UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till
# UFCVegas36 MMA Betting Preview
Middleweights take center stage on Saturday as No.5 Derek Brunson (22-7) looks to make five in a row against returning No.7 Liverpool fan favorite Darren Till (18-3-1) ) in a main event in five rounds. Either Brunson or Till could join the title conversations with an impressive win, and you better believe the winner will let it be known during his post-fight speech on Saturday afternoon. That’s right, we have a card earlier this week, likely due to NCAA football picking up pretty much all channels at the start of week one. That said, ESPN + will host the entire 10-fight card, and the kick-off will be at 1:30 p.m. ET with the preliminaries, followed by the main card at 4 p.m.
Outside of the main event, matchmakers set us up with good marks including No.13 Tom Aspinall (10-2) taking on fellow heavyweight No.14 Sergey Spivak (13-2) in the co – Main, finishers Khalil Rountree (8-5) against Modestas Bukauskas (11-4) and the UFC debut of Liverpool’s Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett who seems to be attracting attention.
• DATED: SATURDAY 04/09/21
• DISTRIBUTE: ESPN +
• PLACE: UFC APEX
• SITE: Las Vegas, Nevada
• # of MATCHES: ten
MAIN CARD TAKING, PREDICTIONS AND BETS
MEDIUM WEIGHT FIGHT (185 LBS): # 5 DEREK BRUNSON (22-7) VS # 7 DARREN TILL (18-3-1)
We have a solid attacking vs. grappling main event here and while both have been cordial this week of fighting, expect both to come looking for an ending rather than a five-round chess match. Brunson has won four straight wins since his time at Sanford MMA and has looked dominant along the way. Brunson is again an underdog in this fight, just as he has been in three of his last four games, including a finish by Edmen Shahbazyan as a +300 under fight time fight. Brunson’s Achilles heel has been his habit of reaching out to his opponent, resulting in five of his seven knockout losses. We haven’t seen this habit in his last four fights against guys with heavy hands as well. Looking at this sample of four fights, we’ll call it Brunson 2.0. We saw considerable volume on the feet compared to the rest of his CV, coupled with multiple strikeouts in each fight (16 total strikeouts over the duration of 4 fights). It is well known that Brunson has a solid fight, and it is no secret that he will return to the well here against Till.
We haven’t seen Till for over a year. His last fight was a unanimous decision loss to former champion Robert Whittaker in July 2020. Although his record reflects a 2-3 record since 2018, he could arguably be 0-5, with his two wins in the during this period thanks to questionable decisions. against Kelvin Gastelum and Stephen Thompson. Till is generally a low volume fighter, although he throws with intention and has the power of a sudden to put you to sleep when he lands. He has above average defense and prefers to keep things on their feet. He can hang on to the mat if the fight fails. It will be a tough test against a wrestler like Brunson. One thing you might have noticed while watching Till fight, he flips a switch when his opponent presses and activates his combos and forward movement, rather than his counters. We will see it here with the pressure of Brunson.
Both guys have suspicious chins. Till has been knocked down in three of his last four fights, and Brunson has been finished with first-round strikes in four of his five knockout losses, although this version 2.0 (last four fights) is something to note. The trajectory of these two in their last four fights is interesting. Brunson looks like a brand new much improved title contender, while Till has been a mystery finishing or dragging and battling to the level of his opponent in very close fights. It’s hard not to take the dog in this game, although the thought of a recency bias might enter the conversation.
Prediction: Derek Brunson
Bet: Brunson +155
TRUCK (265 LBS): # 13 TOM ASPINALL (10-2) VS # 14 SERGHEI SPIVAK (13-2)
This fight is on seven days’ notice, with Spivak replacing Sergei Pavlovich, who was having visa issues. Aspinall has an average fight time of under three minutes in 12 fights. He looked a bit gassed before the second against Arlovski but was able to finish anyway. Spivak might be sneaky if he can escape in the first round, but I’m still on the side of the guy who’s been gearing up for this date for some time.
Prediction: Tom Aspinall
Bet: The fight will not start in round 3 -175
WELTERWEIGHT (170 LBS): ALEX MORONO (19-7) VS DAVID ZAWADA (17-6)
Morono should be the most superior on the feet. More volume, better foot movement, harder schedule force.
