The UFC returns to Vegas this Saturday, and we’ll witness a style of clashes in the main event as striking purist Rafael Fiziev takes on the freestyle wrestling skillset of Mateusz Gamrot.
Bidding featherweight contenders Bryce Mitchell and Dan Ige exchange leather in the co-main event, both of whom are vying for their position as top-ranked competitors in the division.
Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 79 main and co-main event.
Top UFC Vega 79 Picks
UFC Vegas 79 Lightweight Main Event Bout
Saturday, September 23, 2023 – 08:00 PM EDT at UFC Apex
Rafael Fiziev (12-2-0 pro-MMA) has been a delight to follow during his UFC tenure thus far. In the 80% success rate he’s garnered to date, a freakishly strong physique paired with an elite level of striking have been two of the primary components assisting him into the win column.
Poland’s Mateusz Gamrot (22-2-0) is an accomplished mixed martial artist who’s won 18 of his previous 20 pro-MMA bouts.
Winning five of his last six UFC bouts has put the former two-division KSW champion on the brink of the UFC lightweight division’s top-five rankings, and a victory this weekend would instantly throw him into the title picture.
Fiziev vs. Gamrot: Fight Tape Analysis
Following Bruce Buffer’s epic announcement of this weekend’s main event, a classic striker versus grappler matchup will ensue. Fiziev will be headhunting from the onset, while Gamrot will undoubtedly plan to win this contest via a wrestling game plan.
Fiziev has proved himself versus wrestling offenses in the past, but none of those opponents presented a decorated history in the discipline as Gamrot does.
Furthermore, Fiziev’s cardio is an untrusting factor across five rounds, as we’ve seen him slow down in the latter stages of a fight on multiple occasions.
UFC Vegas 79 Main Event Odds & Prediction
The top sportsbooks believe Fiziev is the rightful favorite, but we aren’t focussing on the moneyline offerings in this Saturday’s main event. Instead, I see betting value in this fight going the distance.
Fiziev has been stopped inside the distance in just 1 of his 14 pro-MMA bouts, while Gamrot’s never been finished by KO/TKO or submission in 24 contests to date.
I expect the wrestling offense of Gamrot to keep the pace of this contest lethargic while simultaneously lowering the biggest threat of a stoppage in this bout, which is Fiziev’s power.
UFC Pick: Fight Goes the Distance/Yes (+100) at Bet365 [1u returns 1u profit]
UFC Vegas 79 Featherweight Co-Main Event Bout
Saturday, September 23, 2023 – 08:25 PM EDT at UFC Apex
Regarding striker versus grappler matchups, Bryce Mitchell (15-1-0) is 6-0 in the UFC. And his lone loss in the octagon was against an incredibly talented grappler and future title challenger in Ilia Topuria.
Before Topuria, nobody had a wrestling/grappling skillset elite enough to stop Mitchell from dominating on the ground, and he’ll enter this weekend’s co-main event as the rightful betting favorite once again.
Dan Ige (17-6-0) is often regarded as one of the best offensive strikers at 145 lbs, and who am I to argue? However, with a 9-5 UFC record, there are a few common themes amongst his losses, and that’s how most of those opponents have been strong grapplers or strikers with a bigger frame.
Mitchell vs. Ige: Fight Tape Analysis
A two-fight win streak, including a vicious left hook stoppage, gives Ige a level of momentum that should be recognized. He’s renowned for his offensive striking and is no slouch in the grappling department, but when it comes to defensive wrestling, he’ll unlikely have the tools to prevent Mitchell.
With just one loss from seven UFC bouts to date, Mitchell is relentless in his wrestling approach and will spam takedowns to all comers. Furthermore, he’s never faltered to a KO/TKO loss during his pro career, and a smothering top control on the ground will quickly drain the knockout potential of the striking-based fighters that face him.
UFC Vegas 79 Co-Main Event Odds & Prediction
The UFC odds have placed Mitchell as the betting favorite, despite coming off his first-ever pro-career loss to face a two-fight win streak of Ige.
Why? Because nine times out of ten, the strong wrestler will always triumph over a striking-based opponent, and in this matchup, I expect the cliché wrestling dominance to play out.
UFC Pick: Bryce Mitchell ML (-200) at Bet365 [2u returns 1u profit]