UFC on ESPN 49: Best Bets and Predictions

After a massive International Fight Week leading to UFC 290, MMA’s largest promotion is back again this Saturday night with a host of intriguing matchups headlined by a women’s bantamweight contest between #3 ranked Holly Holm and #10 ranked Mayra Bueno Silva.

Click here to sign up for BetMGM Sportsbook and place your bets on UFC Fight Night: Holm vs Bueno Silva.

Best Bets-UFC on ESPN 49: Holm vs Bueno Silva

Tyson Nam vs Azat Maksum

Starting in the prelims, fight fans have a quietly interesting matchup in the flyweight division. Tyson Nam, who has been in professional competition since 2006, will be looking for his first win in 2023. Since joining the UFC in 2019, the 39-year-old Sports Lab athlete has fought to a record of 3-4. Despite his aging body and recent losses, the Hawaiian is still a dangerous striker, having scored finishes in his last six of seven victories.

Azat Maksum will be making his UFC debut Saturday night. The Kazakhstan fighter is a perfect 16-0 professionally, scoring finishes across nine of those performances. Maksum will enter the bout more than a decade younger than Nam at the age of twenty-eight.

Nam’s losses have come to elites including Sergio Pettis and Kai Kara-France. Maksum’s record is impressive of course, but the levels of competition to which “Kazakh” has fought is no where near Nam.

Fight Pick: Fight to End via Finish

Tucker Lutz vs Melsik Baghdasarayan

The featured prelim of the night will showcase a battle of featherweight strikers. Representing the red corner will be Tucker Lutz. The Ground Control Academy athlete has suffered two straight losses in closely contested fights against Pat Sabatini and Daniel Pineada.

Melsik Baghdasarayan will also be seeking to jump back into the win column after suffering a submission defeat in his last fight against Joshua Culibao.

Historically, “Top Gun” has presented takedowns in his short UFC career that could throw a wrench into Baghadasarayan’s gameplan, but with a 76% takedown defense the Armenian fighter has not been secured to the mat since 2021.

This fight will prove to be a fun battle between orthodox and southpaw strikers. The safe bet here is to take the favorite.

Fight Pick: Baghdasarayan Moneyline

Terrance McKinney vs Nazim Sadykhov

Opening the main card on Saturday night will be a pair of lightweight youngbloods. Terrance “T. Wrecks” McKinney has seen the short end of the stick in his UFC career, suffering two knockout losses in his last three fights. This is not to say that the Chicago, Illinois native has not seen any success in his career, as he has scored stoppage victories Matt Frevola and Fares Ziam.

If anyone could capitalize on someone conscious of, well—being made unconscious, Nazim Sadykhov is the man. The 29-year-old Azerbaijan striker has not lost a fight since his professional debut in 2018 and has scored six T/KO victories along the way. The “Black Wolf” will make it two in a row in the UFC on Saturday night.

Fight Pick: Nazim Sadykhov via T/KO

Norma Dumont vs Chelsea Chandler

A battle of top-15 women’s featherweights will ensue half-way through the main card. The #13 ranked Norma Dumont is riding a two-fight win streak, having knocked off Karol Rosa to a unanimous decision in her last walk to the Octagon.

Chelsea Chandler, who has fought but one time in the UFC, sits at the #15 spot in the 145-lb. division. In her UFC debut, Chandler stopped Lithuania’s Julija Stoliarenko inside the bell of round one.

Chandler enters the fight with the hype and Dumont enters with the experience. “The Immortal” will utilize her experience to derail the 29-year-old Chandler.

Fight Pick: Norma Dumont via Unanimous Decision

Walt Harris vs Josh Parisian

The cageside judges should grab a snack for this fight as these hard-hitting heavyweights are sure to get it done before the final bell.

Walt Harris has been on quite the down run as of late, having failed to secure a victory in the UFC since 2019. Currently on a three fight skid, Harris will return to in-cage action after more than two years away from competition.

Josh Parisian is relatively youthful in his UFC career with just five fights under his belt with the promotion. In that time, the 34-year-old from West Virginia has fought to a 2-3 record. Parisian last fought in February where he dropped a unanimous decision to Jamal Pogues.

Harris and Parisian combine for 26 finishes, a near 93% finish rate.

Fight Pick: Fight to End Under 1.5 Rounds (-1.5 Rds)

Holly Holm vs Mayra Bueno Silva

In the main event, a battle of ranked women’s bantamweights will ensue. Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm has continued to impress over the past few years. The long time staple of the women’s bantamweight division picked up a win in her last fight by completely outclassing the now #7 ranked Yana Santos.

Mayra Bueno Silva, the number #10 ranked 135er, is on a three fight win streak. As submission specialist, Bueno Silva has secured seven of her ten victories by way of tap. The 31-year-old will be fighting the steepest level of competition she has faced in her 13-fight professional career.

Holm typically does not have to deal with a grappling threat, so this could cause a significant ripple in the 41-year-old’s game. The current odds place the Jackson Wink MMA fighter as a slight favorite but fight fans should stay away from this moneyline pick.

Fight Pick: Fight to End Under 4.5 Rounds (-4.5 Rds)

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