MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 29

MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 29

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC returns to its home of the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 29 that sees Chan Sung Jung (aka "Korean Zombie") take on Dan Ige in a pivotal featherweight bout.

In this series of articles, I'll share my favorite play, an underdog pick, a prop and a two-fighter parlay I like. All lines are taken from William Hill online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.

Bruno Silva (19-6) vs. Wellington Turman (16-4)
Weight Class: Middleweight

Bruno Silva finally makes his UFC debut on Saturday night, and I expect him to beat Wellington Turman.

Silva was signed to the UFC back in 2019 after being the former M-1 champion, but he failed a drug test. Now, he gets a very favorable matchup for his debut. Turman has struggled in the UFC, as he's 1-2 with his lone win over Markus Perez (who's no longer in the UFC). In his last loss, he was knocked out by Andrew Sanchez, a fighter who isn't known for his power.

Silva, meanwhile, is a KO artist and has proven he has the cardio to go three hard rounds, as he has been in the championship rounds in Russia. I expect the Brazilian to come out aggressive and land a big shot that will rock Turman and finish him early. I think he should be around -225, so to get him at -149 is solid value.

The Play: Bruno Silva (-149)

Casey O'Neill (6-0) vs. Lara Procopio (7-1)
Weight Class: Women's Flyweight

Casey O'Neill has had a lot of hype for quite some time. Even before she was in the UFC, I thought she would fare well, so I'm surprised she's an underdog to Lara Procopio.

O'Neill won her UFC debut by TKO against Shana Dobson. Procopio, meanwhile, lost her UFC debut to Karol Rosa by split decision and then beat Molly McCann her last time out. She used her wrestling to beat McCann, which I don't think she will be able to do against O'Neill.

The 23-year-old O'Neill attempted six takedowns in her debut, landing four for a success rate of 66 percent. Procopio, meanwhile, averages 3.5 takedowns per 15 minutes and lands 50 percent. On the feet, O'Neill outlanded Shana Dobson 49 to 16 in her UFC debut, good for a rate of 5.64 significant strikes landed per minute. Procopio, over two UFC fights, lands 6.70 significant strikes per minute, but the downside is she absorbs 6.93.

I like O'Neill to be able to mix in her wrestling and striking to earn a clear-cut decision over the Brazilian as an underdog.

The Play: Casey O'Neill (+130)

Sergey Spivak (12-2) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (59-15-1)
Weight Class: Heavyweight

I'm surprised Aleksei Oleinik is getting another fight, as he was knocked out in his past two. At 43-years-old, he seems like he can't take a punch anymore.

Although Spivak isn't known for his power punches, I do think he will be able to keep the fight standing and hurt the Russian on the feet. In Oleinik's last fight, he got hit by one good punch from Daukaus and then just stood against the cage, getting tee'd off on until the ref stopped it.

Spivak should be able to do something very similar as long as he doesn't try and grapple with Oleinik. Ultimately, Spivak by KO/TKO at -143 presents some good value.

The Play: Sergey Spivac by KO/TKO (-143)

Aleksa Camur (6-1) vs. Nicolae Negumereanu (9-1) & Marlon Vera (18-7-1) vs. Davey Grant (11-4)
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight & Bantamweight

I like Aleksa Camur and Marlon Vera to win, but they are above -225 so parlaying them together gets you plus money.

Aleksa Camur is coming off his first career loss, and while I don't think he will ever be a top-10 guy, this is a good stylistic matchup for him. Nicolae Negumereanu is coming off over a two-year layoff and in his last fight lost a decision to Saparbek Safarov

Negumereanu doesn't throw enough for my liking, as in his debut he only landed 0.73 significant strikes per minute, while absorbing 4.67. Camur, meanwhile, lands 3.94 while he absorbs 2.49. In the fight, I expect it to remain standing and Camur will just out volume Negumereanu and win a clear-cut decision.

In the second leg of the parlay, I like Marlon Vera to win the rematch against Davey Grant. They fought back in 2016, and Grant won a decision. Since then, Vera has had more success, as he's been a top-15 bantamweight and I expect him to be able to out-strike Grant.

Although Grant has two straight KO's, his chin still is a concern, as too is his ground game. Vera, meanwhile, should be able to out-volume Grant and mix in some grappling to win a competitive decision.

The Play: Camur & Vera parlay (+102)

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