On Saturday, June 6th, the UFC will be live from their UFC APEX venue in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC 250: Nunes vs Spencer. The main event of the night is a world title fight featuring the great Amanda Nunes taking on Felicia Spencer. However, before we tackle the main card, this article will focus on just the prelims.
This MMA event is scheduled to have a seven fight preliminary card that includes notable fighters like: Chase Hooper, Cody Stamann, Ian Heinisch, Jussier Formiga, Alex Perez, Alonzo Menifield and Evan Dunham. The action begins at 6 PM ET and can be seen on ESPN and ESPN+.
UFC betting sites have released odds and props for all seven prelim bouts. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify betting value, and knockout these predictions.
Evan Dunham versus Herbert Burns will kick off the action for UFC 250 in a catchweight fight at 150 pounds.
This will be Dunham’s first fight in almost two years as the lightweight retired from MMA in September 2018. At 38, he decided to return to action as he didn’t want to end his career on a three fight winless streak. Dunham is 0-2-1 in his last three bouts. Prior to that, he had won four in a row.
For his career, Dunham is 11-8-1 in the UFC. Nine of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission.
Herbert Burns made his UFC debut in January and defeated Nate Landwehr via 1st round KO. He’s on a four fight win streak and has a strong grappling, submission game. Seven of his 10 pro wins have come via submission with six of those victories taking place in the 1st round.
For me, I like Dunham in this fight. He’s the bigger fighter coming down to 150 pounds whereas Burns typically competes in the 145 pound division. Furthermore, Dunham has only been submitted once in his career. He will have the advantage on the feet and is strong on the mat to defend submission attempts.
I believe Dunham’s volume striking will be the difference in this fight as it should give him the edge on the scorecards.
I also think this bout will go the distance (+130). 13 of Dunham’s 27 pro fights have gone the distance and he has a record of 9-3-1 in those contests. Burns is 2-2 when going to the scorecards and has never been stopped in his career.
I’m taking the betting upset with Dunham (+180) as he takes the opening fight via decision (+360) and reestablishes himself in the UFC.
Evan Dunham vs Herbert Burns –Dunham (+180)
Fight goes the distance (+130)
Dunham wins via decision (+360)
Alonzo Menifield vs Devin Clark
Alonzo Menifield (-220)
Devin Clark (+180)
Over (-115)/Under (-105) 1.5 rounds
Devin Clark has the unenviable task of going up from the middleweight to the light heavyweight division to take on the unbeaten Alonzo Menifield. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Clark is a sizable underdog.
Clark has alternated between wins and losses during his time in the UFC with an overall octagon record of 5-4. He last fought in February and won via unanimous decision over Dequan Townsend who was a late replacement. Seven of his 11 pro wins have come via decision.
Menifield hasn’t fought in nearly a year, but he is undefeated with all nine victories coming via stoppage. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via TKO/KO and seven of his pro fights have ended in the first round.
Devin Clark has the potential to steal this fight if he can score takedowns while avoiding power shots from Menifield. Also, Clark would have to take this fight the distance to win since I don’t see him getting a stoppage victory.
With that said, I just think Menifield will be too much for Clark to handle. All four of Clark’s UFC losses have come via stoppage with two by TKO/KO. I see Menifield scoring a TKO/KO win in this one as well. So, don’t expect this bout to go the distance (-275).
I also see the fight ending in Under 1.5 rounds (-105) as Menifield has only gone past this point in one fight and it was by 11 seconds.
Alonzo Menifield vs Devin Clark –Menifield (-220)
Fight ends inside the distance (-275)
Under 1.5 rounds (-105)
Jussier Formiga vs Alex Perez
Jussier Formiga (+115)
Alex Perez (-135)
Over (-230)/Under (+190) 2.5 rounds
In an example of just how stacked this UFC 250 card is, we have a Top 10 flyweight battle closing out the early prelims portion of the show as the #4 Jussier Formiga takes on the #9 Alex Perez.
Despite being the higher ranked flyweight, Formiga is actually the underdog in this matchup. He’s 4-2 in his last six fights, but has lost two straight which have come against #2 ranked Joseph Benavidez and #3 ranked Brandon Moreno. Formiga lost to Moreno six weeks ago via unanimous decision.
Since earning his UFC contract in August 2017, Perez has gone 5-1 in the octagon with his lone loss coming against Joseph Benavidez in November 2018. Perez is 2-0 since then with a win this past January over 13th ranked Jordan Espinoza. Perez scored a 1st round submission in that fight.
