UFC on ESPN 6: Reyes vs Weidman Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

By in Sports & Betting on

On Friday, October 18th, the UFC will be live from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs Weidman. The main event of the evening is a light heavyweight showdown between Dominick Reyes and the former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman.

The co-main event of the night is a featherweight rematch between Yair Rodriguez and Jeremy Stephens after their first fight, last month in Mexico City, ended via No Contest in under 20 seconds. Rodriguez accidentally poked Stephens in the eye. The stoppage caused a mini riot with the fans in attendance.

UFC on ESPN 6 is scheduled to have 13 fights and set to begin at 6 PM ET. The entire card will be televised on ESPN2. Other notable names on this event are Maycee Barber, Kevin Holland, Court McGee, Kyle Bochniak and more.

If you’re thinking about betting on the UFC, online sportsbooks have released their odds for the full slate of UFC on ESPN 6 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 on ESPN 6 Prelims

The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 6 PM ET on ESPN2.

Daniel Spitz (6-2) vs Tanner Boser (16-5-1)

  • Daniel Spitz (+120)
  • Tanner Boser (-140)

Spitz is the underdog in this fight but will have a five-inch height advantage over Boser. Spitz dropped his last fight, which was 16 months ago to Walt Harris. He’s only 1-2 inside the octagon and looking to turn things around. Five of his six wins have come via stoppage.

Boser’s nickname might be “The Bulldozer,” but that’s certainly not how he fights. There’s no attempt to bulldoze over anyone. If anything, he’d rather stay on the outside and try to outpoint his foes. Boser is 4-1-1 in his last six fights.

Ten of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage. Eleven of his 22 pro fights have gone the distance. He has a record of 6-4-1 in those contests. This will be his UFC debut.

This fight doesn’t appear to be exciting on paper. Perhaps, the two men can make it more entertaining once they get inside the cage. Although Boser is the favorite and getting picked by some pundits to win, I’m taking Spitz to get the upset victory here.

UFC Bet: Daniel Spitz (+120)

Sean Brady (10-0) vs Court McGee (19-8)

  • Sean Brady (-235)
  • Court McGee (+200)

Court McGee has been with the UFC for over nine years now. In that time, he’s compiled a record of 8-7 but has dropped three of his last four fights, including his last bout in April to Dhiego Lima. Sixteen of his 27 pro fights have gone the distance, and he’s 9-7 in those contests.

Brady is making his UFC debut this weekend after crushing his opponents on the regional scene. Along the way, he’s picked up some gold and has earned a decent reputation for being a solid grappler and striker.

This is a perfect litmus test for Brady. If he’s as good as some pundits think he is, then he will be able to beat McGee soundly. However, if he’s not as good as the hype, then he will fall victim to the slow, grinding style of McGee.

With McGee being the same fighter as he was when he first joined the UFC, it’s hard to imagine that he will have any real advantages in this fight other than octagon experience. Brady has the athleticism and striking advantages along with strong takedown defense.

Brady should win this fight via decision. He’s 5-0 when going the distance. McGee is worthy of a flier if you are only looking to wager on longshots.

UFC Bet: Sean Brady (-235)

Randy Costa (4-1) vs Boston Salmon (6-2)

  • Randy Costa (+147)
  • Boston Salmon (-172)

This fight is a battle of deficiencies. Costa, the underdog, showed in his last fight that he lacks the cardio and stamina to compete for three full rounds inside the octagon. Whereas, Salmon showed that he didn’t have a chin to withstand a heavy-hitting striker like Taha.

With that said, I’m not confident in either of these two fighters. In regard to Costa, he went 4-0 before earning a shot in the UFC, where he lost his debut in April via 2nd round submission. All four of his wins came via TKO/KO, but that was against lesser quality opponents.

Salmon went 6-0 and dropped his first fight three years ago. He bounced back to score a win on the DWTNCS in July 2017 but didn’t make his UFC debut until almost two years later when he lost to Taha seven months ago.

I must give the edge in this fight to Salmon as he is a better striker, but he needs to watch out for Costa’s power. If he leaves himself open like he did with Taha then it will be a similar outcome. Neither fighter instills confidence, and Salmon has little betting value, but I’m taking him to win via TKO in the 2nd.

