#Betting101: Fading the Replacements at UFC 222

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 8:11 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018 8:11 PM UTC

Alexander Hernandez will make his promotional debut Saturday at UFC 222 on less than two weeks’ notice. That should make Beneil Dariush worth putting in our UFC picks.

UFC 222Free UFC Pick: Beneil Dariush –353Best Line Available: Pinnacle

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I love it when a plan comes together. Once again, the Women’s Strawweight division paid out for us at last week’s UFC on FOX 28 card in Orlando, as Angela Hill and Maryna Moroz went OVER 2.5 rounds before Hill won by unanimous decision. And once again, we got the right price at –325 on the UFC odds board; that bet would have cost you –400 at the close.

There’s another Women’s Strawweight fight this Saturday at UFC 222 in Las Vegas, but Ashley Yoder and Mackenzie Dern are both submission specialists, so this doesn’t fit our usual #Betting101 template. We’re also not too keen on taking the Heavyweight fight between Stefan Struve and Andrei Arlovski to end inside the distance, as most Heavyweight fights do. Let’s look instead at fading one of the late replacements on Saturday’s card: Alexander Hernandez (+285), who has been air-dropped into a Lightweight match with Beneil Dariush.

It's Not Easy Being Green

The original plan for Dariush (14-3-1 lifetime, 8-3-1 UFC) was to face Bobby Green at the T-Mobile Arena, but Green pulled out Feb. 14 with an undisclosed injury. It wasn’t until Feb. 23 that Hernandez (8-1 lifetime) was announced as Green’s replacement. Hernandez is worthy of a shot; he’s on a six-fight winning streak, most recently putting the boots to Derrick Adams at an LFA event last November. But this is a big step up in competition for the 25-year-old Texan.

Dariush is one of the better “mid-card” fighters in the Lightweight division. He’s a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai, with a solid defensive base, accurate striking and an array of submission holds. Sherdog has the Iranian-born fighter at No. 10 on its Lightweight rankings; UFC has him at No. 12. Tapology has Hernandez at No. 6 on their rankings – for the U.S. Southwest region.

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Beneil Dariush stays on #UFC222 bill after Bobby Green's injury, now faces Alexander Hernandez https://t.co/Dq7jMAWloz pic.twitter.com/5qZGlVdiD2

— Sherdog.com (@sherdogdotcom) February 24, 2018

The kicker here is the short notice. While Dariush has to shift his attention from Green to Hernandez, the underdog didn’t even know he was going to step into the Octagon until about a week ago. He was previously scheduled to take on Dez Hill, a right-handed boxing specialist, at Sunday’s Fury Fighting Championship 23 card. For our UFC picks, we’re banking on this transition being more difficult than the market appreciates, and as always we’re taking the best price on the board at press time. Shop smart, and may the Octagon be with you.

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