the advantage in striking from a distance, but Trinaldo has the advantage on the inside especially with his power. I don’t see Brown being able to overpower Trinaldo on the mat, so this looks like it could be a three round war of striking.

In that case, I like Trinaldo’s chances to win at home in front of his fellow countrymen. I’ve been more impressed with his fights over the last few years than Brown’s. I’m taking Trinaldo to win via decision.

UFC Bet: Francisco Trinaldo (-125)

Ricardo Ramos (13-2) vs Luiz Eduardo Garagorri (13-0)

  • Ricardo Ramos (-280)
  • Luiz Eduardo Garagorri (+240)

Ricardo Ramos is not only the biggest betting favorite of the prelims, but he’s the second largest favorite for the entire UFC Fight Night 164 event.

Ramos is considered a top shelf submission artist and sports a 4-1 record inside the octagon. He dropped a fight to Said Nurmagomedov in February, but bounced back for a nice win in June over Journey Newson.

Nine of Ramos’ 13 pro wins have come via submission with six victories by way of submission. He also boasts of six finishes in the 1st round.

Garagorri made his UFC debut in August and defeated Humberto Bandenay via unanimous decision. Garagorri earned that opportunity by winning six straight fights in the 1st round. 10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission.

Although Garagorri has six submission wins, he’s still a level or two below Ramos in the grappling department. In fact, Garagorri is still an unproven commodity. Was his win over Bandenay luck or skill?

On the other hand, Ramos is a proven commodity in the UFC and has shown a world class level of submission skills. I expect him to take this fight to the mat and dominate Garagorri. He won’t have to worry about the striking and should cruise to a submission victory.

The only question is whether or not Ramos gets this win in the 1st or 2nd round. Garagorri isn’t worthy of a flier.

UFC Bet: Ricardo Ramos (-280)

Sergio Moraes (14-5-1) vs James Krause (26-7)

  • Sergio Moraes (+160)
  • James Krause (-185)

Sergio Moraes is fighting in his hometown this weekend, but comes in as a sizable underdog. He’s been with the UFC since October 2012 and has an octagon record of 8-4-1. He’s dropped two straight fights against worthy adversaries in Warlley Alves and Anthony Rocco Martin.

Moraes has a ton of grappling talent, but doesn’t always use that to his advantage. He often finds himself in brawls that he can’t win. In two of his last three losses, Moraes was KO’d by Alves and Usman. Yet, when he takes this fight to the mat, Moraes has earned eight submission victories.

James Krause has been with the UFC since mid-2013 and has a record of 7-3 inside the octagon. He’s on a five fight win streak, but hasn’t competed in 15 months. His last fight was August 2018 and he won via TKO over the same Alves that KO’d Moraes.

21 of Krause’s 26 pro wins have come via stoppage with 14 victories by way of submission. He’s a proven grappler with strong skills in the standup department as well. In fact, he has the clear striking advantage over Moraes in this fight.

With that said, I like a good underdog story and I think this could be one for UFC Fight Night 164. Moraes is fighting in his hometown and taking on an opponent who will have some rustiness. 15 months off is a long break between fights.

If Moraes commits to taking this fight to the mat then he should win. At +160 odds, I like the value and the possibility of a nice payout. If you are uncomfortable with picking the upset then take Krause to win via decision. The brave and the bold UFC bettors will ride with Moraes.

UFC Bet: Sergio Moraes (+160)

UFC Fight Night 164 Main Card

The main card of the event features five fights and is set to begin at 8 PM ET.

Markus Perez (12-2) vs Wellington Turman (15-3)

  • Markus Perez (-125)
  • Wellington Turman (+105)

Wellington Turman entered the UFC on a four fight win streak, but dropped his debut in July against the tough Karl Roberson. Despite the loss, Turman looked good and it took a questionable split decision result to ruin his debut.

Turman is eight years younger than Perez and has shown some solid top control and wrestling skills. 11 of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. However, five of his last seven fights have gone the distance. For his career, Turman is 4-3 when going to the scorecards.

Markus Perez started off his career 9-0 and defeated Ian Heinisch for the LFA middleweight title. Both men would go on to the UFC following that fight. Perez has performed well inside the octagon despite his 2-2 record. Both losses were via decision and to solid opponents in Anders and Sanchez.

Perez has a strong grappling game with dangerous submission skills. Six of his 12 pro wins have come via submission. His UFC wins over Bochnovic and Hernandez both ended via submission.

Neither fighter will blow you away with their striking skills, but Perez does pack some power. He should have the advantage in that area. More than likely, this fight will be up against the fence and on the mat where two grapplers will try to apply their strengths.

For me, I like Perez in this contest. I feel he’s more experienced against tougher opponents and his jiu-jitsu has looked better than Turman’s wrestling. Both men offer betting value, but I’m going with the slight betting favorite.

