UFC on ESPN 19 has finally found its main event. Jack Hermansson takes on Marvin Vettori in an all European main event. Vettori is Hermansson’s third announced dance partner after both Darren Till and Kevin Holland dropped out for injury and COVID related reasons. The card itself is underwhelming, but there are still a few very solid underdog picks that are highlighted in these UFC on ESPN 19 betting tips.
UFC on ESPN 19 Betting Tips
1) Jack Hermansson to win (+120)
Since losing a split decision to future champion Israel Adesanya, Marvin Vettori (15-4-1) has clocked up three straight wins. Vettori has an excellent striking output, landing an average of 4.13 strikes per minute throughout his UFC tenure. Vettori looked competent, even if outclassed, on the feet against Adesanya. Hermansson is a far weaker striker than the middleweight champion, and Vettori should keep the fight standing in this weekend’s main event. Considering the fact that Hermansson’s last two losses both came by knockout, Vettori will know that landing on the button could lead to his hand being raised against the Swede.
Despite this, it is pretty baffling that Hermansson (21-5) is the betting underdog. Vettori has never beaten an opponent near Hermansson’s caliber, whilst “The Joker” has comfortable wins over top fighters like Kelvin Gastelum and Ronaldo Souza. Although Vettori looks at his best when he mixes wrestling into his offense, this would be a mistake against Hermansson. Hermansson has a crazy guillotine, with two submission victories from the bottom position in the UFC, meaning that Vettori will have to be very careful in any scrambles that occur.
Hermansson has a crushing top game, and if he is able to take Vettori down he should be able to comfortably find a finish. Although “The Italian Stallion” may have a slight edge on the feet, Hermansson’s striking has vastly improved. Hermansson has a solid jab and carries obvious power, meaning that he is adept in all aspects of mixed martial arts. Considering Hermansson is the fourth-ranked middleweight challenger, whilst Vettori comes in at number thirteen, it certainly makes sense to back the underdog in this one.
2) Ovince St. Preux to win (+140)
Jamahal Hill (7-0) is returning to the octagon after a six-month suspension for a positive marijuana test. The result led to his win against Klidson Abreu being overturned to a no-contest, but Hill will be looking to make a statement vs St Preux in the co-main event. Hill is an exciting injection of new blood for the division and will almost certainly strive to stay off the mat against “OSP”. Hill is largely untested, particularly his ground game, and this bout would be a significant chance for the Michigan man to move into the light-heavyweight rankings.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that’s no problem when you know every trick in the book. Ovince St. Preux (25-14) is one of the most exciting finishers in UFC history, making the infamous Von Flue choke his own. In his last bout, St. Preux hit surging prospect Alonzo Menifield with a one-hitter-quitter, winning by second-round knockout.
At 37 years of age, St. Preux is definitely past his prime. Against Menifield he looked very slow on the feet, and Hill will have a significant speed advantage. Despite this, St. Preux is a crafty veteran and a nightmare for any green fighter. The Haitian has a nasty squeeze and if he is able to take Hill down he will be confident in finding his neck. OSP has shown that he still carries power in his hands and this, in combination with his thunderous left high-kick, will mean that he will still pose a significant threat to Hill wherever the fight goes.
St. Preux simply has more paths to victory than Hill. His experience and ring craft make him unpredictable, and he is always a fun pick against a betting favorite. For these reasons, he is another excellent underdog addition to these UFC on ESPN 19 betting tips.