The UFC boasts an 11-fight card headlined by a heavyweight bout between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane. Gane is a prohibited -275 favorite heading into Saturday night's bout.
This main event will be a look into the future of the heavyweight division, with the winner likely on a fast track to a title shot in the next year.
Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
When: 8 PM
Watch: ESPN +
All odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on Friday afternoon
Ciryl Gane (-275) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+225)
Gane is rising fast at heavyweight. Despite seven pro fights, he is already headlining a UFC event and will face a dangerous striker in Rozenstruik.
Both men measure similarly at 6’3”, but Gane will present a three-inch reach advantage as well as the ability to control grappling exchanges.
‘Cigano’ is best off closing the distance with Rozenstruik mixing in some level changes. In only seven fights, ‘Bon Gamin’ has flashed versatile offense, winning three bouts by submission.
On paper, there are some similarities between this main event and the one last week. In that fight, knockout artist Derrick Lewis was able to finish the grappling-centric Curtis Blaydes in the second round and cash as a +365 underdog.
This weekend, Gane is a prohibitive -270 favorite, but I don’t think lightning is going to strike twice. He is a complete fighter that can strike with Rozenstruik and also control the octagon with his work in the clinch.
I won’t lay the price on Gane straight. When it comes to heavyweights, one punch can end a fight, which always makes the underdog enticing. We cashed Derrick Lewis last week in a similar situation.
I still like the favorite, but at the right price. I’m going to bet him in a parlay with another favorite I like, Ronnie Lawrence, giving me a +120 parlay.
Pick: Use Gane -270 as a parlay piece
Nikita Krylov (+290) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (-360)
There aren’t that many big underdogs on this card, but the co-main presents one. Nikita Krylov is +290 as of this writing and is going to post a serious threat to the heavily favored Magomed Ankalaev.
Ankalaev is a highly touted prospect, 14-1 in his MMA career, but Krylov has fought high level competition throughout his 34-fight career.
He dropped a split decision to Glover Texiera in September of 2019, and tapped out against current light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. Despite the two losses, he has compiled a 27-7 record and is a mainstay in the light heavyweight division.
Krylov has a strong chin, only losing via knockout once, and I expect him to handle Ankalaev’s striking. While Ankalaev has been able to thwart takedowns up until this point, he boasts an 85% takedown defense per UFCStats. Krylov is a sick submission artist with 15 of his 27 wins through that path. If this hits the ground, the veteran may overwhelm the prospect.
At nearly +300, I’m willing to sprinkle on the wily Krylov. Ankalaev may be a bit inflated due to back-to-back knockouts over the middling Ion Cutelaba, and I see this as a nice chance to cash a live dog.
Pick: Krylov +290, play to +250
Ronnie Lawrence (-164) vs. Vince Cachero (+138)
Styles make fights, and I think this matchup is going to suit Ronnie Lawrence quite well.
Lawrence dominated his opponent, Jose Johnson, on Dana White’s Contender Series, earning a UFC contract. He showed off fantastic offense and a full gas tank to go for three rounds, landing 12 -- yes 12 -- takedowns during the fight.
His opponent, Vince Cachero, got called up to the UFC on short notice to fight Jammall Emmers in August and was outclassed for three rounds. Cachero was taken down five times in that fight and I expect Lawrence to exploit that part of ‘The Anomaly’s’ game.
Lawrence has a two inch height advantage and the pressure grappling to make Cachero uncomfortable.
Considering these two are prospects, which adds some unknowns to the bout, I’m going to pair ‘The Heat’ with Gane in the main event.
I like both Lawrence and Gane to get the job done but want to minimize my risk by getting this parlay to +120 as of this writing.
Pick: Use Lawrence -164 as a parlay piece
Reed is a native of New Jersey and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan and always believes the spread has a chance of covering. You can follow Reed on Twitter @ReedWallach for more commentary.