UFC Vegas 86: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Michael Johnson (21-19) vs Darrius Flowers (12-6-1)
UFC VEGAS 86: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS –
Although things haven’t looked great for Johnson later, he is still a high-level striker that needs to be respected. His unfortunate decision making in the past has cost him some fights, but I think he looked pretty good in his last fight until getting knocked out.
I don’t attribute that to poor decision making, but rather zigging when he should have zagged. Keeping fights upright with his stellar takedown defense will keep him in a position he feels comfortable, he just must mind his striking defense a smidgen more.
Flowers made his UFC debut on short notice after securing a contract through the 2022 season of the Contender Series, however he came up short against veteran, Jake Matthews.
Flowers seems to want nothing but veterans as he continues to take on another tenured UFC fighter this weekend. Flowers prefers the ground game but also has hammers in his fists that he throws recklessly. That was his downfall in his last fight as he was unable to land his early bombs, causing him to slow down and get finished.
Johnson has all the skill advantage in this fight, it just comes down to him staying conscious. At odds better than -150, I’m happy to take a small gamble on the veteran. Flowers won’t be able to get off on his ground game here and I suspect he’ll punch himself out like his last fight, which should give Johnson the openings he needs to find the finish in the second round.
The Pick: Michael Johnson -140
Robert Bryczek (17-5) vs Ihor Potieria (20-5)
Coming into his UFC debut against a short-notice replacement, Bryczek brings a five-fight winning streak to the table in which he’s finished them all in the first round. He has solid experience, but it’s really his ability to get opponents out of there quickly that makes him so dangerous.
He’s fast, explosive, and in great physical shape. That all aids his mission of knocking his opponents stiff.
Potieria steps in on short notice down a weight class, which is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. We don’t normally see a fighter go down a weight class in a short notice scenario, but he may have already been transitioning to this weight class. Potieria is also an early finisher or someone that will likely get put away by more talented, technical, and disciplined opponents.
I suspect this fight will be a banger from the first bell. The under 1.5 is chalky as chalk can be, but it feels like a spot that someone will go down once the first clean shot has landed.
I expect Bryczek’s speed to be the big difference maker here as he should be able to find the button on Potieria and put him out. Add in the fact that Potieria is taking this on short notice, down a weight class, and could be compromised from the cut, it makes me lean Bryczek even more.
The Pick: Robert Bryczek -145
Dan Ige (17-7) vs Andre Fili (23-10)
Coming into his fourth co-main event slot, Ige continues taking on all comers at 145lbs. This time his opponent is coming in on short notice, which could aid in Ige’s attempts at capturing success.
Ige is a crisp boxer with a BJJ black belt, but it’s really his ability to keep a high striking guard and counter his opponents with his hands that makes him triumphant. It’s clear he does not have what it takes to crack the top five of the division, but he is still one of the toughest outs for anyone looking to break into the top ten.
Fili is fresh off a knockout victory over Lucas Almeida back in December and he did not think twice to jump in on short notice here for this fight. If Fili gets the win here, it would be the biggest win of his career.
His unorthodox striking and improving grappling game has usually been the reason he gets his hand raised, but like his opponent, he seems to choke in big spots.
I lean with Ige in this fight as I feel his overall game is superior to Fili. Fili is a little too wild at times, which is where Ige should be able to take advantage and counter effectively. There is a chance Ige could find a finish in this fight, but I expect Ige’s forward movement, counter striking, and grappling will be the x-factor in this fight to get him the victory.