UFC Vegas 78 Betting: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Juliana Miller (3-2) vs Luana Santos (5-1)
Looking to rebound from her first UFC loss, Miller comes in as the underdog after being a -400 favorite in her last fight. It is clear Miller needs work on her striking still, but her grappling is very tough to deal with especially when she establishes top control.
She is very strong and tough to deal with when she gets a hold of her opponents, but it will be interesting to see what lessons she learned from her last fight and how she will apply them this time around.
Santos makes her UFC debut this weekend while riding a two-fight winning streak coming from the LFA regional scene. She is a BJJ black belt and Judo black belt, but she showed off her improved striking arsenal in her last fight before latching onto a guillotine choke.
Normally she looks to drag her opponents to the mat and do damage from on top or look for submissions. She is only 23 years old and could need some more grooming, but the UFC has matched her up with someone around the same experience level as her.
The Pick: Juliana Miller +130
The issue Miller had in her last fight was that her opponent was too mobile, and she was unable to successfully get in on a takedown attempt. She went 0-3 on takedowns but a lot of it had to do with the footwork of her opponent. Santos doesn’t move nearly as much as her last opponent, and I think Santos will be at a strength disadvantage when they tie up.
In the lone loss for Santos, she was struggling to deal with the heavy top control of her opponent, and I expect her to falter under the same pressure here. Add in the narrative that debuting women in the UFC haven’t been doing that well this year, I feel this is a prime spot to kick off the UFC Vegas 78 card with an underdog.
Da’Mon Blackshear (13-5-1) vs Jose Johnson (15-7)
Only three fights into his UFC career, Blackshear has faced all three types of outcomes already. From a draw in his debut, to a loss in his second fight, to a dominant victory in his last outing, Blackshear has more than gotten comfortable in the UFC. He is an explosive and aggressive fighter with a BJJ black belt.
He is very strong in wrestling positions and does a great job of establishing top pressure when he gets the takedowns. His gas tank can be a bit sketchy at times, but he does such a great job of staying safe enough that he doesn’t get finished late.
Above all, I love his style and how he is making improvements. Add in all the quality regional experience he accrued before making the jump to the UFC, he is more than ready to shine.
Johnson makes his UFC debut on short notice here after earning his contract through the Contender Series last year as an underdog. He is a volume striker who does his best work when he can establish his range striking style.
His takedown defense is improving, but he still shows flaws in that aspect of his game against solid wrestlers. I think he can notch a couple wins in the UFC, but coming in on short notice for his debut against a bad stylistic matchup may not be the start he was hoping for with the promotion.
The Pick: Da’Mon Blackshear -245
I expect Blackshear’s strength and grappling to be too much for Johnson here. Johnson has a bit of a technical striking advantage, but I don’t think it’s wide enough to give Blackshear too much trouble or finish him.
Look for a grapple-heavy approach from Blackshear here to get his hand raised by decision, I don’t mind the chalk at all considering all the factors going into this fight and the advantage Blackshear holds.
Josh Parisian (15-6) vs Martin Buday (12-1)
Alternating wins and losses since joining the promotion, Parisian is coming off a loss to Jamal Pogues from earlier this year when he got out-grappled. I was impressed with Parisian’s ability to get back to his feet and land his own damage, but he struggled a lot with stopping the incoming takedowns.
It seems the judges favored the takedowns and minimal damage Pogues was doing from top position compared to the get ups and damage that Parisian landed. Parisian is a hybrid heavyweight in terms of his ability to go a hard 15 minutes if he needs to and doesn’t mind striking as much as he grapples. I just don’t think he has what it takes to break through to the next level though.
One of my favorite prospects in the heavyweight division, Buday has continued his reign through his first three UFC fights. His fight with Lukasz Brzeski was very close but it seemed the judges favored Buday’s more impactful strikes rather than Brzeski’s volume. I love Buday’s hard-nosed striking style of tucking his chin in and throwing his own barrage of strikes while he marches his opponents down.
Buday does some of his best work in the clinch when he can push his opponent against the cage and wear on them there. When he feels comfortable, he can drag his opponents to the mat and keep up the pressure from the top position. He has great cardio for a man of his stature and as he continues to gain experience, he will become harder to deal with for the top heavyweights.
The Pick: Martin Buday -200
This fight could play out close early, but as we start getting down the stretch, I expect Buday to start pulling away. Parisian doesn’t have a horrible cardio issue by any means, but it seems Buday gets stronger as fights go on.
I think Parisian will struggle to keep up with the grind and pace that Buday sets. Look for Buday to either get a late stoppage or win this fight dominantly on the scorecards.