UFC Bet: Markus Perez (-125)

Antonio Arroyo (9-2) vs Andre Muniz (18-4)

  • Antonio Arroyo (-105)
  • Andre Muniz (-115)

Here’s another all-Brazilian fight between two evenly matched combatants on paper and with the online betting sites. However, this fight was originally scheduled to be Antonio Arroyo against Kevin Holland. The UFC decided to move Holland into another fight on a different card.

Alessio Di Chirico was tabbed to replace Holland, but the UFC nixed that matchup as well. The promotion decided on Andre Muniz instead.

Andre Muniz (-115) is the more experienced fighter and scored two victories on DWCS to earn a UFC fight. He’s won 12 of his last 13 bouts and is on a four fight win streak. Muniz hasn’t lost in three years. 12 of his 18 pro wins have come via submission.

Antonio Arroyo (-105) is the slightest of underdogs and earned his UFC debut by securing two DWCS wins as well. It’s as if both fighters took the same path to get to the UFC, which adds another layer of intrigue to this matchup. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage.

Both men are very competent on the mat, but each can also stand and strike as well. I give the slight edge to Arroyo in the striking, but Muniz has a two inch height and five inch reach advantage. That will help in the striking department as he can keep some distance.

On the mat, I give the slight edge to Muniz with his 12 submission wins. So, this middleweight contest comes down to Muniz’s chin versus Arroyo’s grappling. Muniz has suffered all four losses via TKO/KO. Arroyo’s two losses have come via submission.

I can see why MMA betting websites had a hard time picking a clear cut favorite. These two fighters are very close, but I am going to lean towards Andre Muniz in this one. I like his reach advantage and ground game to be the difference makers in this contest.

UFC Bet: Andre Muniz (-115)

Charles Oliveira (28-8) vs Jared Gordon (14-3)

  • Charles Oliveira (-355)
  • Jared Gordon (+295)

Jared Gordon (+295) might be the biggest underdog of the entire fight card, but he’s also one of the toughest outs in the entire lightweight division. He went 12-1 before joining the UFC and has posted a record of 3-2 inside the octagon. Gordon won his last UFC fight via unanimous decision over Moret in June.

Despite having half the pro fights of his opponent, Gordon is still one year older than Oliveira. Eight of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage. He’s 7-0 when the fight goes the distance. Gordon had nothing, but praise for his opponent on Saturday:

“Charles is a stud. He’s a monster, but this is what I’m here for. To prove that I’m just as good or better, so if I’m going to get to the top, I’m going to have to fight guys like Charles. Charles is a very formidable opponent, but I’ve dealt with a lot worse things, and I’ve jumped over bigger hurdles. This is just an honor and a blessing just to go and fight someone like Charles.”

Charles Oliveira (-355) has spent the past nine years with the UFC and has stepped inside the octagon 24 times. He’s 15-8 and 1 NC inside the octagon over his career. However, Oliveira has won five straight fights and has never looked better.

Nicknamed “do Bronx,” Oliveira has elite submission skills. However, he’s also shown a solid striking arsenal after evolving as a fighter during his UFC tenure. Currently, Oliveira is ranked 13th in the lightweight division. His goal, like others, is to rise to the top and fight for the belt:

“It’s going to be a big war on Saturday, but I’m going to do what I always do: show that I’m a better fighter standing up and put on a great show again for the Sao Paulo crowd. I want to beat this guy on Saturday and hopefully it won’t last long so I can get another fight this year because next year, I want to focus on the belt.”

A win could bump Oliveira into the Top 10, but it also depends on what the other fighters above him end up doing. Oliveira took this fight because the Top 10 to 12 lightweights already have fights or potential fights in the near future.

For this contest, I do believe Oliveira is going to win. He will definitely test Gordon’s durability and chin while standing and striking. However, he’s in another class when it comes to grappling compared to Gordon. I expect Oliveira to get this fight to the mat and win via submission in the 3rd round.

UFC Bet: Charles Oliveira (-355)

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (26-11) vs Paul Craig (12-4)

  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-260)
  • Paul Craig (+220)

This light heavyweight battle was originally booked for Mauricio Rua to take on Sam Alvey. However, Alvey was forced to pull out due to a broken hand. Paul Craig steps in on less than a month’s notice.

Paul Craig (+220) is a fighter that I like to root for. The Scottish combatant has a certain grit and grind to him that I appreciate. It also helps that he’s a huge pro wrestling nerd like me. This will be Craig’s 5th fight in 2019 as he’s gone 2-2 so far.

Craig fought roughly seven weeks ago and won via 1st round submission. It was a bounce back win after losing via 1st round KO to Menifield in June. The two fights prior were split with a submission win and a submission loss. 11 of his 12 pro wins have come via submission.

For Craig, he’s not afraid to go into “enemy territory” to take on a Brazilian legend in Rua. When he got the call to replace Alvey, Craig quickly took it as he stays prepared year round:

“When your boss calls you, you must be prepared. I really like to train and prepare. I don’t train to get in shape, but to take those challenges. I’m always ready. When you have the opportunity to fight a legend such as Shogun, you have to take it. Like I said, I like to be constantly fighting and evolving. If I take too much time off, my status will remain the same and I want to advance in my division.”

