Betting Guide for UFC Fight Night on 7/15/20
Just four days after the loaded UFC 251 card, the UFC is back with some mid-week Fight Night action on Wednesday night.
Without any title fights and only a few big names, this is a great time to dig into some of the lesser-known fighters to find value, and FanDuel Sportsbook has plenty of odds: outright winners, method of victory, and more.
Let's take a look at the best bets to make.
Calvin Kattar (-330) vs. Dan Ige (+265)
We don't get any title fights this time around, but the winner of this fight will be right there at the top of the featherweight ladder. Calvin Kattar will have a 4" reach and 1" height advantage in this one and can be expected to use a boxing-heavy approach, as he averages 5.29 significant strikes landed per minute. He has fought very strong competition, with his only UFC losses coming by decision to Renato Moicano and Zabit Magomedsharipov. It's a common thought that Kattar would have won that Magomedsharipov fight had it been a five-rounder, so the main event slot plays into his favor here. He got his hand raised in all five of his other UFC fights, all against solid competition, with the last four coming by way of KO/TKO.
On the other side, Dan Ige's striking is not to be ignored, as he actually lands at a 7% higher rate than Kattar, while absorbing 3% less significant strikes per minute. He also carries an advantage in the grappling department, with an average of 2.15 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, compared to just 0.42 for Kattar. But Ige has not fought nearly the level of competition that we've seen from Kattar, and many people argue that Ige actually lost his most recent fight against Edson Barboza, despite the judges ruling in favor of Ige by split decision.
Ige has a chance at victory if he can get this fight to the ground, but Kattar has defended 77% of takedowns against him so far in his UFC career. His boxing advantage will be evident in this one, showing why he is such a big favorite. He is the bet to win, but laying -330 straight up is a lot to ask. If you're looking to lessen the odds, Kattar can be parlayed with some of the other big favorites on this card like Abdul Razak Alhassan (-350) and Khamzat Chimaev (-335).
Molly McCann (-130) vs. Taila Santos (+108)
Molly McCann's striking numbers on paper are even better than the headliner Kattar's. Both her and Taila Santos land 49% of their significant strikes, but McCann averages a whopping 6.49 significant strikes landed per minute, compared to 4.23 for Santos. McCann does absorb a high average of 4.95 significant strikes per minute, but her high 68% defense rate is actually 5% better than that of Santos, showing more to the amount of strikes she's had attempted against her.
McCann has the advantage in takedowns as well, averaging 2.59 per 15 minutes compared to 1.00 for Santos. But she only lands 33% of those, while Santos has defended 75% of takedowns, so she will likely have to attempt a high number of takedowns to get Santos on her back.
Those are the raw numbers, but we must also account for strength of opponent. Santos picked up a win on Dana White's Contender Series before going on to lose her UFC debut against Mara Romero Borella, who has lost four of her other five UFC fights. McCann, on the other hand, has already won three fights in a row, with her lone UFC loss coming in her debut to Gillian Robertson, who has picked up a 5-2 record of her own in the top promotion.
McCann has already proven herself at a much higher level than Santos and holds clear avenues to victory. At -130, she still holds value.
Jared Gordon (-154) vs. Chris Fishgold (+130)
Jared Gordon is currently sitting at .500 in the UFC, with all three finishes coming by way of KO/TKO and two of his three wins by decision. Three losses in your first six UFC fights is already less than ideal, but taking a look at the strength of his wins makes the record even less appealing. His victories came against three opponents who have combined for a 3-10 record, with two of them never winning in the UFC and all three of them already released from the promotion now.
To get back in the winning column, he moved from training Roufusport in Milwaukee to Sanford MMA in Florida before this fight. Then all of his corner tested positive for COVID-19, and he traveled to Fight Island by himself. Yes, you read that correctly. Now he will be cornered by his former Roufusport teammate, Paul Felder, and Xtreme Couture (Las Vegas) head coach, Eric Nicksick. It's a great story, but from a betting standpoint, we're looking at him being cornered by a guy who is also commentating this same event, and a coach from a gym on the other side of the country who is already cornering two other fighters on this card.
Chris Fishgold's UFC record doesn't exactly jump off the page either, with his lone win coming by submission over 1-4 Daniel Teymur. He was finished in both of his losses, but they came against tough competition in Kattar and Makwan Amirkhani, who just won by first-round submission on Saturday.
Gordon has a clear advantage in the striking department, landing an average of 6.26 significant strikes per minute, compared to 2.53 for Fishgold. Gordon has also landed 23% more of his significant strikes than Fishgold. But it's Fishgold who averages 1.57 more takedowns per 15 minutes and converts on 11% more of his takedown attempts. And that wrestling advantage will be aided by Fishgold missing weight by three pounds for this fight.
Gordon's story makes it hard to root against him, but there is simply too much for him to overcome in this fight. Fishgold is the pick to win, and we get some juice on him as the underdog at +130. Gordon's tendency to get knocked out also makes Fishgold winning by KO/TKO at +750 worth a bet as well.