On Wednesday, July 15th, the UFC will return to action with their second show from Fight Island – UFC on ESPN 13: Kattar vs Ige. This will also be the first of two UFC shows this week. The main event of the evening is a Top 10 featherweight battle between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige.
The rest of the main card features Top 15 ranked fighters like Tim Elliott and Molly McCann in addition to a Top 10 bantamweight showdown between Cody Stamann and Jimmie Rivera who will actually fight at featherweight instead.
UFC on ESPN 13 features 12 bouts and is set to begin at 7 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN+. UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of fights. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these current betting lines via 5Dimes, identify betting value or upsets, and TKO our predictions.
The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 7 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN+.
Jorge Gonzales vs Kenneth Bergh
Jorge Gonzales (+125)
Kenneth Bergh (-165)
Over (+110)/Under (-140) 1.5 rounds
Jorge Gonzales will make his UFC debut this week after replacing Timo Feucht who was released by the UFC for past ties to neo-Nazi groups. Ironically, Gonzales and Bergh were reportedly supposed to face each other in 2018 at the embarrassing Golden Boy MMA show featuring Liddell vs Ortiz 3.
Gonzales just fought on July 3rd in Mexico, but won with a 1st round submission in 65 seconds. Already in fighting shape, you can consider that contest just a warmup. He’s won seven of his last eight bouts. 12 of his 16 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s never gone the distance in a pro fight.
Kenneth Bergh will also make his UFC debut this week. Although he did have a DWCS fight 12 months ago, it was overturned to a NC due to his opponent failing a drug test. Bergh hasn’t fought since December 2019. Six of his eight pro wins have come via submission.
I like this fight to go Over 1.5 rounds (+110), but to end inside the distance (-450). Combined, these two men have never gone the distance in their respective careers. As you can see, MMA betting websites heavily favor the fight to finish before the full three rounds have expired.
For me, I think the Norwegian Bergh is a more talented fighter. I’m taking him to score a submission victory in this contest (+180). Four of Gonzalez’s five losses have come via submission.
Jorge Gonzales vs Kenneth Bergh –Bergh (-165)
Over 1.5 rounds (+110)
Fight ends inside the distance (-450)
Bergh wins inside the distance (-115)
Bergh wins via submission (+180)
Jack Shore vs Aaron Phillips
Jack Shore (-700)
Aaron Phillips (+500)
Over (-120)/Under (+100) 1.5 rounds
This bantamweight fight features the biggest disparity of betting odds for the entire UFC on ESPN 13 card. Jack Shore is the largest favorite of the night, while Aaron Phillips is the biggest betting underdog.
Aaron Phillips returns to the UFC after leaving in the end of 2014. He lost both fights that year and was bounced from the promotion. Currently, Phillips has won five straight bouts. Eight of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.
Jack Shore will make his second trip inside the octagon this week having won his UFC debut last September via 3rd round submission over Nohelin Hernandez. 11 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission.
Shore likes to grapple and Phillips likes to strike. This fight will come down to whichever combatant performs better in their preferred areas of strength.
I like this fight to end inside the distance (-230) and for it to go Over 1.5 rounds (-120). Combined, these two men have gone the distance in seven of 27 pro fights. Shore has only gone the distance once in his career.
As for the winner, I like Shore to get this fight to the mat and find a submission victory (-105). There’s no value in Shore’s moneyline, but a submission win offers a solid return.
Jack Shore vs Aaron Phillips –Shore (-700)
Over 1.5 rounds (-120)
Fight ends inside the distance (-230)
Shore wins inside the distance (-180)
Shore wins via submission (-105)
Liana Jojua vs Diana Belbita
Liana Jojua (+145)
Diana Belbita (-165)
Over (-200)/Under (+170) 2.5 rounds
Jojua is making her second trip inside the octagon this week. She debuted last September and lost via 3rd round TKO. That snapped a five fight win streak. Five of her seven pro wins have come via submission.
