The MMA odds for Saturday's Fight Night 66 card in the Philippines are dripping with value. The undercard features a pair of underdogs who are well worth considering.
How big of a fight fan are you? Do you only get geared up for the main event? Or will you be glued to your screen for the entire main card (10 a.m. ET, FS1) when UFC presents Fight Night 66 live from the Philippines? Nice, but you're still missing half the show. There are six more fights on the undercard, including two matchups where the underdogs on the UFC odds board could end up cashing in. All the more reason to get UFC Fight Pass if you haven't already.
And all the more reason to wake up early on a Saturday morning, if you happen to be stateside. Let's delve right into these preliminary fights – notice that both are in the lighter weight classes, which tend to hold plenty of value when you're making your UFC picks.
Flyweight: Roldan Sangcha-An (+160) vs. Jon delos Reyes
This is the second prelim bout on the card, and should be well worth your Fight Pass subscription. Delos Reyes (7-4 lifetime) is the more widely-known commodity and the –185 favorite; however, the Guam native is 0-2 in the Octagon, losing to Dustin Kimura (–275) by a first-round submission, and Kyoji Horiguchi (–800) by a first-round TKO.
Sangcha-An (4-1 lifetime) also has yet to win in the Octagon. The promising local boy and member of Team Lakay was a late replacement for delos Reyes last June at Fight Night 43 against Richie Vaculik (–125), and Sangcha-an put up a good fight before losing a close one by unanimous decision. We saw some excellent striking and takedown defense from Sangcha-an; his low kicks were crisp, and when he did get taken down, “The Executioner” was able to wriggle free.
Nothing against the Guamanian here – he's an accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner who racked up four submission victories fighting in Saipan and the Philippines. But while delos Reyes holds a two-inch height and reach advantage, his striking defense is relatively poor, eating 5.32 significant strikes per minute. At these UFC odds, we're happy to recommend the underdog.
Free UFC Pick: Take Sangcha-An +160 at 5Dimes
Bantamweight: Ning Guangyou (+105) vs. Royston Wee
The opening match on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast gives us another “unknown” in Ning (4-2-1 lifetime), a 33-year-old former wrestling champion who won the Featherweight bracket at The Ultimate Fighter: China last August. Ning has brushed up his striking skills by training in Sanshou (aka Sanda, or Chinese boxing), and we saw those skills come to the fore when Ning delivered two devastating knockouts in the early rounds at TUF: China. Those victories aren't counted in Ning's career record; however, they illustrate why people call him “The Smasher.”
Wee (4-0 lifetime) figures to be a very tough test. He's five years younger than Ning, with a three-inch height and reach advantage. Wee also has two victories in the Octagon, against David Galera (–175) and Yao Zhikui (+200), although the latter was a tremendously close fight that ended in a split decision. The Singapore native has trained in Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and his grappling is solid, but Wee is somewhat limited in other aspects – again, stand-up defense is a concern, with Wee fending off just 49 percent of his opponent's significant strikes.
This is where we think Ning has the hammer in this matchup. As they say, styles make fights, and with Ning being so accomplished as a Greco-Roman wrestler, Wee's only viable path to victory is with the stand-up. That might not cut it against The Smasher, who brings an added wrinkle to this bout as a southpaw. Again, we prefer the lesser-known underdog not only as a value pick, but as the likely winner in our view.
Free UFC Pick: Take Ning -116 at BetOnline