This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
The UFC remains at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 70 on Saturday, February 25. In the main event, ranked light heavyweights collide, as Nikita Krylov takes on Ryan Spann.
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: Women's Bantamweight
Hailey Cowan (7-2) vs. Ailin Perez (7-2)
Hailey Cowan is set to make her UFC debut in an intriguing matchup, and the 31-year-old is someone I have been high on for quite some time. Early on in her career, she was fighting at 125lbs which was clearly not her weight class. Since moving up to 135lbs, she has had success.
Perez, meanwhile, lost her debut by submission to Stephanie Egger, and her ground game is a weak point of her skill set. Neither Cowan nor Perez throws much volume on the feet, as both of their striking leave a lot to be desired.
However, I expect Cowan to use her wrestling and strength advantage to get Perez down and be able to control her on the ground and win the rounds. If she can't get a late stoppage, Cowan will be able to cruise to a decision win.
UFC Vegas 70 Best Bet: Hailey Cowan (-125)
Weight Class: Women's Flyweight
Jasmine Jasudavicius (7-2) vs. Gabriella Fernandes (8-1)
Jasmine Jasudavicius was supposed to be fighting Cortney Casey on this card, but Casey pulled out and was replaced by UFC newcomer Gabriella Fernandes. I'm surprised the Canadian is the betting underdog.
Jasudavicius is 1-1 in the UFC and was upset by Natalia Silva, but after her last performance, that wasn't a bad loss in hindsight. The Canadian is a solid striker, as she uses her jab effectively to find the range and then comes with the power shots. She also has wrestling in her back pocket but typically uses it more for anti-wrestling to keep it standing.
Fernandes, meanwhile, hasn't fought very good competition and does look to get the fights to the ground to get a submission. Yet, Jasudavicius has good takedown defense, and I expect her to keep it standing and land the better shots on the feet to win a decision.
UFC Vegas 70 Best Bet: Jasmine Jasudavicius (+110)
Weight Class: Welterweight
Mike Malott (8-1) vs. Yohan Lainesse (9-1)
Mike Malott vs. Yohan Lainesse is a strange matchup given both are Canadian and they have trained with one another and consider each other friends. Yet, they are matched up against one another, and I like Malott to win this one by stoppage.
Malott was once a top featherweight prospect in Canada and lost to Hakeem Dawodu in WSOF. However, it was tough to get him fights on the regional scene, and after a draw after the loss to Dawdou, he took two years off and then scored a 36-second KO win at 155lbs. However, after the win, he went back to coaching at Team Alpha Male and built up his frame to welterweight. When he returned, he made quick work of Solomon Renfro in CFFC, got a first-round submission on the Contender Series, and then picked up a first-round KO over Mickey Gall in his debut.
Lainesse, meanwhile, is extremely dangerous early on, but the problem is his gas tank, as he tends to fade as the fights goes on. I like Malott to land the better shots and either get a knockout win or drop Lainesse and submit him, but Malott inside the distance is the way to attack this fight.
UFC Vegas 70 Best Bet: Mike Malott ITD (-120)
Weight Classes: Lightweight & Women's Flyweight
Nurullo Aliev (8-0) vs. Rafael Alves (20-11)
Tatiana Suarez (8-0) vs. Montana De La Rosa (12-7-1)
This card isn't the best for parlays, but one way to do it is to take a favorite around -200, which Aliev is as he's at -180, and pair them with Suarez, who's above -700. It just takes Aliev to a more reasonable price of -132.
Aliev is making his UFC debut and has some hype behind him, while Alves has fought nothing but killers in the UFC. However, the problem with Alves is his cardio, as he has about five to seven minutes of cardio. The first round will be tough, but I do think Aliev will get a second or third-round TKO, similar to what Drew Dober did to Alves.
The second leg is the return of Tatiana Suarez, who has not fought since June of 2019 and beat Nina Nunes last time out. She was competing at 115lbs and was running through the competition, as she even has stoppage wins over Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso. Her momentum was derailed by injuries, but she is finally set to return up a weight class and gets a very favorable matchup in Montana De La Rosa.
We saw De La Rosa be outmuscled and pushed up against the fence by Maycee Barber, and Suarez is the better grappler and is insanely strong. I expect Suarez to get De La Rosa down early and finish her in the first or second round. Suarez could be fighting for the strawweight or flyweight belt by the end of this year -- that is how good she is.
UFC Vegas 70 Best Bet: Nurullo Aliev & Tatiana Suarez parlay (-132)
UFC Vegas 70 Best Bets
Here is a recap of my best bets for this weekend's UFC Vegas 70 event:
- Hailey Cowan (-125)
- Jasmine Jasudavicius (+110)
- Mike Malott ITD (-120)
- Nurullo Aliev & Tatiana Suarez parlay (-132)
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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