The UFC returns to our TV screens this Saturday, and we’re straight back to our handicapping journey in 2024, which begins with a UFC Vegas 84 event that’s stacked with talent from top to bottom.
Let’s waste no more time and dive into the UFC odds to find the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 84 main card.
- Manel Kape ML (-275)
- Jim Miller ML (-138)
UFC Vegas Flyweight Co-Main Event Bout
Saturday, January 13, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex
The fighting pride of Portugal, Manel Kape, is one or two fights shy of becoming a No.1 contender for the flyweight championship. His only two losses in the promotion were incredibly close decision bouts, including one loss to the current champ, Alexandre Pantoja, and his weekend opponent, Matheus Nicolau.
He’s currently riding a four-fight win streak, and despite losing the first meeting to Nicolau in 2021, the split decision result could have gone either way, and his ability to keep the fight standing for periods of said contest could be a sign of what’s to come this weekend after his overall MMA game has improved.
- Manel Kape Pro MMA Record: 19-6-0
- Manel Kape KOs: 11
- Manel Kape Submissions: 5
For Nicolau, he’ll be confident entering Saturday’s Vegas event; he’s already defeated Kape, after all. However, a recent round-one knockout loss to Brandon Royval should be a concern, especially when faced with Kape’s striking offensive, arguably the best in the 125-pound division.
- Mateus Nicolau Pro MMA Record: 19-3-1
- Mateus Nicolau KOs: 5
- Mateus Nicolau Submissions: 5
Nicolau vs. Kape II: Fight Tape Analysis
Given the outcome of their initial encounter, it should be rather straightforward to anticipate the game plan of both individuals. Kape will prioritize maintaining a standing position in the bout and wants to secure a victory over Nicolau through his striking arsenal. Conversely, the Brazilian fighter will seek to execute takedowns on ‘Starboy’ and maintain control on the ground.
Therefore, the issue arises as to which individual possesses a greater ability to execute the aforementioned strategy compared to the other.
Considering Kape’s previous ability to endure on the ground, there is no justification for his inability to do so in this situation. Furthermore, considering Nicolau’s recent defeat by knockout in his previous fight, his ability to withstand punches may have been compromised, and he may also be hesitant to engage in exchanges, unlike his last performance.
UFC Vegas Main Card Odds & Prediction
Overall, the outcome of this match is uncertain, and it will probably be as closely contested as their initial encounter. Nevertheless, considering the subsequent events, it is more probable that Kape will have a little advantage in this situation, and he’s the rightful favorite behind such a domineering standing offense.
UFC Pick: Manel Kape ML (-275) [1u returns 2.15u profit] at Bet365
UFC Vegas 84 Lightweight Main Card Bout
Saturday, January 13, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex
Miller now holds the record for the highest number of matches and victories in the history of UFC. He enters this fight to build on his last knockout win against Jesse Butler in June and to secure his participation in UFC 300.
The 40-year-old fighter emerged victorious in four out of his previous five matches, ending in stoppages. This consistent performance demonstrates his ongoing potential and value within the Octagon, and bettors shouldn’t be fooled by his age; this legend is always live for a win!
- Jim Miller Pro MMA Record: 36-17-0
- Jim Miller KOs: 7
- Jim Miller Submissions: 19
After moving between several weight categories, Benitez permanently returned to the lightweight category in his most recent fight. He defeated Charlie Ontiveros in the first round of their match in San Diego two summers ago.
Originally slated to compete against Miller last February, he was compelled to withdraw. Now, he is making his comeback and will be facing off against Miller at this next event.
- Gabriel Benitez Pro MMA Record: 23-10-0
- Gabriel Benitez KOs: 9
- Gabriel Benitez Submissions: 10
Miller vs. Benitez: Fight Tape Analysis
The reason behind Miller’s continued success in the cage after 15 years remains uncertain, but it is noteworthy that he has emerged victorious in four out of his past five battles. In his most recent bout against Jesse Butler, he achieved one of the fastest knockouts of 2023.
Is he capable of defeating Benitez? ‘Moggly’ has had a presence for almost ten years, and although he hasn’t achieved the same level of success as Miller, he has consistently proven himself to be a competent fighter.
Regrettably for the Mexican, the problem lies in the fact that while being younger and more energetic than his opponent, he does not possess superiority over Miller in any particular aspect of MMA. Furthermore, he has suffered three knockouts in his most recent six fights, indicating a potential vulnerability in his ability to withstand punches.
UFC Vegas 84 Main Card Odds & Prediction
In general, Miller continues to be difficult to defeat, and it is challenging to envision Benitez wearing him out. With the more complete skillset, backing Miller on the money line, despite his age, is an excellent price for a fighter with such an extensive period of competing at the highest level.
UFC Pick: Jim Miller ML (-138) [1.38u returns 1u profit] at Bet365
*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.