UFC on ESPN+ 5 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

Last week turned out to be a frustrating week for betting as Tim Means was flash KO’d at the hands of Niko Price. This was exceptionally unlucky because Means had NEVER been KO’d in his 40 pro fight career. He’s usually very good defensively and he has an excellent chin. It was a tough loss to take because Means was dominating the fight everywhere. He was manhandling Niko Price on the ground and also picking him apart in the striking exchanges. Hopefully, we can get back on track with a profit this week. I’ll be working really hard all week to try and get our money into some strong positions.

We’ve already made over 10 units of profit this year and with 5 major MMA events still to come in March I am confident that we can still make this a profitable month.

You may notice some pages missing on the website and some changes to the homepage taking place at the moment. This is because I am currently having to conduct some maintenance work in the background. Everything should go back to normal in time for this weekend’s event.

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal 1 unit on Jorge Masvidal to win at odds of 2.90 | +190 | 19/10 Masvidal to win
Gunnar Nelson vs Leon Edwards No bet Edwards to win
Dominick Reyes vs Volkan Oezdemir No bet Reyes to win
Jose Quinonez vs Nathaniel Wood No bet Wood to win
Claudio Silva vs Danny Roberts No bet Silva to win
Jack Marshman vs John Phillips No bet Marshman to win
Arnold Allen vs Jordan Rinaldi No bet Rinaldi to win
Joe Duffy vs Marc Diakiese No bet Duffy to win
Nick Negumereanu vs Saparbek Safarov 1 unit on Saparbek Safarov to win at odds of 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 Safarov to win
Ian Heinisch vs Tom Breese No bet Breese to win
Dan Ige vs Danny Henry No bet Ige to win
Molly McCann vs Priscila Cachoeira No bet McCann to win
Mike Grundy vs Nad Narimani 1 unit on Mike Grundy to win at odds of 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 Grundy to win

Mike Grundy vs Nad Narimani Betting Tip and Prediction

When you watch Mike Grundy fight, it’s hard to believe that he’s British. He is undoubtedly the best British MMA Grappler I have ever seen by a huge margin.

In general, British fighters have historically struggled with their wrestling, takedown defense, and ground games compared to other major MMA nations, but Grundy is a Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist in Freestyle Wrestling who has all the skills necessary to compete against some of the best grapplers in the UFC’s Featherweight division. Based on what I have seen in his past fights, he is as legit as it gets. It’s hard to believe that a wrestler this good is actually from the UK…

Grundy’s journey to this point started when he began wrestling at just 6 years old. In his teenage years, he was lucky enough to be coached for 6 years by the same man that coached Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. Throughout his 26 year grappling career Grundy has competed and trained all over the world against the best wrestlers in countries like Russia and the United States. Grundy says he was able to hold his own against all of them. Having watched some of his past fights, I have no reason to doubt him! His wrestling is incredible!

Mike Grundy is currently the underdog going into this fight, which is interesting because he’s an elite grappler and he’s fighting someone in Nad Narimani who is also a grappler. If you spend a couple of hours watching their past fights, you’ll see quite quickly that Grundy’s grappling technique is lightyears ahead of Narimani’s.

Nad Narimani does have an advantage when it comes to striking, but he’s not a particularly dangerous striker and Grundy trains at a predominantly striking based gym at Team Kaobon with the likes of Darren Till. Even though Grundy is 3 weight classes below Till, he says that they still spar. UFC Veterans like Paul Kelly, Terry Etim, Paul Sass, and Martin Stapleton are all solid strikers, and Grundy has been training at Kaobon for his whole career so you know he’s surrounded by the right kind of guys to get him ready for his UFC debut. Grundy has also been one of the top grappling coaches at Kaobon for a long time now. He’s cornered most of those guys in the UFC, and he has also cornered Darren Till for the majority of his UFC fights. This means that Grundy has a familiarity with UFC fight week preparations that many debutants will not have experienced before.

This brings me to one of the risk factors in betting Mike Grundy to beat Nad Narimani this weekend…

It’s no secret that a large percentage of fighters lose when they make their UFC debut. This is unavoidable. Octagon jitters and the pressure of competing under the bright lights of the UFC is bound to have a negative effect on many fighters. It’s very possible that Grundy could significantly underperform in his UFC debut. But it’s also equally possible that he outclasses Narimani and ragdolls him around the Octagon for 15 minutes.

Grundy’s current odds of around 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 carry an implied probability of just 40% and based on what I have seen, Grundy has a much better chance than that of winning this fight. I’d cap him as high as 70% if Grundy shows up looking like he did in his last fight against Fernando Bruno and if Narimani showed up looking like he did 2 years ago against Paddy Pimblett.

