UFC on ESPN+ 35: Waterson vs Hill Betting Preview, Odds and Picks

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UFC Hill vs Waterson

On Saturday, September 12th, the UFC returns to action at their APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC on ESPN+ 35 also known as UFC Fight Night 177 and UFC Las Vegas 10. The main event of the night is a Top 13 women’s strawweight fight between Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill.

In addition to the main event, the main card features four other bouts including a Top 9 flyweight fight between Rozanne Modafferi and Andrea Lee along with other notable fighters like Mike Rodriguez, Khama Worthy and Billy Quarantillo. The main card is set to begin at 8PM ET on ESPN+.

UFC betting sites have released odds and prop bets for the UFC on ESPN+ 35 main card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any potential betting value, and beat these predictions via unanimous decision.

Billy Quarantillo vs Kyle Nelson

  • Billy Quarantillo (-250)
  • Kyle Nelson (+210)
  • Over (+105)/Under (-135) 2.5 rounds

Kyle Nelson opens up the main card as a large betting underdog. The Canadian dropped his first two UFC contests, but bounced back a year ago when he defeated Marco Polo Reyes via 1st round TKO.

Nelson is looking to even his UFC record with another win. He remains confident in his chances and believes that he can knock out Quarantillo this weekend:

“I think on the ground, I think I’m gonna be bigger and stronger. He’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt but I’ve been doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for fifteen years now. I think striking wise, I’ve got him beat everywhere and he’ll figure that out soon. He’ll start shooting but when I stuff those shots, he’s gonna be stuck standing with me and that’s when he’ll get knocked out.”

Nine of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. Nelson is 4-1 when going to a decision.

Billy Quarantillo enters this weekend’s event on a seven fight win streak, which includes going 2-0 in the UFC. He last fought in May and won via unanimous decision over Spike Carlyle.

10 of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with five wins apiece for TKO/KO and submissions. Quarantillo is 4-1 when going the distance.

I think this matchup is closer on paper than the MMA betting sites have it listed as. Nelson is a solid all-around fighter who should have the edge in striking, but I don’t see him being as good on the mat against Quarantillo as Kyle believes he is.

The Over/Under is set at 2.5 rounds and I am leaning towards the Under at -135 odds, which also means I believe this fight will end inside the distance. Combined, these two men have 22 stoppages in 32 total fights.

I see someone tapping out or getting TKO’d in this bout. If Nelson wins, it will be due to a TKO. However, I have to side with Quarantillo in this one. I think his grappling and decent striking should overcome Nelson in this opener.

There’s betting value with Quarantillo winning inside the distance as his odds are listed at +115, which is a nice return on investment and much better than his -250 betting line.

Billy Quarantillo vs Kyle Nelson –Quarantillo (-250)

Under 2.5 rounds (-135)

Fight ends inside the distance

Quarantillo wins inside the distance (+115)

Ed Herman vs Mike Rodriguez

  • Ed Herman (+210)
  • Mike Rodriguez (-250)
  • Over (-130)/Under (+100) 1.5 rounds

This fight was originally scheduled to be Ed Herman vs Gerald Meerschaert, but the latter pulled out of that fight. So, John Allan agreed to step in, but he ended up being removed from the bout due to Visa issues. Mike Rodriguez has agreed to take the bout and is doing so on a three week turnaround.

Rodriguez last fought on August 22nd and defeated Marcin Prachnio via 1st round KO. It was a bounce back for “Slow” who lost to Da Un Jung last December. Rodriguez is 2-2 with 1 NC in the octagon and is very excited to fight Herman who he and his best friend used to root for in high school:

“Funny story, I’ll make y’all feel old, when he fought Kendall Grove, I was a sophomore in high school. Me and one of my closest friends, Harley, we watched the whole season [of The Ultimate Fighter] together. We would always come to school the next day, talk about it. He came to my house to watch the finale, so we were watching the finale in my living room. He was an Ed Herman fan. So as soon as I got the fight, I called him and said ‘let me tell you something, I’m fighting your boy.’ He said ‘who?’” Ed Herman, of course, was the reply. “He yelled ‘OHHHH, for real? Well he ain’t my boy no more!’”

Herman has been with the UFC since 2006. The Grove fight that Rodriguez was referring to took place at The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale on June 24th, 2006. Herman has racked up a 12-11 and 1 NC record inside the octagon, but enters this weekend on a two fight win streak.

Herman last fought 10 months ago and defeated Khadis Ibragimov via unanimous decision. 20 of his 25 pro wins have come via stoppage with 13 by way of submission. He’s 5-5 when going the distance.

Rodriguez has only gone the distance in two fights, but lost both of them. All 11 of his wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO.

With both men scoring more stoppages than decisions, it’s easy to see why the O/U is listed at 1.5 rounds. For Rodriguez, he’s only gone over 1.5 rounds in four of his 15 pro fights. Four of Herman’s last seven fights have ended under 1.5 rounds. I’m taking the Under and for the fight to end inside the distance.

I like Rodriguez to pick up the TKO/KO win in this contest as I see both men coming out striking. Herman does have three TKO/KO losses in his career including two of his last four defeats.

This fight should be entertaining for as long as it lasts.

Ed Herman vs Mike Rodriguez –Rodriguez (-250)

Under 1.5 rounds (+100)

Fight ends inside the distance (-210)

Rodriguez wins inside the distance (-115)

Roxanne Modafferi vs Andrea Lee

  • Roxanne Modafferi (+255)
  • Andrea Lee (-310)
  • Over (-400)/Under (+310) 2.5 rounds

This is a matchup of Top 9 flyweights as the 8th ranked Roxanne Modafferi takes on the 9th ranked Andrea Lee.

