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BETTING

UFC Vegas 93 Main Card Best Bets: Rising MMA Contenders Galore in Sin City

The UFC returns for its Vegas 93 event this Saturday, and we could be witnessing the rise of a future middleweight contender when Russia’s Ikram Aliskerov attempts to extend his 2-0 UFC record, which showcased back-to-back round-one stoppages.

Elsewhere on the main card, we have an overlooked underdog in Lucas Almeida. Despite entering the octagon this Saturday with the sportsbook odds against him, he is presented with an intriguing stylistic matchup worth our interest.

Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks and predictions for the UFC Vegas 93 main card.

And if you’re looking for more betting advice, don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel. Today, our expert covered the Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Miles Johns and Alex Perez vs. Tatsuro Taira bouts.

Picks Summary

  • Aliskerov Round 1 KO/TKO (+150)
  • Almeida ML (+160)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Ikram Aliskerov vs. Antonio Trocoli

UFC Vegas 93 Middleweight Co-Main Event Bout

Saturday, June 15, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at UFC Apex


Ikram Aliskerov

Russian prospect Ikram Aliskerov is still writing his story, but thus far, he’s 15-1 as a professional, with 11 bouts being won via KO/TKO or submission. He isn’t, however, just another flash-in-the-pan fighter with a padded record; his lone career defeat was to Khamzat Chimaev, and since joining the UFC last year, he’s gone 2-0 with consecutive round-one knockouts.

  • Aliskerov Pro MMA Record: 15-1-0
  • Aliskerov KOs: 6
  • Aliskerov Submissions: 5

Antonio Trocoli

When Andre Muniz withdrew from his clash with Aliskerov, I was surprised the UFC found a short-notice replacement. However, Antonio Trocoli jumped at the opportunity to make his promotional debut, albeit in a matchup that heavily impedes his potential for a win.

  • Trocoli Pro MMA Record: 12-3-0
  • Trocoli KOs: 3
  • Trocoli Submissions: 5

Aliskerov vs. Trocoli: The Breakdown

If we put skillset aside for now, let’s focus on the fact that Trocoli hasn’t fought since 2021. Furthermore, he hasn’t been in the gym and accepts a short notice bout versus an absolute menace.

Returning our focus to the contrasting skill sets, it’s not even close… Aliskerov holds an elite level of grappling and has always been a strong wrestler willing to strike. His fluid movement on the feet and grappling prowess have allowed him to almost split his finishing percentage between knockouts and submissions, and this clash with Trocoli will be reminiscent of returning to the regional scene.

Trocoli is a grappler at heart, but pulling guard isn’t going to cut it against his Russian foe’s sambo combat background of Aliskerov, who won’t give up top control and certainly won’t be submitted by a part-time professional who’s fought just four times since 2018.

UFC Vegas 93 Co-Main Odds & Prediction

The UFC pricing with OddsTrader’s top sportsbooks expects complete dominance from Aliskerov, whose moneyline is climbing beyond the -1200 range. A sane bettor would not pay this price in a million years; however, the prop market is sparking my interest.

Aliskerov, much like his first two UFC bouts, will make quick work of his opponent. The question is, when and how? He can collect a submission, but I’ll give Trocoli the BJJ benefit of the doubt, as a fighter familiar with BJJ who’s never been tapped. Although, I don’t believe the Brazilian’s defensive BJJ will be required because before this fight hits the ground, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dagestani connect with a fight-ending blow.

Plus-money on Aliskerov to emulate the result he’s achieved twice already versus an opponent who’s arguably the lowest level he’s fought to date? Yes, please!

UFC Pick: Aliskerov Round 1 KO/TKO (+150) [1u returns 1.5u profit] at Bet365


Lucas Almeida vs. Timmy Cuamba

UFC Vegas 93 Featherweight Main Card Bout

Saturday, June 15, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at UFC Apex


Lucas Almeida

Brazilian scrapper Lucas Almeida made a huge impression in a split decision loss versus Daniel Zellhuber to then dominate Michael Trizano in his UFC debut. Unfortunately, a slight fall from grace has overshadowed the 33-year-old, who is now on a two-fight losing skid in contests that saw him get submitted and knocked out, respectively.

  • Almeida Pro MMA Record: 14-3-0
  • Almeida KOs: 9
  • Almeida Submissions: 5

Timmy Cuamba

Timmy Cuamba couldn’t get the ball rolling in his UFC debut earlier this year, and although he put up a tough fight, the skills of Bolaji Oki took a split decision. He did, however, take the fight up a weight class, as he now returns to featherweight in hopes of securing his first promotional victory.

  • Cuamba Pro MMA Record: 8-2-0
  • Cuamba KOs: 4
  • Cuamba Submissions: 0

Almeida vs. Cuamba Analysis

Cuamba is well-rounded in all facets of MMA, has great cardio, and has much room to improve at a young age. Last time out, he made the right moves in dragging Oki to the ground, and his striking fundamentals aren’t bad at all.

Almeida looked uber impressive in DWCS versus Zellhuber, a fight that he did lose, but his efforts have since aged well due to the streak his former Mexican opponent is on. We can give him a pass on the loss versus experience and power of Andre Fili, and there aren’t many newcomers that could handle the grappling of Pat Sabatini.

In this bout, you’d expect Cuamba to aim for a grappling gameplan, but honestly, outside of Sabatini, Almeida’s TD defense has looked solid. This would leave a striking battle, and if we get the version of him that fought Zellhuber, he will dominate every minute on the feet.

UFC Vegas 93 Main Card Odds & Prediction

The UFC odds have placed Cuamba as the betting favorite, and I’m not surprised. The good news for us is that oddsmakers aren’t creating these lines based on skill-for-skill comparisons, and in my humble opinion, I don’t believe anyone would bet on Cuamba and think he’s the more talented fighter.

Those betting Cuamba are banking on success in the grappling realm, but I’m not convinced, especially at this price. We’ll be hoping Almeida gets the standing war where he can out-volume his opponent while delivering the more damaging shots throughout three rounds.

UFC Pick: Almeida ML (+160) [1u returns 1.6u profit] at Bet365

*21+ Seek help with a gambling addiction at 1-800-Gambler

*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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