UFC on ESPN 20: Chiesa vs Magny Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

By in MMA on
12 Minute Read
UFC-Fight-Island-1

On Wednesday, January 20th, the UFC returns to action on Fight Island with UFC on ESPN 20: Chiesa vs Magny also known as UFC Fight Island 8. The featured fight of the night is a Top 9 welterweight matchup between #8 Michael Chiesa and #9 Neil Magny.

The co-main event is a welterweight clash between Warlley Alves and Mounir Lazzes. Also on the main card is Lerone Murphy vs Douglas Silva de Andrade, Ike Villanueva vs Vinicius Moreira, and two more bouts featuring ranked fighters.

Top 13 ranked flyweights Matt Schnell and Tyson Nam will look to move up within the division. Top 9 women’s flyweights Rozanne Modafferi and Viviane Araujo aim to crack the Top 5 within their division.

In total, the UFC on ESPN 20 main card is scheduled for six bouts with a start time of 12PM ET on ESPN and ESPN+.

Online sports betting sites have released their full slate of odds for UFC on ESPN 20. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any potential betting value, and TKO our predictions.

Lerone Murphy vs Douglas Silva de Andrade

  • Lerone Murphy (-310)
  • Douglas Silva de Andrade (+255)
  • Over (-170)/Under (+140) 1.5 rounds

Douglas Silva de Andrade (DSDE) will return to the octagon for the first time since November 2019 when he defeated Renan Barao via unanimous decision. He’s 4-3 inside the octagon since joining the UFC in 2014. DSDE has alternated between wins and losses over the last five years.

20 of his 26 pro wins have come via stoppage with 19 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 6-1 when going to a decision.

Lerone Murphy will put his unbeaten record on the line as he returns to the octagon having gone 1-0-1 in the UFC since joining nearly two years ago.

His debut came against Zubaira Tukhugov in September 2019 and he fought to a split draw. He returned in July 2020 and defeated Ricardo Ramos via 1st round TKO. Six of his nine pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-0-1 when going the distance.

Murphy made the following comments about Douglas Silva de Andrade:

“He’s a solid opponent.  He’s had 30 pro fights, which is nearly three times the amount I’ve had. He’s been in there with some of the best guys — Petr Yan, Rob Font, all them guys are like top five fighters. I know it’s going to be a tough fight, but we’ve trained hard and we’re ready to go.”

The Over/Under for this fight is set at 1.5 rounds. I am taking the Over (-170) as I think these two fighters are skilled strikers who will not make any major mistakes. I actually see this bout going to a decision due to their overall skills (+125).

Once with the judges, it’s really a toss-up as to who will win. Since DSDE hasn’t fought in a while, and Murphy looked good in his last bout, I’m going with the Brit to pick up the decision victory.

My favorite prop bet for this contest is that the fight will start round 3 at (-130) odds.

Lerone Murphy vs Douglas Silva de Andrade –Murphy (-310)

Over 1.5 rounds (-170)

Fight goes the distance (+125)

Fight starts round 3 (-130)

Murphy wins via decision (+240)

Tyson Nam vs Matt Schnell

  • Tyson Nam (-125)
  • Matt Schnell (+105)
  • Over (+105)/Under (-125) 2.5 rounds

This is a Top 13 battle within the flyweight division.

The 9th ranked Matt Schnell returns to action for the first time in 13 months after suffering a 1st round KO to Alexandre Pantoja. The loss snapped a four fight win streak. Schnell is 4-3 overall inside the octagon.

10 of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.

Schnell is focused on getting a win and believes he will do well this week against Tyson Nam:

“He’s shown that he is difficult to put away and that he’s game and capable everywhere. He’s got a great first reaction to takedowns and looks to be pretty strong and physical and, obviously, he’s a puncher. That’s all something to take into consideration, but I feel like my tools stack up well against his, and I think I’ll be able to do well.”

Since going 0-2 to start is UFC career, Tyson Nam has bounced back with two straight wins both via TKO/KO. He last fought four months ago and beat Jerome Rivera via 2nd round TKO. In June 2020, Nam beat Zarrukh Adshev via 1st round KO.

The 13th ranked Tyson Nam hasn’t been stopped in a fight in nearly 13 years. However, he’s not very successful when going the distance. Nam is 7-8-1 when it comes to going the distance. 12 of his 20 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.

Nam believes he will pick up his 13th TKO/KO victory this week over Schnell:

“It is going to start out fast, we will meet in the middle and it will be a ton of activity. After the dust settles, it will be Matt Schnell knocked out and me standing with my arms raised.”

This is going to be an exciting fight. In fact, it could end up as the best fight on the main card. Nam is a striker and Schnell is a grappler. Yet, both are capable enough to go wherever the fight takes them.