Another risk factor with betting Grundy is that Narimani started training at Team Alpha Male after the Pimblett fight, so he is likely to have made significant improvements since then. There’s no better gym in the world to prepare for a short, compact, powerful grappler like Grundy although Grundy’s grappling pedigree far surpasses anyone currently training at Alpha Male. [Lance Palmer is no longer training at Team Alpha Male]

So in terms of betting this fight, I do believe that Grundy is a decent bet at underdog odds because he’s an Elite grappler, fighting another British grappler who is nowhere near his level when it comes to technique. Narimani has a few advantages like striking, UFC experience and the benefit of training at one of the best MMA gyms in the world, but Grundy is at such a high level that I believe he can wet blanket Narimani for 3 rounds and grind out an easy decision win.

When it comes to betting underdogs, we’re never going to be in a situation where everything is overwhelmingly in our favor. There are always going to be risk factors present. But based on all the information we have available to us, I believe Grundy is a decent bet at underdog odds. At worst this is a 50 / 50 fight.

I highly recommend that you check odds comparison websites like Best Fight Odds and Odds Checker before locking in your bet for this fight because the odds currently range from 2.35 | +135 | 27/20 on some websites right up to 3.00 | +200 | 2/1 on others. I recommend shopping around before you place your bet.

Reasons for betting on Mike Grundy

  • Mike Grundy won a Bronze Medal in Freestyle Wrestling at the 2014 Commonwealth games.
  • Mike Grundy has trained at Team Kaobon for a very long time alongside guys like Paul Kelly, Paul Sass, Darren Till and Terry Etim.
  • Mike Grundy has UFC Fightweek experience. He regularly corners the guys at Team Kaobon in the UFC. He plans to corner Darren Till this weekend.
  • Mike Grundy has competed and trained wrestling all over the world.
  • As a teenager, Grundy was trained for 6 years by the same coach that trained Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.
  • Mike Grundy and Nad Narimani are both primarily grapplers but Grundy’s wrestling is on another level.
  • Grundy has the cardio to grind on his opponents and fight at a high pace for 15 minutes.
  • Mike Grundy’s grappling technique is excellent. He always makes sure to establish dominant positions and maintain them.
  • Mike Grundy has very strong hips and a very heavy top game.
  • Mike Grundy can inflict significant damage with ground and pound.
  • Mike Grundy has excellent chain wrestling. It’s very difficult for his opponents to improve their position or scramble back to their feet because he is always transitioning into another dominant position.
  • Mike Grundy is an excellent MMA wrestler because he understands the importance of maintaining control. He hardly ever gives up dominant positions.

Risk Factors with betting on Mike Grundy

  • Mike Grundy is making his UFC debut.
  • Nad Narimani has an advantage when it comes to striking.
  • Mike Grundy hasn’t fought in 18 months.
  • Mike Grundy has fought a relatively low level of opponent for the majority of his career.
  • Nad Narimani currently trains full time at Team Alpha Male, so you’d expect him to be making big improvements from fight to fight.
  • Nad Narimani is very tough. He’s aggressive, fights at a high pace and he has a solid chin.

My Betting Tip

Mike Grundy to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.50
Moneyline = +150
Fractional = 3/2

40%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Mike Grundy has a 40% chance of beating Nad Narimani based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

I believe that Mike Grundy has a 50% chance of beating Nad Narimani based on my extensive research and analysis.

Darren Till vs Jorge Masvidal Betting Tip and Prediction

As I write this, it is 9 pm in the UK. Darren Till is currently in the final stages of his weight cut and getting ready to weigh in tomorrow morning.

In the last couple of hours, we have seen significant money come in on Jorge Masvidal, causing his odds to decline. Is this a sign that Till’s weight cut is not going well? Hundreds of people that are involved in the MMA industry stay in the same hotel as the fighters during fight week. It wouldn’t take THAT much money to move the odds if they’ve seen signs of Till struggling badly to cut weight this week. Perhaps Masvidal’s odds declining at the same time Till is going through the most difficult stage of his weight cut is no coincidence? We’ve certainly seen things like this happen many times in the past.

It has been no secret this week that Till has looked terrible during what appears to be another tough weight cut. Fighters often say that cutting weight gets harder as you get older. This is because your body changes as it gets older. It becomes more challenging to put it through an intense cut. The chin suffers, the cardio suffers, your immune system is weakened, your energy levels get depleted and more importantly your brain health severely diminishes. When Boxers suffer fatal or life-changing injuries in fights, it is often severe weight cuts that get blamed. The body and brain simply cannot take the same level of punishment when it is dehydrated.

I have been planning to bet Jorge Masvidal all week, and now with his odds finally starting to decline, this feels like the right time to recommend a bet.

Darren Till is a fantastic fighter, but he is also someone who we have seen slow down significantly in his past fights against Jessin Ayari, Bojan Velickovic, and Nicolas Dalby. This is significant because he had the skills to dominate all those guys and managed to put them into a defensive shell very early on. This allowed Till to dictate the pace of those fights and yet he still slowed down even when he was allowed to control everything.

