UFC Fight Night 156: Shevchenko vs Carmouche 2 Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

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On Saturday, August 10th, the UFC will be live from the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uruguay, for UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs Carmouche 2 also known as UFC on ESPN 14+, UFC Fight Night 156, and UFC Fight Night Montevideo. This weekend’s MMA event marks the UFC’s first trip to Uruguay.

The main event of the night is a women’s flyweight championship bout as Valentina Shevchenko puts her title on the line against Liz Carmouche in a rematch from their 2010 fight. The co-main event of the night is a welterweight clash between Mike Perry and Vicente Luque. In total, there are 13 fights scheduled for this event. The prelims will begin at 5 PM ET and the main card is set to begin at 8 PM ET. Both can be seen on ESPN+.

UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of fights at UFC Fight Night 156. Let’s step inside the betting octagon and examine the current betting lines, identify some betting value or possible upsets, and KO our picks.

UFC Fight Night 156 Prelims

The preliminary card features eight fights and is set to begin at 5 PM ET. All UFC betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

Veronica Macedo (5-3-1) vs Polyana Viana (10-3)

  • Veronica Macedo (+155)
  • Polyana Viana (-185)

Macedo comes into this bout on a three-fight losing streak that dates back almost three years. If she loses this weekend, not only will she fall to 0-4 inside the octagon, but she will most likely be given her walking papers. Veronica’s last win came 37 months ago in a regional promotion. Three of her five wins have come via decision.

Viana also comes in on a losing streak, as she’s dropped two straight bouts and sits at 1-2 inside the octagon. She’s stepping in on less than two weeks’ notice to take this fight. All 10 of Viana’s pro wins have been stoppages with six of those coming via submission.

Polyana Viana has at least three inches in height and reach over Macedo. Viana has scary BJJ skills and should be able to win this fight on the mat. I doubt it will stay upright for too long. For UFC Fight Night 156, Viana gets the victory via submission.

UFC Bet: Polyana Viana (-185)

Gilbert Burns (15-3) vs Alexey Kunchenko (20-0)

  • Gilbert Burns (+120)
  • Alexey Kunchenko (-150)

Like with Viana, Burns steps in on less than two weeks’ notice and he will have a very tough test. Nicknamed “Durinho,” Burns last fought in late April and won via submission. He’s had his hand raised in four of the last five fights. He’s also finished three of those four opponents inside the distance. 13 of Burns’ 15 pro victories have come by stoppage, with eight of them via submission. Burns is coming up in weight for this fight, which will cause some disadvantages.

Kunchenko is undefeated in his pro career and is 2-0 inside the octagon. He was a former champ in M-1 prior to making his UFC debut 11 months ago. Alexey hasn’t fought in nine months as this will be his first fight of 2019. 13 of his 20 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. However, both of his UFC wins have gone to the scorecards.

I believe Kunchenko is slightly overvalued here as Burns will be his toughest UFC fight to date. Gilbert is a slugger and a solid grappler. However, he’s also used to being the bigger fighter in the lightweight division. Going up a weight class will eliminate any size advantage for Durinho. I believe Burns is worthy of a flier at UFC Fight Night 156. But the safe play is on Kunchenko who has a decent takedown defense and plenty of firepower standing up. Let’s see how Burns does in a higher weight class before putting money on him.

UFC Bet: Alexey Kunchenko (-150)

Rodrigo Vargas (10-2) vs Alex Da Silva (20-2)

  • Rodrigo Vargas (+205)
  • Alex Da Silva (-265)

Vargas comes in as a sizable underdog as he makes his UFC debut. He’s won two straight fights, and nine of his 10 pro victories have come via stoppage. Vargas hasn’t fought in 15 months, which is definitely a concern. With that said, Vargas is a solid fighter who will give Da Silva a tough test.

Alex Da Silva was 18-0 before going 2-2 over the last 28 months. He lost his UFC debut in April to a smothering grappler in Yakovlev. Fortunately for Da Silva, Vargas isn’t as physically imposing on the mat as Yakovlev is. All 20 of Da Silva’s pro wins have come via stoppage. 13 of those 20 wins have been via KO/TKO.

Vargas will make this a competitive fight, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled off the upset. However, Da Silva is the better fighter of the two and he has the knockout power to finish this fight inside the distance, which I believe he will.

