On Saturday, October 23rd, the UFC will be live from their Apex Center in Las Vegas for UFC Fight Night 196 also known as UFC Vegas 41. This show will be headlined by a Top 5 middleweight battle of Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori.
However, before we look at the main card, we must first examine the UFC Fight Night 196 preliminary card which currently has six bouts scheduled and is set to begin at 1pm ET on ESPN+.
This portion of the event has many notable fighters competing like Livinha Souza vs Randa Markos, Jeff Molina, Jai Herbert vs Khama Worthy, Laureano Staropoli, Tabatha Ricci and Jung Yong Park to name a few.
There have also been a couple of fights that have been scratched from the card. Sites for MMA betting have released odds for the remaining preliminary card bouts. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these available odds.
At the time of this publication, online betting sites don’t have many of the various MMA prop bets and Over/Unders that should be listed later in the week.
The following bouts are no longer scheduled for the UFC Vegas 41 preliminary card:
Mason Jones vs Alan Patrick
Mason Jones and Alan Patrick were set for a rematch after their first fight in June 2021 was stopped due to an accidental eye poke. Jones was dominating the fight and almost put Alan away in the first round. The eye poke took place in the second round as Mason was in full control.
Had 24hr & ran 10 miles. Feel good again now. Alan is out, didn’t want the smoke. Waiting on a new opponent
Late last week, it was announced on Twitter that Patrick was removed from the fight with no further details.
Jones came in as a massive betting favorite for the rematch with odds hovering around -650. Patrick was a huge underdog with odds as high as +450.
Mason was hoping to remain on the card, but it doesn’t appear that the UFC will be able to find him a replacement opponent in time.
Aaron Phillips vs Jonathan Martinez
The bantamweight battle between Aaron Phillips and Jonathan Martinez has been cancelled due to Phillips’ feeling ill in training camp. Aaron commented further on his issues:
“My fight next weekend Oct. 23 will be off. I have been feeling ill finishing camp. Started off with headaches and low energy, feeling flat in training. Kept going to extreme fatigue, groggy, sleeping in the afternoon. I feel best early in the day and when outside. I appreciate all the coaches that have helped classes as I’ve been out. This isn’t the first wave I’ve had of similar symptoms in the last year, but the timing is obviously bad.”
Phillips was a +260 underdog for this matchup and hasn’t fought since July 2020. He’s currently 0-3 in his second stint with the promotion.
Jonathan Martinez was a -350 favorite and hasn’t fought since January 2021 where he lost to Davey Grant. Martinez is hoping for a replacement opponent, but there’s been no word on if the UFC will do so or just try to reschedule this bout.
Livinha Souza vs. Randa Markos
Livinha Souza (-125)
Randa Markos (+105)
Over (-300)/Under (+240) 2.5 rounds
Markos has been with the UFC for nearly seven years, but has put together an unimpressive record with the promotion. She’s currently 6-10-1 inside the octagon and enters this weekend’s fight riding a four bout losing streak.
Ironically, she filled in for Livinha Souza in the fight against Kanako Murata last November, but lost via unanimous decision. Markos’ last contest came in May 2021 where she lost via DQ to Luana Pinheiro.
The controversial finish against Pinheiro prompted Markos to declare that her opponent took a dive. The other two losses over this losing streak were to Mackenzie Dern via submission and Amanda Ribas via decision. In total, she’s gone 1-5 in her last six bouts.
Four of her 10 pro wins have come via submission. She’s 6-8-1 when going the distance.
After a solid run in Invicta FC, Souza joined the UFC three years ago and got off to a 2-0 start before going 1-2 in her last three bouts.
Souza last competed in March 2021 and lost via 1st round TKO to Amanda Lemos. Her last victory came in August 2020 when she beat Ashley Yoder via decision.
10 of her 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. She’s 4-2 when going the distance.
There’s certainly a chance that Livinha pulls off the submission win, but this bout has all the makings of going over 2.5 rounds and the full 15 minutes (-245).
15 of Markos’ 22 pro fights have gone the distance including nine of her last 12 bouts. Souza has gone the distance in three of her last four contests.
As for the winner, I’m taking Souza to pull out the decision victory. I don’t have the confidence in Markos anymore.
