On Saturday, July 13th, the UFC will be live from the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, for UFC Fight Night Sacramento also known as UFC Fight Night 155, UFC Fight Night: de Randamie vs Ladd, and UFC on ESPN+ 13. Whatever name you choose to call this MMA show, it features a main event women’s bantamweight fight between former champ Germaine de Randamie and the undefeated Aspen Ladd.
Urijah Faber, the biggest name on the card, steps out of retirement to take on Ricky Simon in Faber’s hometown. Other notable fighters on this card are Josh Emmett, Karl Roberson, Cezar Ferreira, Sheymon Moraes, and Darren Elkins to name a few.
UFC Fight Night Sacramento is scheduled to begin at 5 PM ET with a seven-fight preliminary card. At 8PM ET, the five-fight main card will begin. The entire event will be streamed live on ESPN+. UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of fights. Without any further delay, let’s march our way down to the betting octagon, step inside to explore the odds, and KO our picks.
The seven fight preliminary card begins at 5 PM ET on ESPN+. The following UFC betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
Benito Lopez (9-1) vs Vince Morales (9-3)
Benito Lopez (+120)
Vince Morales (-140)
Benito Lopez comes into this contest after dropping the first fight of his career this past February. He was 9-0, but missed all of 2018 due to injuries. He returned after 14 months away from the octagon and lost via submission late in the first round to Manny Bermudez. Five of Lopez’s nine professional wins have come via stoppage with three of those via KO/TKO.
Vince Morales has alternated between wins and losses over the last year. He lost in his DWTNCS appearance last July, then went to Bellator and won, only to come back to the UFC last November and lose. However, Morales did bounce back this May with a UD win over Zahabi. Morales’ loss last November was to Yadong Song who is a rising prospect. Seven of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five of those victories coming by way of TKO/KO.
This fight has all of the ingredients for fireworks inside the octagon. These two men have no problem standing and taking punches to the face for three rounds. I’m intrigued to see how this bout turns out, considering Morales took this fight on two weeks’ notice.
If this were Lopez’s first fight back, then I would go with Vince Morales and the power he packs behind those punches. With that said, this is Lopez’s second fight back, and I think he has a real shot here. Both men have the skills to win this fight, but I’m going with Lopez.
I like Lopez’s striking skills. The biggest reason I think Lopez will win is that he has more than a five-inch reach advantage, and he stands roughly three inches taller than Morales. I don’t know if this fight will go the distance or not, but I do expect it to be a lot of fun regardless of who wins.
UFC Bet: Benito Lopez (+120)
Pingyuan Liu (13-5) vs Jonathan Martinez (10-2)
Pingyuan Liu (-140)
Jonathan Martinez (+120)
Liu comes into this bout as the betting favorite. That’s largely due to his nine-fight winning streak that dates back to May 2013. However, there was a three-year period from 2013 to 2016 where Liu didn’t fight. In the last 27 months, Liu has fought four times. He debuted in the UFC 12 months ago and last fought in November 2018. Both of his UFC fights have ended with Liu winning via Decision. In his career, Liu has stopped nine opponents in 13 victories.
Martinez won his last fight in February via UD. It was a bounce back win from his loss last October. That fight happened to be his UFC debut. Five of Martinez’s 10 pro wins have come via KO/TKO. Another two wins have come via submission, which means he’s stopped seven of his opponents. One of Jonathan’s losses came via DQ back in 2015.
I don’t see Martinez getting another DQ this weekend, but I also don’t see him winning either. Martinez is the better striker between the two men, but he’s also the weaker grappler. He has a subpar takedown defense, which means Liu will look to take this fight to the mat. I believe Pingyuan Liu will be successful with his takedowns and then control the fight from top position.
I don’t see this fight going the distance. If Liu is able to gain top control for the majority of the fight, then I expect him to eventually finish Martinez inside the distance.
UFC Bet: Pingyuan Liu (-140)
Livia Renata Souza (13-1) vs Brianna Van Buren (8-2)
Livia Renata Souza (-105)
Brianna Van Buren (-115)
In the first women’s fight of the night, UFC betting sites have listed this bout as a very close contest with Van Buren as the slight favorite. Brianna, nicknamed “The Bull,” has won five straight fights and will be making her UFC debut on Saturday. She’s replacing Cynthia Calvillo on a month’s notice.
