UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs Philippou will go down next Wednesday night from The Arena at Gwinnett Centre in Duluth, Georgia. We will be looking to improve on our performance in the last two UFC events where we went an impressive 6-1 on our bets to be up 19.64 units. We have started parlaying favourites more often and it has been working very well as we’ve gone 3-1 on those parlays over the last two events. We will continue that trend at Fight Night 35 where we will stick to our two straight bets given out in our main card predictions and bets article. The start time for this event is back to a more normal 4pm ET on Fight Pass, with the prelims beginning at 5pm ET and the main card kicking off at 7pm ET. Both the prelims and main card will be on the UFC’s new broadcast partner, Fox Sports 1. By the way, if you haven’t checked out Reed Kuhn’s Fightnomics it is a must read for any UFC fan, or anyone interested in betting on UFC fights.
Our final model prediction is the main event of the prelims. In the lightweight division, Ramsey Nijem and Justin Edwards will do battle. Our model has Nijem as an overwhelming favourite to take the victory next Wednesday night. A quick look at the stats shows why. Nijem lands 3.02 strikes per minute while Edwards lands 2.52…not a huge difference, but it is notable. Where Nijem has the big advantage is in strikes absorbed. He absorbs 1.34 per minute while Edwards absorbs a pretty high 3.03. Edwards also only defends 39% of the strikes attempted against while Nijem defends 65%. In terms of grappling, Nijem lands 5.53 takedowns per fight while Edwards lands 2.86. Nijem lands 53% of the takedowns he goes for and defends just 20%. Edwards lands just 24% of his takedowns and defends only 27%. We expect Nijem will take Edwards down and attempt to remain on top for most of the fight. Nijem should take an easy decision. We placed a 3 unit bet on Nijem at 1.70 to 1.
In addition to the model picks, we have decided to add a couple parlays pairing together favourites. Firstly, we think its crazy that Charlie Brenneman is 1.60 to 1 in his UFC return when he’s facing the very unproven and untested Beneil Dariush. We expect Brenneman to absolutely smash Dariush who has 6 wins over the likes of the 1-4 Gilberto Dos Santos, the 12-12 Jason Meaders and the 1-2 Vance Bejarano. Not only does he have weak opponents, but Dariush is making his UFC debut so the jitters could play a factor. Parlayed with Brenneman will be TJ Dillashaw who will be taking on Mike Easton. We spoke about how our model had Dillashaw heavily favoured and we think pairing him with Brenneman will lead to payoff the vast majority of the time. Dillashaw is 4-2 since entering the UFC at the end of TUF 14 and his latest loss was a close split decision loss to Raphael Assuncao. Easton is 3-2 in UFC competition losing his last 2 to Assuncao and Pickett. We placed a 2 unit bet on Brenneman and Dillashaw to defeat Beneil Dariush and Mike Easton at 2.16 to 1.
Our final bet of the card is also a parlay. Firstly, Alptekin Ozkilic will be taking on Louis Smolka. Alp entered the UFC at UFC on Fox 9 and defeated veteran Darren Uyenoyama (yes he’s a flyweight veteran after only 3 fights). Smolka has faced a much better level of competition than many debuting UFC fighters, but he still hasn’t faced anyone who is nearly at the UFC level. In addition, the UFC jitters could play a factor. We expect Ozkilic to take a relatively easy decision, but anything can happen in the fast paced flyweight division. For the parlay here, we like the former flyweight title contender, John Moraga to defeat Dustin Ortiz. Ortiz looked good in his UFC debut TKOing Jose Tome in the third round of their fight in Brazil. We do feel though, that Moraga is the superior fighter and will win the fight the vast majority of the time. In addition, the line on Moraga has been sliding higher as bettors jump on Ortiz. We placed a 2 unit bet on Moraga and Ozkilic to defeat Ortiz and Smolka at 1.84 to 1.
Over 2.5 rounds Tavares vs Larkin. 3 units at 1.58 to 1
Brunson over Romero. 3 units at 3.37 to 1
Nijem over Edwards. 3 units at 1.70 to 1
Brenneman and Dillashaw over Dariush and Easton. 2 units at 2.16 to 1
Ozkilic and Moraga over Smolka and Ortiz. 2 units at 1.84 to 1
For the latest tips and bets, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For the latest UFC fight odds go to http://www.bestfightodds.com. After UFC Fight Night 35, there will be UFC on Fox 10: Henderson vs Thomson on Saturday, January 25 and UFC 169: Faber vs Barao which will be on Saturday, February 1.