UFC on ESPN 3 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

After an incredible start to this year, it looks like June is shaping up to be our first losing month on prefight betting since December 2018.

Renato Moicano getting flash KO’d by Korean Zombie within 30 seconds is probably going to bring our 5-month winning streak to an end unless we can bank a huge profit at UFC on ESPN 3. I won’t completely rule out being able to end the month in profit until June is over, but we certainly have a big mountain to climb if we want to get back on track.

June has been disappointing for Prefight betting, but we continue to crush it in Live Betting. After another profitable night last weekend at UFC on ESPN+ 12, we have now extended our winning run to 15 consecutive profitable events. I am determined to take this winning streak to 20 straight events, so I’m hoping that the MMA gods continue to be kind to us!

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Francis Ngannou vs Junior Dos Santos No bet Ngannou to win
Joseph Benavidez vs Jussier Formiga 1 unit on Jussier Formiga to win at odds of 2.55 | +155 | 31/20 Formiga to win
Anthony Rocco Martin vs Demian Maia 3 units on Demian Maia to win at odds of 1.61 | -164 | 61/100 Maia to win
Roosevelt Roberts vs Vinc Pichel No bet Pichel to win
Drew Dober vs Polo Reyes No bet Reyes to win
Dalcha Lungiambula vs Dequan Townsend No bet Lungiambula to win
Alonzo Menifield vs Paul Craig Trying to find someone to parlay with Menifield Menifield to win
Journey Newson vs Ricardo Ramos No bet Ramos to win
Eryk Anders vs Vinicius Moreira No bet Moreira to win
Dan Moret vs Jared Gordon 1 unit on Dan Moret to win at odds of 3.75 | +275 | 11/4 Moret to win
Amanda Ribas vs Emily Whitmire No bet Whitmire to win
Junior Albini vs Maurice Greene No bet Albini to win

Joseph Benavidez vs Jussier Formiga Betting Tip and Prediction

It took us 6 days to lock in our first bet for UFC on ESPN+ 12 last week, but after just a couple of hours of research, I’ve already found our 1st bet for this weekend. Jussier Formiga was the first name that jumped out at me when I scanned through all the fights taking place at UFC on ESPN 3 and within an hour of research the tape confirmed my initial feeling. Jussier Formiga to beat Joseph Benavidez at the current odds of around 2.55 | +155 | 31/20 is a great bet.

We’ve placed 4 bets like this in June with a relatively big amount of risk, and every single one of them has lost. No individual losing bet was bad luck but to see Moraes, Bandejas, Dantas, and Cerrone all lose in such a short space of time is a nasty little run of variance that we’ve had to battle through.

At times like this, it is important to remain consistent. Recently these higher risk bets haven’t been doing so good, but remember that we have been crushing it on these kinds of bets in 2019.

It’s important to highlight this because I don’t know if Jussier Formiga will beat Joseph Benavidez on Saturday night. There’s a very good chance that he’ll lose. But remember that good bets don’t always win and bad bets don’t always lose. What I do know is that there’s a very good amount of value on Formiga at his current odds of around 2.55 | +155 | 31/20.

This is one of those bets that win or lose, the odds are way off. For this reason, I recommend that you lock this bet in as soon as possible because I expect the odds to decline significantly over the next few days. Remember just a couple of weeks ago we saw Eduardo Dantas’ odds close at 2.10 | +110 | 11/10 from the odds we got him at which were around 2.80 | +180 | 9/5. Our bet on Formiga is a similar kind of scenario. You need to lock in your bet fast to ensure you get the best value odds possible. I don’t see Formiga’s odds improving much more than where they are now, but there’s a good chance that they could crash in a big way.

Jussier Formiga has been consistently underestimated throughout his career. He’s currently on a 4 fight win streak, and he’s 8-2 in his last 10 fights.

Benavidez and Formiga both have around 30 pro fights under their belt, and they’re both 34 years old. But since leaving Team Alpha Male, Benavidez seems to be on a decline, while Formiga is making big improvements from fight to fight since moving out to Florida to train full time at American Top Team.

I do expect this to be a close matchup, but it’s also one of those fights where there is a legit chance Formiga might dominate because from a technical perspective he’s better than Benavidez everywhere. His striking is sharper and more technical, and since moving to ATT he has developed the kind of wrestling that enables him to fully utilize his World Class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

There aren’t many guys in the Flyweight division who you can say have a grappling advantage over a strong MMA grappler like Benavidez, but Formiga was the Jiu-Jitsu coach at the World famous Nova Uniao gym for many years. His ground game is at a very high level, and there aren’t many guys in the UFC who can take the back as fast as Formiga can and maintain back control so effectively.