Van Buren has stopped five of her 10 opponents and won the Invicta FC Phoenix Rising tournament. For those that don’t know much about this tournament, The Bull ended up fighting three opponents in one night as she kept advancing with each victory. It was an impressive performance and one that certainly put her on the map.
Livia Renata Souza, dubbed “The Brazilian Gangster,” is on a four fight win streak and is also a former Invicta FC champ. Her lone loss came three years ago to Angela Hill and it was via Split Decision. 10 of her 13 pro victories have come via stoppage with eight of those wins coming via submission. Souza has excellent BJJ skills and is nearly five inches taller than her opponent.
Van Buren is a strong wrestler, but that plays into Souza’s BJJ skillset. The Bull’s best shot at winning this fight is standing up and striking. Souza will have a reach advantage, but I think Souza is the better striker between the two. I also think she has more power.
I’ve gone back and forth on this one. Sometimes, I pick Souza, and the next moment, I pick Van Buren. I think this is a solid matchup, but I have to lean a little bit toward Souza. She has the height and reach advantage. She also has a lot of poise and skill on the mat to counter Van Buren’s wrestling. The best chance that Van Buren has at winning is by landing some power shots on her feet. I’m not sure she will be able to accomplish that. Both fighters offer solid value, but I’m taking Souza for now.
UFC Bet: Livia Renata Souza (-105)
Darren Elkins (24-7) vs Ryan Hall (7-1)
Darren Elkins (-105)
Ryan Hall (-115)
Here’s another close fight both on paper and at sports betting sites. Darren Elkins is the slight underdog, but he has four times as many pro fights as Ryan Hall does. Unfortunately, he also has seven times as many losses.
Elkins appears to be nearing the end of his UFC run, unless he can pull off a big win this weekend. He’s dropped his last two fights, but still has a 14-6 record inside the octagon. 12 of Elkins’ 24 wins have come via stoppage with eight of those via KO/TKO. 15 of his 31 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s sporting a 12-3 record during those fights.
Ryan Hall is on a seven-fight win streak, including an easy first-round submission win in his last bout, which came against BJ Penn in December 2018. That victory gave Hall five stoppage victories, with three of them coming via submission. Hall has tremendous BJJ skills, which is going to make him dangerous for this fight.
Both men offer solid betting value just like with the women’s matchup prior. Elkins is only one year older than Hall, but he has a lot more mileage on him. He’s also taken a lot of punishment over the last few years.
I expect Hall to have the speed and athletic advantages here, but he doesn’t have the power to go punch for punch with Elkins. With that said, Hall should get this fight to the mat where he will eventually find a limb to latch onto and force Elkins to tap out.
UFC Bet: Ryan Hall (-115)
Julianna Pena (8-3) vs Nicco Montano (4-2)
Julianna Pena (-165)
Nicco Montano (+145)
Julianna “The Venezuelan Vixen” Pena returns to the octagon for the first time in two and a half years. She hasn’t fought since her loss to Shevchenko in January 2017. That loss snapped a four-fight winning streak. Pena still sports a 4-1 record inside the octagon and is a large betting favorite despite the hiatus.
Six of Pena’s eight wins have come via stoppage. She will have the height, reach, and striking advantages in this fight.
Montano won her UFC debut in December 2017. She hasn’t fought since then, so neither woman has an advantage in terms of activity. Both will have some rustiness to shake off. Her four wins are split evenly between TKO/KO and decisions. Her two losses were via decision. Combined, these women have seven total fights ending with the judges.
It’s hard to look past Pena’s size and strength advantages here. She also has the advantage on the mat with her wrestling skills. Her reach advantage should keep Montano at a preferred distance before going for the takedown. I’m taking Pena to win this fight via UD.
UFC Bet: Julianna Pena (-165)
Andre Fili (19-6) vs Sheymon Moraes (11-3)
Andre Fili (+100)
Sheymon Moraes (-120)
In another very close contest, Sheymon Moraes takes on Andre Fili in what should be a tossup fight. Moraes is the slight betting favorite, which means both men offer betting value.
Andre Fili has alternated between wins and losses throughout his UFC tenure. He currently holds a 7-5 record inside the Octagon since his debut in October 2013. Fili has won three of his last four fights, which spans the last 21 months. His lone loss over the last four fights was a Split Decision defeat to Michael Johnson. Fili put up solid wins over Jury, Bermudez, and Lobov. Fili’s last six fights have gone the distance. Fili will also have the height and reach advantages.