Modafferi last stepped inside the octagon in June and lost via unanimous decision to Lauren Murphy. The loss dropped her UFC record to 3-4 as she’s alternated between wins and losses since joining the UFC in late-2017. Nine of her 24 pro wins have come via stoppage. She’s 15-13 when going the distance.

Andrea Lee enters this weekend’s contest having lost two straight fights with both defeats coming via split decision. Lee is 3-2 inside the octagon and looking to break this losing streak. Seven of her 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. She’s 5-3 when going the distance.

This fight is heavily favored to go Over 2.5 rounds (-400) and to go to a decision (-365). Modafferi has gone the distance in 28 of her 41 pro fights. Lee has gone the distance in eight of her 15 pro fights. So, it’s easy to see why the odds are stacked in favor of a decision outcome.

I like Modafferi’s grittiness, but I think Lee is the better overall fighter in this matchup. I don’t see either lady being in danger of getting stopped. Take Lee to win via decision (-185).

Roxanne Modafferi vs Andrea Lee –Lee (-310)

Over 2.5 rounds (-400)

Fight goes the distance (-365)

Lee wins via decision (-185)

Khama Worthy vs Ottman Azaitar

  • Khama Worthy (-135)
  • Ottman Azaitar (+115)
  • Over (-135)/Under (+105) 1.5 rounds

This is the third time that this bout has been scheduled. Worthy and Azaitar were set to fight in April, but those plans were scrapped due to covid. Then the bout was rescheduled for September 5th, before being pushed back to this weekend.

Ottman Azaitar is unbeaten in his career and enters this co-main event fight as the underdog. He debuted in the UFC one year ago and won via 1st round KO. 11 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-0 when going the distance.

Khama Worthy is 2-0 inside the octagon and enters this bout on a seven fight win streak. He last fought in June and won via 3rd round submission over Luis Pena. 12 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO.

Worthy is looking for another stoppage win this weekend as he made the following prediction about his fight against Azaitar:

“He gets finished. That’s the cool part of MMA, there’s a million ways to get finished. Unless he runs from me, which I’ve had people do before in fights, literally just disengage from action. If he doesn’t engage, I’ll just win on decision or something, make it embarrassing as possible. If he comes to fight, then I’m gonna finish him. That’s what I do.”

I don’t see Azaitar running and I don’t see the German fighter turning this into a grappling contest. If anything, someone is getting knocked out in this bout as these two men have combined for 18 TKO/KO victories.

The fight is favored to end inside the distance (-270) with an Over/Under of 1.5 rounds. I think it will go Over 1.5 rounds as Azaitar will make this a contest for at least the first round. But, I believe Worthy’s striking skills and power will eventually be the difference makers in this bout.

I’m taking Worthy to win via TKO/KO in the late 2nd or early 3rd round. He could possibly move up into the Top 15 rankings for the lightweight division with a win this weekend.

Khama Worthy vs Ottman Azaitar –Worthy (-135)

Over 1.5 rounds (-135

Fight ends inside the distance (-270)

Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill

  • Michelle Waterson (+100)
  • Angela Hill (-120)
  • Over (-285)/Under (+225) 4.5 rounds

The main event of the night is a Top 13 strawweight battle between the #13 ranked Angela Hill and the 8th ranked Michelle Waterson.

Angela Hill has already competed three times in 2020. This will be her 4th fight of the year and she’s looking to get another big win on her resume. Hill had won three straight fights before losing via split decision to Claudia Gadelha in May. Five of her 12 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. Hill is 7-6 when going the distance.

Waterson also fought in May and lost to Carla Esparza via split decision. She’s dropped two straight bouts after a three fight win streak landed her in the Top 5 of the division. Both of her losses were to top ranked opponents and both via decision. However, I do believe that she beat Esparza.

12 of her 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. Waterson is 5-4 when going the distance in a fight.

As for her matchup this weekend, Waterson had the following comments:

“Angela is a volume striker and when she gets in the flow of things, her striking is crisp. I have better footwork and a bit more creativity so we will see come September 12. I wish she will shoot because I will submit her so fast. She will try and stand and bang with me, it will be fun. I am known for my striking but I have a lot of submissions on my record and my wrestling is very strong.”

I agree with Waterson’s assessment for this fight. Hill is a volume striker who goes the distance in most of her fights. In fact, nearly two-thirds of her fights have gone to a decision. For Waterson, she’s gone to the judges in six straight bouts.

With that said, go with the Over 4.5 rounds (-285) and take the prop bet of this fight going the distance (-275).

As for the winner, I like Waterson to break her two fight losing streak. She is the better all-around fighter and should be able to get this bout to the mat where she has the clear advantage. Standing and striking with Hill would be dangerous.

Hill will avoid going to the mat at all costs, so this will be the deciding factor in the matchup. I believe Waterson’s takedowns will score her more rounds with the judges as she wins via decision (+225).

I also wouldn’t be surprised if she found a late-round submission win over Hill since Angela has two submission losses and Waterson is very adept on the ground with nine submission wins.

Michelle Waterson vs Angela Hill –Waterson (+100)

Over 4.5 rounds (-295)

Fight goes the distance (-275)

Waterson wins via decision (+225)

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. ...

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