Like her opponent, Belbita also lost her last fight which was her UFC debut in October 2019. She fell via unanimous decision to Molly McCann who’s on the main card of this event. The loss snapped a four fight win streak. 10 of her 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.
Combined, these two women have gone the distance in just seven of 28 fights. They’re known more for being finishers than distance or points fighters. Belbita has gone the distance in one of her last six fights and Jojua has gone just once in her last seven bouts.
With that said, I like this fight to finish inside the distance (+135) and I’m also taking the Under 2.5 rounds (+170). Five of Jojua’s wins have come in the 1st round.
I’m not saying that a 1st round victory will happen this week, but I believe she can finish off Belbita before the halfway mark of the 3rd round. I’m taking Jojua to win via submission, which Belbita has suffered three losses via tap out.
Liana Jojua vs Diana Belbita –Jojua (+145)
Under 2.5 rounds (+170)
Fight doesn’t go the distance (+135)
Jojua wins inside the distance (+400)
Jojua wins via submission (+500)
Jared Gordon vs Chris Fishgold
Jared Gordon (-145)
Chris Fishgold (+125)
Over (+120)/Under (-140) 2.5 rounds
There’s an interesting storyline for this fight. Jared Gordon’s team couldn’t make it to Fight Island due to testing positive for Covid.
UFC’s commentator, and former lightweight contender, Paul Felder will step away from the announce table to lead Gordon’s corner during the show. They’re longtime training partners. This is the first time in recent sports memory that something like this has happened.
Jared Gordon is favored in this fight, but has lost three of his last four contests. He’s 3-3 overall inside the octagon and last fought eight months ago where he lost to Charles Oliveira via 1st round KO. Eight of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.
Jared Gordon's cornermen all tested positive before his fight with Chris Fishgold on July 15th, so @felderpaul said he'll step in 👊
Fishgold has gone 1-2 with the UFC since debuting in October 2018. He last fought six weeks ago and lost via 2nd round submission to Amirkhani. 13 of his 18 pro wins have come via submission.
In 41 combined fights, these two have gone the distance a total of 12 times. They both like to finish off their opponents and I believe that’s going to happen this week as well. I’m going with the Under 2.5 rounds (-140) and for the fight to end inside the distance (-180)
I’m torn on which fighter to pick. Since Felder will be in Gordon’s corner, I’m taking Jared to win. I’m a fan of Felder and maybe he can bring Gordon some good luck. Gordon’s best chance of winning inside the distance will be via TKO/KO against a tough Fishgold.
This is a tough fight to choose a winner for, I prefer the props in this matchup.
Jared Gordon vs Chris Fishgold –Gordon (-145)
Under 2.5 rounds (-140)
Fight ends inside the distance (-180)
Gordon wins inside the distance (+225)
Modestas Bukauskas vs Andreas Michailidis
Modestas Bukauskas (-230)
Andreas Michailidis (+190)
Over (-115)/Under (-105) 1.5 rounds
Andreas Michailidis makes his UFC debut this week and enters the octagon on a three fight win streak. He last fought in December 2019. 11 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO.
Modestas Bukauskas will also make his UFC debut this week and enters on a six fight win streak. Nine of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO.
Combined, these two men have gone the distance in just two of 27 total fights. Each man has also suffered a TKO/KO defeat. I believe we will see another TKO/KO outcome for this fight as well. The fight won’t being going the distance (-300), but I’m going with the Over 1.5 rounds (-115).
We should get a good striking battle into the second half of the fight. From there, Modestas Bukauskas should pick up the win. He looks like a better prospect than his opponent and I like the Lithuanian to make a powerful statement in his UFC debut.
