This article is part of our UFC Picks series.
Plays to Consider on DraftKings
Jack Hermansson ($8,000)
Hermansson and Chris Curtis are set to battle in the co-main event in London. At the moment, the fight is essentially a pick 'em according to the Vegas odds, but there is some DK value here at Hermansson's slightly discounted price tag. First, it's worth noting that Curtis is taking the bout on short notice after local boy Darren Till was forced to withdraw. Curtis fought Rodolfo Vieira almost exactly a month ago, and although he emerged victorious in that fight, he started slowly and never truly found his groove until Vieira began to tire about halfway through. I expect no such conditioning issues with Hermansson, and I can see him wearing down Curtis with volume.
Alexander Gustafsson ($7,600)
I picked Nikita Krylov to defeat Gustafsson outright, but didn't feel great about it and certainly don't see $1,000 in salary difference between the two. Gus is now 35 years old and looks nothing like the guy who nearly took the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship from Jon Jones back in the day, but Krylov has also lost back-to-back fights and four of his last six, so he enters in no better shape. This bout is going to tell us whether or not Gustafsson has anything left in the tank at all.
Plays to Consider on PrizePicks
Nathaniel Wood OVER 75.5 significant strikes, Jonathan Pearce OVER 2.5 takedowns and Mandy Bohm UNDER 63.5 significant strikes
Wood is one of the best prospects in the featherweight division. He better be considering his nickname is literally "The Prospect." In his last two bouts against Casey Kenney and John Castaneda, Wood has landed 136 and 131 significant strikes, respectively. He's facing an opponent here in Charles Rosa who is tough as nails and has a legitimate ground game, but has never offered much on the feet. Wood should win with ease.
I'm actually a fan of Pearce's opponent, Makwan Amirkhani, but this takedown prop still seems too low. Pearce averages 6.79 takedowns per 15 minutes. In his five UFC bouts, his takedown totals are as follows: 6, 6, 5, 1, 4. In the bout where he only landed one, he was knocked down by Joe Lauzon in 93 seconds. Toss in the fact Amirkhani defends the takedown at just a 50 percent clip, and this is an easy pick.
Bohm (1) and Leonardo (3) have combined for four UFC bouts, with three of them being defeats. Bohm showed little in her unanimous decision loss to Ariane Lipski last September, landing 36-of-108 significant strikes, good for a paltry 33-percent clip. I expect a better effort against a lesser opponent in Leonardo, but I don't have enough faith to believe there's nearly 30 more significant strikes on the way.
Bets to Consider
Tom Aspinall to win outright (-135)
Aspinall and Curtis Blaydes will be matched up in what should be a competitive main event. The more I looked at it, the more I liked Aspinall here. For starters, he will have the crowd behind him in his native England. Then there's the fact Blaydes' entire offensive arsenal is built around his wrestling and pace. Aspinall has yet to be taken down in the UFC and has displayed no cardio issues thus far. I acknowledge Curtis is by far the best opponent Tom has seen to date, but I think Aspinall wins. Vegas seems to agree, as the odds have been shifting slightly in the Brit's direction the past few days.
Jordan Leavitt to win outright (+215)
I acknowledge this won't be a popular pick. The bottom line is that I don't think Paddy Pimblett is very good. He fights recklessly and seems to get too hyped up inside the Octagon. He's going to get caught eventually. Leavitt is no pushover, either. I'd feel much better about this pick if this fight was taking place in say, Vegas, instead of Pimblett's native England, but I'm fading "Paddy the Baddy" until further notice.
Nicolas Dalby (-230) and Muhammad Mokaev (-460) to win outright parlay (-135)
Mokaev is the second-largest favorite on the card, although the price tag is plenty reasonable if you work him into a parlay. I thought about combining him with Wood (-580) or Molly McCann (-410), but didn't like the odds. Enter, Dalby. Dalby's hasn't had much luck over the course of two stints with the UFC, but I've always thought he had more skill than his win/loss record would indicate. He's 37 years of age, but he's going up against a soon-to-be 40-year-old Claudio Silva, who just dropped a unanimous decision to Court McGee in his most recent bout. Dalby should be fine here.
For more UFC betting picks, check out our UFC London best bets for this weekend.
Plays to Consider on Money Knife Fight
Marc Diakiese UNDER 72.5 total strikes
Diakiese was widely viewed as a striker upcoming making his UFC debut in October 2016, but he's been most effective when he's used his wrestling game. He averages 3.17 takedowns per 15 minutes, while landing just 2.84 significant strikes per minute. Diakiese has hit the over here just twice in 11 UFC bouts, and in one of the two -- a fight against rising lightweight star Rafael Fiziev in July 2020 -- he landed exactly 73 strikes. Heavy, heavy lean on the under for this one.