We’re back at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas for another Fight Night, and I’ve covered all your betting needs for an event stacked with prosperous wagering positions.
Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 81 preliminary card.
- Terrance McKinney (-500)
- TJ Brown (-180)
UFC Vegas 81 Lightweight Bout
Saturday, September 14, 2023 – 08:05 PM EDT at UFC Apex
You can’t get rid of Terrance McKinney (14-6-0, pro-MMA). Sun or rain, night or day, this kid has shown an immense desire to compete since joining the promotion in 2021, with seven fights behind a 4-3 record.
Having fought and dominated the opposition in August, it’s no surprise that McKinney is back in the octagon just two months out. He’ll welcome another UFC newcomer; historically, this level of opposition has been a cakewalk.
We must tip our hats to Brendon Marotte (8-1-0, pro-MMA); a full fight camp and advanced notice as a UFC debutant is difficult enough, but he’s accepted this contest on short notice versus a nightmare of a matchup in McKinney.
McKinney vs. Marotte: Fight Tape Analysis
The newcomer has displayed a relentless KO/TKO streak on the regional scene, but the inconsistencies with his striking fundamentals could be disastrous at this level. Furthermore, the red flags are waving high from a defensive wrestling standpoint.
There’s no need to complicate this; McKinney excels over the debutant in every aspect of MMA. That’s no shade on Marotte, but he just hasn’t learned the valuable lessons as his opponent, and this bout has the potential of being the most lopsided victory of UFC Vegas 81.
UFC Vegas 81 Main Event Odds & Prediction
The top online sportsbooks have, unsurprisingly, placed McKinney with the largest moneyline odds of UFC Vegas 81.
The line for McKinney to win inside the distance (KO/TKO or Sub) is yet to be released, so we’re tipping the ML for this article. However, once the ITD prop becomes available, it’s a solid betting position that I have complete confidence in cashing.
McKinney ITD: Supporting Facts
- Marotte will debut for the UFC on short notice.
- McKinney has finished all 14 of his pro-MMA wins inside the distance (ITD).
- McKinney starched an inexperienced debutant in RD 1 last time out.
UFC Pick: Terrance McKinney (-500) at Bet365 [5u returns 1u profit] (Bet McKinney to win inside the distance once the odds are available.)
UFC Vegas 81 Featherweight Bout
Saturday, September 14, 2023 – 09:05 PM EDT at UFC Apex
Darren Elkins (27-11-1 pro-MMA) is a warrior. Aged 39, this man has been through the wringer, yet he still manages to make the octagon walk and compete against the world’s best. However, six losses from his previous nine bouts isn’t a good sign, and the longevity factor will undoubtedly begin to affect his upsides.
TJ Brown (17-10-0) hasn’t been the most impressive UFC competitor (3-4) since joining the promotion in 2020, but this weekend’s opponent is a winnable moment.
Elkins vs. Brown: Fight Tape Analysis
TJ Brown most recently lost to Bill Algeo, but he took the fight to him, which was commendable. In a side-to-side comparison with Elkins, giving the aging veteran much chance of victory is difficult.
Speed kills, and Elkins is slow and plodding in the striking realm. He’s one of the slowest featherweights I’ve ever watched compete.
Without a successful chain-wrestling game plan, Elkins is screwed. Brown has excellent jiu-jitsu and isn’t going to be taken down easily, so this fight is his to lose.
UFC Vegas 81 Main Event Odds & Prediction
The UFC odds have placed a shocking -180 price tag on TJ Brown; I was genuinely expecting a -250 to -300 line.
With that said, you should already know our approach here. Striking output, speed, power, age, jiu-jitsu, and career trajectory clearly side with the favorite, and the -180 odds could look like a -500 by the time this fight has concluded.
TJ Brown Moneyline: Supporting Facts
- Elkins is 39 years old with declining durability.
- Elkins gets cut in almost every pro-MMA bout.
- Elkins is the slowest, most lethargic fighter in the FW division.
UFC Pick: TJ Brown (-180) at Bet365 [1.40u returns 1u profit]
The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.