MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 57

MMA Best Bets: Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC Vegas 57

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC returns to the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, June 25. In the main event, top-15 lightweights collide, as Arman Tsarukyan takes on Mateusz Gamrot.

Below I'll share my favorite play, an underdog pick, a prop and a two-fighter parlay on. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.

Weight Class: Light Heavyweight

Carlos Ulberg (4-1-0) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (6-2-0)

Carlos Ulberg takes on Tafon Nchukwi on the prelims of UFC Vegas 57, and while the fight is a pick'em, I'm backing Ulberg here.

The City Kickboxing protege is a much better striker than Nchukwi, as Ulberg is super technical and uses his reach effectively. Although we saw Ulberg gas out and lose his debut, his second UFC fight was better in terms of him pacing himself and showing off solid striking defense.

Although I don't think Ulberg will be a top-15 light heavyweight anytime soon – if ever – he will be able to pick apart Nchuwki here and win a decision. This could be a boring fight like Ulberg's last fight, as he draws his opponents into fighting his fight, which I see happening here.

UFC Vegas 57 Bet: Carlos Ulberg (-110)

Weight Class: Flyweight

JP Buys (9-4-0) vs. Cody Durden (12-4-1)

Also on the prelims of UFC Vegas 57 is a crucial fight for both JP Buys and Cody Durden, as the loser could very well get cut. I'm backing the slight underdog in Durden.

Buys has been open about how he struggles to make flyweight and said he would never do it again, but he's back at the weight class where I don't think he can take a shot. Both men like to use their wrestling to have a grinding style, but I expect it to be a kickboxing fight for the most part, as neither will get the other one down.

On the feet, Buys has been knocked down seven times in two UFC fights and doesn't throw much volume, as he only lands 1.76 significant strikes per minute compared to Durden's 3.44. Durden's volume and power will be the difference here, as I think the wrong person is favored.

UFC Vegas 57 Bet: Cody Durden (+100)

Weight Class: Lightweight

Arman Tsarukyan (18-2-0) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (20-1-0)

The main event is a really fun fight between two of the best prospects in the division as the winner of Arman Tsarukyan vs. Mateusz Gamrot will get a big step up in competition.

Both Tsarukyan and Gamrot are super durable and can both wrestle and strike which makes this fight so interesting, but I think Tsarukyan's wrestling and pace will be the difference here. Both men will have moments in the fight, but the Armenian's wrestling will lead to him winning rounds and the minutes on the clock winding down.

At (-300), it's hard to play him straight, but taking Tsarukyan by decision gets you plus-money, which is how I expect him to win his first UFC main event.

UFC Vegas 57 Bet: Arman Tsarukyan by decision (+140)

Weight Class: Bantamweight & Welterweight

Mario Bautista (9-2-0) vs. Brian Kelleher (24-13-0)
Neil Magny (26-8-0) vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0-0)

For my parlay, I'm taking  Mario Bautista to defeat Brian Kelleher and Shavkat Rakhmonov to beat Neil Magny.

Bautista and Kelleher were booked on relatively short notice for this bantamweight scrap, and I just think Bautista will be too much for Kelleher. Bautista has decent takedown defense and throws a ton of volume, as he lands 5.42 significant strikes per minute compared to just 3.41 for Kelleher. If Kelleher can't get the first-round finish, Bautista will take over and win the next two rounds to get the decision win, if not a late finish.

In the co-main event, meanwhile, Shavkat Rakhmonov gets his toughest test to date, as he takes on the perennial contender Neil Magny, but it's a test I expect him to pass with flying colors. We saw Magny struggle against a wrestler in Michael Chiesa, while Rakhmonov, to me, is a better wrestler but also has power in his hands to KO Magny.

Rakhmonov will likely hurt Magny on the feet and then either ground-and-pound him out or submit him. Regardless, he is better everywhere than Magny and has all the tools to win this fight however he wants.

UFC Vegas 57 Bet: Mario Bautista & Shavkat Rakhmonov parlay (+101)

 

UFC Vegas 57 Best Bets:

Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC Vegas 57 event:

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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