UFC Bet: Alex Da Silva (-265)

Geraldo de Freitas (12-4) vs Chris Gutierrez (13-4-1)

  • Geraldo de Freitas (-125)
  • Chris Gutierrez (+105)

This bantamweight battle features two fighters coming off wins in the octagon and looking to move up the ladder within the division. For Gutierrez, he’s already fought twice in the UFC. He lost his UFC debut last November, but won his last fight in March over Ryan MacDonald via unanimous decision. Seven of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage and the other six have been via decision.

Geraldo de Freitas (GDF) is on a seven-fight win streak including his UFC debut in February. GDF is a highly skilled grappler who also possesses knockout power. Nine of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage.

This fight is a stylistic matchup where we have a grappler versus a striker. I’m leaning toward GDF winning because he has decent striking skills, whereas Gutierrez has been historically bad on the mat. Combined, these two fighters have gone the distance in 16 total fights. Gutierrez is 6-3 when going to the judges and GDF is 3-4. Despite those numbers, I am taking Geraldo de Freitas to win this fight via unanimous decision as he should control it from the ground.

UFC Bet: Geraldo de Freitas (-125)

Tecia Torres (10-4) vs Marina Rodriguez (11-0-1)

  • Tecia Torres (-150)
  • Marina Rodriguez (+130)

Despite being on a three-fight losing streak, Torres is the favorite for this contest. Tecia has proven to be a very capable fighter, but she has lost against the elite fighters of each division she’s participated in. Some of her losses have come against Namajunas, Andrade, and recently to Weili Zhang. However, all four of her career losses have come via decision. On the flip side, nine of her 10 pro victories have come via decision.

Rodriguez is 1-0-1 in the octagon after going to a draw with Markos 11 months ago then defeating Aguilar via UD in March. Six of her 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with five of those being knockouts. She also has five wins via decision.

This fight has “war of attrition” written all over it. The two women have combined to go to the judges in 16 fights. Torres has only finished a fight inside the distance on one occasion. Torres’ resume is much more impressive than Marina’s. However, Rodriguez will have at least six inches in height and reach over Torres. I give Torres credit for being a solid fighter despite three straight losses, but I’m going with the betting upset in this contest. At UFC Fight Night 156, Rodriguez will win via split decision.

UFC Bet: Marina Rodriguez (+130)

Rogerio Bontorin (15-1) vs Raulian Paiva (18-2)

  • Rogerio Bontorin (-115)
  • Raulian Paiva (-105)

This flyweight contest should be entertaining. Both men are capable fighters and each one possesses top-notch skills. Paiva is an aggressive striker who tries to overwhelm his opponents with volume and relentless attacks. However, that hasn’t always translated into TKO/KO wins. Instead, it’s allowed Paiva to outpoint his opponents as he’s scored 12 decision victories in his 18 professional wins.

Bontorin won his UFC debut in February after earning a contract on DWTNCS last August. Rogerio is a highly-skilled grappler in BJJ and has 11 submission wins in his 15 pro victories. He pulled off the upset win against Bibulatov in February by scoring a SD, which is only the second time he’s gone the distance.

Paiva will do his best to keep this fight upright, but I’m not sure he will be able to. Although he has solid takedown skills, Bontorin’s elite BJJ should win out. As long as Rogerio doesn’t eat too many power shots, I believe he will control the fight from the ground and get the unanimous decision.

UFC Bet: Rogerio Bontorin (-115)

Ciryl Gane (3-0) vs Raphael Pessoa (9-0)

  • Ciryl Gane (-420)
  • Raphael Pessoa (+335)

Other than the main event fight of the night, this heavyweight contest has the largest disparity in UFC betting odds. Pessoa might have the more impressive record, but that doesn’t prevent MMA betting sites from listing him as a large underdog.

Pessoa will make his UFC debut this weekend against a talented prospect. His win in LFA was respectable, but that was 11 months ago. Six of his nine professional wins have come via TKO/KO. So, he’s clearly not afraid to stand and strike. Unfortunately, his resume is littered with inferior opponents.

Gane has only won three fights, but he’s done so in impressive fashion. All three have come via stoppage. This will be his UFC debut and many pundits are excited over his potential. Gane is one of the top prospects to come out of France and could potentially follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Francis Ngannou.

Gane won the title in the TKO promotion, defended it, and then left for the UFC. He has a scary Muay Thai background, and he will definitely showcase that on Saturday. I expect Gane to get a TKO win over a fighter with a bloated record.

UFC Bet: Ciryl Gane (-420)

UFC Fight Night 156 Main Card

The main card of the event features six fights and is set to begin at 8 PM ET. UFC betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline.

Enrique Barzola (15-5-1) vs Bobby Moffett (14-4)

  • Enrique Barzola (-170)
  • Bobby Moffett (+150)

In what should be the opening bout of the main card, both featherweight fighters are looking to bounce back from a loss in their last fight.