Moraes has not had an easy path since joining the UFC. He’s gone up against four tough opponents in Magomedsharipov, Sayles, Arce, and Yusuff. Moraes is one year younger than Fili and appears to be finding his rhythm inside the octagon. His loss against Yusuff is partly due to his lack of killer instincts late in the fight. If he were to really put opponents away, we would see less of his fights going the distance. As of now, Moraes has gone to the judges in seven of his 14 pro fights. He has a record of 6-1 in those contests.
As mentioned, Fili has gone to the scorecards in six straight fights. For his career, Fili has seen the judges in 10 of his 25 pro fights and has a record of 8-2 in those contests. I believe this fight will also go the distance, but I’m leaning toward Moraes to win. I believe he is the better striker, and if he has that killer instinct, then he will win via KO/TKO. More than likely, he will end up going to the judges and getting the UD victory.
UFC Bet: Sheymon Moraes (-120)
Mike Rodriguez (10-3) vs John Allan (13-5)
Mike Rodriguez (-420)
John Allan (+335)
This fight features the largest betting odds of the night. It was originally scheduled to be Rodriguez taking on Gian Villante. Unfortunately, Villante pulled out of the event. John Allan replaces Villante on less than two weeks’ notice.
Allan actually fought on June 28th, which means he’s stepping back inside the octagon with roughly two weeks rest. That’s not enough time to recover, let alone prepare for another opponent. Fortunately for Allan, this fight will most likely be a slugfest with the winner landing the most power punches. Allan has gone 5-1 in his last six fights. Five of those six fights ended in stoppage.
Rodriguez hasn’t fought since last December when he defeated Milstead via first round TKO. It was a bounce-back win after losing his UFC debut in April 2018. Rodriquez is a solid striker with some deficiencies in his takedown defense and grappling. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to worry about that with Allan.
Rodriguez is two inches taller than Allan and will benefit from a seven-inch reach advantage. With his striking prowess, power, and combinations, I believe Rodriguez will be too much for Allan to handle.
UFC Bet: Mike Rodriguez (-420)
UFC Fight Night Sacramento Main Card
The main card of the night features five fights and begins at 8 PM ET on ESPN+. All UFC Fight Night betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
Marvin Vettori (12-4-1) vs Cezar Ferreira (13-7)
Marvin Vettori (-150)
Cezar Ferreira (+130)
Cezar Ferreira is the underdog in the opening bout of the main card, yet he is the veteran in this fight and nine years older than his opponent. Cezar hasn’t fought since November 2018, where he lost to Ian Heinisch by UD. It was the second loss of his last four fights. Ferreira is 2-2 since February 2017. Seven of Ferreira’s 13 wins have come via stoppage with four of those being via submission.
Marvin Vettori is the betting favorite, but he hasn’t fought since April 2018. That was due to a suspension for PEDs. The 25-year old Vettori last fought against Israel Adesanya and lost that fight via Split Decision. It was arguably Adesanya’s toughest test to date. In fact, Vettori wants a rematch against Israel as soon as possible. As for his opponent this weekend, Vettori had the following assessment about Ferreira:
“This is a good opponent for me. He is well rounded and has been in there with some top guys, a lot of names. You can say whatever about the guy, but I am a way better fighter than him and I can show it. I’m not underestimating him but I plan on bringing the fight and showcasing all my skills. He does a little bit of everything. If he wants to wrestle, I am down to wrestle. If he wants to keep to standing, he is more than welcome. I have a strategy and just go out there and put it on him and wherever it goes, I think I have the advantage.”
Not only do the UFC online betting sites think that Vettori has the advantage, but I do as well. I like his ability to stand or go to the mat. Vettori has more than a four-inch reach advantage, which will help in the striking battle. However, I think this fight is going to the mat. Eight of Vettori’s 12 wins have come via submission. I believe we will see a ninth on Saturday. “The Italian Dream” is more powerful, athletic and a better grappler. We will see all of his skills on display this weekend.
UFC Bet: Marvin Vettori (-150)
Karl Roberson (7-2) vs Wellington Turman (15-2)
Karl Roberson (-225)
Wellington Turman (+185)
After dropping two of his last three fights, including his only bout in 2019, Roberson is looking for a big win. Ironically, one of those losses was to Ferreira 14 months ago. Now, he’s getting a higher billing on the same card as the man who beat him. With that said, Roberson has five stoppage wins in his career. He’s also moving down to middleweight after losing to Teixeira in a light heavyweight fight.
