On Saturday, September 26th, the UFC returns to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for a highly anticipated PPV UFC 253: Adesanya vs Costa. Yet, before we can talk about the PPV card, we’ll take a look at the six fight preliminary card.
The prelims are set to begin at 7PM ET and stream live on ESPN+. Notable fighters featured on the preliminary card include Juan Espino, Jake Matthews, Diego Sanchez, Alex da Silva and Brad Riddell.
Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine the latest odds for the UFC 253 preliminary card courtesy of the best UFC betting sites, identity potential value or upsets, and superman punch these predictions.
Jeff Hughes comes in as a large underdog for this heavyweight bout. Hughes has lost two of his last three fights with a NC sandwiched in between. He earned a UFC contract two years ago with a 1st round KO victory on DWCS, but has yet to turn in an official winning performance inside the octagon.
Five of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. Hughes is 5-2 when going the distance.
Juan Espino is a large betting favorite and is fighting for the first time in almost two years. Although he’s been training and working with teammates to prepare them for the octagon, Espino hasn’t fought since he beat Justin Frazier via submission at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.
Seven of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. He’s 2-0 when going the distance.
This fight will come down to whether or not Hughes can defend the takedown and then take out Espino with some power shots. I don’t see that happening as I believe Espino can navigate the striking and then take Hughes to the mat where he will ground and pound or find the submission for the win.
The only question is whether or not Hughes can survive the first round or not. I’m going with Under 1.5 rounds (+120) as eight of Espino’s 10 pro fights have all ended under that timeframe.
Jeff Hughes vs Juan Espino –Espino (-280)
Under 1.5 rounds (+120)
Fight ends inside the distance (-190)
Espino wins inside the distance (-115)
Khadis Ibragimov vs Danilo Marques
Khadis Ibragimov (-165)
Danilo Marques (+145)
Over (+105)/Under (-125) 2.5 rounds
Danilo Marques will be making his UFC debut this weekend, but hasn’t fought since February 2018. He was supposed to fight in Brazil earlier this year, but that was cancelled. He’s also been a corner man for other Brazilian fighters in the past.
Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with four victories apiece for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 1-1 when going the distance.
Khadis Ibragimov was 8-0 when he arrived in the UFC 13 months ago. Unfortunately, he’s lost three straight fights inside the octagon and is in danger of losing his job if Marques beats him this weekend.
Five of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage with three victories by way of submission. He’s 2-1 when going the distance.
I have a hard time putting my confidence in either fighter to win, but I am going to go with the upset victory as Marques appears to have more potential on the mat than Ibragimov has overall.
I also see this fight ending inside the distance. Two of Ibragimov’s three losses have come via stoppage. While, Marques has only gone the distance in two of 11 pro fights. Combined, these two men have gone the distance in five of 22 pro bouts.
Khadis Ibragimov vs Danilo Marques –Marques (+145)
Under 2.5 rounds (-125)
Fight ends inside the distance (-150)
Marques wins inside the distance (+295)
William Knight vs Aleksa Camur
William Knight (+140)
Aleksa Camur (-160)
Over (-120)/Under (+100) 1.5 rounds
William Knight will make his octagon debut this weekend after winning his DWCS fight earlier this month via 1st round TKO. He’s fought twice this year so far and has won both contests via TKO. In fact, all eight of his wins have come via TKO/KO and he definitely has some buzz heading into this contest.
Aleksa Camur will make his second trip into the octagon on Saturday as he enters this contest unbeaten in his career. Camur defeated Justin Ledet via unanimous decision in his UFC debut this past January, which was the first time he’s gone the distance in a fight. Five of his six pro wins have come via TKO/KO.
"The fact that I get to fight on the same night that the belt is being put on somebody I think it's going to be a good time to show what I got." – @Aleksa_Camur talks about his UFC debut & 205lb division 🔊⬆️ #UFC253 | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi
This fight has fireworks written all over it as you have two strikers that love to knockout their opponents. Camur is also known for being a longtime training partner for UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic. He will have a slight height and reach advantage in this contest.
At 32, Knight has already reached his ceiling, but Camur is just 25 years old and can still grow into a legitimate prospect in the light heavyweight division.
I’m taking Camur to win this contest via TKO. Knight’s lone defeat was via 1st round TKO. Due to the firepower in this matchup, I’m taking the Under 1.5 rounds as they’ve finished off 10 of their 15 combined contests in under that mark.
