UFC Vegas 77 Moneyline Bets: Top 3
UFC VEGAS 77 MONEYLINE BETS: TOP 3 – Three more fights for your perusal, starting with a man seeking to find a road to redemption.
Alexander Munoz (6-2) vs Carl Deaton (17-6)
Coming off a two-year layoff, Munoz is eager to notch his first UFC win this weekend. He was originally training out of Team Takedown, which was most famous because of former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. Munoz is now with Team Alpha Male and took on the title of wrestling coach.
It’s easy to see why, as he can drag his opponents to the mat in most of his fights. That enables him to do damage from on top. He has been off for a long time due to an ACL injury he was rehabbing from. He learnt a lot from a previous injury that he came back too quickly from, now he has given it the care and rehab required to come back at full power.
I feel Munoz has been a budding prospect and on course to get that first UFC win. There is an argument that he deserved to win his last fight against Luis Pena, but the judges didn’t favor him that night. This looks like a spot where Munoz can show off his improvements in his strength and conditioning and get back to relying on his wrestling to carry him through 15 minutes.
Deaton is a jack-of-all-trades journeyman who finally got his crack in the UFC on short notice earlier this year against Joe Solecki. He got thoroughly out grappled that night, but it was a tough stylistic matchup for him off jump, coming in on short notice only made it more difficult. He has a decent combination striking game and good cardio, but the effectiveness of his game is questionable.
You see Deaton defeating mediocre competition on the regional scene. But he comes up short when he fights anyone of substance, I think that will be the tale of his career. Deaton will be tough to put away, so I expect him to hang around, but I still feel Munoz will be the more dominant fighter over 15 minutes and get the nod from the judges.
The Pick: Alexander Munoz -185
Tucker Lutz (12-3) vs Melsik Baghdasaryan (7-2)
Lutz shouldn’t be on a two-fight losing skid this soon in his UFC career, but here he is. He got out-grappled by Pat Sabatini then broken by Pineda earlier this year and submitted. He is a tank of a man who likes to use his combination striking to set up takedowns and do work from there. However, if he can’t get that game going, he usually wilts under the pressure of his opponents. He looked to be a guy with solid potential coming off the Contender Series but seeing him against UFC-level competition thus far has lowered his ceiling.
Well on his way to pushing his winning streak to 8, Baghdasaryan had a minor slip up in his last fight that Joshua Culibao took full advantage of and submitted him. Baghdasaryan controlled over six minutes of that fight with his striking. He battered and bloodied his opponent but had a slip up on one of his kicks that opened an opportunity for Culibao to take his back.
I think that was a minor bump in the road for this extremely talented striker. Baghdasaryan is such a dangerous striker. He finished his first four wins within an accumulated 60 seconds. However, since his Contender Series fight, he has only finished one opponent, showcasing his patience and discipline with sticking with his striking but not blowing his gas tank.
Action on Lutz this week has brought Baghdasaryan down from the -220 range to about -160, but that doesn’t deter me from taking a shot on the Armenian gunslinger. Lutz could have some early success with takedowns, but I expect Baghdasaryan to chip away at him with his power striking style, slow down Lutz, and likely find the knockout in the second round.
Lutz is a more complete fighter than Baghdasaryan, but I think he is a guy that doesn’t mind taking the exit if a fighter shows it to them, I expect that this weekend. Sprinkle a little on the Baghdasaryan via KO prop if you are feeling greedy, but his moneyline should be getting most of your action.
The Pick: Melsik Baghdasaryan -160
Nazim Sadykhov (8-1) vs Terrance McKinney (13-5)
Sadykhov was a round away from dropping his UFC debut at the hands of Evan Elder. All three judges had scored the first two rounds against him, but it was a perfectly placed knee at the beginning of round three that opened a fight-ending cut on Elder’s eyebrow. The doctor decided it was too dangerous to continue, hence Sadykhov getting his hand raised.
He trains out of the same camp as Aljamain Sterling, out at Serra-Longo in Long Island. He has solid striking and a decent wrestling game. I’d say the biggest knock on him would be his level of competition on the regional scene before making it to the big show. I think he got a sense of it in his first UFC fight, but it seems like the promotion isn’t slowing down for him at all, giving him another tough out.
Of all athletes listed in current UFC Vegas 77 moneyline bets, McKinney is amongst the most unpredictable, given his ‘kill or be killed’ philosophy. An astonishing 15 of his 18 professional fights have finished in the first round. He loves to go out there and take his opponents head off or aggressively search for submissions. Obviously, this has a big pay off if it works out, but also has a huge cost if it doesn’t.
Opponents have been able to finish him after his initial onslaught which is why I like to lean on his under 1.5 prop in all his fights. Usually it comes through, so it’s tough to overlook it in the -150/-180 range that it’s at this weekend. Look for speed, explosivity, and power in the opening minutes of this fight, but a huge cardio dump after that.
McKinney will start faster, be more explosive, and can find the target easily. I’ve seen Sadykhov hurt in numerous fights and that leads me to believe that McKinney can finally be the guy to halt his winning streak. I targeted McKinney round 1 at +225, but his moneyline is not too shabby either as I believe he deserves to be a slight favorite in this fight.
The Pick: Terrance McKinney +115