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BETTING

UFC Vegas 91 Preliminary Card Best Bets: Backing the Underdog

Don'tale Mayes v Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira UFC
Don'Tale Mayes of the United States enters the arena prior to his fight against Rodrigo Nascimento Ferreira of Brazil in their Heavyweight bout during UFC Fight Night. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

The UFC returns to Sin City this weekend, and we’re covering all your betting needs for an Apex fight card stacked with betting value from top to bottom.

Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the UFC odds board to find the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 91 preliminary card bouts.

Picks Summary

  • Mayes ML (+100)
  • Petrovich-Liang Over 1½ Rounds (-130)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Don’Tale Mayes vs. Caio Machado

UFC Vegas 91 Heavyweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, April 27, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex


Don’Tale Mayes

Behind a 3-4 UFC record, Don’Tale Mayes’ tenure within the big leagues hasn’t been desirable, to say the least. However, he has fought considerably more opposition than his weekend opponent, and his one kryptonite, takedown defense, is one of his only glaring issues.

  • Mayes Pro Record: 10-6
  • Mayes KO/TKO Wins: 4
  • Mayes Submission Wins: 3

Caio Machado

Outside of his UFC loss to Mick Parkin, Caio Machado’s professional career has involved almost 100% of low-tier fighters; honestly, it’s a padded record filled with cans. He didn’t perform horribly in his UFC debut, but there wasn’t much to run home about.

  • Machado Pro Record: 8-2-1
  • Machado KO/TKO Wins: 4
  • Machado Submission Wins: 2

Mayes vs. Machado: Fight Tape Analysis

It’s surprising to see Mayes enter as the underdog, especially when his primary weakness (takedown defense) isn’t his opponent’s strength. In fact, don’t be surprised if Mayes initiates the wrestling situations because Machado wants to engage in a striking war in all of his contests, and we shouldn’t expect this to alter on Saturday.

There’s a clear path to victory for Mayes, and it’s to emulate Parkin’s wrestling success, which saw Machado struggle to score points. Without 15 minutes of striking exchanges or a knockout for Machado, I struggle to envision him finding a route to victory.

UFC Vegas 91 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

On the feet, we’ve seen a nice long jab and a switching of stances from Mayes, and in the fights where he hasn’t been wrestled and controlled from the top position, he’s looked a lot more impressive. Machado isn’t a wrestler and is susceptible to takedowns himself. Mayes has the skills to handle himself on the feet, thus making this bout a dog or pass situation. Fortunately, the underdog money is on our side.

UFC Pick: Mayes ML (+100) [1u returns 1u profit] at Bet365


Ivana Petrovic vs. Liang Na

UFC Vegas 91 Women’s Flyweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, April 27, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex


Ivana Petrovic

Ivana Petrovic looked impressive during her regional scene stint for Ares FC, but the reality of high-level competition hit when she faced Luana Carolina last time out. Losing her UFC debut, however, could be envisioned as a learning curve, although this certainly doesn’t warrant the -450 price tag.

  • Petrovic Pro Record: 6-1
  • Petrovic KO/TKO Wins: 3
  • Petrovic Submission Wins: 2

Liang Na

Na Liang has lost all three of her UFC bouts, so the question is, why hasn’t the promotion cut her? Well, she’s a fun fighter. In twenty-six pro career bouts, she’s gone to the scorecards in just one of those bouts, as she epitomizes the saying ‘kill or be killed.’

  • Liang Pro Record: 19-7
  • Liang KO/TKO Wins: 6
  • Liang Submission Wins: 11

Petrovic vs. Liang: Fight Tape Analysis

Experience, finishing ability, and a furious five minutes of mayhem best describe Liang. Unfortunately, once the adrenaline lowers, she completely gasses and becomes highly susceptible to being stopped inside the distance.

Petrovic will unquestionably be the more talented fighter overall. Her grappling and wrestling advantage will become evident; it’s just a question of whether or not she can handle the fire Liang brings early on.

Most interestingly, both Petrovic and Liang have displayed questionable levels of cardio. This factor could help the fight last longer than we expect, especially if Liang holds an advantage early in the fight, as she has on many occasions.

UFC Vegas 91 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

Petrovic has never been stopped inside the distance, proving her durability could be strong enough to survive the early Liang onslaught. However, should these ladies grapple, I can envision two tired fighters slugging it out for the remainder of the fight without much gas left to find a finish.

Given Liang’s history of failing to fight beyond the first round, oddsmakers are providing an excellent price on the over, and more crucially, it’s set at one-point-five rounds.

For the first time in a long time, Liang reached the end of round two versus JJ Aldrich, so perhaps she’s addressing the energy distribution mistakes. Couple this with a calm Petrovich who’ll like to have a calm approach early on; I love the over 1½ rounds at this pricing.

UFC Pick: Over 1½ Rounds (-130) [1.3u 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.

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