Modestas Bukauskas vs Andreas Michailidis –Bukauskas (-230)
Over 1.5 rounds (-115)
Fight ends inside the distance (-300)
Bukauskas wins inside the distance (-120)
Ricardo Ramos vs Lerone Murphy
Ricardo Ramos (-165)
Lerone Murphy (+145)
Over (-185)/Under (+160) 2.5 rounds
Here we have a sleeper contender for fight of the night. These two featherweight prospects are looking for a big win and a chance to enter the Top 15 rankings.
Murphy is unbeaten in his career with just one fight in the UFC. His debut came 10 months ago and he ended up scoring a Draw again Tukhugov. Four of his nine pro fights have gone the distance. Five of his eight pro wins have come via TKO/KO.
Ricardo Ramos is 5-1 in the UFC having won two straight fights after dropping a bout to Said Nurmagomedov. Ramos has rebounded nicely and has the look of a featherweight contender. 10 of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission.
I have been impressed with the 24 year old Ramos. I think he has a bright future ahead of him. Murphy can suffer a loss and still bounce back at just 28 years old.
At first glance, I thought the oddsmakers favoring this fight going the distance were wrong. But, after looking at the two fighters’ recent bouts, I see why. Half of Ramos UFC fights have gone the distance. Three of Murphy’s last four fights have also gone the distance.
I believe these two talented fighters will go the distance (-165) and I’m giving the edge to Ramos due to his submission advantages. Take the Over 2.5 rounds (-185) as well. Ramos wins via unanimous or split decision (+155).
Ricardo Ramos vs Lerone Murphy –Ramos (-165)
Over 2.5 rounds (-185)
Fight goes the distance (-165)
Ramos wins via decision (+155)
John Phillips vs Khamzat Chimaev
John Phillips (+275)
Khamzat Chimaev (-335)
Over (+125)/Under (-145) 1.5 rounds
On less than a week’s notice Khamzat Chimaev stepped in to take the place of Dusko Todorovic. Despite the short notice Chimaev has been listed as a large betting favorite. In fact, he’s the second biggest betting favorite of the entire MMA show.
The Swedish fighter is one of Europe’s top prospects and has won all six of his fights via stoppage. He makes his UFC debut this week and has created some buzz for this matchup.
John Phillips earned a UFC shot by winning four straight fights. Unfortunately, he would end up losing his first three bouts inside the octagon. With his back against the wall, Phillips scored a 17 second knockout of Amedovski last September and kept his UFC career alive.
20 of his 22 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Only two of his fights have gone the distance. With so few fights between these two fighters going the full distance, online betting sites heavily favor this contest to finish inside the distance (-400).
I do believe the fight will go Over 1.5 rounds (+125) as both men are very competitive and tough to take out. Chimaev hasn’t even lost yet. I’m taking Chimaev to win this fight inside the distance and most likely via submission. I’m looking forward to seeing the Swedish prospect’s UFC debut.
John Phillips vs Khamzat Chimaev –Chimaev (-335)
Over 1.5 rounds (+125)
Fight ends inside the distance (-400)
Chimaev wins inside the distance (-190)
Chimaev to win via submission (-105)
UFC on ESPN 13 Main Card
The main card of the event features # fights and is set to begin 10 PM ET on ESPN and ESPN+.
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Mounir Lazzez
Abdul Razak Alhassan (-335)
Mounir Lazzez (+275)
Over (+150)/Under (-170) 1.5 rounds
This fight has potential for fireworks despite what the betting lines say. Both men are finishers and will look to put away their opponent on Wednesday.
Lazzez is making his UFC debut and brings with him some hype. He’s the first MMA fighter born and raised in an Arab country to sign with the promotion.
Lazzez suffered his first loss in April 2019 via unanimous decision. Yet, he’s bounced back with two straight TKO wins. His last contest came in February. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via TKO/KO.
“A 10-1 record with all wins coming via first-round KO isn’t someone you look past. However, he likes to stand and bang, and that will be his demise against me. I have more weapons, and his looping overhands will never find me. Should he decide to grapple, I just got through a black belt Judoka three fights back, and I train out of the mecca of Submission Grappling, the UAE, with top ADCC champions as my sparring partners.”
