UFC Vegas 85: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Landon Quinones (7-2-1) vs Marquel Mederos (8-1)
Looking to bounce back from a short notice UFC debut defeat to Nasrat Haqparast, Quinones looks to utilize his distance power striking style to notch another finish. Quinones was a highly touted prospect from the regional scene who fell short in the opening round of the most recent Ultimate Fighter reality show.
The UFC saw enough in him prior that they still decided to bring him into the promotion. He has solid power, speed, and explosivity, but I think he is lacking the technical aspects that will take him further.
Training out of Factory X, Mederos is a very talented all-around fighter who earned his contract to the UFC through the most recent season of the Contender Series. He thwarted the takedown-heavy approach of his opponent, then led the opponent into a perfectly timed knee that put their lights out. Mederos attacked the calf with solid consistency and has great hand speed to take advantage of his opponents as they start to slow down. If need be, he also has a solid grappling game to implement.
Both guys are looking to make a name for themselves at this level, but I believe Mederos is the fighter with a higher ceiling. I expect his calf kicks to catch up to Quinones by the second round which either will result in a late finish for Mederos or a decision victory with the latter two rounds clearly in favor of Mederos
The Pick: Marquel Mederos -130
Luana Carolina (9-4) vs Julija Stoliarenko (11-7-1)
Trying to get a winning streak going, Carolina looks to build off her July win over the previously undefeated Ivana Petrovic. Carolina continues to show improvements throughout her game, but it’s really her striking and volume-based style that helps her get her hand raised. Her takedown defense and defensive grappling are improving at a steady pace, but that is the path fighters can taketo get their hand raised over her.
Stoliarenko now calls flyweight her home and it was a warm welcome for her when she pulled off a victory by first round armbar over Molly McCann. Stoliarenko shows little regard for her own safety as she crashes the pocket, willingly eating damage in return, all to get a hold of her opponent so she can drag them to the ground and try to snatch up their arm. All but one of her 11 victories have come by form of arm bar, showing just how dangerous she is when fights hit the mat.
Besides the moneyline on Stoliarenko, there are a few ways you can attack this fight. Firstly, I fully believe she will have no issues with bullying Carolina to the ground. From there I expect an armbar will be imminent.
You can take the Stoliarenko by submission which is at slight plus money OR the under 2.5 which is hovering around the +100 mark. I think if Stoliarenko wins, it comes by that method.
The Pick: Julija Stoliarenko -145
Jeong Yeong Lee (10-1) vs Blake Bilder (8-1-1)
Coming into the UFC after winning the Road to UFC tournament last year, Lee took off an entire year to rehab from a knee injury he was dealing with throughout the tournament.
Fixing that issue has now allowed him to fully commit to improving his defensive wrestling game which will allow him to keep fights in the standing position where he is usually the better striker. He has solid power, range management, and speed, which allows him to finish most of his opponents. I expect to see the best version of him this weekend.
Bilder is looking to rebound from a loss to Kyle Nelson last year as he was unable to get his wrestling going, going 0-3 on takedowns, as well as finding the timing on Nelson’s striking game.
Bilder is normally a fighter that likes to use lateral movements to crash the pocket on his unsuspecting opponent. If he feels he has a good enough edge in the wrestling realm, he will look to drown his opponents on the mat too.
On paper it seems like Bilder should be able to put Lee through the ringer in the grappling realm. However, I feel confident in Lee’s improvements that he should be able to demoralize and break Bilder on the feet. As Lee stuffs each takedown attempt or at least works immediately back to his feet, look for Lee to pick Bilder apart and find the finish in the latter half of this fight. This will be a coming-out party of sorts for the Korean fighter who is very talented.