Jorge Masvidal is an entirely different beast. He has only been finished one time due to strikes in his 45 fight career. He hasn’t been finished with strikes for over 10 years. This is extremely impressive when you take into account the fact that he has consistently fought some of the best fighters in the world for the majority of his career.

Masvidal has a legendary chin and even when he showed up in the worst shape of his career against Stephen Thompson, he still had solid cardio. In the 3rd round, knowing he needed a finish to win, he was chasing Thompson around the Octagon. Masvidal’s chin, toughness, and cardio are never in question which makes him a very tricky opponent for Darren Till who we have seen fade in the past.

When it comes to striking technique, it’s difficult to gauge who has the advantage because both guys have such different styles. Darren Till’s style is based on Muay Thai, while Masvidal’s style is based much more on Boxing. Both fighters mix things up and use techniques from all disciplines, but as two strikers they are very far apart.

Darren Till likes to take control of the center of the Octagon and use single power shots to punish his opponents every time they come forward. He applies just enough pressure to bait them into having to fire back to try and get some space and then he punishes them with devastating counters. Till is predominantly a single shot fighter, but his single shots are so powerful that he rarely needs to follow up with combos. His single shots gain him enough respect to be able to control the center of the Octagon and often dictate the pace of his fights.

In contrast, Masvidal loves to get inside and Box. He has excellent striking defense and good combos. He’s so comfortable exchanging that he doesn’t mind getting inside and mixing it up. That’s what makes this fight so fascinating…

All the guys that Till has fought so far have wilted early and gone into a defensive shell when they felt his power. This enabled Till to dictate the pace of the fight and manage his cardio. Masvidal will not wilt or go into a defensive shell. He’s as tough as they come. He won’t retreat when he comes forward and Till lands a big shot. He’ll look to follow up with 3 or 4 punch combos, and we’ve never seen how Till will deal with this kind of pressure because no one has had the right kind of style to test him in this area.

If Masvidal comes out aggressively early and takes the fight to Till, he has a great chance of winning. He doesn’t need to win the early rounds, he just has to force Till to work, force Till to engage and test that cardio.

This is a risky bet, but the current implied probability on Masvidal to win is just 34%. This is completely inaccurate when you take into account what both guys bring to the table. To summarise:

From a technical perspective, neither guy has a huge advantage when it comes to striking. Both guys have very different styles, and they’re both dangerous. Masvidal has legendary toughness and cardio and one of the best chins in the UFC’s Welterweight division. Masvidal also has a big advantage over Till when it comes to wrestling and grappling. There’s no area in this matchup where Till will have a big advantage and yet for some reason he is a big favorite…

We also have to take into account that at the media staredowns today both guys looked roughly the same size. Till is only 1 inch taller and they both have the same reach…

MMA is one of those rare sports where a fighter’s popularity can have a big impact on the betting odds, and I feel like once against Till’s hype has resulted in him being a much bigger favorite than he should really be. This is a risky bet. But I do feel like the risk is worth the reward. Masvidal should not be a big underdog in this matchup.

Reasons for betting on Jorge Masvidal

  • Darren Till appears to be going through a very tough weight cut.
  • Darren Till has slowed down in the past against Bojan Velickovic, Jessin Ayari and Nicolas Dalby.
  • Jorge Masvidal has excellent cardio.
  • Jorge Masvidal has an excellent chin and he’s extremely tough.
  • Jorge Masvidal has excellent striking defense.
  • Jorge Masvidal has the head movement and footwork to get inside on Till and land Boxing combos. We haven’t seen Till deal with someone before who can get inside and force him to work.
  • Jorge Masvidal is a significantly better wrestler and grappler.
  • Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal are roughly the same size. Till is 1 inch taller and they have the same reach.
  • Masvidal has the style and cardio to pressure Till and force him to work. This could really test his cardio.
  • All of Till’s past opponents have allowed him to dictate the pace. Masvidal can force him to work in ways no opponent ever has done before.
  • A fighter’s chin and cardio can be significantly effected by a big weight cut. It’s clear Till is having a tough cut this week, while Masvidal looks very healthy.
  • Darren Till seems to be under a lot of pressure to perform this week, while Masvidal looks very relaxed.

Risk Factors with betting on Jorge Masvidal

  • Darren Till has home advantage on his side. Home advantage is huge in the UK.
  • Darren Till is an incredible fighter. He has the power and technique to hurt Masvidal and KO him.
  • Masvidal has not fought for 18 months.
  • Masvidal showed up looking out of shape for his last fight against Stephen Thompson. Perhaps his motivation is not there anymore.
  • Masvidal is now 34 years old. He’s had 45 pro fights and has a lot of miles on the clock.
  • Darren Till is still only 26 years old. He should be making big improvements from fight to fight.