Moffett is a sizable underdog despite being 1-1 inside the octagon. He earned a contract 12 months ago on DWTNCS then won his debut in November. Unfortunately, he dropped a fight via decision to Mitchell in March. Nine of his 14 pro wins have come via submission. However, he’s only 4-3 when the fight goes to the judges.

Barzola has been with the UFC for almost four years and has compiled a record of 5-2 inside the octagon. Barzola won TUF: Latin America Season 2 as a lightweight but decided to go down to featherweight where he’s competed at inside the octagon. Eight of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage. He’s 7-4 when the fight goes the distance.

Moffett will have the height and leg reach advantage. He also possesses elite level BJJ skills. However, Barzola is a world class wrestler and grappler. Enrique has shown more striking power in his career than Moffett has, but I don’t see this fight staying upright for long. More than anything, these two men will rush to get the fight on the mat where they are the most comfortable.

I don’t see either fighter making a huge mistake to lose via submission or TKO. This featherweight bout will most likely go the distance. 10 of Barzola’s last 12 fights have gone to the scorecards and Moffett has gone the distance in five of his last nine fights. I’m taking Barzola to win via split decision.

UFC Bet: Enrique Barzola (-170)

Rodolfo Vieira (5-0) vs Oskar Piechota (11-1-1)

  • Rodolfo Vieira (-210)
  • Oskar Piechota (+175)

Piechota is a sizable underdog in a middleweight fight where his opponent is making a UFC debut. Oskar is 2-1 inside the octagon, but is coming off a loss to Meerschaert 13 months ago via submission. It was the first loss of his pro career. Piechota has 10 stoppage victories in his 11 career wins. Those 10 stoppage victories are evenly split between TKO/KO and submissions at five apiece.

Vieira is making his UFC debut after going 5-0 in his pro MMA career. Rodolfo has one of the most impressive grappling backgrounds in all of MMA. Yet, his debut hasn’t received the attention it deserves. This is a world class grappler who has won just about every major BJJ competition throughout the world. And he’s done it more than once. In fact, you can’t make a list of the top grapplers in the world without seeing Vieira near the top.

Piechota’s only chance at winning at UFC Fight Night 156 is by keeping it upright. He has a striking advantage, but nothing that will put the fear in Vieira. All Rodolfo needs is one chance to get the fight to the mat and it will be over. I do expect that to happen. Piechota isn’t afraid to go to the mat as he does have BJJ skills as well. But let’s not kid ourselves here, Vieira is in another class when it comes to grappling.

UFC Bet: Rodolfo Vieira (-210)

Volkan Oezdemir (15-4) vs Ilir Latifi (14-6)

  • Volkan Oezdemir (-135)
  • Ilir Latifi (+115)

This fight was originally scheduled as the co-main event for UFC Stockholm on June 1st, but it was scrapped at the last minute due to Latifi suffering a back injury. It was then booked for last week’s UFC event in Newark, but the promotion decided to move it for their debut in Uruguay. As for the initial cancellation, both men have expressed disappointment over not fighting in June and gratitude for the fight happening this weekend.

Oezdemir shared his thoughts on the disappointment of this fight being cancelled in June:

“Yeah, it was really disappointing. I wanted to have a quick fight and a quick turnaround after my last fight. Just bounce back and get a win. I wanted Ilir to feel the power with all the rage I had. It didn’t happen and I was disappointed. Now it will happen in Uruguay. The UFC proposed that fight again and we said yes. The UFC wanted to do this fight, so it is a fight that was supposed to happen so why not finally make it.”

Oezdemir comes into this light heavyweight bout on a three-fight losing streak since his win over Jimi Manuwa two years ago. However, those losses have come to top-notch opponents like the current heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, the undefeated Dominick Reyes and former title contender Anthony Smith. Volkan has some serious knockout power just like Manuwa and will have a 1.5-inch reach advantage. 11 of Oezdemir’s 15 professional victories have come via KO/TKO. Even more impressive, all 11 of those TKO/KO wins came in the first round.

Like with Oezdemir, Latifi was also disappointed in the fight being cancelled in June due to sustaining a back injury. He told UFC:

“It was devastating. It was a very hard blow after putting in all those months of training camp and fighting in my hometown, so I was devastated.

Latifi comes into this bout looking to rebound from a loss to Corey Anderson last December via UD. It was a disappointing performance that snapped a two-fight win streak. Additionally, Ilir was pegged to win that fight. Latifi has been in the UFC for over six years and has a record of 7-4 inside the octagon. 10 of his 14 wins have come via stoppage with six of those being by way of TKO/KO.

