UFC Jacksonville: Three Best Moneyline Bets
UFC JACKSONVILLE: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS – The UFC heads to Jacksonville to give us a slew of terrific fights during the dog days of summer. I’m locked in for the Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria fight and you can read my main event predictions here for that one. There are plenty of fights on the undercard that offer great values as well. Let’s take a look.
In this article, I’ve outline three moneyline wagers that offer great value.
Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-8) vs Joshua Van (7-1)
Zhumagulov has had troubles having his opponents meet a date the past couple of months. He finally takes on a short-notice newcomer in this one.
It’s been almost two years since he’s gotten his hand raised and is in desperate need of a win here. Zhumagulov is coming off two split decision losses, both which many believe he should have won.
He likes to march forward with a barrage of power shots to inflict damage on his opponents. He also has a grinding grappling game he can implement on lesser fighters.
He was a former champion in a respected Russian regional promotion and even holds wins over guys like Tyson Nam, Tagir Ulanbekov, and Ali Bagautinov. I think his style can be effective, but I think he needs to figure out how to tap into the grappling more, depending on the advantage he has over his opponent.
Making his amateur debut at the end of 2020 Van has competed 12 times.
He went 4-0 as an amateur and then 7-1 as a pro, which included his title winning effort back in December. He has finished all of his professional wins. He was originally scheduled to compete on the upcoming season of the Contender Series.
I could best describe Van as a sniper from distance with good footwork. The lone loss on his record came against a very strong wrestler who man-handled him until the wrestler sunk in a choke at the end of the second.
It seems like Van has been making improvements since that fight considering all his opponents have failed in getting him to the ground and keeping him there. The only concern I have of his is that he has been competing in MMA for just under 2.5 years and is only 21 years old. Is this too much too soon?
I feel the experience advantage here for Zhumagulov will be too much for Van.
From the power striking to the wrestilng, Zhumagulov can dictate the pace of this fight as well as where it takes place. Van’s only hope is that he can hurt Zhumagulov badly from distance, but = that will be hard to do with him playing off his back foot for most of the fight.
I’m expecting an angry and motivated Zhumagulov this weekend which should result in a dominant victory, making the chalk worth it.
The Pick: Zhalgas Zhumagulov -205
Tabatha Ricci (8-1) vs Gillian Robertson (12-7)
The only loss on Ricci’s professional MMA record to date is her short notice UFC debut up a weight class against Manon Fiorot.
Since that fight, she’s on a three-fight winning streak with her last win coming by finish over UFC veteran, Jessica Penne.
She has used a grapple-heavy approach in all her fights. Ricci is a BJJ black belt, but she has stellar wrestling and an improving striking game to compliment it.
She is very strong in the grappling realm which makes it difficult for her opponents to have much success against her. Her fight against Polyana Viana was a good indicator of how good her submission defense is and how safe she can stay from that top position. I think she could be a strawweight contender if she continues to progress at the rate she is.
Robertson is a beast in the Brazilian jiu jitsu realm and very aggressive.
She has often said that she is a submission over position type BJJ player, which is why she has so many submissions on her record.
It is also why she has some losses on her record because she gives up position when opponents can stop her submissions. I feel like people may start over-exaggerating how good she is because she submitted Rose Namajunas in just over a minute back in December in a grappling event.
She is very skilled, she is very fun to watch, but there’s a reason she has yet to crack the top of the division. She keeps running into fighters that can nullify her aggressive BJJ game and then just ride her out. Her striking is very average and requires a lot of work still, but she has good enough durability that she can crash the pocket, eat some shots, and get in on a takedown.
Unless Robertson reaches Charles Oliveira level of success, it will be hard for her to get past the more technically talented fighters.
That’s what she faces this weekend in Ricci which is why I expect Ricci to get dominant positions and nullify any submissions or reversals we may see Robertson attempt. If Ricci brings her A game, this will be an easy decision victory for her and in hindsight, these odds may be a steal.
The Pick: Tabatha Ricci -140
David Onama (10-2) vs Gabriel Santos (10-1)
I have long had my reservations about Onama and came up short two of the three times I bet against him. Thankfully, Landwehr came through and I was finally able to provide proof of Onama being more hype than anything.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s still talented and has a solid striking game. I think he relies heavily on his knockout power and ability to hurt opponents early.
I believe Onama still has a gas tank issue that won’t fix itself this quickly. I think he is an under 1.5 or bust fighter until he proves me otherwise.
The former LFA lightweight champion got his short notice UFC opportunity back in London in March and put on a very spirted effort against Lerone Murphy.
There’s a strong case that Santos deserved the first two rounds and should have won the decision. He showcased solid striking, great pressure, and stellar work on the mat when he was able to get the takedowns.
That was the first professional loss on his record, but I believe he is destined for great things with the UFC. He is very talented.
I think he just needs to shore up a tad with his striking defense, but his ability to continuously move forward and force his opponents to fight off the back foot always makes him dangerous.
Now with a full training camp, look for his gas tank to fuel him for the entire 15 minutes if it lasts that long.
For a long time Onama was beating up on scrubs on the regional scene. He gave the masses a perception that he was better than he actually is, but it will become even clearer after this weekend that he is not who people initially thought he was.
Santos should be able to keep Onama on the defensive for the most part and eventually crumple him in the latter half of this matchup and snatch up a submission.
Santos is better than him everywhere but still needs to be weary of the power coming back his way. If he can avoid the power early, this will be smooth sailing for him going into round two.