Abdul Razak Alhassan is superstar in the making. He’s 4-1 in the UFC with his lone loss coming via split decision to Akhmedov in May 2017. Some fans and pundits argue that Alhassan should be undefeated.
Even more impressive is that all 10 of his wins have come via first round TKO/KO. He took out Niko Price last September in just 43 seconds. Price is a reputable striker and certainly not someone who loses in less than a minute.
Other than the main event, this is probably my favorite fight of the entire event. These two men will stand in the middle of the cage and strike until one is left standing. Lazzez will have the height, reach and power advantages. But, Alhassan has the edge in technical striking.
I would be surprised if this fight goes the full three rounds. So, take it to end inside the distance (-515). Now, it’s hard to pick when the fight will end. I know the odds favor Under 1.5 rounds, but I think these two strikers will push the fight over that limit.
I can’t see either man finishing this fight in the 1st round due to both fighters have strong striking skills. With that said, I’m going to take Alhassan to win because I think he’s the more experienced and proven fighter.
But, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lazzez wins. He’s worthy of a flier for the extreme risk takers out there.
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Mounir Lazzez –Alhassan (-335)
Over 1.5 rounds (+150)
Fight ends inside the distance (-515)
Alhassan wins inside the distance (-240)
Alhassan wins via TKO/KO (-215)
Molly McCann vs Taila Santos
Molly McCann (-120)
Taila Santos (+100)
Over (-345)/Under (+285) 2.5 rounds
Taila Santos is the slight underdog in what should be a competitive women’s fight. She hasn’t fought since February 2019, where she lost her UFC debut against Mara Romero Borella via split decision. It was the first and only loss of her career. 10 of her 15 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.
Molly McCann, aka “Meatball,” has won three straight bouts and is 3-1 in the UFC. She’s moved up the rankings and is closing in on some big named fights. Speaking of the rankings, McCann is hoping that a win over Santos can put her closer to the Top 10:
“I only got ranked like last month, so I can’t be Charlie Big Potatoes just yet. I hope a win gives me a top 12, at least, and I can start calling for top 10s. However, I’m not looking past Taila Santos.”
Six of her 10 pro wins have come via decision. Seven of her 12 pro fights have gone the distance. The Over 2.5 rounds (-345) and fight going the distance (-305) are heavily favored. Unless we see a TKO/KO by one of the competitors, it’s safe to say that this fight will go the full three rounds.
As for the winner, I like McCann. She’s been more active recently and continues to evolve inside the cage. I expect her to grind out a decision victory over Santos who hasn’t fought in 17 months. “Meatball” will continue her march towards the Top 10 rankings.
Molly McCann vs Taila Santos –McCann (-120)
Over 2.5 rounds (-345)
Fight goes the distance (-305)
McCann wins via decision (+130)
Jimmie Rivera vs Cody Stamann
Jimmie Rivera (-135)
Cody Stamann (+115)
Over (-370)/Under (+280) 2.5 rounds
These two bantamweights are ranked in the Top 10, but they will be competing on Wednesday as featherweights.
The #10 ranked bantamweight Cody Stamann is the underdog in a close battle on paper. He’s unbeaten in his last three fights and 5-1-1 inside the octagon. Stamann last fought on June 6th and beat the rugged Brian Kelleher via unanimous decision.
14 of his 22 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 11-1-1 in those contests. Stamann also has six TKO/KO wins on his resume as well. Stamann acknowledges that Rivera is a “tough dude,” but he’s confident in winning on Wednesday and getting one step closer to a title fight:
“I just had a big win. I’m going to get another big one on the 15th; an even bigger win. I think that puts you in the conversation. I think people are starting to realize I’m not a dark horse in the division. I’ve been kind of a gatekeeper for all these really tough up-and-coming guys. You fight them off, destroying their careers. That’s not what I came to do. I have to move forward.”