Mauricio Shogun Rua (-260) is a legend of the sport and one of the most vicious knockout artists of all-time. 21 of his 26 wins have come via TKO/KO and the majority of those knockouts have been highlight reels.

From October 2009 to November 2014, Rua had a tough stretch in his career as he went 4-7. However, since his loss to Ovince St. Preux in November 2014, Rua has gone 4-1 inside the octagon. Yet, he hasn’t fought in almost 11 months and typically fights just once a year now.

As the sun begins to set on Rua’s career, some fans and critics wonder if he still has the knockout power. That question was answered in his last fight when he scored a 3rd round TKO over Pedro. Rua does have three submission losses which could play into Craig’s strengths.

It’s hard to go against Rua in this one since he’s fighting in his native land and he’s taking on someone that doesn’t have elite striking or power. I’m going to side with Rua in this fight, but I do feel that Craig is worthy of a small flier due to his ground game.

UFC Bet: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-260)

Jan Blachowicz (24-8) vs Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (27-7)

  • Jan Blachowicz (-200)
  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (+170)

The main event of the evening is a Top 8 light heavyweight battle between two guys looking to secure a Top 5 spot within the division. Currently, Blachowicz is a sizable betting favorite.

Souza is making his debut in the light heavyweight division on Saturday and he’s fighting against an opponent who is taller with a near-six inch reach advantage. Yet, the former middleweight Strikeforce champ is still very capable of winning this fight.

His clearest path to victory is to take down Blachowicz and grind out a win. 22 of his 27 pro wins have come via stoppage with 14 of those victories by way of submission. 18 of his finishes have come in the first round.

Blachowicz is a former KSW light heavyweight champ, but has gone just 7-5 in the UFC. That’s below Souza’s 9-4 octagon record. Blachowicz is a solid striker in addition to being a black belt in jiu-jitsu. He last fought in July and had a big KO win over Rockhold. He’s 5-1 in his last six fights.

15 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He has six first round finishes on his resume as well. Blachowicz is 9-5 when going the distance.

Souza is approaching his 40th birthday and going up to light heavyweight for the first time. He’s not as fast and as strong as he used to be. Although he’s on the decline, Souza is still a wrecking ball inside the octagon. But, I feel that Blachowicz’s length, BJJ experience, and size advantage will be too much four Souza.

There’s no value in taking Blachowicz, but the extreme risk takers may want to throw a dart at Souza.

UFC Bet: Jan Blachowicz (-200)

Betting Value for UFC Fight Night 164

The following MMA fighters offer betting value based on their current UFC Fight Night 164 odds, matchups and career success:

  • Ariane Lipski (+105) is the slight underdog against Veronica Macedo (-125) on Saturday. Both women offer betting value, but I like Lispki to win this fight in what should be a striking battle. Ariane gets her first UFC win and builds some momentum after two straight octagon losses.
  • Warlley Alves (-120) is the slight betting favorite over Randy Brown (+100) in this welterweight contest. I’m taking Alves to win because he’s significantly better than Brown on the mat and has the power advantage despite Brown’s height and reach advantages.
  • Francisco Trinaldo (-125) will take on the younger Randy Brown (+105) in a hard hitting lightweight battle. I like Trinaldo to win this fight via decision in front of his fellow countrymen and due to his powerful striking in close proximity.
  • Markus Perez (-125) is the slight favorite over Wellington Turman (+105) in what should be a solid, physical battle between two capable grapplers. I like Perez in this contest due to his jiu-jitsu and experience advantages.
  • Andre Muniz (-115) versus Antonio Arroyo (-105) is a matchup of two fighters that are very similar in a lot of ways. Both offer betting value, but I like Muniz’s 5 inch reach and his grappling advantage over Arroyo’s punching power.

Final Thoughts on UFC Fight Night 164

There’s a nice blend of fights on this card from former champs to several Brazilian prospects. For me, I’m mostly interested in seeing Charles Oliveira’s fight and the co-main event of the evening. The prelims have some solid pairings, but my excitement is for the fights mentioned above.

Compared to Bellator 234, UFC Fight Night 164 is a much more exciting card. It also provides plenty of betting opportunities as there are at least five fights offering solid betting value and a few potential betting upsets.

Despite the card lacking overall superstar power, a UFC event in Brazil has yet to really disappoint me. UFC Fight Night 164 marks the 33rd show to take place in Brazil since the beginning of 2014. I expect the crowd to be lively, the fights to be very competitive, and the UFC to provide another solid event from Brazil.

UFC Fight Night 164 Betting Recap

  • Tracy Cortez (-200)
  • Ariane Lipski (+105)
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade (-240)
  • Warlley Alves (-120)
  • Francisco Trinaldo (-125)
  • Ricardo Ramos (-280)
  • Sergio Moraes (+160)
  • Markus Perez (-125)
  • Andre Muniz (-115)
  • Charles Oliveira (-355)
  • Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (-260)
  • Jan Blachowicz (-200)
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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