My Betting Tip

Jorge Masvidal to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.90
Moneyline = +190
Fractional = 19/10

34%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Jorge Masvidal has a 34% chance of beating Darren Till based on their current odds.

45%

Our Probability

I believe that Jorge Masvidal has a 45% chance of beating Darren Till based on my extensive research and analysis.

Nick Negumereanu vs Saparbek Safarov Betting Tip and Prediction

It’s always a gamble betting on a guy like Saparbek Safarov because of his bad fight IQ, sloppy technique and shocking cardio. But at the same time, he is a hard-hitting Russian who is tough as nails. He also has 2 fights in the UFC under his belt, and he hits EXTREMELY hard. He’s one of the few guys in recent years to come legitimately close to finishing Gian Villante. He’s also difficult to take down and scrappy in all areas.

Nick Negumereanu is stepping up on just 2 week’s notice to make his UFC debut against Safarov. He’s also just 24 years old and has an extremely padded MMA record:

It’s tough to form an opinion on Negumereanu based on his past fights because he has only ever fought an extremely low level of opponent. Most of the time this doesn’t matter. You can usually gauge how good someone is based on the technique that they show. Unfortunately, I am finding it difficult to get a read on Negumereanu because of how easily all his past opponents appear to concede victories to him. What I can say is that he’s not particularly bad at anything, but he doesn’t blow your hair back either. He looks quite slow, he lacks athleticism, and his striking defense isn’t great. Take a look and see for yourself:

Safarov is a difficult opponent for a young, inexperienced guy like Negumereanu to make his UFC debut against on such short notice because Safarov is a wild man. From the very 1st second, he comes out and tries to kill his opponents. He hits extremely hard and always goes for the kill. He’ll also have a massive 5-inch reach advantage over Negumereanu.

Octagon jitters are a real thing, and it often takes debutants time to settle into a rhythm and get comfortable. Safarov will not afford Negumereanu this luxury. He’ll be in his face from the 1st second trying to take him out. Safarov has a kill or be killed style and for the most part, has the chin and toughness to back it up. He has a lot of holes, but he’s also a complete nightmare. This is a difficult type of opponent for a young fighter like Negumereanu to make his UFC debut against. Safarov is a massive step up in competition. No one that Negumereanu has faced before has been anywhere near as dangerous as Safarov.

The current implied probability of Safarov to win is just 40%. Based on all the information that we have available to us, I believe that this fight is 50 / 50 at worst. There’s clear value here on Safarov.

A large percentage of fighters lose their UFC debut because of Octagon jitters, and Safarov is a wild man. There will be no feeling out process here and no time for Negumereanu to get comfortable. It’s a tough fight for the young Romanian to take on just 2 weeks notice. At underdog odds, I feel like Safarov is a solid bet. He’s always a gamble, but the risk is worth the reward.

Safarov is your stereotypical tough Russian. He hits hard, he’s difficult to take down, he has a great chin, and he’s dangerous in all areas. It’s just a shame that he doesn’t quite have the razor-sharp technique or the cardio to match most of the guys from his country!

Reasons for betting on Saparbek Safarov

  • Negumereanu is taking this fight on just 2 weeks notice.
  • Negumereanu has an extremely padded MMA record. He has only ever fought a very low level of opponent.
  • Safarov is a massive step up in competition for Negumereanu.
  • Negumereanu has bad striking defense.
  • Negumereanu is very inexperienced at just 24 years old.
  • Negumereanu is making his UFC debut.
  • Safarov has surprisingly good takedown defense, even when he gets tired.
  • Safarov has a 5 inch reach advantage over Negumereanu.
  • Safarov hits extremely hard. He has legit 1 punch KO power in every strike.
  • Safarov has a wild, kill or be killed style of fighting. He won’t give Negumereanu any time to settle into a rhythm or get comfortable.
  • Safarov is very tough. He’s the kind of guy you have to practically kill in order to finish.
  • Safarov has a good chin.

Risk Factors with betting on Saparbek Safarov

  • Safarov has terrible cardio.
  • Safarov has a very reckless style of fighting.
  • Negumereanu is only 24 years old, so he should be making big improvements from fight to fight.
  • Safarov has bad fight IQ.
  • Safarov is always looking for the finish. This means that he sometimes puts himself into bad positions.
  • Negumereanu appears to have reasonably good cardio.

My Betting Tip

Saparbek Safarov to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.50
Moneyline = +150
Fractional = 3/2

40%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Saparbek Safarov has a 40% chance of beating Nick Negumereanu based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

I believe that Saparbek Safarov has a 50% chance of beating Nick Negumereanu based on my extensive research and analysis.

Allsopp
I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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