William Knight vs Aleksa Camur –Camur (-160)
Under 1.5 rounds (+100)
Fight ends inside the distance (-245),
Camur wins inside the distance (+130)
Ludovit Klein vs Shane Young
Ludovit Klein (+110)
Shane Young (-130)
Over (-105)/Under (-115) 2.5 rounds
According to online betting sites, this is the toughest prelims fight to pick a winner on. Not only are the moneylines close, but the Over/Under is very tight as well. With a contest this close on paper, you can expect it to be in the running for a Fight Night bonus.
Ludovit Klein is riding a seven fight win streak into his octagon debut on Saturday. Six of those seven wins have come via TKO/KO as Klein has earned a reputation for being a very talented fighter. 15 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He’s 1-0 when going the distance.
Shane Young has won both of his fights since dropping his UFC debut to Alexander Volkanovski who is the current featherweight champion. He’s gone 7-1 in his last eight pro bouts and is a dangerous striker with his hands and feet.
10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-4 when going the distance and has never been stopped in a pro fight.
This is definitely a tough fight to call. Both men have some solid highlight reels. With that said, I am leaning towards Young to win this contest. He’s competed in the UFC three times, whereas Klein is still making his UFC debut.
I believe Young’s striking will be crisper than Klein’s and I’m taking him to get the stoppage victory in this matchup.
Ludovit Klein vs Shane Young –Young (-130)
Under 2.5 rounds (-115)
Fight ends inside the distance (-155)
Young wins inside the distance (+240)
Diego Sanchez vs Jake Matthews
Diego Sanchez (+525)
Jake Matthews (-750)
Over (-175)/Under (+155) 2.5 rounds
This fight has the largest disparity in betting odds for the entire UFC 253 PPV event.
The 38 year old Diego Sanchez will make his 32nd trip into the octagon this weekend. The once title contender has become nothing more than a gatekeeper in the division. Yet, he’s gone 3-1 in his last four fights although his win over Pereira in February was due to DQ because of an illegal knee.
16 of his 30 pro wins have come via stoppage with 10 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 13-8 when going the distance in a fight.
Jake Matthews is 12 years younger than Sanchez and has been with the UFC since 2014. He’s racked up a 9-4 record inside the octagon and has won two straight bouts. He last fought in February and defeated Emil Meek via unanimous decision.
Meet Private Jake Matthews – UFC welterweight and now an enlisted member of the Australian army.
11 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. Matthews is 5-1 when going the distance in a fight.
At this point in his career, I just don’t see Sanchez having what it takes to beat someone like Matthews. As long as Matthews fights a smart fight, he should win this contest.
I have a hard time deciding on whether or not this bout will end inside the distance or go the full three rounds. Five of Matthews’ last seven fights have gone the distance.
Because Sanchez appeared to be on his way to surviving the full three rounds against Pereira in February, along with going the distance against Chiesa 15 months ago, I am going to say that Sanchez survives this contest.
Matthews will win a lopsided fight via unanimous decision (-115). This is also the one wager that offers the best value for this contest.
Diego Sanchez vs Jake Matthews –Matthews (-750)
Over 2.5 rounds (-175)
Fight goes the distance (-160)
Matthews wins via decision
Brad Riddell vs Alex da Silva
Brad Riddell (-330)
Alex da Silva (+270)
Over (-105)/Under (-115) 2.5 rounds
With a 21-2 record, you would think that da Silva is a longtime veteran of the sport. Yet, he’s just 24 years old, which makes his record even more remarkable.
Alex da Silva has fought twice in the UFC and split those contests. His last trip inside the octagon was 13 months ago where he won via unanimous decision.
20 of his 21 pro wins have come via stoppage with 13 by way of TKO/KO. He’s just 1-1 when going the distance.
Riddell is a massive betting favorite as he also is making his third trip inside the octagon. Riddell is on a five fight win streak which includes both of his UFC bouts. He last fought in February and beat Magomed Mustafaev via split decision. Five of his eight pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-0 when going the distance.
Riddell is teammates with Israel Adesanya, Shane Young and Kai Kara-France who are all fighting on this card as well. I’m a firm believer that iron sharpens iron, and it’s clear that Riddell runs with a great group of fighters.
In their combined 32 professional fights, these two men have gone the distance just five times. Furthermore, each fighter has never been knocked out.
I expect this fight to end inside the distance (-140) as both men are clearly finishers. I also see this bout coming in Under 2.5 rounds (-115). I believe we’re going to get a stoppage in this contest as each fighter looks to make a name for themselves on this big stage.
As for the winner, I am going with Riddell as he has impressed me more than da Silva when comparing their UFC tenures. If this fight goes the full three rounds then expect it to be a strong contender for fight of the night.
Brad Riddell vs Alex da Silva –Riddell (-330)
Under 2.5 rounds (-115)
Fight doesn’t go the distance (-140)
Riddell wins inside the distance (+135)
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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