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UFC on ESPN 48: Best Bets

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The UFC is back at the Apex this weekend for an intriguing middleweight encounter as Sean Strickland looks to make it two in a row against Dagestan’s Abusupiyan Magomedov in the main event. With twelve fights slated for the night, there are plenty of ways for fight fans to win big.

Click here to sign up for BetMGM Sportsbook and place your bets on UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov. 

Best Bets-UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs Magomedov

Alexandr Romanov vs Blagoy Ivanov

Kicking off the preliminary card, Alexandr Romanov will meet Blagoy Ivanov in a heavyweight contest. Both men are coming off of losses, as Romanov has fallen short in his last two fights against Alexander Volkov and Marcin Tybura. Ivanov, on the other hand, lost his last fight to the aforementioned Tybura and has been on a rough skid as of late, going 3-4 in his last seven walks to the Octagon.

Both men are in desperate need of a win Saturday night. Not that this is a grappler vs striker matchup, but Romanov will look to place this fight on the mat whereas Ivanov will look to dominate from the feet. With his vast experience and historically better gas tank, the slight edge in this fight goes to “Baga”.

Fight Pick: Blagoy Ivanov Moneyline

Yana Santos vs Karol Rosa

Moving up the card, fight fans will witness a battle of ranked women’s featherweights. Yana Santos will be fighting in the 145-lb. division for the first time. She will be making the move up in weight after falling to Holly Holm in a co-main event spot at UFC Fight Night San Antonio.

Representing the blue corner, Karol Rosa has formal experience at 145, fighting Norma Dumont to a unanimous decision loss in April.

Every featherweight fight post-Nunes is going to be noteworthy for quite some time, as fight fans (and Dana White) will be on the lookout for a new star. Santos will enjoy a slight height and arm reach advantage in this fight, but expect Rosa to out strike the Russian in this one.

Fight Pick: Karol Rosa via Unanimous Decision

Kevin Lee vs Rinat Fakhretdinov

Topping the preliminary, the once-to-be challenger for the UFC Interim Lightweight Championship, Kevin Lee makes his dramatic return to the UFC against an incredibly tough Rinat Fakhretdinov.

All eyes will be on Lee in this fight as “The MoTown Pheonom” makes his return to the UFC after a successful one-fight stint with Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s Eagle FC. Lee will not return to a spoon-fed fight; however, as Russia’s Fakhretdinov has been a winning machine. Having not lost a fight since 2014, the “Gladiator” is on a 16-fight winning streak, earning finishes in nine of those bouts.

This fight may be one of the most interesting fights of the night. Lee has fought some of the best in his time with the UFC and has scored victories over notables like Edson Barbosa, Michael Chiesa, and Gregor Gillespie. Fakhretdinov looks absolutely unstoppable and is sure to break into the ever-crowded top-15 at 170-lbs. sometime soon.

Fight Pick: Rinat Fakhretdinov Moneyline

Ismael Bonfim vs Benoit Saint-Denis

Moving to the main card, fight fans have a lightweight matchup that features the biggest spread on the card. Ismael Bonfim enters the bout as a heavy favorite as he enjoys a 13-fight win streak dating back to 2014. After a successful 2-fight run in LFA, Bonfim got the call to Dana White’s Contender Series where he scored a win over Nariman Abbasov and subsequently made a successful debut to the UFC.

The underdog, Benoit Saint-Denis, is no one to count out, as the 27-year-old Frenchman holds an impressive 10-1 record. The “God of War” is on a two-fight win streak and scored a finish in his last bout.

In a battle of opposite stances, this is a much closer bout than the odds tell you. These men combine for 23 finishes with 11 coming in the first round.

Fight Pick: Fight to End via Finish

Max Griffin vs Michael Morales

Welterweights will collide in a fight bound for a finish. Max “Pain” Griffin has not always seen his hands raised in victory, but the grizzled vet certainly plays the role of an exciting fighter.

His opponent, the ever-exciting Michael Morales, is a finishing machine. The 24-year-old striker from Ecuador has 12 finishes, a near 86% finish rate.

Griffin is hittable and Morales will exploit that in what is sure to be another highlight reel finish.

Fight Pick: Michael Morales via TKO/KO.

Sean Strickland vs Abus Magomedov

This fight simply does not make sense, but in any case, Sean Strickland will share the cage with Abus Magomedov in the main event Saturday night.

Strickland, who has been on the losing end of very competitive, top-ranked schedule, sits at #7 in the middleweight division. Magomedov, who made his UFC debut last year, is not ranked.

In a fight in which Magomedov has everything to gain and nothing to lose, Strickland has the opposite as true.

Pushing a 25-minute pace on a man who has 19-seconds of experience in the Octagon will prove to be the winning factor for “Tarzan” on Saturday night. Strickland could very well find the finish with his hands but expect this one to go the distance.

Fight Pick: Sean Strickland via Unanimous Decision

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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