UFC Vegas 71: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Don’t stop at the main event, though. There are plenty of fights in the undercard that are worth our attention. Let’s get to the picks.
Francis Marshall (7-0) vs William Gomis (11-2)
Fresh off a blistering debut where he knocked out Marcelo Rojo, Marshall looks primed to be a force in the featherweight division.
He is still quite young in his MMA career with a 7-0 record, but given the fact that he has been groomed over the last 11 years by former UFC fighter, Kurt Pellegrino, Marshall was more than ready for this transition to the big show even at this stage of his career.
His background is wrestling, and you see that with the ease in which he has been able to take fighters to the mat and do damage from top position. His striking is not at all that far behind, just as he showed in his UFC debut. I am hyped for this kid’s progression and rise; he looks to have all the good.
Gomis, like his opponent, makes his second walk to the Octagon this weekend. His debut came on somewhat short notice against another short notice opponent, in an effort for the UFC to fill out their debut card in Paris back in September.
Gomis has the frame of lanky Thai boxer, but heavily relies on a grapple-heavy game to grind his opponents out. He took two early losses in his career but has rattled off nine straight victories.
A lot of that is thanks to his grappling which many fighters have had issues keeping up with. He doesn’t have this amazing wrestling background to lean on, he is just strong in those positions and most of his opponents were lacking in that realm of mixed martial arts.
I think this fight will be a wake-up call for Gomis who has yet to face American style wrestling, which is what he will be up against this weekend.
On the feet, Gomis likes to use long punches down the pipe and kicks, but his striking defense is quite poor, something I think Marshall can also take advantage of.
However, I expect this fight to mainly play out on the ground where I expect Marshall to have the technical wrestling advantage as well as the cardio advantage. Chalky, but worth it.
The Pick: Marshall -200
Ricky Glenn (22-6-2) vs Christos Giagos (19-10)
Returning from a year and a half out of the cage, Glenn hopes to get things going after being relatively inactive since 2018.
This will be his third fight during the COVID era, but a lot of that has to do with hip injuries, surgeries, and rehabs he’s had to go through to get his body back to fighting shape.
He is a 30-fight veteran with a ton of legit experience under his belt. I’d say striking is his strong suit, but he has shown great grappling to keep him out of tremendous danger.
We saw him weaponize his cardio in his last fight where he got out-grinded for two rounds by a bright prospect in Grant Dawson, but Glenn rallied back in that third round to get two judges to give him a 10-8 round in the third round to score that fight as a draw. Glenn is a relentless fighter who will grind you down with his pressure and look to get you out of there late.
Currently riding a two-fight losing streak, Giagos is looking to get back on track this weekend. You can give him a pass on his two losses considering they were to Arman Tsarukyan and Thiago Moises.
Giagos enjoys using a wrestling-heavy style to grind his opponents down and look for finishing opportunities with his jiu jitsu.
His striking is mainly just overhand hooks and winging shots to close the distance so he can get his wrestling going. He trains out of the famed Kill Cliff FC where he is getting a good amount of looks, but I don’t expect him to be transforming his game much at this stage of his career.
The biggest weakness in his game is likely his carido. We see him really slow down after the 7.5 minute mark in fights, that’s where fine-tuned fighters can put their foot on the gas and get him out of there or really change the momentum of the fight.
I expect Giagos to have some early success in this fight; however, I think Glenn’s veteran-savvy and cardio to take over around the midway point of this fight.
As Glenn starts to stuff takedowns and put the pressure on Giagos, I think we see a finishing opportunity arise for Glenn to snatch in the third round.
Glenn is the better striker and I think that will eventually draw out a poor takedown attempt from Giagos that Glenn can take advantage of either by stuffing, reversing, or locking up a choke of some sort.
The Pick: Ricky Glenn -160
Matthew Semelsberger (11-4) vs Jeremiah Wells (11-2-1)
Coming off of the biggest win of his career thus far, Semelsberger sprung a big upset in his last fight against UFC veteran, Jake Matthews.
In that fight he dropped Matthew multiple times with his big power and kept the pressure on him. Semelsberger has a football background but has transitioned that hard-nosed style flawlessly to MMA and has been crafting the technical aspects of his game very well.
He is a big puncher with solid wrestling, and he’s very strong whenever he tangles up with his opponents. He is raw in certain aspects of his game still, but I think with the high-level experiences he has been exposed to over his last couple fights.
He could blossom into a pretty solid fighter who will carve out a permanent spot on the roster.
Wells is riding a five fight winning streak with three of those coming in the UFC. He has finished all three of his opponents at this level.
Two with his big knockout power and the other with his slick BJJ black belt. You wouldn’t be able to tell that he is a BJJ black belt considering the power in which he throws his punches, but if he feels he has a huge grappling advantage over you.
That’s when he chooses to pursue it. Otherwise, he loves plodding forward and throwing big, explosive hooks to try to decapitate you.
He is very intimidating but if you can survive the early onslaught, those explosive movements cause him to slow down significantly. Both of his losses have come from decisions as well, which further proves he likely isn’t that good of a decision fighter at this level.
I expect Semelsberger to be safe enough in the early goings of this fight to stay conscious.
From there, I think his length, strength, and power will end up being too much for the aging Jeremiah Wells. Look for a nail biter of a first round, but in rounds two and three I think Semelsberger will have ample opportunities to find the finish and get Wells out of there.
If you have access to live betting, the safer method would be to bet Semelsberger after round one at a much better price than he is currently at now.