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UFC Vegas 87: Three Best Moneyline Bets

UFC Vegas 87: Three Best Moneyline Bets

Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady (15-3) vs Loik Radzhabov (17-5-1)

UFC VEGAS 87: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS – Earning his contract through the Contender Series this past season as a big underdog, Al-Selwady is ready to plant his flag in the UFC and start on the right foot. He is a tank of a human who likes to use his grapple-heavy approach to smother and finish opponents from the top position.

We saw a new wrinkle in his game last time around that included a lot of movement and volume from distance. It was impressive to see him keep that style effective for 15 minutes against the level of fighter he was competing against.

Radzhabov is now 1-1 through his first two UFC fights, but there is clearly much more to his game that people have yet to see. This fighter made it to the PFL finals a couple of times but came up short when it mattered most. He has an effective wrestling style and some decent power with his strikes. It’s clear he does his best work when he can establish his grind and wear on his opponent.

There might be too big of a pendulum swing on Al-Selwady after his last performance. Radzhabov has higher level experience and could have the technical wrestling advantage here, that could allow him to gain solid control time and good optics to win this fight on the scorecards. The odds should be much closer for this matchup, so let’s take advantage of the underdog.

The Pick: Loik Radzhabov +155

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Vinicius Oliveira (19-3) vs Benardo Sopaj (11-2)

One of the more spectacular performances from this past season’s Contender Series, Oliveira looks to bring his entertaining and chaotic style to the Octagon. Oliveira utilizes a reckless striking approach where he throws in combinations but with everything in his might with each shot. At times, this leaves openings for his opponents to capitalize, but often he’s been able to gain the respect of his opponent and he muzzles them.

Sopaj jumps in on short notice, but he is more than deserving of a shot in the big show. He holds a regional title that he was expected to defend next weekend but gets fast-tracked to the UFC to fill in for an injured fighter. Sopaj has clean striking down the pipe, speed, and a respectable grappling game that sees him as one of the more complete prospects we’ve seen enter the UFC in recent memory.

Oliveira will find it hard to establish his style against the tougher competition he will face in the UFC. I think he had an easier opponent initially so he could start his UFC career off in the win column, but I think Sopaj is too clean for him. Sopaj should be able to land shots down the pipe and effective counters that could turn off Oliveira’s lights. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sopaj looked to implement some grappling either, but I ultimately think it will be a counter shot that lays Oliveira out cold.

The Pick: Benardo Sopaj +110

Alex Perez (24-7) vs Muhammad Mokaev (10-0)

One of the unfortunate stores over the last couple of years, Perez has struggled to make it to the cage to build upon the potential many believed he had. When he was on, he had a smothering wrestling style that many were unable to keep up with. His striking was improving at a steady rate, especially with his knack for targeting the calf of his opponent. It’s a shame what has happened to his image recently, but this is a spot he could win some fans back if he is victorious.

Now 5-0 with the biggest MMA promotion in the world, this highly touted prospect can position himself for a title shot by the end of the year if he can be successful this weekend.

Mokaev uses a relentless wrestling approach to stifle his opponents, but we’ve seen him start to have difficulty against opponents as his competition gets stiffer. He was two minutes away from suffering the first loss of his career last time around but managed to pull a rabbit out by securing a submission. He is young and ever improving, but that breaking point is around the corner.

Although I’ve predicted Mokaev to win this fight, I think the line is far too wide. With the clash of hype on Mokaev’s end to the public disdain for Perez, this line is much wider than it should be.

Perez has the wrestling to be competitive with Mokaev and Perez could end up being more effective in the striking realm.

Add in a fire and hunger to prove the public wrong, Perez may come in as the best version of himself to pull off the upset. I would wait for the weigh ins to see what kind of Perez we are getting, but at +285 for a fighter of his talent, I think it is a steal.

The Pick: Alex Perez +285

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