UFC 281 Betting Picks and Predictions
Its been a while. Almost two months since the last blog was posted here. We've been busy, and focusing on growing our YouTube channel and our Spotify page. (If you haven't subscribed yet, please do.) The team does plan on returning to this site regularly, so keep checking it for betting picks.
With an event like tomorrow's star-studded UFC card, I felt compelled to give my favorite picks here, but you can Tom's (@pickinfightsTom), our guest Marcellus Wallace's, and my full slate of picks on this week's episode of Pickin Fights.
You can also listen to this weeks episode on Spotify, if you can't watch the full episode, by following this link:
With that being said, my favorite bets for UFC 281.
Erin Blanchfield vs Molly McCann
Fan favorite Molly McCann takes on young, talented prospect Erin Blanchfield on the prelims tomorrow. I'm a major fan of both of these women. Most casual fans are familiar with Meatball McCann's spinning elbow KO's from the UFC UK cards at this point.
Not as many fans are familiar with Erin Blanchfield and her prowess on the ground.
Its pretty obvious that Vegas has little faith in Molly McCann to get it done tomorrow, based on Blanchfield being a -500 favorite and soaring. The money has been coming in on her. McCann's last two opponents were set up for her to win- sub par fighters in front of a friendly home crowd, alongside her friend Paddy Pimblett. Erin knows to look for the spinning elbow that Molly has practically patented at this point. Erin is a great jiu jitsu player and has the skills to maintain ground control against Molly, or lock up a limb. There are two good bets to make here: Erin Blanchfield by decision -115 (safer, most likely) and Erin Blanchfield by submission +420 (riskier, much larger payout.)
If you're feeling extremely ballsy, take Molly McCann by 1st round KO +2800. I threw a little there just in case.
Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler
I'm a huge "Iron" Mike Chandler fan, so there's slight bias going into this pick. Who isn't a Mike Chandler fan at this point, though?
If you're unfamiliar with the savage that is Mike Chandler, watch the video above. He's one of the most brutal, explosive, and entertaining fighters on the roster. He takes on Dustin Poirier, who reached household name status after beating Conor McGregor twice last year. He is an incredible boxer with tactical and precise combinations.
Chandler could elect to stand and scrap with Dustin. He has the chin to absorb some of Dustin's shots, as well as the power to deal nasty damage in return. He was also an accomplished D1 wrestler, so if I had my way, Chandler would stand with Dustin until things got uncomfortable for him and then shoot a takedown. Either way, I see multiple paths to victory for Chandler between a potential KO, or decision (maybe even a submission, but that's not really his forte, despite Dustin giving his back- then neck- up to good wrestlers.) I'm absolutely taking Michael Chandler +175. It isn't the bet I'm most confident in- Dustin does show up, but for the odds I'm all in.
Weili Zhang vs Carla Esparza
I don't think theres a lot to break down about this fight because Weili Zhang is a -430 favorite with a solid resume. Just in case you don't know her, here's her most recent fight:
Weili vs Joanna 2 was an ABSOLUTE BANGER.
Weili Zhang is vicious. If she can stuff Carla Esparza's takedowns, pressure her on her feet, and land nice shots to her chin, she can end the night early. I'm taking Weili Zhang by KO at +125. Bargain line considering her moneyline is -430.
Alex Perriera vs Israel Adesanya
If there was one lesson to be learned from Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman earlier this year, it is that anyone can be beat. Izzy looks unbeatable when in the octagon against his last few opponents. Tomorrow, he faces a man in Alex Perriera that beat him twice in kickboxing before they made the jump to MMA.
Adesanya's last few opponents didn't have the range, skill, or guts to bring the fight to him. He stood at range and landed leg kicks. BORING! Alex Perriera matches with him in size skill and power, and he's clearly not afraid, having stood in a ring with Izzy twice and won both times. Expect him to pursue Izzy, unlike his last few opponents, and land heavy shots like his mean left hook. Sure, Izzy could decide to take Perriera down because he's got more MMA experience, but he's a kickboxer at heart. Not to mention, that could be unwise because Perriera has been training in Conneticut with the ever-noble BJJ blackbelt Glover Texiera. The coaches at City Kickboxing said on The MMA Hour that Izzy was unmotivated and cocky to begin his camp for this fight, similar to what we saw from Kamaru Usman his last go around. Izzy is in for a very different fight than his last few, against a much tougher opponent than he's faced in a long time.
Alex Perriera at +180 is my pick for the main event.
My parlay for this weekend is both underdog picks. Mike Chandler +175 and Alex Perriera +180. Totals to about +670.
Bet responsibly. You can find me on Twitter @pickinkeith.