It’s time for the UFC’s annual trip to Madison Square Garden, New York, this time for UFC 295. Headlined by a pair of title fights, there is plenty to look forward to on this card.
The vacant light heavyweight title will be on the line as former champion, Jiri Prochazka will clash with former middleweight champion, Alex Pereira. In the co-main event, the interim heavyweight strap is up for grabs as Britain’s Tom Aspinall takes on Sergei Pavlovich in what promises fireworks.
We give you our best bets for this huge card on what is the UFC’s 30th anniversary showcase.
UFC 295: Best Bets and Picks
Tom Aspinall vs. Sergei Pavlovich – Under 2.5 Rounds (-225)
There is little doubt that the vacant heavyweight title fight between Aspinall and Pavlovich will not go the distance. Both men are legitimate finishers and both men like to get in and out of the octagon in quick fashion.
Pavlovich has recorded 15 knockouts across his 18 victories, of which his last six have come in the first round. Similarly, Aspinall has never needed the judges, recording 13 finishes.
The brute power seems to be with Pavlovich and the speed appears to be with Aspinall, making this one so interesting. This one is extremely close with both men coming into the fight on a good run of form. It’s safe to bet that this one won’t go the distance due to the close nature of the two men and their finishing ability.
Matt Frevola to win via Knockout (+390)
Arguably the most exciting fight on the card sees Matt Frevola take on Benoit Saint-Denis in a clash of exciting lightweights. Both men are in rich runs of form, boasting a combined 13-3 record in recent fights. Frevola has notched three straight finishes, all in the first round and all via knockout. His most recent finish over Drew Dober is certainly his most impressive.
Saint-Denis is enjoying a finishing run of four straight, with two submissions and two knockouts, most recently in September in his home country of France.
The issue with Saint-Denis is that, despite being game, he is hit often and has holes in his defensive game. He absorbs 5.27 significant strikes per minute and against someone with the power of Frevola, this is dangerous. Although he could catch Frevola, The Steamrolla has a tendency to be able to land heavily whilst in the pocket. It’s also worth noting that this fight takes place in Frevola’s home state of New York, a place where he’s never been beaten.
Frevola via knockout in this one to set the crowd wild.
Mackenzie Dern to Win via Submission (+140)
Entering this bout, the former champion, Jessica Andrade is the favourite at a -192 favourite (at the time of writing), however, we can’t rule out Mackenzie Dern in this one. She’s always game, is improving fight on fight and importantly, might hold the kryptonite to Andrade’s game.
Andrade has been submitted four times in her career, of which two have come in her last three fights. She’s lost her last three, all via finish and it’s worth noting that at UFC 295, she will be competing for the fifth time this year, so burnout may be a factor.
Although Dern’s wrestling still leaves a lot to be desired, when she does get it to the ground, it usually spells a short night for her opponents. Her takedown accuracy is 15%, however, she has a dangerous enough ground game in order to punish opponents on the feet. Often, opponents are so concerned about going to the ground with Dern that they leave themselves open on the feet. With that being said, expect Andrade to be far more competent than the Brazillian-American on the feet.
It would benefit Dern to close the distance with her big strikes, get into the clinch with Andrade and look to use her superior grappling to be able to pull guard. Once it’s down on the ground, Andrade will be too concerned with getting the fight back to the feet, leaving her open on the ground.
Dern via submission should provide decent odds.
Other Picks for UFC 295
- Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka – Fight to finish inside the distance
- Tabatha Ricci vs. Loopy Godinez – Over 2.5 rounds
- Mateusz Rebecki to win via knockout
- Mark Masden to win via decsion