UFC Bet: Boston Salmon (-172)

Kyle Bochniak (8-4) vs Sean Woodson (6-0)

  • Kyle Bochniak (-146)
  • Sean Woodson (+126)

Bochniak has been with the UFC for almost four years now but has a losing overall record of 2-4. His time with the company is running out. Kyle has lost two fights in a row and three of his last four. He hasn’t won in 21 months and has gone the distance in six straight contests.

Woodson is 6-0 and is coming off an impressive win on the Contender Series in July to earn his UFC debut. He landed a flying knee that knocked out his opponent in the 2nd round after struggling during the first round.

Bochniak can win this fight, but I like Woodson in this contest. Given that he’s also the underdog, I love him even more.

Woodson is arguably the biggest featherweight in the UFC. He will have an eight-inch height and nine-inch reach advantage over Bochniak. I believe this will be the difference in the fight as Woodson pulls of the betting upset by winning his UFC debut.

UFC Bet: Sean Woodson (+126)

Brendan Allen (12-3) vs Kevin Holland (16-4)

  • Brendan Allen (+141)
  • Kevin Holland (-161)

Brendan Allen was initially booked to take on Eric Spicely. However, Spicely was forced to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons, and Kevin Holland took his place.

Allen comes into his octagon debut on a four-fight win streak, including a victory on the Contender Series in July that earned him this shot. Before his appearance on the Contender Series, he won LFA gold and proved that he was a solid prospect at just 23 years old.

Eleven of his 12 wins have come via stoppage with seven of those victories by way of submission. Allen showed off his submission skills in his appearance on the Contender Series by scoring a win in the 1st round with a rear-naked choke.

Holland is going to be a tough matchup for Allen as he’s a better fighter than Spicely. Holland has gone 3-1 inside the octagon and is on a three-fight win streak. He last fought in June and won via unanimous decision over Alessio Di Chirico. Twelve of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage.

From what we’ve seen of Holland, he’s not the most imposing figure in the middleweight division. He has a poor takedown defense and is an average grappler. His striking has potential, but he always seems to react instead of attack.

If Allen can fight like he did in the LFA then I believe he can pull off the upset. Allen is a better grappler than Holland. Additionally, he has the striking skills to make this fight very difficult for his opponent.

I’m going with the betting upset here and taking Allen to win. Holland’s takedown defense is weak, and he’s less than stellar on the mat. Furthermore, he doesn’t have the striking skills to worry Allen or to worry those of us who are taking Allen to win.

UFC Bet: Brendan Allen (+141)

Diana Belbita (13-4) vs Molly McCann (9-2)

  • Diana Belbita (+410)
  • Molly McCann (-525)

In the first of two women fights on the card, Molly McCann is the biggest betting favorite for the entire event. She’s riding a two-fight win streak after losing her UFC debut fight in May 2018. McCann nicknamed “Meatball,” last fought in June and defeated the highly touted Ariane Lipski.

Belbita has won four straight MMA fights, which earned her a shot in the UFC. Unfortunately, “The Warrior Princess” has an adamant opponent in her octagon debut. Ten of her 13 pro wins have come via stoppage. Three of her four losses have come via submission.

There’s a reason why McCann is a massive betting favorite, that’s due to Belbita not being nearly as good as her record indicates. Although she will have a six-inch reach advantage, I don’t see her winning the striking exchanges with “Meatball.”

McCann will strike until she sees an opening for a takedown and then grind out the fight. Belbita appears to have minimal grappling skills and non-existent takedown defense. McCann will cruise to a unanimous decision or find a late-round stoppage along the way.

UFC Bet: Molly McCann (-525)

Manny Bermudez (14-1) vs Charles Rosa (11-3)

  • Manny Bermudez (-145)
  • Charles Rosa (+125)

In what should be the main event of the prelims portion of the card for UFC on ESPN 6, Rosa and Bermudez will look to make a name for themselves in the featherweight division.

Rosa returns to the octagon after a 30-month hiatus due to injuries. He brings with him a 2-3 octagon record that saw him lose his last fight in April 2017 via TKO. Rosa does have decent grappling skills as seven of his 11 pro wins have come via submission.