11 of Perez’s 23 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. He’s determined to get the stoppage in this matchup in addition to earning another fight night bonus:
“I’m always looking for the finish, whether it’s on the feet (or) on the ground. So I’m going to be coming forward. I’m going to be attacking from every which way. I’m not scared to take this guy down, I’m not scared to stand with him. I’m looking for a finish, I’m looking to get another ‘Fight of the Night’ performance, make some extra money, and then move on to the next (and) hopefully fight in August.”
As much as Perez would like to get the finish, odds are against that happening. The Over 2.5 rounds (-230) is heavily favored in this contest along with the fight going to a decision (-195). This is due to the total number of fights these men have gone the distance in.
For Formiga, 17 of his 30 pro fights have gone to the judges where he’s 13-4 in those bouts. 13 of Perez’s 28 pro fights have gone the distance and he’s 12-1 in those contests.
As for the winner, this fight is a coin toss as to who will come away with the victory. Formiga is still a solid fighter who has beaten guys like Perez before. However, some think that Formiga’s days at the top of the division are over. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but we may find out on Saturday.
I’m taking the younger Perez in this contest as I believe he will be too much for Formiga to overcome. It will be close, but Perez will win via split decision (+180).
Jussier Formiga vs Alex Perez –Perez (-135)
Over 2.5 rounds (-230)
Fight goes the distance (-195)
Perez wins via decision (+180)
Charles Byrd vs Maki Pitolo
Charles Byrd (-170)
Maki Pitolo (+150)
Over (-165)/Under (+145) 1.5 rounds
Maki Pitolo comes into this bout as the underdog where he moved up to the middleweight division after failing to make weight in his last contest where Pitolo was unable to cut down to 170 pounds.
The Hawaiian was disappointed that his last fight was scrapped due to weight issues, but he’s used that experience as motivation to move up to a more comfortable weight class where he believes he will have success due to how great he feels:
“I’m using it as fuel to my fire, but I’m always looking to go in there and do my thing and I’m never looking into the past. I feel great. I feel awesome. By all means I live for this sport but cutting to 170 was taking a toll on me and it was going into my health issues so I’m happy I’m here — 185 is where I got my contract, 185 is where I feel I belong and I feel the best.”
Pitolo is 3-1 in his last four fights including a victory in Bellator, CFFC and on DWCS one year ago. He did lose his UFC debut last October. Nine of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.
It took Byrd two fights on DWCS to earn a UFC contract, which he did in March 2018. However, he’s only fought twice since then and both of those fights ended in TKO losses. Byrd hasn’t fought since March 2019 and I have concerns that he will not be in top form for this matchup.
I like the Over 1.5 rounds (-165) in this contest as I see both men using the first round to feel each other out and find a comfortable range. Yet, I don’t see this bout going the distance (-180) as these two fighters combine for just seven decision outcomes in 33 total fights.
With that in mind, I am going with Pitolo to win this fight in an upset. I believe his striking skills will cause some problems for Byrd and he will score a TKO/KO win over the returning Texan. Byrd’s best chance at winning is to score takedowns and control the fight from there.
However, I believe Pitolo will show improvement in this area by stuffing Byrd’s takedown attempts and then beat Byrd to the punch.
Charles Byrd vs Maki Pitolo –Pitolo (+150)
Over 1.5 rounds (-165)
Fight doesn’t go to a decision (-180)
Pitolo wins inside the distance (+455)
Cody Stamann vs Brian Kelleher
Cody Stamann (-265)
Brian Kelleher (+225)
Over (-235)/Under (+195) 2.5 rounds
Kelleher is a large underdog in this bantamweight bout and is returning to action three weeks after his last fight at UFC Fight Night 171 where he beat rising prospect Hunter Azure via 2nd round KO. Kelleher will face another strong grappler in Stamann on Saturday.
Kelleher missed all of 2019 due to injury, but has gone 2-0 in 2020 so far. 17 of his 21 pro victories have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s nicknamed “Boom,” partly due to his powerful strikes.
Stamann is ranked 12th in the bantamweight division and is 4-1-1 inside the octagon. His last bout was a Draw against Yadong Song last December. Stamann’s lone loss in the UFC was against #2 ranked bantamweight Alijamain Sterling.
“There’s so many guys that could potentially have earned this spot and have earned a shot at the title. My standing is, I have to win probably two fights before I even get a fight against one of those guys, before I’m even considered. I’m just being realistic.”
Stamann respects Kelleher as being a tough veteran, but he believes that his opponent didn’t look good for most of his fight against Azure until he scored that KO. Stamann also believes that won’t happen to him on Saturday and I agree.
Cody has proved that he can take a punch and will have a grappling advantage over Kelleher. So, if things get too difficult in the striking contest, Stamann will be able to take this fight to the mat and control his opponent from there.
