UFC on ESPN+ 31 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

UFC on ESPN+ 31 is the first-midweek UFC event that we’ve had in a while, and it looks like it could be great for betting.

I’d usually reflect on how we did on the last event in this introduction, but since I am writing this before UFC 249 takes place, I’m just going to wish us luck for this weekend instead!

I’d also like to remind you guys that there are still a few spots available for Live Betting next week. Anyone can sign up and join us for the next 3 events. Click here to check it out.

Fight Betting Tip Who I think will win Who I think is the better bet
Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira No bet Glover Glover
Ben Rothwell vs Ovince St-Preux No bet Rothwell Rothwell
Ray Borg vs Ricky Simon 2 units on Ricky Simon to win at odds of 1.64 | -156 | 16/25 Simon Simon
Karl Roberson vs Marvin Vettori No bet Vettori Vettori
Alexander Hernandez vs Drew Dober No bet Hernandez Hernandez
Sarah Moras vs Sijara Eubanks No bet Eubanks Moras
Andrei Arlovski vs Phillipe Lins No bet Arlovski Arlovski
Michael Johnson vs Thiago Moises No bet Moises Moises
Brian Kelleher vs Hunter Azure No bet Azure Azure
Chase Sherman vs Ike Villanueva No bet Sherman Sherman
Gabriel Benitez vs Omar Morales No bet Morales Morales

Ray Borg vs Ricky Simon Betting Tip and Prediction

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I was recommending a bet on Ray Borg to beat Marlon Vera. That fight got canceled due to the Corona Virus, and since then, the UFC has pulled an absolute madness. Instead of rescheduling that fight, they decided to matchup Marlon Vera with Song Yadong, and now Borg will instead fight Vera’s teammate, Ricky Simon. This makes absolutely no sense, but these are strange times. You have to feel bad for Borg because he went from being matched up against an opponent in Marlon Vera, who was a good style for him, to taking on Ricky Simon, who is a much worse stylistic matchup.

We went deep on this fight in our Livestream research session. I recommend checking it out:

Ray Borg is a relentless grappler who can fight at a high pace for 15 minutes. He has excellent technique, and very few guys can keep up with him. Borg uses his relentless style of grappling to overwhelm his opponents and eventually break them down.

Very few guys can keep up with the pace that Borg sets, but Ricky Simon’s past fights suggest that he can. Simon is a cardio machine. He’s also a strong grappler with an advantage over Borg in striking.

Size matters in MMA, and Borg is one of the smallest Bantamweights in the division. Simon is slightly taller than Borg and possesses a massive 7-inch reach advantage. This size difference will make it difficult for Borg because Simon has that Team Alpha Male style body type, where his short, stocky, compact frame enables him to power out of positions. Merab Dvalishvili could not control Ricky Simon, and he’s much bigger and more physically imposing than Borg. Borg has tighter technique than Dvalishvili and Simon, but he doesn’t have the physicality to control Simon in a position that Simon does not want to be in.

Borg will find it difficult to control Simon on the ground in this fight because Simon is like a coiled spring. As soon as he hits the ground, he immediately pops back up to his feet. Borg’s only hope of controlling Simon will be to take the back, and while that is possible, it won’t be easy because he has short legs, and Simon is very strong.

This is a bad stylistic matchup for Borg because Simon won’t slow down like some of Borg’s recent opponents have. Simon’s striking advantage also means that if he does use his grappling in reverse to keep this fight standing, Borg could quickly find himself in a checkmate kind of matchup.

We have spoken at length over the last couple of weeks about how Corona Virus is likely to affect fighter training camps. It is riskier to bet any fighter now because we don’t know how much their performance is going to be affected by disruptions to their training. What we can say is that Simon fits into the category of fighter who shouldn’t be too badly affected because he never seems to slow down. Borg, on the other hand, is less reliable.

I think Simon’s power, physicality and explosiveness are going to make life very difficult for Borg here. Borg is probably going to find it really difficult to tie Simon up, and that means Borg is likely to be forced to fight in a range where he doesn’t feel comfortable. Simon has the grappling to dictate where this fight takes place, and that’s why I think he’s worth a bet at the current odds.

Reasons for betting on Ricky Simon

  • Ricky Simon is a very strong wrestler.
  • Ricky Simon has superb takedown defense. It’s very difficult to take him down and hold him down.
  • Ricky Simon should have a significant advantage over Borg when it comes to striking.
  • Ricky Simon has a slight height advantage and huge 7 inch reach advantage over Borg. This will make it easier to control Borg in grappling exchanges and land on him from a range where Borg cannot counter.
  • Ricky Simon is very difficult to control. He has a compact, explosive frame that he uses to explode out of positions.
  • Ricky Simon has excellent offensive wrestling. He has a picture perfect deep double leg takedown.
  • Ray Borg likes to tie guys up and work for takedowns against the cage. It’s going to be really hard to hold Simon in any position because he’s so physically strong.
  • Ricky Simon is a cardio machine. He can fight at a super high pace for 15 minutes.
  • Ricky Simon is much more physically imposing than Borg. This kind of physicality can give him a huge edge in the grappling exchanges.
  • Borg relies on being able to rack up points by controlling guys in bad positions. It’s really hard to control Simon, so it’s going to be difficult for Borg to take this fight to a range where he has an advantage.
  • This fight is at Bantamweight. Borg is a natural Flyweight and seems to perform better at 125 pounds.

Risk Factors with betting on Ricky Simon

  • Ray Borg is a more technical grappler than Ricky Simon.
  • Ricky Simon has bad striking defense.
  • Ricky Simon gives his back up a lot when defending takedowns.
  • Ricky Simon takes a little longer than I would like to break body locks when guys are controlling him from the back.
  • Corona Virus may have a big negative impact on Ricky Simon. He might not be his usual self.
  • Ray Borg is still young, so he’ll be making big improvements from fight to fight.

My Betting Tip

Ricky Simon to win

Recommended Stake

2 Units

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.64
Moneyline = -156
Fractional = 16/25

61%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Ricky Simon has a 61% chance of beating Ray Borg based on their current odds.

65%

Our Probability

I believe that Ricky Simon has a 65% chance of beating Ray Borg 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.