Manny Bermudez is looking to bounce back after his first career loss. He lost to Casey Kenney via unanimous decision, which is only the third time he’s gone the distance in a fight. Eleven of his 14 wins have come via submission, with 10 of those wins taking place in the 1st round.

At age 33, Rosa is eight years older than his opponent. And, with a long layoff, I have a hard time thinking he will be capable enough to outclass a specialist like Bermudez. Rosa has a decent all-around skillset, but nothing that will be enough to overcome Bermudez.

I think Rosa can survive whatever Bermudez initially throws at him. However, Rosa will eventually wear down, and that’s when Bermudez will lock in a submission hold. I wouldn’t be surprised if this fight goes the distance, but I believe Bermudez will score a submission win before it goes to the judges. Either way, take “The Bermudez Triangle” to win this fight.

UFC Bet: Manny Bermudez (-145)

UFC on ESPN 6 Main Card

The main card of the event features six fights and is set to begin at 9 PM ET on ESPN2.

Deron Winn (6-0) vs Darren Stewart (10-4)

  • Deron Winn (-115)
  • Darren Stewart (-105)

This is a very close fight on paper and with sports betting sites. Both men offer betting value, which means you could get a good return on whomever you are picking.

Stewart is considered the underdog with MMA oddsmakers despite having gone 3-1 in his last four fights. Stewart defeated Bevon Lewis in June via unanimous decision, which was a nice bounce back after losing via split decision to Edmen Shahbazyan 11 months ago.

Stewart is 3-4 with 1 NC inside the octagon. Seven of his 10 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Two of his four losses have come via submission.

Winn is often dubbed “Little DC” after former UFC heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier who is a friend, training partner, and mentor to Deron. Winn is a former three-time NCAA All-American wrestler and has shown solid striking skills along with his dominating wrestling game.

Unfortunately, Winn has had some difficulties getting fights as he feels that nobody wants to fight him in the UFC at this point of his career:

“Even with this we actually had more than four or five guys decline the fight. Even in the UFC I had guys turning down fights with me, which is really surprising.”

Considering Winn is still working his way up from the bottom of the division, I can see why nobody wants to fight him. With that said, once he gets a few more wins inside the octagon then he will get some reputable foes and a bevy of fights to choose from.

As for this matchup, I believe Winn will get the “W.” He will take Stewart down to the mat and eventually force submission or ground and pound his way to victory.

UFC Bet: Deron Winn (-115)

Maycee Barber (7-0) vs Gillian Robertson (7-3)

  • Maycee Barber (-132)
  • Gillian Robertson (+112)

This is the second of two women fights on the night. It’s also a battle of Top 15 ranked fighters as Maycee Barber is 12th, and Gillian Robertson is ranked 15th in the flyweight division.

Robertson has posted two straight wins inside the octagon with both victories coming this year. Additionally, both wins were via stoppages. Six of her seven pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission.

Robertson has refocused herself on her MMA career over the last 18 months, and it shows. She’s now 4-1 inside the octagon with wins over Emily Whitmire and Molly McCann, who’s the biggest betting favorite on this UFC ESPN card.

At 21 years old, Barber is a highly touted prospect who’s now 2-0 inside the octagon. She has wins over Hannah Cifers and the rugged J.J Aldrich in her two UFC bouts. Six of her seven pro wins have come via stoppage with four of those victories by way of TKO/KO. She’s won both of her UFC fights via TKO.

Barber needs to be careful with Robertson, especially since Maycee is focused on another UFC fighter at the same time. Barber has engaged in a war of words with Paige VanZant and wants to fight her next.

I believe that Barber will win this fight, but it’s going to be primarily determined by how well she defends the takedown and forces the fight to stay upright. She has the advantage in the striking department, and her pressure should make the difference in this contest.

UFC Bet: Maycee Barber (-132)

Joe Lauzon (27-15) vs Jonathan Pearce (9-3)

  • Joe Lauzon (+130)
  • Jonathan Pearce (-150)

This is probably the least exciting fight on the main card. Joe Lauzon hasn’t won a fight in nearly three years, and he’s on a three-fight losing streak. He’s also one of the longest-tenured fighters with the company after debuting in September 2006.

