UFC Vegas 80: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Montana de la Rosa (12-8-1) vs JJ Aldrich (12-6)
UFC VEGAS 80: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS – Coming into this fight riding a two-fight losing streak, de la Rosa is looking to avoid another loss as she accepts a short notice replacement. At her best, de la Rosa normally shows off her wrestling skills that she developed earlier in her life. However, it’s become clear over the last couple of fights that it isn’t enough for her to break through to the next level in the UFC.
Her striking is slowly improving, but it’s obvious she gets her best work done on the mat.
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Aldrich is fresh off a win at the end of August where she battered Liang Na and got a second-round stoppage. Aldrich normally works behind her jab and crisp boxing combinations to batter her opponents for over 15 minutes. Finishes are not normally on the menu in her fights, she prefers to keep a steady pace and volume to outwork her opponent.
Her defensive grappling is not too shabby, and she normally does a good enough job of keeping fights in the striking realm where she can land her most effective damage.
An interesting angle going into this fight is the fact that these two have trained together for a couple training camps back in 2021 when de la Rosa moved up to Colorado for a change of scenery. De la Rosa now finds herself back in Texas, but I find it interesting that Aldrich accepted this fight on short notice. Perhaps she felt something in their sparring sessions that she could stop the takedowns of de la Rosa and keep this fight in her range, where she would have the striking advantage.
I hope there is substance to that thought as I like Aldrich as the dog here to get her hand raised.
The Pick: JJ Aldrich +125
Alexander Hernandez (14-6) vs Bill Algeo (17-7)
After a failed trial down at 145lbs against Billy Quarantillo last December, Hernandez is looking to do it once again after picking up a win over Jim Miller earlier this year. I’m unsure why as he has made it clear that it is a tough cut down to that weight class. Not to mention, he already has a gas tank issue, nothing worse than trying to utilize that gas tank when you’ve already depleted yourself with a weight cut.
At his best, Hernandez has solid power in his hands and has a decent grappling game where he can control his opponents on the mat.
One of the more inconsistent fighters on the roster, Algeo is an unorthodox fighter from his striking approach to the way he grapples. One thing he loves to weaponize is his cardio, normally putting his foot on the gas late in fights to get his opponents out of there. His takedown defense could use a little work, but his ability to work off his back and make his opponent work is an asset depending on the type of opponent he is facing.
I think a lot of this fight is predicated on how Hernandez handles the weight cut and how that will impact in him in the fight. Algeo, knowing Hernandez and his knack for slowing down, will likely try to make Hernandez work by throwing output, marching forward, and staying active in clinch/grappling scenarios. I expect Algeo to pull away late in this fight and maybe even get a finish.
There has been significant line movement on the Hernandez side, which is why I’m happy to now take Algeo as an underdog.
The Pick: Bill Algeo +100
Alex Morono (23-8) vs Joaquin Buckley (16-6)
Morono is one of my favorite fighters on the roster due to his volume-based style and moving forward through the fire. This BJJ black belt very rarely looks to utilize that skill, but rather outworking his opponent on the feet and getting the better of slugfests. He almost achieved a five-fight winning streak but got finished in the last round by Ponzinibbio back in December.
That was a fight he was winning almost the entire way. He bounced back with a guillotine win over Tim Means earlier this year and he has his eyes set on another winning streak.
Owner of one of the greatest knockouts of all time, Buckley is still trying to find his footing in the UFC and determine whether he is good enough to get into title contention. He throws big heat in his shots and has shown off a pretty good defensive grappling game, allowing him to keep fights in the striking realm where he normally holds an advantage over his opponents.
I expect most of this fight to take place in the striking realm, which leads me to believe that Buckley should be able to find the knockout within 10 minutes. Morono is a little too confident in his hands, even against guys that are better strikers. It worked out for him against Matthew Semelsberger, but Semelsberger lacked the legit experience that Buckley has under his waist.
I like the unders in this fight the most, but I still think Buckley is worth a shot at the chalky price here to find a finish over Morono.