Livinha Souza vs. Randa Markos –Souza (-125)
Over 2.5 rounds (-300)
Fight goes the distance (-245)
Jeff Molina vs. Daniel Lacerda
Jeff Molina (-170)
Daniel Lacerda (+145)
Daniel Lacerda will make his UFC debut this weekend after a successful run in Shoot Brazil. His last fight came in July 2021 and he won that bout via 1st round TKO. His lone loss was a 2019 fight where he suffered an arm injury that forced a stoppage and ruled a TKO.
Lacerda is the training partner of Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira and has a solid all-around fight game. All 11 of his pro wins have come via stoppage with six by submission.
After starting out 1-2 in his pro career, Molina turned things around and has won eight straight fights. This winning streak has spanned several promotions.
After a few bouts in Cageside Promotions and LFA, Molina earned an appearance on DWCS in August 2020 where he beat Jacob Silva via unanimous decision. “El Jefe” then made his octagon debut in April 2021 and beat Qileng Aori via unanimous decision.
Seven of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. He’s 2-1 when going the distance.
This flyweight contest is an intriguing one. The smart play is on Molina, but Lacerda is worthy of a flier. I’m curious to see how Lacerda’s fight game translates to the octagon.
Take Molina to win via decision (-150) as Lacerda has never truly been stopped in his career.
Jeff Molina vs. Daniel Lacerda –Molina (-170)
Fight goes the distance (-150)
Jai Herbert vs. Khama Worthy
Jai Herbert (-175)
Khama Worthy (+150)
Over (-145)/Under (+115) 1.5 rounds
Here’s a lightweight matchup where each fighter is in need of a win as both men are on a two fight losing streak.
Worthy rode a five fight winning streak to the UFC two years ago where he scored a 1st round TKO win over Devonte Smith. He followed that up with a 3rd round submission victory over Luis Pena to extend his winning streak to seven in a row.
However, that streak would end 13 months ago when Khama suffered a 1st round TKO loss to Ottman Azaitar. Worthy suffered a 1st round KO loss to Jamie Mullarkey in his next fight which took place in March 2021 and is now 2-2 inside the octagon.
12 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-0 when going the distance.
Herbert had a nice run in Cage Warriors where he won all five of his fights and the lightweight title. That success brought him to the UFC in July 2020, but he suffered a 3rd round TKO loss in his debut against Francisco Trinaldo.
His second UFC fight, which took place in June 2021, also ended in a loss. This time, Herbert suffered a 2nd round submission defeat to Renato Carneiro.
Nine of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-0 when going the distance.
I’ve soured on Worthy in the UFC. Although, I believe he can take this fight to the latter portions, I still see Herbert picking up the TKO/KO victory. Seven of Khama’s eight pro losses have come via TKO/KO.
Jai Herbert vs. Khama Worthy –Herbert (-175)
Over 1.5 rounds (-145)
Fight ends inside the distance (-230)
Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli
Jamie Pickett (+205)
Laureano Staropoli (-240)
Over (-185)/Under (+155) 2.5 rounds
This bout was originally scheduled for UFC Vegas 39, but it was postponed to this weekend’s event due to Pickett’s coach testing positive for covid.
The popular saying “the third time is a charm” definitely applies to Jamie Pickett and his three appearances on DWCS.
The first appearance came in July 2017 and he lost to Charles Byrd via 1st round submission. The second appearance came in June 2019 and he lost to Punahele Soriano via unanimous decision. The third appearance came in August 2020 and he beat Jhonoven Pati via 2nd round TKO.
Pickett debuted with the UFC in December 2020 and lost via unanimous decision to Tafon Nchukwi. His second bout came in May 2021 and he lost via 1st round TKO to Jordan Wright.
Staropoli rode a five fight winning streak to the UFC and debuted three years ago. He won his first two fights via unanimous decision before this current three fight skid.
Laureano dropped all three bouts via unanimous decision to Muslim Salikhov, Tim Means and Roman Dolidze.
Seven of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 2-3 when going the distance.