Unfortunately, his record isn’t anything to brag about as Lauzon has gone 14-12 inside the octagon. Since January 2015, Lauzon has gone 3-6 with the UFC. I doubt he sticks around after this fight if he ends up losing. Seventeen of his 27 pro wins have come via submission.

Pearce is making his UFC debut after earning his contract with a TKO win on DWCS in July. He’s on a five-fight win streak that also included two wins in Bellator. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with seven victories by way of TKO/KO.

This fight should’ve been placed on the prelims because not only is it not that interesting, I don’t see it being very competitive either. I expect Lauzon to use his experience advantage and take Pearce to the mat where he will grind out a submission win. Pearce has two submission losses on his record.

I’m going with the betting upset and the sentimental story here by taking Lauzon to win via submission. He will stave off the pink slip and live to fight another day.

UFC Bet: Joe Lauzon (+130)

Greg Hardy (5-1) vs Ben Sosoli (7-2)

  • Greg Hardy (-285)
  • Ben Sosoli (+245)

Once again, we have the controversial Greg Hardy fighting on a card. And, like the last three UFC appearances, everyone will be rooting for Hardy to lose. The former NFL player last fought in July and soundly defeated Juan Adams via TKO in 45 seconds.

If you recall, Adams was talking a lot of trash about Hardy and said he would win the fight. Hardy should be 3-0 in the UFC, but an illegal knee cost him his UFC debut in January. All five of his pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Sosoli is making his UFC debut this weekend after getting a shot via his appearance on DWCS two months ago. Although the fight ended in a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke, the UFC thought enough of Sosoli to give him a shot in Boston.

With that said, this is another example of the UFC giving Hardy another winnable fight. Sosoli is giving up four inches in height and six inches in reach. Furthermore, Sosoli is someone who will stand and strike, which plays right into Hardy’s strengths.

This fight will end via TKO/KO, most likely in the 1st round. Sosoli does have a one-punch knockout in his arsenal, but that’s it. Hardy is more athletic, has the speed advantage, has the raw power advantage, and has better cardio. I hate picking Hardy to win, but I can’t see him losing this fight.

UFC Bet: Greg Hardy (-285)

Yair Rodriguez (11-2) vs Jeremy Stephens (28-16)

  • Yair Rodriguez (-113)
  • Jeremy Stephens (-107)

This featherweight fight has become even more interesting now than when booked initially last month. That bout ended in a No Contest after Rodriguez accidentally poked Stephens in the eye. The fight was stopped just 20 seconds into the bout and the fans practically rioted the outcome.

The 8th ranked Stephens has gone 4-5 in his last nine UFC fights and comes into this bout on a two-fight losing streak. He suffered a unanimous decision loss to Zabit Magomedsharipov in March and a TKO loss to the legendary Jose Aldo 15 months ago. Stephens has a 15-15 record with the UFC.

Other than his 20-second scrap with Stephens, the 7th ranked Rodriguez hasn’t fought in 11 months. And that bout ended with Rodriguez scoring an impressive KO win over “The Korean Zombie.” That victory boosted Yair’s UFC record to 7-1. His only octagon loss was to Frankie Edgar in May 2017 due to doctor stoppage.

These two men have developed more of a grudge toward each other after the way their first bout ended. I expect this grudge match to be intense and entertaining.

Nicknamed “Pantera,” Rodriguez is the bigger fighter of the two and more athletic as well. Stephens has the advantage in power, but Yair is a very technical striker. Like with the first fight, I’m taking Rodriguez to win this bout via unanimous decision.

UFC Bet: Yair Rodriguez (-113)

Dominick Reyes (11-0) vs Chris Weidman (14-4)

  • Dominick Reyes (-161)
  • Chris Weidman (+141)

Chris Weidman returns to the octagon after being out for almost a year. He’s also making his first fight in the light heavyweight division and debuts as the 8th ranked fighter in this weight class. Weidman has dropped four of his last five fights with most of them being against the top middleweights at the time.

Weidman had been a devastating striker in the middleweight division, but the question is whether his power and chin will hold up in a heavier weight class. Ten of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage.