This is a significant factor to take into consideration because Benavidez often gives his back up in scrambles. This is because he’s very confident in his ability to escape back control, but Formiga is a different beast. As I said, there aren’t many guys in the UFC who can take the back and control the back as well as Formiga so Benavidez might put himself in big trouble if he gives his back up in scrambles like he tends to do in almost all of his fights.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Formiga will have the technical advantage if this fight goes to the ground, but it won’t be easy to get it there because Benavidez’s short, compact and explosive frame makes it difficult to take him down and even harder to hold him down. Benavidez has excellent takedown defense, and he’s like a spring. As soon as you take him down, he immediately pops back up to his feet. I do feel Formiga will have a tough time getting this fight to the ground, but he has made huge improvements to his offensive wrestling since moving to ATT, and it’s not like Benavidez’s takedown defense is completely bulletproof. I’ve also noticed that Benavidez gives his back up when defending takedowns and Formiga is particularly good at chaining single and double leg takedown attempts into body lock takedowns from back control.

Standing up this is a much more difficult fight to call, and I honestly don’t have a strong read on how things will play out if the fight stays standing. This is why this bet is so risky.

If this fight stays standing, it’s challenging to visualize who’ll get the better of the striking exchanges because both guys have such different styles. Formiga has a predominantly Muay Thai based style of fighting, but he’s very passive and reactive. He doesn’t throw that many strikes, which means he often gets outpointed unless he can get a fight to the ground. Benavidez, on the other hand, is scrappy, sloppy, and reckless, but his unorthodox style often gives his opponents some problems as they struggle to work him out. He’s also much more active than Formiga, which means he could quite easily outpoint Formiga and win a decision if the fight stays standing.

Betting on Jussier Formiga to beat Joseph Benavidez this weekend carries a significant amount of risk, but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting almost a 10% value margin over the bookies from where I cap this fight. I don’t know if Formiga will win or not, but I do know that this is a great bet, because he has the technical ability to win this fight standing and potentially dominate Benavidez if this fight goes to the ground.

Formiga has been making big improvements from fight to fight, and he’s also been working towards a title shot for a long time now. We’ve already made money on him once this year betting him as an underdog to beat Deiveson Figueiredo. Let us hope he can come through for us again and help us to get our month back on track!

Reasons for betting on Jussier Formiga

  • From a technical point of view, Formiga is better than Joseph Benavidez everywhere.
  • Jussier Formiga is the former Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach at Nova Uniao.
  • Jussier Formiga is a very high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practioner.
  • Jussier Formiga has made massive improvements to his offensive wrestling and MMA grappling since moving to train at American Top Team full time.
  • Formiga has a base in Muay Thai and more technical striking than Benavidez.
  • Joseph Benavidez is a sloppy, low level striker.
  • Joseph Benavidez seems to be declining since leaving Team Alpha Male.
  • Joseph Benavidez tends to give his back up in scrambles and when defending takedowns.
  • Jussier Formiga takes the back faster than almost anyone else in the UFC.
  • Jussier Formiga has excellent back control and Benavidez gives his back up a lot.

Risk Factors with betting on Jussier Formiga

  • Jussier Formiga is a passive striker. He spends too much time reacting to his opponent. This makes it easy to outpoint him.
  • Joseph Benavidez has excellent takedown defense.
  • Joseph Benavidez is extremely difficult to hold down.
  • Joseph Benavidez has a high level ground game.
  • Joseph Benavidez is very tough.
  • Joseph Benavidez has an unorthodox style of striking. This means that his opponents sometimes struggle to work him out.

My Betting Tip

Jussier Formiga to win

Recommended Stake

1 Units

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.55
Moneyline = +155
Fractional = 31/20

39%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Jussier Formiga has a 39% chance of beating Joseph Benavidez based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

We believe that Jussier Formiga has a 50% chance of beating Joseph Benavidez based on our extensive research and analysis.