Rivera hasn’t fought in 13 months after losing to Petr Yan who just won the vacant bantamweight title last Saturday against Jose Aldo. Rivera has dropped three of his last four fights, but is still ranked 9th overall in the division.
Rivera is 6-3 inside the octagon. 19 of his 26 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 16-3 in those contests.
This is going to be a matchup of two tough competitors. With that said, how can you possibly go against this fight going the distance (-320). That means to take the Over 2.5 rounds as well (-370).
From there, it’s a matter of who gets the decision victory. I am leaning toward Stamann in this fight. I think he’s in good shape and on the rise. We haven’t seen Rivera in a while and he seems to be on the downside of things at this point. I’m taking Stamann to win via decision.
Jimmie Rivera vs Cody Stamann –Stamann (+115)
Over 2.5 rounds (-370)
Fight goes the distance (-320)
Stamann wins via decision (+180)
Timothy Elliott vs Ryan Benoit
Timothy Elliott (-125)
Ryan Benoit (+105)
Over (-160)/Under (+140) 2.5 rounds
Timothy Elliot is the slight favorite in the co-main event of the night. However, he also has the most pressure out of any fighter on the card. Elliott has lost three straight fights and five of his last seven bouts. For his career, he’s 4-9 in the octagon across two different stints with the company.
Nine of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. Despite his struggles in the UFC, Elliott isn’t afraid to lose this week and is going to bring the fight to his opponent:
“I have no fear of losing and I have no fear of looking silly. I’m gonna go out and I’m gonna have fun and I’m gonna try to fight. I’m not a martial artist, I’m a fighter. I like to fight, and win or lose, I’m gonna be exciting and I’m gonna enjoy myself. People like to see that and that’s what I’m gonna bring to the table.”
Benoit has also been with the UFC for quite some time. He debuted with the promotion in 2013, but hasn’t been as active as Elliott. Benoit has gone 3-4 inside the octagon as he’s alternated wins and losses. Nine of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of TKO/KO.
This fight is favored to go over 2.5 rounds (-160) and to go the distance (-150). I believe we will see this flyweight battle go the distance. Benoit has gone the full three rounds in three of his last four contests, whereas Elliott has gone the distance in 12 of his 28 pro fights.
This is a tough fight to pick a winner for. Neither athlete instill confidence. Benoit has had more success as of late than his foe, but Elliott is more desperate.
Benoit will look for the TKO/KO as he relies on his aggressive striking. Yet, Elliott has only ever suffered one TKO/KO loss in his career and that came in his 3rd pro fight back in 2009.
More than likely, I see Elliott taking this fight to the mat and trying to grind out a submission or ground and pound victory. He has six submission wins for his career. I’m going to give Benoit some credit as he will last the full three rounds, but Elliott will take it via decision.
Timothy Elliott vs Ryan Benoit –Elliott (-125)
Over 2.5 rounds (-160)
Fight goes to a decision (-150)
Elliott wins via decision (+190)
Calvin Kattar vs Dan Ige
Calvin Kattar (-280)
Dan Ige (+240)
Over (+130)/Under (-150) 4.5 rounds
The main event of the night is a Top 10 featherweight showdown between the #6 ranked Calvin Kattar and the #10 ranked Dan Ige. Kattar is the 4th biggest betting favorite of the event, which makes Ige the 4th biggest underdog. Despite the odds, Ige still has a shot at winning this bout.
The Hawaiian, Ige, has won six straight fights and is 6-1 in the UFC. He last competed in May and beat Edson Barboza via split decision. Some pundits feel that Barboza won that fight. Nevertheless, Ige put on a great performance in that main event.
Eight of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage. Conversely, Ige has never been stopped in his career. Where he lacks in striking, Ige makes up for in grappling with a black belt in BJJ.