Since I don’t see Kelleher getting the stoppage like in his last two fights, I believe Stamann will grind it out for the full three rounds as we go Over 2.5 rounds (-235) and to a decision (-210).
At this point, I believe Stamann wins via unanimous decision (-135). Cody has gone the distance in 12 of his 20 pro fights with a record of 10-1-1 in those contests.
Cody Stamann vs Brian Kelleher –Stamann (-265)
Over 2.5 rounds (-235)
Fight goes the distance (-210)
Stamann wins via decision (-135)
Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert
Ian Heinisch (-130)
Gerald Meerschaert (+110)
Over (-185)/Under (+160) 2.5 rounds
This middleweight contest is a clash of styles as the striker Ian “Hurricane” Heinisch takes on the submission artist in Gerald “GM3” Meerschaert.
Meerschaert has been with the UFC since December 2016, and has a record of 6-4 inside the octagon. He won his last fight in March via submission, which was the 23rd submission win of his career.
For GM3, he hasn’t gone the distance since 2013. In fact, just five of his 43 pro fights have gone to the judges. Another note, he only has one TKO/KO loss in his career and that came against the vicious Thiago Santos three years ago. Santos is a reputable striker with 15 TKO/KO wins in his career.
Ian Heinisch is the 12th ranked middleweight in the UFC, but has dropped two straight fights after opening up 2-0 inside the octagon. He’s 5-2 in his last seven bouts, but there is some concern heading into Saturday’s matchup.
Heinisch has showed an inability to really stuff takedown attempts. He does have a tough chin, which will help him in the standup, but I believe GM3 will eventually take him to the mat.
I expect GM3 to exploit Heinisch’s over-aggressiveness and inability to really set up his takedown attempts with technical striking. Furthermore, GM3 will have a six inch reach advantage, which will slow down Heinisch’s power shots.
Look for GM3 to weather the early storms from Heinisch and find an opening for a takedown. Once on the mat, I expect Meerschaert to find a submission hold and pick up the 24th submission victory (+300) over his career.
I don’t see this fight making it deep into the 3rd round, so go with the Under 2.5 rounds (+16) which offers solid value. Also, the fight won’t go to a decision (+110) and GM3 wins inside the distance (+270).
Ian Heinisch vs Gerald Meerschaert –Meerschaert (+110)
Under 2.5 rounds (+160)
Meerschaert wins via submission (+300)
Meerschaert wins inside the distance (+270)
Fight doesn’t go the distance (+110)
Chase Hooper vs Alex Caceres
Chase Hooper (-165)
Alex Caceres (+145)
Over (+125)/Under (-145) 2.5 rounds
Alex Caceres, better known as “Bruce Leeroy,” will once again be matched up with a rising prospect in the UFC. However, this time, he’s taking on a 20 year old in Chase Hooper.
Caceres has made 21 trips inside the octagon and is 10-10 with 1 NC for his UFC career. He’s gone 3-2 in his last five contests, but hasn’t fought in 11 months. Eight of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with five via submission. However, seven of his 12 losses have come via submission.
Chase Hooper kicked off his UFC career as an 18 year old prospect on DWCS and he continues to carry the prospect label as he goes into his second fight inside the octagon. He last competed in December and won via 1st round TKO over Daniel Teymur.
This is a solid matchup for Hooper as he gets a decent opponent, but not one that will expose his weaknesses. Hooper still needs to improve his striking skills and isn’t ready for the Top 15 of this division. However, he is ready for this fight and I believe he will win.
I see Hooper winning this bout based on taking the fight to the mat. Once there, I think he will squeeze out a submission win over Caceres who has seven submission losses in his career. Two of his last three losses have come via tapping out to Kron Gracie and Jason Knight.
With that said, take the Under 2.5 rounds (-145) as I don’t see this contest going into the final minutes of the bout. Additionally, a Hooper submission win means this fight will end inside the distance (-210).
This preliminary card has a great blend of prospects and veterans, fights where the combatants have a clash of styles, and even some ranked fighters doing battle.
I’m excited to see how Even Dunham does in his return, if Cody Stamann can move up in the rankings and if Alonzo Menifield or Chase Hooper can remain unbeaten.
I’m also really looking forward to the Heinisch vs Meerschaert fight and the Top 10 battle between Jussier Formiga and Alex Perez. These two fights could be replacements for the main card if anything were to happen with one of the fighters on the PPV portion of the event.
As for the action on MMA betting sites, there’s plenty of opportunities in the prelims to make some money along with a handful of value plays. For each fight, I’ve listed at least three or four different UFC wagers that I like.
Check back this week for more UFC 250 betting content including main card predictions and some last minute wagers to consider.
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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