Dan Moret vs Jared Gordon Betting Tip and Prediction

I went into this fight hoping that Jared Gordon would be good enough to add to a parlay/accumulator with Alonzo Menifield, but it didn’t take me long to see that Moret is the right bet in this fight. I didn’t expect to be recommending a bet on Moret here, but that’s why research is so important. After going back and watching their last few fights, I can assure you that Moret is an excellent bet at the current odds of around 3.75 | +275 | 11/4

I don’t blame the betting sites for capping the fight the way they’ve capped it, because to the naked eye Dan Moret hasn’t looked that great in his first two fights in the UFC. But I believe there is much more going on here if we dig a little deeper

Moret got KO’d in the 2nd round of his debut against Gilbert Burns, but he took that fight on just 1 week’s notice, and the 1st round was very competitive. Remember that we never see the best of a fighter in their debut because of Octagon jitters so we can’t be too harsh on Moret for that performance.

In his 2nd fight, Moret tried to fight tactically and intelligently in his against Alex White by utilizing a grappling-heavy gameplan to exploit the poor takedown defense White has shown throughout his career. Unfortunately White showed up with dramatically improved takedown defense and Moret burned himself out working for takedowns.

To gain a true impression of what Moret is capable of, I recommend going back and watching his fight against Derrick Adkins from LFA 15:

That fight took place over 2 years ago so we can expect Moret to have improved quite a bit since then.

If we are capping Moret’s chances of winning this fight based on his last two performances in the UFC, I’d give him about a 30% chance of beating Jared Gordon. If however, we are capping this fight based on his performances before he came into the UFC I’d give him a 50% chance of winning this fight. Because we don’t know which version of Moret we’ll get on Saturday night, I feel it’s fair to cap him right in the middle at 40%. His current odds of around 3.75 | +275 | 11/4 carry an implied probability of 27%. For this reason, I feel he’s a good value bet. How much value we’re getting on Moret will depend on which version of his shows up.

Moret is one of those guys that has had a tough start in the UFC and hasn’t found the right circumstances to show us what he’s really capable of. Maybe Saturday night will be the first time he shows us, maybe it won’t be, either way at these odds he’s a good bet.

I think Dan Moret is a great bet to beat Jared Gordon because he’s got a lot of advantages heading into this matchup. He’s got a big size advantage standing at 6 ft compared to Jared Gordon at 5 ft 9, and he’s also got a 4-inch reach advantage. He also trains at the MMA Lab, and he’s from Minnesota so he’ll have home advantage on his side. He also fights out of the Southpaw stance.

On top of the X-Factors that go in Moret’s favor, he also has a technical advantage everywhere. He’s a more technical striker than Gordon, hits harder, and he’s a much better grappler.

The risk of betting on Moret is that Gordon is an absolute warrior. What he lacks in technical ability he more than makes up for in heart and toughness. Gordon is 2nd best to Moret everywhere from a technical standpoint, but he’s a nightmare for most guys because of his relentless pressure and iron will.

If the fight stays standing, I can see Moret picking Gordon apart. He has a tricky Muay Thai style from the Southpaw stance. He also throws a wide range of strikes, including powerful inside leg kicks. His size and reach advantage will also make it easier for him to land power strikes on Gordon from positions where Gordon cannot counter. The risk to Moret standing is when Gordon starts to bite down on his mouthpiece and comes forward trying to turn the fight into a dogfight. However, this is also one of Gordon’s weaknesses because he doesn’t have the best striking defense, so he tends to get rocked, dropped, and wobbled a lot when he gets overly aggressive.

On the ground, I also give Moret quite a big advantage. He’s strong, powerful and does a great job of using his long arms to control his opponent’s body. He’s also heavy from top position and has excellent takedown defense.

I was hoping to find some rock solid bets on this event to help us get back on track for the month, but so far all I am seeing is great value underdogs. These bets may result in us taking another loss on Saturday night, but remember that consistency in this game is very important. We have to keep getting our money into strong positions and Moret and Formiga are certainly strong positions.

Win or lose Dan Moret is a great bet this weekend, but once again I need to let you know that it’s risky. Don’t tail these kinds of bets if you struggle to deal with losing.

