Two of the Bantamweights best strikers go head-to-head in the main event of this week’s Fight Night card as Cory Sandhagen looks to move one step closer to the title when he faces former Bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw. In the co-main, Aspen Ladd returns from knee surgery to meet Macy Chiasson and the much-hyped Maycee Barber battles it out with emerging talent Miranda Maverick. We take a look at my three best bets below.
UFC Fight Night Betting Picks
Cory Sandhagen vs. TJ Dillashaw
Initially set for April, this bout sees the return of TJ Dillashaw from his 2-year USADA suspension. The winner here is likely next in line for UFC gold, once Yan and Sterling face off of course. This fight is quite an interesting match up as despite Dillashaw’s wrestling background, under Duane Ludwig he evolved into a combination striker. However, he faces a better and more unorthodox striker here in Cory Sandhagen which poses the question will he choose to wrestle?
Sandhagen comes into this fight off back-to-back highlight reel knockouts over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar. The only loss Sandhagen has in the Octagon is to current champion Aljamain Sterling. In that fight he was pressed up against the fence early, had his back taken and was swiftly choked out. It was a learning curve that has seen him become a more evolved version of himself since.
Dillashaw has nowhere near the submission skills of Sterling and I find it unlikely he will be able to be in range to land a devastating blow on his counterpart and I don’t see Dillashaw having success with his wrestling. Sandhagen should pick apart Dillashaw on the feet before putting the former champion away.
Aspen Ladd vs. Macy Chiasson
Aspen Ladd returns to the Octagon and she should be able to breeze past Macy Chiasson. Ladd is a decent striker but has strong wrestling and some of the scariest ground and pound possessed by a women’s MMA fighter full stop. Ladd has suffered only one loss in her career and it was to Germaine de Randamie. It is also worth noting that it was after one of the worst weight cuts I have ever seen and Ladd was a shell of herself, being floored by the first shot she took.
I personally see that loss bearing no weight on how good she is at all. Chiasson is a mid-tier women’s Bamtamweight fighter and doesn’t have the strength or grappling skills to repel Ladd’s relentless attack. Ladd works Chiasson over with her heavy top pressure before either taking her back and choking her out or finishing her from mount with a flurry of ground strikes.
Andre Ewell vs. Julio Arce
Andre Ewell I originally thought had plenty of promise as he entered the UFC but he turned out to be an average striker with little ground skill. Julio Arce is a well-rounded fighter who can hang with the best in the division on the feet and has the wrestling to mix things up almost effortlessly.
Arce narrowly went down to prospect Hakeem Dawodu by split decision last time and Dawodu is levels above Ewell. Three of Ewell’s last four wins have been by split decision and I do not see an area in this fight where he can win. Arce gets a dominant decision victory here.
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