I expect a lot of action as soon as the fight starts. In the end, I do believe Nam will get his hand raised as his striking skills will be too much for Schnell to handle. Three of Schnell’s five pro losses have come via TKO/KO.

I’m taking the Under 2.5 rounds (-125) and for this fight to end inside the distance (-160). There’s too much firepower for this bout to go the full 15 minutes.

The best betting value for this bout is each fighter’s moneyline. So, whoever you believe will win the bout, stick with the moneyline for the most bang for your buck.

Tyson Nam vs Matt Schnell –Nam (-125)

Under 2.5 rounds (-125)

Fight ends inside the distance (-160)

Nam wins inside the distance (+145)

Nam wins via TKO/KO (+155)

Roxanne Modafferi vs Viviane Araujo

  • Roxanne Modafferi (+270)
  • Viviane Araujo (-330)
  • Over (-320)/Under (+260) 2.5 rounds

This is a Top 9 women’s flyweight bout.

Since rejoining the UFC four years ago, the 8th ranked Roxanne Modafferi has alternated between wins and losses. Currently, she’s 4-5 inside the octagon. Her last fight came four months ago and she upset Andrea Lee via unanimous decision.

In addition to Lee, Modafferi also has wins over Maycee Barber and Antonina Shevchenko. Nine of her 25 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. She’s 16-13 when going the distance.

The 18 year MMA veteran isn’t making any outlandish predictions for this fight. Instead, she’s just focused on doing her best to win and continuing to improve:

“Just win. If I get the title shot, great. I know that’s a very political thing based on stuff, so I’m just gonna keep winning, keep smashing and keep improving.”

The 9th ranked Viviane Araujo last competed four months ago and picked up a unanimous decision win over Montana De La Rosa. It was a bounce back performance from her decision loss to Jessica Eye in December 2019.

Since joining the UFC in 2019, Araujo has gone 3-1 inside the octagon. Seven of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. She’s 2-1 when going the distance.

Although there’s no value, go with the Over 2.5 rounds (-320) and for the fight to go the distance (-270). 29 of Modafferi’s 42 pro fights, including the last six in a row, have gone the full distance.

I expect Araujo to pick up the decision win (-125), which offers the best betting value for this bout. Araujo is better on the mat than Modafferi and is just as capable of a striker, if not better. I don’t see any scenario where Araujo loses unless she makes a catastrophic mistake.

Roxanne Modafferi vs Viviane Araujo –Araujo (-330)

Over 2.5 rounds (-320)

Fight goes the distance (-270)

Araujo wins via decision (-125)

Isaac Villanueva vs Vinicius Moreira

  • Isaac Villanueva (-140)
  • Vinicius Moreira (+120)
  • Over (+105)/Under (-130) 1.5 rounds

For the life of me, I don’t understand why this fight is on the main card. There are preliminary card fights that are better than this light heavyweight contest.

Isaac Villanueva has gone 0-2 since joining the UFC last year with both losses coming via TKO/KO. He last fought five months ago and lost via 1st round TKO to Jordan Wright. Last May, he lost via 2nd round TKO to Chase Sherman.

Prior to joining the UFC, Villanueva had won four in a row. All of those wins came in Fury FC. 14 of his 17 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.

Vinicius Moreira earned his UFC contract with a 2nd round submission win over John Allan on DWCS in August 2018. Since then, he’s lost three straight fights inside the octagon and all via 1st round stoppage.

All nine of his pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He’s never gone the distance in a pro fight. Three of his four pro losses have come via TKO/KO.

I’m taking this fight to go Under 1.5 rounds (-130). Combined, these two men have lost all five of their UFC fights Under 1.5 rounds. That also means to take the wager that this bout won’t go the distance (-325).

For Moreira to win, he will need to get this fight to the mat and use his submission skills to force his opponent to tap out. For Villanueva, he just needs to land a few big shots.

For me, I am going with Villanueva as I believe he will land the TKO/KO before Moreira can get the submission. The loser of this bout will more than likely get the boot from the UFC. The best value for this bout is in the fighters’ moneylines.

Isaac Villanueva vs Vinicius Moreira –Villanueva (-140)

Under 1.5 rounds (-130)

Fight ends inside the distance (-325)

Villanueva wins inside the distance (+115)

Villanueva wins via TKO/KO (+120)

Mounir Lazzez vs Warlley Alves

  • Mounir Lazzez (-240)
  • Warlley Alves (+200)
  • Over (-180)/Under (+150) 1.5 rounds

Alves has been with the UFC for nearly seven years and has compiled a 7-4 record inside the octagon. He hasn’t fought since November 2019 when he lost to Randy Brown via 2nd round submission. He’s alternated between wins and losses over the last three years.

Nine of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. He’s 4-2 when going the distance.