Reasons for betting on Dan Moret

  • From a technical point of view, Moret is better than Jared Gordon everywhere.
  • Dan Moret is a Southpaw.
  • Dan Moret is from Minnesota so he has home advantage on his side for this fight.
  • Dan Moret has a size advantage standing at 6 ft compared to Jared Gordon at just 5 ft 9.
  • Dan Moret has a 4 inch reach advantage.
  • Jared Gordon has bad striking defense. He tends to get rocked, dropped and wobbled a lot.
  • Dan Moret has strong offensive wrestling and a heavy top game. He also has a good level of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
  • Dan Moret has technical Muay Thai striking from the Southpaw stance. He also throws a wide range of strikes including vicious inside leg kicks. Gordon will be wide open to these attacks because he stands heavy on his lead leg.
  • Moret has the technical ability to dominate Jared Gordon.
  • Dan Moret trains at the MMA Lab and he’s only 32 years old. He should be making big improvements from fight to fight.

Risk Factors with betting on Dan Moret

  • Jared Gordon is an absolute warrior. He’s extremely tough.
  • Dan Moret burned himself out shooting takedowns in his last fight. This demonstrated poor pacing and poor fight IQ.
  • Jared Gordon fights at a relentless pace and tries to break his opponents down with pressure.
  • Jared Gordon is very scrappy in all positions.
  • Jared Gordon can fight at a high pace for 15 minutes.
  • Jared Gordon trains at RoufusSport. He’ll also be making big improvements from fight to fight.

My Betting Tip

Dan Moret to win

Recommended Stake

1 Units

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 3.75
Moneyline = +275
Fractional = 11/4

27%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Dan Moret has a 27% chance of beating Jared Gordon based on their current odds.

40%

Our Probability

We believe that Dan Moret has a 40% chance of beating Jared Gordon based on our extensive research and analysis.

Anthony Rocco Martin vs Demian Maia Betting Tip and Prediction

I have been waiting all week to bet on Demian Maia, but I’ve been holding off because a lot of people are backing Anthony Rocco Martin to win tonight. This is usually a sign that the odds on his opponent will improve. Finally today we have seen a bit of movement in the odds because the majority of money from casual gamblers tends to be bet on the day of the fights. In the last 24 hours, we’ve seen Maia’s odds improve from around 1.53 | -189 | 53/100 to 1.65 | -154 | 13/20. There’s no rush to lock in this bet because I think there’s a very good chance that Maia’s odds will continue to improve over the next few hours as the casual gamblers, Wikicappers, and dog hunters come out in force in the run-up to the fight.

It’s impossible to feel confident when you’re betting on a 41-year-old veteran against a young, hungry bull like Rocco, but the fact is that Maia is lightyears ahead of Rocco when it comes to grappling and pretty much all of Rocco’s fights end up on the ground at some point. Usually, because his opponent has taken him down…

Rocco is a reasonably good striker and strong grappler, but he has bad fight IQ and often does the opposite of what he is supposed to do. An example of this was his fight against Jake Matthews. His easiest path to victory was to take Matthews down and utilize his huge advantage on the ground, but instead, he chose to engage in a Kickboxing match, resulting in him getting knocked down twice and almost losing a decision. [he was down 2 rounds going into the 3rd]

This example is just one of many where Rocco has demonstrated bad fight IQ, and to shut a guy down like Demian Maia you need to be laser focused and have bulletproof takedown defense. Rocco has neither.

If you go back and watch all of Rocco’s fights, you’ll see that almost all of his past fights have ended up on the ground at some point and the level between Rocco and Maia when it comes to grappling is so vast that Rocco needs to treat the ground like Lava. If Maia gets him down, he’s in big trouble. Based on past performances, I don’t believe he has the discipline, focus or fight IQ to avoid getting sucked into a grappling exchange with Maia, and that will put him in extreme danger of being submitted or finding himself on the wrong end of a 10-8 round.

Demian Maia is lightyears ahead of Rocco when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and even though his offensive wrestling isn’t the best, he is an opportunistic grappler that baits you into making mistakes. Even Kamaru Usman, an NCAA Div 3 wrestler and arguably one of the strongest grapplers in the history of the UFC’s Welterweight division couldn’t stop Maia from driving him into the cage and taking his back.

Maia’s favorite takedown attempt is the single leg; he tries to get a tight grip on his opponent’s lead leg and aggressively tries to upset their balance so that he can land into side control. This is significant because I’ve noticed that Rocco is particularly susceptible to being taken down with the single leg technique. Go watch his fight against Keita Nakamura to see for yourself. If Maia cannot complete the single leg takedown, he then does a good job of chaining into a body lock back control takedown, which is the reason why he manages to take the back of so many of his opponents.