What makes this fight even more interesting is that the two men have trained and sparred with each other in the past. They’ve been friendly at times, but they are both taking a professional approach to this contest. It’s nice to see two fighters not talk trash, but go out there and fight until the best man wins.

In June, I picked Latifi to win because he’s considered to be the better wrestler between the two. I think both men are solid strikers with comparable power. So, the deciding factor could be the grappling skills of Latifi.

UFC Bet: Ilir Latifi (+115)

Luiz Garagorri (11-0) vs Humberto Bandenay (14-6)

  • Luiz Garagorri (-135)
  • Humberto Bandenay (+115)

Of all the fights on the card at UFC Fight Night 156, the local fans will be the most excited for this one, as Uruguay’s Garagorri makes his UFC debut on Saturday in front of his fellow countrymen. Garagorri is undefeated at 12-0 and last fought three months ago. However, most of his career has been spent on smaller regional shows. This will be a huge test for Luiz not only because of it being his UFC debut, but also because of his opponent. 10 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage.

Bandenay hasn’t fought since last November when he dropped his second fight inside the octagon. The loss also dropped Humberto below .500 as he’s now 1-2 inside the UFC. Bandenay is the more experienced of the two fighters in regards to level of competition. Unfortunately, that hasn’t always been a good thing since he’s lost several. 11 of his 14 career wins have come via stoppage.

How can anyone pick against Garagorri in front of his countrymen? He’s the lone representative of the host country of Uruguay. I find it hard to pick against a man who will truly be inspired to win. Plus, it’s not like Bandenay has overwhelmed us with brilliance inside the octagon.

I’m going with Garagorri to win this fight via submission. Luiz has six wins via submission and Bandenay has four career submission losses. There’s going to be plenty of partying in Uruguay after this fight.

UFC Bet: Luiz Garagorri (-135)

Mike Perry (13-4) vs Vicente Luque (16-6-1)

  • Mike Perry (+180)
  • Vicente Luque (-220)

The co-main event of the night has the potential for being the fight of the night or possibly the knockout of the night. It features two hard-hitting welterweights looking to firmly establish themselves in the Top 10 of the division.

Mike Perry started off his career going 9-0 with nine straight TKO/KO wins. That included his first two UFC fights in 2016. Since then, Perry has gone 4-4 and has lost three of his last five fights. Perry bounced back in April with a solid win over Alex Oliveira via UD. He hasn’t won via KO/TKO since his fight against Alex Reyes 23 months ago. 11 of his 13 career wins have come via KO/TKO. However, he’s just 2-3 when going the distance.

Vicente Luque is a notable favorite with online betting sites as he’s gone 9-1 in his last 10 fights. That span includes winning five fights in a row as he enters this contest. Luque is also known for his hands as he’s won four straight fights via KO/TKO. For his career, Luque has nine KO/TKO wins and six submission victories.

What’s really impressed me about Luque was his win over Barberena in February. It was a slug fest where each man showed incredible heart. Luque came out of that fight with a TKO win. However, it’s not the biggest knockout victory of his career as he defeated Thiago Santos via TKO in 2012.

Luque has more impressive wins than Perry does. He’s also ascending while Perry appears to be fading in his career. You can never count out Perry, but I believe Luque has the skills standing and on the mat to defeat the brash Mike “Platinum” Perry this weekend at UFC Fight Night 156.

UFC Bet: Vicente Luque (-220)

Valentina Shevchenko (17-3) vs Liz Carmouche (13-6)

  • Valentina Shevchenko (-1200)
  • Liz Carmouche (+775)

The main event of the night is a championship fight for the UFC women’s flyweight title. It’s also a rematch between two women that first faced off against each other almost nine years ago. That first fight saw Carmouche win via TKO after the second round. Shevchenko suffered a cut above her eye that couldn’t be taken care of, so the doctor stopped the fight.

Since their first encounter, Carmouche has gone 8-6 and fought just about every big name in her division including Rousey and Tate. Carmouche is riding a two-fight win streak into this weekend and has gone to the scorecards in seven straight contests. Over the last four years, Liz has gone 4-1 and appears to be gaining traction in the flyweight division. However, she is facing her toughest opponent since Tate in April 2014. Nevertheless, according to BJPenn.com, Carmouche is highly confident in winning this bout despite the massive betting odds against her:

“The first time I faced her I never did strength and conditioning. I never lifted weights in MMA career. The only thing I’d ever done is cardio. If you look at me then to now, I understand what it takes to care of my body. That is going to be a huge difference in this fight that contributes to my power. We also fought at bantamweight and I was the stronger one. Now, at flyweight, where I feel stronger and faster, my strength will be a factor in this fight. It will be a different fight than the first. I don’t think it will end by up-kick but I think it will end with me finishing her.”

