This week the UFC is headed to Orlando for a very deep UFC on Fox card. It’s not the biggest main event with Emmett vs Stephens at the top of the card, but looking down the card this is one of the deepest cards I’ve seen from the UFC in a long time. I’d say there are 8 or 9 fairly big fights on this card where casual fans would even know the fighters.
It’s an early UFC on Fox card as well, which I love. The early fight pass prelims begin at 4pm EST, followed by the prelims at 6pm and the main card at 8pm EST. The entire card will be finished by 10pm EST.
I went 3 for 3 with last weeks Austin event, so hopefully I can keep the hot streak going this week.
All of the odds are taken from BetOnline.ag, our top rated betting site for MMA. Here’s our full BetOnline review for you to check out if you’re interested in opening an account and placing some bets.
Josh Emmett vs Jeremy Stephens
This is not a good match-up for Jeremy Stephens. He’s looked very good in his recent two wins over Gilbert Melendez and Dooho Choi, but both of those guys are stand-up fighters, who he was able to pick apart on the feet. I’d also argue that Melendez would get beaten by the majority of guys in the UFC at this point in his career and Choi was over-hyped and not enough people admitted to the glaring holes in his game after the Cub Swanson war.
Now, instead of a stand-up fighter with a big name, Stephens is facing a power wrestler with a big overhand out of Team Alpha Male. There are a lot of question marks surrounding Emmett as well, especially considering his only big win in the UFC was over Ricardo Lamas, who has also had a ton of trouble against Team Alpha Male fighters his entire career. That said, I do think that Emmett is the real deal and his style is perfect to beat Stephens.
Stephens has a weak 64% takedown defense in his career and in his recent losses to Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar he was taken down with relative ease by both guys. I think Emmett will have no trouble getting this fight to the mat and grinding out rounds. I also think that Emmett has the bigger punching power in this contest and has a greater chance to finish the fight.
Whichever way you slice it, I think Emmett has the paths to victory. Stephens will try to stay at range and throw leg kicks to slow Emmett down, but Emmett just seems like a freak athlete who should be able to get this fight where he wants it. This is a great dog play and a chance to fade Stephens who is overrated after his last two wins.
Play: Emmett +134
Jessica Andrade vs Tecia Torres
This is a very tough fight for me to call, but I think it’s a dog or pass spot. Torres is always overlooked, but she is without a doubt one of the top fighters in the strawweight division. She’s now 6-1 in her UFC career and her only loss was a razor close decision loss to the current champ, Rose Namajunas.
That said, Andrade is a beast at 115 pounds as well. She completely destroyed Claudia Gadelha in her last fight and has only lost to former champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk at strawweight.
The reason I like Torres in this fight, is her footwork. I think she will be able to get in and out decently well against Andrade. It was the footwork and striking that allowed Joanna to tee off on Andrade over five rounds in their title fight and Torres also has great footwork and counter striking against a fighter like Andrade who is going to march forward. That said, Torres has far less reach than Joanna, so I’m not sure the strategy will work quite as well for her because she will need to close more distance, but she has the ability to spot up and throw and then get out of danger.
This is an absolutely great fight and I think there might be a small amount of value on Torres in this spot.
Play: Torres +245
Ilir Latifi vs Ovince Saint Preux
Saint Preux is an enigma. He’s now won 3 fights in a row, all by finish, so his stock his high. That said, I can never trust this guy. He does only lose to the very best in the light heavyweight division, so it really comes down to whether I think Latifi is among those elite.
Latifi put together an impressive performance to win a decision over Tyson Pedro in his last fight, and it’s this fight that makes me think he has a good shot to beat Saint Preux. If Latifi can close the distance and grind Saint Preux against the cage and work for takedowns I think he will be able to get this fight to the mat where he has the size and ability to keep top position and do a bit of damage while winning rounds.
I see Saint Preux as a similar opponent to Tyson Pedro, and I think a similar game plan should get the job done for Latifi on Saturday.
Play: Latifi +102
Mike Perry vs Max Griffin
I don’t think Perry should be this big of a favorite in this fight, but I do think he’s going to win so he’s my lean here. Griffin has knockout power, but he’s only 1-2 in the UFC and that win came over a very weak opponent in Erik Montano. He’s a dangerous guy, but I think he will need to get the knockout to win this fight and I don’t see it happening.
Mike Perry has an iron chin and he throws his punches to finish fights. Griffin was knocked out by Colby Covington in his first UFC fight and he gets hit often. It will only take one vicious shot from Perry and this fight will be over.
Play: Perry -333