Many people are banking on Rocco winning this fight if he can keep it standing, but I wouldn’t be so sure…

Rocco isn’t exactly dangerous standing, and the constant threat of Maia’s takedowns might shut down Rocco’s striking offense. We saw Usman and Woodley very reluctant to let their hands go against Maia for fear of being taken down, and over the last few years, Maia has been able to capitalize on this by making big improvements to his striking. Fighting out of the Southpaw stance he now has a lot more success with his Boxing. He managed to bust Colby Covington up pretty good.

If the fight stays standing, it’s very possible that Rocco gets put into a defensive shell for fear of being taken down and Maia manages to steal a couple of rounds by outstriking him.

This is obviously not a rock solid bet because Maia is now 41 years old and father time has to catch up with him at some point, but he has a gigantic advantage over Rocco on the ground, and if the fight stays standing I really don’t see Rocco dominating, I think it’ll be awkward and close.

My biggest concern is Maia’s cardio because we know that he slows down a lot as the fight progresses. Having said that, he did go the distance with Kamaru Usman and Tyron Woodley in 5 round fights, and he went the distance with Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington in 3 round fights so we know he still has a lot of fight left in him.

Aside from Maia’s age, there are a couple of other X factors to take into consideration. 3 week’s ago Rocco said that everything in his life was terrible and fighting is all he had left. Personal issues, stress, and anxiety can have a huge negative impact on a fighter’s training and how they perform, so even though Rocco said it’s fueling him, it’s equally possible that he’ll underperform on fight night because of all the chaos he is going through outside of the cage:

Demian Maia spoke openly this week about his plans for life after being a pro fighter. He said he wants to continue to spread his brand of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also wanted to continue making Martial Arts documentaries for Combate and the UFC. When a fighter starts to talk about stuff other than fighting it is usually another big red flag. It is worth noting however that Maia has been talking about this kind of stuff for a few years now.

I believe Demian Maia is a solid bet here. Only the Elite level grapplers he has faced have managed to stop him from dragging them to the ground, and even then those Elite grapplers have had to work very hard and stay very disciplined to prevent Maia from putting them in very bad positions. Rocco is not on the level of a Kamaru Usman, Tyron Woodley or a Colby Covington. If we’re talking about pure MMA grappling, he might not even be on the level of Jorge Masvidal. For that reason, I do see Maia being able to get this fight to the ground at some point, and when he does, it will be utter domination. If Rocco can keep the fighting standing, then I don’t think he’s good enough to blow Maia out of the water. We’ll probably end up with an awkward, tentative Kickboxing match where Rocco is too scared to commit to strikes for fear of being taken down. For these reasons I do feel Rocco’s path to victory is narrow and as a result, I like a bet on Maia here at the current odds.

Reasons for betting on Demian Maia

  • Demian Maia is a world class Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practioner.
  • Both Demian Maia and Rocco Martin are primarily grapplers, but Maia is lightyears ahead of him when it comes to grappling.
  • Demian Maia’s most effective style of takedown is the single leg and Rocco is particularly susceptible to being taken down with this technique.
  • Demian Maia has made huge improvements to his chain wrestling over the last few years.
  • Demian Maia is a Southpaw.
  • Demian Maia has made huge improvements to his striking over the last few years.
  • Almost all of Rocco’s fights go to the ground and if he goes to the ground against Maia, he’s in big trouble.
  • Rocco has bad fight IQ.
  • The threat of being taken down by Maia will most likely put Rocco into a defensive shell standing.
  • Rocco doesn’t have a significant advantage anywhere.

Risk Factors with betting on Demian Maia

  • Demian Maia is now 41 years old. Father time has to catch up with him at some point.
  • Demian Maia has bad cardio. He slows down a lot as the fight progresses.
  • Demian Maia becomes significantly kess effective with takedowns as the rounds tick by.
  • Rocco Martin is young and hungry.
  • Rocco is a skilled grappler. There’s a good chance he’ll be able to defend himself on the ground.
  • Rocco has a technical advantage if he can keep the fight standing.

My Betting Tip

Demian Maia to win

Recommended Stake

3 Units

[3% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.61
Moneyline = -164
Fractional = 61/100

62%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Demian Maia has a 62% chance of beating Anthony Rocco Martin based on their current odds.

70%

Our Probability

I believe that Demian Maia has a 70% chance of beating Anthony Rocco Martin based on our 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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