Shevchenko has had more success since their first fight as she’s gone 10-2 since then. The only fighter she lost to during that span is the legendary Amanda Nunes. Valentina lost to her in 2016 and 2017. Both losses were via decision. Shevchenko has defeated some top notch competition over the last nine years including Jedrzejczyk, Holm, and Kaufman. For her career, Shevchenko has 12 stoppage wins in her 17 pro victories.

With a big title fight this weekend, many MMA media outlets and fans have been talking more about a trilogy fight against Nunes than the rematch against Carmouche. However, that’s not something that Valentina is allowing to distract her before a tough fight this Saturday:

“I’m focused on defending my title in August and making a successful title defense. We’ll see what happens, I spent a long time with that rivalry with Amanda and I think our third fight will happen someday. Now I’m focused on defending my flyweight title, but we’ll see what the future has in store. I’m not focused on what she thinks. I’m focused on my division, on defending my belt.”

For this fight, I believe a motivated Shevchenko will win. She has the grappling, clinch, and striking skills to beat Carmouche. Furthermore, she’s in her prime and racking up impressive wins. Carmouche is a solid challenger, but she’s no longer at the top of the sport. I’m taking Shevchenko to win via UD. The champ is 5-2 when the fight goes the distance, while the challenger is 5-4 when seeing the judges.

Valentina doesn’t offer any value. Because Carmouche won their first encounter and is still capable of pulling off an upset, I believe Liz is a high risk, high reward flier.

UFC Bet: Valentina Shevchenko (-1200)

UFC Fight Night 156 Betting Value

The following fighters offer betting value based on their current UFC Fight Night 156 odds, matchups, and MMA career success:

  • Gilbert Burns (+120) is an underdog in his fight against Alexey Kunchenko (-150). If he wasn’t going up in weight for this fight, I would’ve picked him to win. However, since Burns is stepping in on short notice and will be the smaller of the two fighters, Kunchenko is the safe play. Betting on Burns is for the risk takers only.
  • Geraldo de Freitas (-125) is a slight favorite over Chris Gutierrez (+105). Both men offer value, but I’m going with GDF because he’s a superior grappler and Gutierrez has been terrible on the mat in past fights.
  • Marina Rodriguez (+130) is the betting underdog against Tecia Torres (-150), but I like this matchup for her. I believe her height and reach advantages will come into play. As long as she can stay upright for most of the fight, then Marina should win.
  • Rogerio Bontorin (-115) is the slight favorite over Raulian Paiva (-105) as both men offer betting value. I like Bontorin’s ground game and striking skills in this fight. He will be the bigger of the two combatants, and I just don’t see Paiva stopping Bontorin in this matchup.
  • Ilir Latifi (+115) is taking on a fighter in Volkan Oezdemir (-135) who he knows real well. It’s a close fight on paper, but I’m leaning toward Latifi getting the win as the betting underdog.
  • Luiz Garagorri (-135) is the favorite in his fight over Bandenay (+115), but his odds are still appealing. I believe Garagorri will win this fight in front of his fellow countrymen.

Final Thoughts on UFC Fight Night Montevideo

This UFC event is a step up from last weekend’s less than thrilling lineup. I’m excited for the two main event fights as I believe they can carry the entire card. Fortunately, there are several more undercard fights that will also entertain fans and provide plenty of fireworks.

I’m hoping Shevchenko wins and calls out Nunes next. That trilogy fight needs to happen, as there’s really nobody else for Nunes to fight. UFC Fight Night 156 from Montevideo, Uruguay, has plenty of betting value, a few possible upsets, and should be entertaining even for the casual fans.

UFC Fight Night 156 Betting Recap

  • Polyana Viana (-185)
  • Alexey Kunchenko (-150)
  • Alex Da Silva (-265)
  • Marina Rodriguez (+130)
  • Geraldo de Freitas (-125)
  • Rogerio Bontorin (-115)
  • Ciryl Gane (-420)
  • Enrique Barzola (-170)
  • Rodolfo Vieira (-210)
  • Ilir Latifi (+115)
  • Luiz Garagorri (-135)
  • Vicente Luque (-220)
  • Valentina Shevchenko (-1200)
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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