Betting Guide for UFC on ABC 2
This weekend's UFC card -- UFC on ABC: Vettori vs. Holland, a.k.a. UFC on ABC 2, a.k.a UFC Vegas 23 -- features a strange twist for the main event after Darren Till withdrew on March 30th due to a broken collarbone.
Marvin Vettori will instead face Kevin Holland with Holland jumping in on short notice -- and with just 21 days between his main-event loss to Derek Brunson at UFC on ESPN: Brunson vs. Holland.
FanDuel Sportsbook views the main event as a lopsided affair, pitting Vettori at -350 odds and Holland at +280, so it's not exactly the best spot for betting value (though Vettori seems rightly favored).
Which fights do look best to bet on FanDuel Sportsbook?
Julian Marquez (-190) vs. Sam Alvey (+160)
Julian Marquez is stepping in for teammate Zak Cummings for a middleweight bout on the main card against Sam Alvey.
Marquez enters with a 6-1-0 record over his past seven fights and a 2-1-0 UFC record overall. He knocked the rust off in February with an anaconda-choke victory over Maki Pitolo at UFC 258 after having not fought since July of 2018. Marquez, overall, has 6 knockout wins in 10 professional fights.
Alvey is returning to middleweight after an unsuccessful stint at light heavyweight that started 2-0-0 and but ultimately wound up 2-4-1, the draw most recently coming at UFC 254 against Da Un Jung, who is also on this card. That was Alvey's second straight split decision, so he was close to a 4-2-1 record. Anyway.
The experience advantage undoubtedly belongs to Alvey, yet he is dropping down a weight class to right the ship and may be on the way out of the UFC.
Marquez is easily the preferred pick to win outright, but Alvey has been knocked out just 3 times in 49 professional fights and finished just 4 total times, making any props hard to get behind.
The public picks (via Tapology) are leaning 84% toward Marquez, 70% by KO/TKO. If I had to have action on any finishing method, it'd be Marquez by KO/TKO, as well, which you can bet at +180 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.
Nina Nunes (-134) vs. Mackenzie Dern (+114)
We're getting tight odds either way on this fight, but the data is pointing to the underdog, Mackenzie Dern at +114. Dern is the 11th-ranked contender in the women's strawweight division, and Nunes is 5th.
Dern will look to use her Brazilian jiu-jitsu expertise to score a 7th career submission victory in her 12th pro fight.
Nunes has fought just once since December 2018 (a unanimous decision loss in June 2019 to Tatiana Suarez), and this marks her first fight since giving birth in September.
Getting the fight to the mat will not be a given if Nunes aims to keep it standing: Nunes has a 77% takedown defense in her UFC career and Dern has converted just 5% (not a typo) of her takedown attempts. But Dern can do damage even if she's the one being taken down, so it's not quite as vital from that standpoint.
Though Nunes does have four career knockout wins, Dern has possessed a 61% strike defense. The layoff for Nunes seems like a sizable concern, and even though she's still favored in the market, the public is heavily backing Dern (and 68% of the money is on Dern to win).
That's what my model says to do, as well, at plus money. Because we're already getting plus odds on Dern, we don't have to overextend. But Dern to win by submission is +300. Just keep in mind that Nunes has been submitted just once in 16 fights.
Daniel Rodriguez (-142) vs. Mike Perry (+120)
The fireworks should be lit in this one.
Daniel Rodriguez is averaging 7.68 significant strikes per minute over his five UFC fights, and only one other fighter on the card with multiple UFC fights is averaging more than 5.36 (Sodiq Yusuff is at 6.10). Mike Perry himself is at 4.82, and each fighter absorbs strikes at a top-five per-minute clip on this card.
Rodriguez has scored 7 knockouts and 4 submissions over 15 career fights and has lost only by decision (twice) -- one being split. Perry is 3-6-0 over his past nine fights, all three wins coming by decision. His last victory by finish was in September 2017.
Perry's path to victory really seems like scoring takedowns and neutralizing Rodriguez's striking, but Rodriguez has stuffed 90% of takedown attempts against him.
Others to Consider:
Ignacio Bahamondes (-196) over John Makdessi (+164)
Mateusz Gamrot (-230) over Scott Holtzman (+190)
Jack Shore (-168) over Hunter Azure (+142)