Prediction: Alex Morono
Bet: Moron -135
LIGHT TRUCK (205 LBS): MODESTAS BUKAUSKAS (11-4) VS KHALIL ROUNTREE (8-5)
Rountree is an incredible athlete, but he’s mentally very inconsistent. It will be interesting if we see the Rountree who flattered Gokhan Saki or the guy who folded against Ion Cutelaba.
Prediction: Modestas Bukauskas
LIGHT (155 LBS): PADDY PIMBLETT (16-3) VS LUIGI VENDRAMINI (9-2)
Paddy’s highlight reel shows us some very smooth stuff on the mat, but his hitting is mediocre at best. I’m not sure I’m ready to jump on the bandwagon yet /
Prediction: Luigi Vendramini
PRELIM HOT TAKES, PREDICTIONS AND BETS
WOMEN’S FLY WEIGHT (125 LBS): MOLLY MCCANN (10-4) VS JI YEON KIM (9-3-2)
It will be a gripping back-and-forth match. With a 10 inch reach advantage, Kim is working in her favor with an opponent who is very likely to opt to trade. If Kim can stay off the mat, I think she can rip off a split decision.
Prediction: Ji Yeon Kim
COQ WEIGHT (135 LBS): JACK SHORE (14-0) VS LUIDVIK SHOLINIAN (9-1-1)
This fight features the biggest favorite on the map, and it’s not tight. Shore will be better everywhere, but kudos to Sholinian, a member of the Ortega team on The Ultimate Fighter, for stepping up on very short notice.
Prediction: Jack Shore
BREAKING WEIGHT (150 LBS): JULIAN EROSA (25-9) VS CHARLES JOURDAIN (11-3-1)
Another late replacement fighter, as Erosa steps in to take on Jourdain. Jourdain has the advantage on the feet and not only has durability but also attacking power that works in his favor. Jourdain’s 11 wins came by stoppage, while Erosa has now lost by knockout five times, including his last fight in June, where he was knocked out in 1:37.
Prediction: Charles Jourdain
Bet: Jourdain -180
AVERAGE WEIGHT (185 LBS): DALCHA LUNGIAMBULA (11-2) VS MARC-ANDRE BARRIAULT (12-4)
Dalcha Champion looked much improved in his last performance. He started to fade in the middle of the fight but was able to hang on. The muscle he wears sometimes works against himself, and I think Barriault will eventually take that fight back.
Prediction: Marc-André Barriault
ROOSTER WEIGHT (135 LBS): JONATHAN MARTINEZ (13-4) VS MARCELO ROJO (16-7)
I love that Martinez is getting back on track here. It will be tough against Rojo, who has finished 14 in his 16 wins, but Martinez should be able to land often. I will be monitoring the weight loss and how it looks this time around at 135.
Prediction: Jonathan Martinez
• Brunson +155
• Aspinall / Spivak: the fight will not start on turn 3 -175
• Moron -135
• Jourdain -180
Morono / Rive / Jourdain +220
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UFC PREDICTION BET SUMMARY
• 2021 predictions: 180-127-6 (59%)
• Paris 2021: 94-84-2 (53%)
• Predictions: 561-326-17 (63%)
• Stakes: 304-171-8 (64%)
MMA DFS Graphics
Offensive exit counter
- Fighting should NOT end in a decision
- Brunson/ Up to -205
- Spivak /Aspinall -300
- Round shaft /Bukauskas -240
- Vendramini/ Pimblet -190
- Bank/ Sholinian -150
- Jordan/ Erosa -215
- Lungiambula /Barriault -158
- Martinez/ Rojo -115
- For the main event, I like Brunson and the five-round takedown potential. If the fight ends early, it’s more than likely that Till will catch Brunson. Don’t stack, but if you’re multiplaying, hang on to both.
- High level fighters to build around: Aspinall, Shore, Jourdain
- Considerations for mid-tier combatants are: Morono
- Live dogs that could mark: Brunson, Vendramini, Kim
Good luck to everyone. Hope to see some of you cash in after Saturday night! Follow me on Twitter @ Y2CASEY