Calvin Kattar is 5-2 in the octagon with both losses coming via decision. He last fought in May and KO’d Jeremy Stephens in the 2nd round. In fact, Kattar’s last four wins in the octagon have all come via TKO/KO against the already mentioned Stephens along with Lamas, Fishgold and Burgos.
13 of his 21 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of TKO/KO. He’s only been stopped one time in his career and that came in 2008, which was a submission loss in the 4th fight of his pro career.
“I just take what these guys give me. I fight like I fight, and finishes come. I try not to force them — just my style of fighting. I see an opportunity, I strike. We’ll see how Dan Ige holds up to that. I’ll take that belt as soon as it presents itself. A win over Dan Ige puts me in that mix. A perfect world, I want the champ.”
Kattar has the size, strength and power advantages. That’s going to make it hard for Ige to get this fight to the mat. Furthermore, I’m not sure Ige can hold up for five rounds against the bigger Kattar who will have a four inch height and two inch reach advantage.
Because this if a five round main event fight, I just don’t see Ige making it the full five rounds. Too much striking and power from Kattar to survive for 25 minutes. I like Ige and think he has a lot of potential, but it appears that this is Kattar’s time right now to make a run at the title.
With that said, I believe this fight will come in Under 4.5 rounds (-150) and finish inside the distance (-185). I’m taking Kattar to win this fight via TKO/KO before the 5th and final round.
Calvin Kattar vs Dan Ige –Kattar (-280)
Under 4.5 rounds (-150)
Fight ends inside the distance (-185)
Kattar wins inside the distance (-125)
Kattar wins via TKO/KO (-105)
Five Favorite UFC on ESPN 13 Bets
Here’s a list of my five favorite MMA wagers for the UFC on ESPN 13 event:
Kenneth Bergh Wins via Submission (+180)
Both Bergh and Jorge Gonzalez are making their UFC debuts this week. I like Bergh to get the win in this fight as I believe he’s the more talented prospect.
Furthermore, his grappling skills will be too much for Gonzalez to handle. Six of Bergh’s eight pro wins have come via submission. Four of Gonzalez’s five career losses have come via submission.
Jack Shore Wins via Submission (-105)
Shore is the largest betting favorite of the event, which means that most pundits, fans and sports betting websites believe he will win. I agree with this consensus pick. How Shore wins, is what we’re betting on here.
I like Shore to pick up the victory via submission as he has a grappling advantage over Aaron Phillips. I don’t see Shore trying to stand and outstrike Phillips who has pop in his punches and six TKO/KO wins on his resume. Instead, Shore will take the fight to the mat and outwork Phillips for the win.
Modestas Bukauskas Wins Inside the Distance (-120)
Both of these European prospects are making their UFC debuts this week. With that said, I really like this matchup due to the potential for fireworks.
Combined, these men have 14 TKO/KO wins in 27 total fights. Furthermore, they’ve combined to go the distance just twice in their careers. That means this fight will end inside the distance.
With two men who look to knockout their opponents, it makes perfect sense to pick this method of finish for this bout. For me, I believe Modestas Bukauskas will be the one to stand victorious when it’s all said and done. The Lithuanian has the size, reach and power advantages.
Molly McCann Wins the Fight (-120)
Taking nothing away from Talia Santos, I think this is Molly McCann’s fight to lose. She’s the better overall fighter and has taken on tougher competition. Additionally, she has more UFC experience and knows what it’s like to fight under pressure.
McCann’s durability, pressure and physicality will be the differences in this contest. Take the “Meatball” to win and continue her ascension up the rankings.
Cody Stamann Wins via Decision (+180)
This will be an exciting main card fight where two Top 10 ranked bantamweights fight at the 145 pound weight class. Combined, these two men have gone the distance in 32 of their 48 total fights. So, there’s a great chance that this fight goes the distance.
Now, it comes down to which fighter will win via decision and for me, I believe it will be Stamann. He’s been more active, on the rise, and poses too much for Rivera to handle in his return from a 13 month layoff.
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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