Turman is only 22 years old and making his UFC debut. Turman has fought for numerous promotions and does have 17 professional fights, which is more than Roberson. However, he hasn’t fought anyone the caliber of Roberson before. 11 of his 15 wins have come via stoppage, with seven of those being by submission.
Speaking on his opponent’s debut, Roberson told Sherdog about jitters and the outcome for Saturday’s fight:
“Octagon jitters are a real thing. Just the nerves of making your UFC debut get to you. He is going to go out hungry. It is his first fight and he is going to try and make a statement. I’m a vet now and plan on showing to him, I’m not going to let anyone, especially in their debut, beat me. He may try to take me down but I have been working on it. I’m going to exploit him.”
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Turman wins this fight. It’s an uphill battle for the young Brazilian. I’m taking Roberson to win this fight. He will most likely get the victory inside the distance.
UFC Bet: Karl Roberson (-225)
Josh Emmett (14-2) vs Mirsad Bektic (13-1)
Josh Emmett (+145)
Mirsad Bektic (-165)
Bektic is a sizable betting favorite for this featherweight battle on Saturday. He’s been with the UFC since April 2014, and has gone 6-1 inside the octagon. His lone loss was to Darren Elkins 28 months ago. Bektic hasn’t fought in 13 months, which is a bit concerning for me. He barely won that fight against Lams as he was awarded the Split Decision victory. Nine of his 13 wins have come via stoppage with six of those being KO/TKO wins.
Emmett has been with the UFC since May 2016, and has a record of 5-2 inside the octagon. He’s won three out of his last four fights, including defeating Michael Johnson in March via KO. Emmett was out of action for a while after his KO defeat to Jeremy Stephens in February 2018. That 14-month hiatus actually did some good for Josh. He looked great against Johnson three and a half months ago.
As mentioned, Bektic’s only defeat was to Elkins who is on this card. Even more ironic is that he’s also Emmett’s team mate. They both train out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA. As for his opponent, Emmett made the following comments about Bektic:
“This is going to be the first time I fight someone that isn’t way taller than me. We’re pretty close to the same height. We have the same reach. We’re both from wrestling backgrounds. We’re both physically strong, powerful, explosive fighters, both with good striking, good wrestling, and good jiu-jitsu and scrambles. I think it’s a super evenly matched, competitive fight.”
I think this is definitely a closer fight than what the oddsmakers have listed it as. I believe they overvalued Bektic some. I might give Mirsad the slight grappling advantage, but I do believe Emmett has the striking advantage in regards to power.
With this being so close, I have to go with my hometown fighter Josh Emmett to win the fight. Not only is he 7-0 all-time in SacTown, but he’s going to be willed to victory by the fans. I’m taking Emmett to win via UD or SD.
The co-main event features the largest betting odds of the main card. And that’s because Urijah Faber hasn’t fought inside the octagon in roughly 30 months. With that said, “The California Kid” will return to the octagon in his hometown of Sacramento where the fans have loved him for over 15 years.
Urijah Faber lost three of his last five fights dating back four years. His longtime fans, like myself, were happy to see Faber retire after a win over Pickett in December 2016. This comeback was rather surprising, considering how long it’s been since he was last inside the octagon. After retiring, Faber was named to the UFC Hall of Fame in 2017.
However, after turning 40 in May, Faber felt that now was the time to come out of retirement. And when the UFC booked a show for Sacramento, Faber decided that it was the perfect scenario for his return to the octagon. This has been a plan in the works for a while now as Faber regularly trains with his teammates at the Team Alpha Male gym. With that said, Faber believes that he’s in good enough form to compete in the octagon. Additionally, he’s not doing this for anything other than himself. Faber doesn’t need the money or fame, he told Yahoo! Sports that just wants to compete and enjoy the fight game for himself:
“I’m fighting for what I think are the right reasons. I’m doing it because I want to. It’s something for me. I don’t need the money and I don’t have to try to impress anyone. I want to do this and so I’m doing it. And when I don’t feel like I can do it anymore, I’ll say that’s it and go on to something else. It’s pretty simple.”
Ricky Simon has won eight straight fights including his only bout in 2019, which was over Rani Yahya in February via UD. Simon has seven stoppages in his 15 wins including five KO/TKOs. He also has the unenviable task of fighting one of the sport’s all-time popular fighters in his hometown.