Staropoli recognizes that another loss could end up costing him his job with the UFC. He’s determined to win this weekend’s bout:
“This is a decisive fight for me. I’m not taking it with the pressure that it brings, but quite the opposite. I’m very relaxed, very focused, and my head is 100 percent. We’re going to make a great fight, and I’m going to leave my life in there. I’m going out to kill or be killed so we can continue to be in there representing Argentina and continue fighting for the dream of getting the title.”
I see this bout going Over 2.5 rounds (-185) and the full 15 minutes (-170). Staropoli has gone the distance in five straight bouts while Pickett has gone the distance in three of his last five fights.
As for the winner, I’m going with Staropoli. Despite the three fight losing skid, I still believe he’s the better fighter of the two.
Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli –Staropoli (-240)
Over 2.5 rounds (-185)
Fight goes the distance (-170)
Tabatha Ricci vs. Maria Oliveira
Tabatha Ricci (-230)
Maria Oliveira (+195)
Over (-170)/Under (+140) 2.5 rounds
A 9-1 stretch led Oliveira to the DWCS three years ago where she lost via 1st round TKO to Marina Rodriguez. Following the loss, Maria has only competed twice since then.
She scored a decision victory in September 2019 for a regional promotion. Her most recent bout came in February 2021 where she won via 1st round KO in a second regional MMA promotion.
Eight of her 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. She’s 4-1 when going the distance.
Ricci started off her pro career going 5-0 which included wining all three of her fights in LFA. That earned her a shot with the UFC as she debuted in June 2021.
Ricci was supposed to race Maryna Moroz, but Manon Fiorot ended up replacing Maryna and ended up scoring a 2nd round TKO win. It was the first loss of Ricci’s pr career.
Three of her five pro wins have come via stoppage with two by way of submission. She’s 2-0 when going the distance.
Both fighters are still unproven inside the octagon. With that said, it’s safer to take this bout to go Over 2.5 rounds (-170) and the full 15 minutes. As for the winner, I’m leaning towards Ricci to pick up the unanimous decision victory.
Tabatha Ricci vs. Maria Oliveira –Ricci (-230)
Over 2.5 rounds (-170)
Jun Yong Park vs. Gregory Rodrigues
Jun Yong Park (-110)
Gregory Rodrigues (-110)
A six fight winning streak brought Rodrigues to DWCS 13 months ago. Unfortunately, he suffered a 1st round KO loss to Jordan Williams. The loss also had Gregory questioning whether or not he wanted to continue in MMA as it was a huge setback for his career goals.
“Robocop” showed his mental toughness by bouncing back from a career low to winning two straight fights which included the LFA title in May 2021.
However, that title reign didn’t last long as the UFC signed Rodrigues following the championship victory:
“I never imagined this, not even in my best dreams. The fight was over and I was like, ‘I’ll celebrate.’ And now I’m a former champion [laughs]. I held the title for a few hours, and got the news that I was in the UFC the next day.”
Rodrigues had to compete two weeks later against a tough opponent in Dusko Todorovic, which Gregory was able to win via unanimous decision and prove that he belongs inside the octagon.
Eight of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with four apiece for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 2-1 when going the distance and does have two TKO/KO losses.
Park parlayed a seven fight winning streak into a UFC deal where he debuted in August 2019, but lost vias 2nd round submission to Anthony Hernandez.
The loss was a minor setback as “The Iron Turtle” went on to win his next three fights. Park beat Marx-Andre Barriault in December 2019 via unanimous decision. He followed that up with a decision win over John Phillips in October 2020.
His most recent bout came in May 2021 where he defeated Tafon Nchukwi via majority decision. Eight of the South Korean’s 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-2 when going the distance.
This is a tough fight to predict as both men are very well-rounded inside the octagon. But, since we have to pick a winner, I am going with Gregory Rodrigues.
I see this bout going Over any O/U that’s listed as I believe it will go the full 15 minutes. Once with the judges, I like Rodrigues to win via split decision.
This is a toss-up fight, so flip a coin or do what I did. For me, I chose Rodrigues because I really like his story of perseverance and not giving up after losing on DWCS. Instead, “Robocop” picked himself back up and marched towards his dream of fighting in the UFC.
Jun Yong Park vs. Gregory Rodrigues –Rodrigues (-110)
Fight goes the distance (-125)
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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