Saturday nights in sports betting are for one thing: UFC Fights. I don’t care if you disagree, that’s how I look at the weekend. All that matters is Saturday night I get to watch people beat each other up and bet money on it.
This weekend will not disappoint as we tune in to ESPN+ for UFC Vegas 57. This card is headlined by a lightweight fight between top prospects Arman Tsarukyan and Mateusz Gamrot. We’ll get to that fight, but first let’s take a look at three other fights on the card. I’ll give you all the information you need in order to make good betting picks for this weekend’s card.
Carlos Ulberg vs Tafon Nchukwi
In Carlos Ulberg’s three fights under the UFC banner, he has a first round KO victory, a second round KO loss, and a decision victory. Now that he has the experience under his belt he’ll face off against Tafon Nchukwi. Both men stand over six feet tall and weigh in at 205 pounds.
The key to this fight in my opinion will be effective grappling. Both fighters can strike and have mediocre chins, so I expect Ulberg in particular to avoid large strikes and try to get Nchukwi to the ground. I like Ulberg to win the fight.
Best Bet: Ulberg to win -110
Chris Curtis vs Rodolfo Vieira
Rodolfo Vieira is a legendary Brazilian Jiu Jitsu artist and has won four International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) championships. In his third UFC fight however he gassed out after attempting too many takedowns and was submitted himself by a less skilled opponent.
Vieira is a great grappler, the question is can he get it there? His opponent is Chris Curtis, a 13 year veteran of the sport but just recently has started making waves in the UFC. He first appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series and has won seven straight fights, six by KO. I’m expecting Curtis to defend takedowns well and survive on the feet.
Best Bet: Chris Curtis to win -135
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs Neil Magny
While everyone is focused on Khamzat Chimaev, another tall, strong welterweight is building his resume, although a little bit quieter. Shavkat Rakhmonov is a six foot one fighter out of Kazakhstan and is 15-0 in his professional career. He’s won all 15 of his fights via finish, 8 KO’s and 7 submissions. This dude is an absolute animal and he’s technical and precise with everything he does.
His opponent is a seasoned veteran who is currently tied for the most wins in UFC welterweight history at 19. Neil Magny is his name, and although he may not be the most popular fighter, he deserves your respect. If he wins this fight Saturday he’ll be the only fighter in UFC history with 20 Welterweight victories. Unfortunately for him I don’t see that happening, and I expect Shavkat to finish him inside the first two rounds.
Best Bet: Rakhmonov ITD -135
Arman Tsarukyan vs Mateusz Gamrot
The Main event of Saturday night brings together two of the hottest prospects in the lightweight division. Tsarukyan’s only loss in the UFC came in his first fight in the promotion, and the same can be said for Gamrot. Since then they have combined for eight victories, five by finish.
All of Gamrot’s victories have been inside the first two rounds, and he is 3-1 in the UFC. The Polish fighter has tremendous striking, but even more his unique and dominating grappling is what has separated him from his last two opponents. He’ll have to prepare some creative strategies to get Tsarukyan to the ground and remain in control.
Tsarukyan has six UFC fights and is 5-1 in those fights. His last two fights have been nothing but pure domination from the Armenian fighter and he looks to continue that this weekend in his first ever main event fight.
Both of these fighters have multiple paths to victories, and both are tremendously skilled. In their MMA careers they have a combined record of 38-3. At the end of the day, I really like the value presented here on Gamrot. Tsarukyan is a -280 favorite in a fight that will really test his chin, his defensive grappling, and his ability to attack a very agile opponent. I like Gamrot at +230 to get the job done.
Best Bet: Gamrot to win +230