UFC Vegas 78 Staff Picks – Will Dos Anjos Finish Luque?
UFC VEGAS 78 STAFF PICKS – WILL DOS ANJOS FINISH LUQUE? – The UFC heads back to the APEX in Las Vegas, NV for Fight Night 78. Vicente Luque looks to recover from a brain hemorrhage he sustained during his latest fight, while Rafael Dos Anjos tries to take down another big name. Can Dos Anjos finish Luque in the first? Or will the main event go to the judge’s table? Catch all our staff picks for the main card below.
Prelims will air on ESPN/ESPN+ at 3:00 pm EST and the main card will start at 6:00 pm.
Josh Fremd vs. Jamie Pickett
Records: Fremd (10-4-0), Pickett (13-9-0)
Weight Class: Middleweight
Reach Advantage: Pickett, 4 in.
Odds: Fremd (-360), Pickett (+270)
Manpreet: Fremd. At his best his wrestling pace and volume will be tough to deal with for Pickett.
Trent: Fremd. Pickett gets hit and lets his opponent bully him. Fremd will pressure him on the feet and can submit him on the mat. The odds may be a little wide, but it is because Pickett’s weaknesses.
Nate: Fremd. These odds to win are a little bit too high for my liking. I’ll go ahead and say that Fremd wins by TKO/KO/DQ or submission and bet that at -135, rather than lay the heavy juice on just a regular Fremd bet at -360.
Staff Picks: Fremd 3, Pickett 0
AJ Dobson vs. Tafon Nchukwi
Records: Dobson (6-2-1), Nchukwi (6-3-0)
Weight Class: Middleweight
Reach Advantage: Nchukwi, 1 in.
Odds: Dobson (+115), Nchukwi (-143)
Manpreet: Nchukwi. Dobson got away with being stronger on the regional scene, falters under technically better fighters, that’s what he’s facing this weekend.
Trent: Nchukwi. He is the more technical striker and is physically stronger than Dobson. Dobson will get picked apart on the feet and may not be able to get Nchukwi to the mat.
Nate: Nchukwi. He lost his last two, but he looked all right in both before a quick knockout ended his chances. He should have a clear edge grappling and I’d imagine he takes extra care to not have the lights turned out on a quick strike three times in a row.
Staff Picks: Nchukwi 3, Dobson 0
Polyana Viana vs. Iasmin Lucindo
Records: Viana (13-5-0), Lucindo (14-5-0)
Weight Class: Women’s Strawweight
Reach Advantage: Viana, 1 in.
Odds: Viana (+160), Lucindo (-200)
Manpreet: Lucindo. Will be a dangerous fight for the youngster, but think she has a good enough all around game to give the volatile Viana some problems.
Trent: Viana. Her striking looked improved in her last outing and is very dangerous on the mat. She does give up top position sometimes looking for a submission, but her experience should shine against the 21-year-old Lucindo.
Nate: Lucindo. An aggressive fighter, she should control the striking portions. Viana’s most realistic path to victory is probably through submission, but Lucindo can hold her own on the ground. I’m willing to lay the wood with Lucindo.
Staff Picks: Viana 1, Lucindo 2
Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Chris Daukaus
Records: Rountree Jr. (12-5-0), Daukaus (12-6-0)
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Reach Advantage: Rountree Jr., 0.5 in.
Odds: Rountree Jr. (-190), Daukaus (+150)
Manpreet: Rountree. Daukaus vs. power punchers is never a good matchup, meanwhile Rountree is looking career-best.
Trent: Rountree. Daukaus did not react well to shots from the hardest hitting heavyweights. He is now facing one of the hardest hitting light heavyweights. Daukaus is more technical, but needs to land clean shots when Rountree flurries or he will get caught.
Nate: Daukaus. Moving down in weight should help Daukaus. Daukaus has a clear grappling edge over Rountree (who is a disaster on the ground). He gets back to his winning ways after a rough stretch at heavyweight.
Jack: Rountree, Jr. I’m skeptical of Nate’s analysis that this fight will end on the ground. Daukus would rather stand up and bang and Rountree, Jr. has the advantage there. Daukus is a boom or bust fighter and this is another bust for him.
Staff Picks: Rountree, Jr. 3, Daukas 1
Cub Swanson vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Records: Swanson (28-13-0), Dawodu (13-3-1)
Weight Class: Featherweight
Reach Advantage: Dawodu, 3.5 in.
Odds: Swanson (+185), Dawodu (-235)
Manpreet: Dawodu. Don’t want anything to do with the moneyline considering how close Dawodu’s fights normally are, but Swanson is slowing down too much to keep up with these youngsters.
Trent: Dawodu. He is bigger and faster than Swanson and will have the better of it on the feet. A takedown and submission is Swanson’s most likely path to victory but Dawodu has improved his submission defense since his UFC debut, when he lost via sub.
Nate: Swanson. Dawodu has struggled with unorthodox strikers, and Cub is certainly unorthodox. I’ll take the upside here with a live ‘dog.
If you don’t like that angle, you can bet that this fight doesn’t go the distance at -125. One of these guys is going down.
Jack: Dawodu This fight means too much to Dawodu for him to lose. Swanson is past his prime and is vulnerable to the kicking power of someone like Dawodu.
Staff Picks: Dawodu 3, Swanson 1
Vicente Luque vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Records: Luque (21-9-1), Dos Anjos (32-14-0)
Weight Class: Welterweight – Main Event
Reach Advantage: Luque, 5.5 in.
Odds: Luque (-108), Dos Anjos (-115)
Manpreet: Dos Anjos. Mixes up the game very well, could be close early, but I expect dos Anjos to complete takedowns and pull away late with this fight.
Trent: Luque. He will get taken down a couple times throughout this fight, but will not stay there long. Luque will win the exchanges on the feet with his speed and power. Luque’s hefty reach advantage will help him stay at range, so he won’t get touched and can see the TD attempt.
Nate: Dos Anjos. We always talk about who has more ways to win and I think it’s Dos Anjos. Clear advantage with wrestling and I don’t think he’s outmatched striking, considering some of the recent beatings Luque has taken.
Jack: Dos Anjos. Lucente’s brain hemorrhage is too important to overlook. Dos Anjos can win in more ways than one and I think he’ll focus on the head.
Staff Picks: Dos Anjos 3, Luque 1
Prelim Fight Money Maker
Manpreet: Miller. Women debuting in the UFC this year hasn’t gone that well, Santos has fallen to a woman with a style similar to Miller already too.
Trent: Dulgarian. He is a solid wrestler, and may be a better wrestler than his opponent, Francis Marshall. Marshall did not look great in his last fight even with over four minutes of control time. Dulgarian is a live dog in his UFC debut.