Alves has been very open about where he sees himself now and in the future:

“I’m average now, I’m just like 70 percent of the fighters in my weight class. That’s what I wanna change. I wanna go to the top. I wanna get there and fight. I wanna get wins together and work towards becoming champion because I’m a competitive person and I know this belt will be mine one day.”

As for his upcoming fight, Alves isn’t sure where it will play out, but he believes that his hands will be raised at the end of it.

Mounir Lazzez made his UFC debut last July and won via unanimous decision over Abdul Razak Alhassan. He’s won three fights in a row and his lone loss came via five round unanimous decision in Brave CF. Eight of his 10 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 2-1 when going the distance.

For Lazzez, this is a huge opportunity as he’s from this region and takes great pride in representing his country and his people. Lazzez is determined to win on Wednesday:

“I am representing the region. I’m the one who has grown here and the one who made it to the UFC, and with a such good performance with a lot of technique brought to the table. Slowly I’m climbing but still with the same mission: feet on the floor, working hard and smart to get to the top. I don’t want to jump, and trash talk and whatever. Stay humble and hardworking, and I’m going to climb the rankings. I’m just Mounir Lazzez. He’s here, he’s on UFC Fight Island, he cannot be beaten. This is my ground, and this is my home.”

This bout comes down to distance. Alves will want to get in on the inside and take the fight to the mat. Lazzez will want to use his four inch reach advantage to keep his striking advantage from a distance. He has the power to finish this bout, but I expect it to go the distance (+125).

I’m taking Lazzez to win via decision in front of his people. A motivated Alvez avoids the stoppage, but can’t overcome the striking arsenal.

Mounir Lazzez vs Warlley Alves –Lazzez (-240)

Over 1.5 rounds (-180)

Fight goes to a decision (+125)

Lazzes wins via decision (+230)

Michael Chiesa vs Neil Magny

  • Michael Chiesa (+125)
  • Neil Magny (-145)
  • Over (-160)/Under (+130) 4.5 rounds

This main event fight will be for five rounds and is a Top 9 welterweight clash.

The 8th ranked Michael Chiesa enters as the slight underdog despite tallying three straight wins. All three of those wins came after Chiesa moved up to welterweight in late 2018. He’s 10-4 overall inside the UFC.

Chiesa last fought one year ago and defeated Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision. 11 of his 17 pro wins have come via submission. He’s 6-0 when going the distance. Three of his four pro losses have come via submission.

Chiesa respects Magny, but he believes that even if the fight looks ugly, he will get the win:

“I think I’m going to surprise a lot of people with how I look coming out there. I’m not the same guy that fought (Rafael dos Anjos) … I’m not expecting to look pretty beating Neil Magny. I’m just going to go in there and do whatever I need to do to get the job done. I’m going to be pursuing a finish as I always am, but if we got to go blood-and-guts for five rounds, so be it. I’m ready to do whatever I’ve got to (do to) get the job done.”

Neil Magny is 17-6 inside the octagon and has won three straight fights via decision since his crushing KO defeat to Ponzinibbio in November 2018. He last fought Robbie Lawler five months ago and cruised to a decision win.

10 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 14-1 when going the distance.

This will be his 24th fight in the welterweight division, which is 3rd most all-time. He also has the 3rd most decision wins in UFC history. He’s one of only three fighters to have ever gone 5-0 in a calendar year.

Magny recognizes that this is a big opportunity for Chiesa and himself to go out and shine after the original main event of Chimaev and Edwards was scrapped:

“This is a huge opportunity for both Michael Chiesa and I to go out and prove why we’re two of the best welterweights in the division. It was kind of being overshadowed with the Khamzat hype and Leon Edwards being inactive, it’s kind of taken the headlines going into this fight. I feel like everything played out just the right way in order for Chiesa and I go out and shine.”

This bout will come down to how successful is at defending the takedown. If he can prevent the takedowns and submissions from Chiesa who has the grappling advantage, then Magny can keep this fight upright where he’s the better striker.

I expect Magny to use his five inch reach advantage to keep Chiesa at a distance. I expect Magny to rack up more rounds with the judges due to the volume of punches that he lands. Chiesa might get a takedown or two, but I don’t see it finishing off Magny.

I also see Chiesa fading late in the fight due to expending so much energy going for the takedowns. That’s also when Magny will win some rounds and either extend his lead or come from behind to take the lead and the win via decision.

The best value is with Magny winning via decision (+145). He’s 14-1 when going the distance.

Michael Chiesa vs Neil Magny –Magny (-145)

Over 4.5 rounds (-160)

Fight goes the distance (-150)

Magny wins via decision (+145)

Rick Rockwell

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. ...

View all posts by Rick Rockwell
Email the author at: [email protected]