Weidman not only believes that he will win this fight on Friday, but he also feels that a victory would put him next in line for a title fight against the pound for pound best fighter and light heavyweight champ Jon Jones:

“I think so, because of what I accomplished in the past and coming in against a guy who’s undefeated ranked fourth in the world in that weight class. If I go out there and do what I believe I can do, I don’t think you can really deny it. Especially because Jon Jones has faced most of the top guys and beat most of the top guys. Why not?”

Weidman has been publicly critical of Jones and believes that the champ has shown a lot of holes in his fight game. Additionally, Weidman feels that he’s the man that can end Jones’ reign on top. To do that, he will have to get by the undefeated Reyes first.

Reyes is 5-0 inside the octagon and has quickly moved up the ranks. He’s currently 4th in the division, but a win over Weidman will move him up into title contention. Other than Daniel Cormier, Reyes is my pick to face Jones next unless the UFC puts a super fight together against Cormier or Adesanya.

With that said, Reyes believes that he will win this fight on Friday. He feels that Weidman isn’t ready to take on the top guys in this weight class:

“I think he’s not ready to fight guys his size and bigger than him. He’s always fought guys that were significantly smaller in terms of reach and size. His biggest advantage at middleweight was he was bigger than everyone. That’s no longer the case. Now he’s the small guy. He was able to bully some guys and outreach some guys and all those factors that he kind of relied on are in the opposite camp now.”

I agree with Reyes here. I believe that Weidman’s size advantages in the middleweight division no longer apply and that will hinder his success. Additionally, I don’t see Weidman having the power advantage in this contest. I also don’t believe Weidman is the better striker. Reyes can light them up with anyone.

I’m not sure that Weidman’s chin will hold up in this contest. There are just too many variables working against Weidman for me to even feel that he’s worthy of a flier. I’m taking Reyes to win this fight via TKO. All four of Weidman’s losses have come via TKO/KO, and I think he will pick up a 5th this weekend.

UFC Bet: Dominick Reyes (-161)

Betting Value for UFC on ESPN 6

The following fighters offer decent betting value based on their current MMA odds, UFC on ESPN 6 matchups and career success:

  • Sean Woodson (+126) is the underdog to Kyle Bochniak (-146), but I like him to pull off the upset. Woodson has an eight-inch height and nine-inch reach advantage in this fight.
  • Brendan Allen (+141) will make his UFC debut against Kevin Holland (-161) this weekend. It’s a tough matchup, but Allen is a better grappler and should be able to take down Holland when needed.
  • Deron Winn (-115) and Darren Stewart (-105) are virtually even with MMA betting sites. With that said, I believe Winn gets the victory due to his elite wrestling skills. Stewart is a striker without a grappling game to boast of.
  • Joe Lauzon (+130) is the underdog to Jonathan Pearce (-150), but he has 13 years’ experience inside the octagon, whereas Pearce is making his UFC debut. Lauzon will take Pearce to the mat and force him to tap out.
  • Yair Rodriguez (-113) and Jeremy Stephens (-107) both offer betting value. Whichever fighter you back, will provide an excellent return. I like Rodriguez to win this fight. He’s younger, more athletic, more prominent and has the better all-around fight game.

Final Thoughts for UFC on ESPN 6

This event has a nice blend of intrigue and conviction. There are fights where I wonder who will win and others where I’m 99.9% sure of the outcome. With that said, I’m looking forward to the two top fights.

The co-main event between Rodriguez and Stephens will be fun to watch as will the main event of Reyes and Weidman. I think all four men want to win via devastating knockout. Unfortunately, I believe the sun will set on both Stephens and Weidman this Friday.

There’s plenty of betting value on this card and few potential upsets as well. UFC bettors will undoubtedly have several opportunities to make some money. Ultimately, this event will be a solid free show for all fight fans and UFC bettors to watch.

UFC on ESPN 6 Betting Recap

  • Daniel Spitz (+120)
  • Sean Brady (-235)
  • Boston Salmon (-172)
  • Sean Woodson (+126)
  • Brendan Allen (+141)
  • Molly McCann (-525)
  • Manny Bermudez (-145)
  • Deron Winn (-115)
  • Maycee Barber (-132)
  • Joe Lauzon (+130)
  • Greg Hardy (-285)
  • Yair Stephens (-113)
  • Dominic Reyes (-161)
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. ...

View all posts by Rick Rockwell
Email the author at: [email protected]