I’ve been to MMA events in Sacramento where Faber fought. I know firsthand how much my hometown loves Faber. With that in mind, I’m taking Faber in the biggest upset of the night. Nothing against Simon, I just have to show some love for SacTown’s Faber and root for that Hollywood result. Faber can still grapple with the best and he also has solid striking skills. We will see if that translates into defeating an opponent that’s 14 years younger.
Germaine de Randamie is a former UFC featherweight champ who has only fought four times since her loss to Amanda Nunes in November 2013. GDR was inactive due to injuries and was stripped of the featherweight title after being the inaugural champ. Her last fight came in November 2018 where she defeated Pennington via UD. Five of her eight wins have come via decision. Of her 11 pro fights, six have gone the distance.
At 24 years old, Aspen Ladd is one of the top prospects in all of UFC. She’s racked up eight wins in roughly four years, and last fought in May where she defeated Eubanks via UD. It was a rematch with Eubanks from their Invicta FC fight in January 2017. Six of her eight wins have come via stoppage with five of those being via KO/TKO.
Ladd is 11 years younger than GDR. She also gives up three inches in height and five inches in reach. This main event fight is a classic striker versus grappler matchup, which has some pundits picking GDR for the upset win. I certainly give GDR a puncher’s chance. She has blistering striking skills and a clinch that can crush her foes. With that said, she hasn’t fought much and it’s hard to put all of your confidence in her.
The key to this fight is whether or not Ladd can get GDR down to the mat and keep her there. If she controls the fight from top position, then she will win via UD. If Ladd can’t keep GDR down on the ground than Ladd will lose via KO/TKO.
I’m going to side with Ladd to win via UD, but I do believe de Randamie is worth a flier. She’s a former champ with the clear striking advantage in this fight.
The following UFC Fight Night Sacramento fighters offer decent betting value based on their current MMA odds and UFC Fight Night matchups:
Benito Lopez (+120) is the underdog against Vince Morales (-140), but I like his chances in this matchup. I believe Lopez’s height and reach advantages will come into play, and I believe he can win this fight.
Livia Renata Souza (-105) is the slight underdog to Van Buren at -115. It’s going to be a close contest between two former Invicta FC stars. I’m leaning towards Souza because of her BJJ, her kicks, height, and reach advantages.
Ryan Hall (-115) is the slight favorite over Darren Elkins (-105). I like Hall in this matchup because he has the clear cut advantage on the mat where I believe he will force Elkins to tap out. Both men do offer solid betting value, and I would prefer to see Elkins win.
Sheymon Moraes (-120) is a fighter that has frustrated me in his short UFC tenure. There are times where I yell at the screen for Sheymon to put away his opponent. Unfortunately, he seems to cruise to the finish line at times. With that said, I do like Moraes in this fight as I feel he can win the striking battle. He’s a slight betting favorite, but both men do offer value.
Josh Emmett (+145) is fighting in his hometown of Sacramento where he’s 7-0 all-time. I believe online betting sites have overvalued his opponent Mirsad Bektic (-165), as these two men are pretty much even on paper. I like Emmett’s slight advantage with striking power and his fellow peeps from “the 916” to be the difference in this fight.
Urijah Faber (+285) is one of the biggest underdogs of the night. He’s returning to the octagon for the first time in 30 months, and he’s fighting in front of his hometown fans. I’m rooting for Faber to win and send my hometown into a frenzy.
Final Thoughts on UFC Fight Night Sacramento
UFC Fight Night 155 (UFC Fight Night Sacramento) is going to be an exciting event and that’s because it takes place in my hometown of Sacramento. I can’t wait to see both Emmett and Faber step inside the octagon and listen to the crowd roar. Last time I saw Faber fight live in Sacramento, the roar was deafening. I’m hoping that both men can come out victorious on Saturday.
Unlike recent UFC events, there are numerous opportunities for making money with this card. At least six fights offer betting value or potential upsets.
UFC Fight Night Sacramento Betting Recap
Benito Lopez (+120)
Pingyuan Liu (-140)
Livia Renata Souza (-105)
Ryan Hall (-115)
Julianna Pena (-165)
Sheymon Moraes (-120)
Mike Rodriguez (-420)
Marvin Vettori (-150)
Karl Roberson (-225)
Josh Emmett (+145)
Urijah Faber (+285)
Aspen Ladd (-165)
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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