UFC Fight Night 53: Nelson vs Story will be the first of two events going down this weekend. It will be live from Stockholm, Sweden and we’ll have you covered with a few free betting tips for the event as well as at least 1 paid betting tip. Our paid tips will be available from Sellfy likely Thursday night. Since we have 2 relatively minor UFC events this weekend, our paid tips for the two events will be sold as a single package. In terms of our recent performance, we had a couple bad events, but overall, our bets have been solid and we are still up over 50 units in 2014! Keep in mind, in sports betting it’s always the long run that counts. Nobody will be able to make money every single event.
In the main event, Gunnar Nelson and Rick Story will fight in a welterweight battle. For the undefeated Nelson, Saturday will mark his fifth Octagon appearance. At a relatively young 26 years of age, it is a safe assumption that he will continue to improve with each fight. Rick Story is still relatively young in the fight game at 30 years old, but his record isn’t quite as unblemished. Early in his UFC career he did manage to win 6 straight, but since then he has looked like a middle of the pack fighter going 4-5 in his last 9. Heading into his last fight with Leandro Mafra, many people felt he was on a steep decline. Mafra wasn’t exactly great competition, so Story didn’t prove too much with the second round submission victory. We see this fight playing out most of the time as Nelson getting a takedown against the cage and eventually locking up a submission. Because of that, we added Nelson to a parlay with our pick below.
In the second fight of the main card, light heavyweights Ilir Latifi and Jan Blachowicz will duke it out. Since stepping up to face Gegard Mousasi in a main event on short notice in April, 2013, Latifi has been given a relatively easy path in the UFC. Chances are, he will pick up his third straight win in the UFC against the debuting Blachowicz on Saturday. Blachowicz hasn’t been fighting a completely awful level of competition (he did pick up wins over Houston Alexander and Sokoudjou), but most of the guys he’s fighting have been on the downside of their careers. Latifi should be able to use his height disadvantage to get under Blachowicz and get takedowns. The main threat obviously is that Blachowicz uses his reach advantage to keep Latifi at distance. That being said, we do think the value is in the favourite, Latifi so we placed a 3 unit bet on Latifi and Nelson in a parlay at 1.82 (-123) at 5Dimes.
Our second free bet of the event will be Cathal Pendred to defeat Gasan Umalatov. Pendred is the deserved favourite in this fight. He is currently 14-2-1 overall and debuted with an impressive second round sub over Mike King in July. His opponent, Umalatov actually has the UFC experience edge, going 1-1 with a loss to Neil Magny and a win over Paulo Thiago. We expect Pendred to be the better of the two on Saturday which is why we placed a 3 unit bet on Pendred at 1.71 (-140) at BetOnline.
Thanks for reading through our free picks for the early card on Saturday! Remember, our full betting tips for both UFC Fight Night 53 and UFC Fight Night 54 will be available on our Sellfy page either tomorrow or Friday night! Good luck with all your bets and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest!