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UFC on ESPN 51: Best Bets and Predictions

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The UFC APEX will be home to this weekend’s action where fight fans will witness a battle of vetted Brazilian’s between #10 ranked welterweight Vicente Luque and #9 ranked Rafael dos Anjos. Iiiiiittt’ssss tiiiiimmmmeee. . .to talk money.

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The Best Bets for UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos

Josh Parisian vs Martin Buday

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The lock of the week comes in the former of a heavyweight clash between Josh Parisian (15-6, 2-3 UFC) and Martin Buday (12-1, 3-0 UFC).

Parisian has been lackluster since his debut to the UFC. Losing to the likes of Parker Porter and Don’Tale Mayes, the 34-year-old has struggled against the bottom tier of heavyweight competition.

Martin Buday has the opposite story. Going 3-0 since his UFC debut, “Badys” is on an 11-fight win streak. Finding finishes in 75% of his walks to the cage, expect Buday to topple Parisian.

Fight Pick: Martin Buday via T/KO

JP Buys vs Marcus McGhee

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In the highlight fight of the preliminary card, bantamweight finishers will collide. JP Buys (9-5, 0-3 UFC) is a submission specialist, but has failed to show that in his time with the UFC. The “Young Savage” has lost all three of his fights under the UFC banner with two of those losses coming by way of finish.

Marcus McGhee (7-1, 1-0 UFC) made a successful debut to the UFC in April when he secured a rear naked choke to force the tap from Journey Newson. McGhee is a sniper on the feet and with Buys likely fighting to stay in MMA’s biggest promotion, this fight promises a finish.

Fight Pick: Fight to End via T/KO

Polyana Viana vs Iasmin Lucindo

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The women’s strawweight division is up next as fan-favorite Polyana Viana (13-5, 4-4 UFC) takes on Iasmin Lucindo (14-5, 1-1 UFC). Viana is a well-rounded fighter who carries a bit of power with her as shown by her stoppage victory over Jinh Yu Frey in her last fight.

Lucindo has made a strong impression since making her debut to the UFC in August last year. She is a strong boxer and technical prowess is what will push her to victory tomorrow night

Fight Pick: Iasmin Lucindo via Decision

Cub Swanson vs Hakeem Dawodu

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Hakeem Dawodu (6-3) opened as a moderate favorite for his fight against longtime UFC vet Cub Swanson (28-13, 13-9 UFC) and his odds continue to grow. The key in this fight is Dawodu’s youth and everything that comes with it but also Swanson’s age. At 39, “Killer” Cub is all but at the end of his tracks.

The best bet for this fight comes at the hands of the props. Many speculate a finish for Dawodu, but Swanson does not go away easy. Recently, the So-Cal striker has suffered TKO finishes, but Hakeem Dawodu is not Giga Chikadze. Swanson is a grizzled vet and if fight fans have any faith in his aging chin, there is money to be made.

Fight Pick: Fight to Go Over 2.5 Rounds (+2.5 Rds)

Vicente Luque vs Rafael dos Anjos

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In the main event, a pair of Brazil’s best go to battle. Vicente Luque (21-9-1, 14-5 UFC) has struggled as of late. The 31-year-old has dropped his last two, losing a decision to Belal Muhammad in April 2022 and suffering a vicious KO loss to Geoff Neal twelve months ago.

At age 38, Rafael dos Anjos (32-14, 21-12 UFC) has continued to impress. Despite a tough loss suffered at the hands of Rafael Fiziev in July of last year, “RDA” has won impressively in his last two victories. Submitting Bryan Barberena and outpointing Renato Moicano, dos Anjos has proved he is still a threat.

Dos Anjos is the lock here.

Fight Pick: Rafael dos Anjos via Unanimous Decision

UFC Fight Night: Luque vs Dos Anjos Preview

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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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