MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 65

MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 65

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, with a heavyweight bout headlining the card, as Derrick Lewis takes on Sergey Spivac.

Below I'll share my favorite play, an underdog, a prop and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.

Weight Class: Bantamweight

Ricky Turcios (11-3) vs. Kevin Natividad (9-3)

On the prelims, Ricky Turcios makes the walk to the Octagon after losing his UFC debut by decision in disappointing fashion. The TUF winner didn't throw much volume, which is the reason why he lost to Aiemann Zahabi, but he now gets a favorable matchup in Kevin Natividad.

Natividad is 0-2 in the UFC and has been knocked out in both fights, as his striking defense and chin is a concern. Although Turcios is not a power puncher, he still can find the KO shot. This is more of a fade on Natividad, who lands just 2.63 significant strikes per minute.

Turcios should be above -200, but given his last performance, he is way down in the eyes of the fans, which is why I like him in this spot.

UFC Vegas 65 Best Bet: Ricky Turcios (-155)

Weight Class: Heavyweight

Derrick Lewis (26-10) vs. Sergey Spivac (15-3)

In the main event, Derrick Lewis looks to get back in the win column, and I like him as the underdog against Sergey Spivac.

There is no question Lewis has likely lost a step, as he's dropped his last two and three of his last four, getting knocked out in each of those three defeats. Spivac is not a power puncher, however, and although he has solid grappling, it is hard to get Lewis down and even harder to keep him down.

We saw Lewis stuff the takedowns of Curtis Blaydes and eventually KO him, while he was able to get back to his feet against Aleksei Oleinik. On the feet, we have seen Spivac be knocked out early by Walt Harris and Tom Aspinall. Over the course of five rounds, Lewis just needs to land one shot, which I expect him to get.

UFC Vegas 65 Best Bet: Derrick Lewis (+165)

Weight Class: Flyweight

Charles Johnson (11-3) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (14-7)

Charles Johnson is set for his second UFC fight when he takes on Zhalgas Zhumagulov on the prelims, and I like Johnson to win by decision.

Zhumagulov hasn't had a ton of success in the UFC, as he's on a two-fight losing skid and has lost four of five fights with his lone win against Jerome Rivera, who isn't in the UFC anymore. Johnson, meanwhile, is the former LFA flyweight champion and lost his debut to Muhammad Mokaev by decision.

This is a close fight, but I like Johnson as the better overall fighter. Zhumagulov is also hard to finish, so take Johnson by decision. It's a plus-money bet, which is the better way to attack this fight.

UFC Vegas 65 Best Bet: Charles Johnson by decision (+150)

Weight Class: Welterweight & Heavyweight

Jack Della Maddalena (12-2) vs. Danny Roberts (18-6)
Waldo Cortes-Acosta (8-0) vs. Chase Sherman (16-10)

For my parlay, I'm taking Jack Della Maddalena and Waldo Cortes-Acosta to get their hands raised.

Della Maddalena looks like a future star and top contender, as he's 2-0 in the UFC with two finishes, and his first-round TKO win over Ramazan Emeev was impressive. He is so explosive on the feet, as he's landing 8.24 significant strikes per 15 minutes while Roberts is absorbing 3.32. I like Della Maddalena to get another stoppage win here, as I actually think this is a step-down for the Aussie.

In the other leg, I'm taking Waldo Cortes-Acosta to beat Chase Sherman in a short-notice fight. Sherman was supposed to face Josh Parisian, but on the day of the fight, it was called off. Cortes-Acosta, meanwhile, won his debut October 29, and he showed he is a great striker, as I expect him to just outland Sherman to likely win a decision.

UFC Vegas 65 Best Bet: Jack Della Maddalena & Waldo Cortes-Acosta parlay (-130)

 

UFC Vegas 65 Best Bets:

Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC Vegas 64 event:

For up-to-date information on the latest odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the UFC odds page on RotoWire.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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