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UFC predictions
UFC predictions

Our best bets for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 79 are tied to the odds from our best sportsbooks, and we look at a card headlined by a clash of lightweight contenders.

UFC Vegas 79's main event pits Rafael Fiziev against fellow divisional standout Mateusz Gamrot in a five-round affair. Fiziev, who lost a three round war with Justin Gaethje by majority decision last March, aims to recover from a defeat that ended an impressive sixfight winning streak, including victories over Rafael dos Anjos, Bobby Green, and Renato Moicano.

As for the other half of Saturday’s main event, Gamrot looks to make it two in a row after edging a game Jalin Turner by a split decision at UFC 285 in March. The former two-division KSW champion meets Fiziev with a UFC record of 5-2 and a solid pro mark of 22-2.

In the co-main event, Bryce Mitchell meets Dan Ige. The former looks to bounce back from his first-career loss, suffered at Ilia Topuria’s hands last December, while Ige has recently claimed back-to-back wins over Nate Landwehr and Damon Jackson.

With all that said, here are our best bets for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 79 (odds via our best sports betting apps; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

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UFC Vegas 79 Predictions

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UFC Vegas 79 Schedule & Odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

Main Card (7 p.m. ET):

Prelims (4 p.m. ET):

Top Picks for UFC Vegas 79

Fight line: Fiziev ML vs. Gamrot (-155 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Gamrot was desperate to get the fight to the mat in his narrow win over Turner, and while he averages a solid 4.54 takedowns per 15 minutes, he won’t get Fiziev on his back so easily, as the Kazakh-born striker stuffs a whopping 90% of takedown attempts.

The bulk of this matchup should be spent on the feet, where Fiziev boasts the clear advantage, landing 5.06 significant strikes per minute to Gamrot’s 3.03. Provided he can frustrate Gamrot early and keep the fight upright, Fiziev should lead the proverbial dance more as it wears on and land the cleaner, more damaging shots to get back in the win column against a workmanlike foe.

Upset: Johns ML vs. Argueta (+154 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Like Gamrot, Argueta will look to ride his grappling to victory. And, like Gamrot, he won’t enjoy the kind of fight he wants. Johns knows how to stuff a takedown - 92% of them, in fact - and outlands Argueta 3.63 significant strikes per minute to 2.41. In other words, Argueta will likely need to rock Johns on the feet with a haymaker to get the action to the mat, which seems unlikely based on the tape.

Yes, Johns may need to work his way out of some dicey positions along the fence, but if he can keep the fight in space long enough to land some clean blows, Argueta may begin to panic-wrestle, after which Johns should open up with his mitts en route to a second straight victory.

Winning method: Battle by KO/TKO or submission vs. Fletcher (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Battle and Fletcher often earn their wins within the distance, and I expect the former to add another stoppage to his resume.

Battle holds a significant height advantage over Fletcher, standing three inches taller, and possessing an impressive 10-inch reach advantage. He has demonstrated his ability to effectively throw punches off the back foot, as Gabe Green found out in brutal fashion in May.

With the shorter, stalkier Fletcher aiming to close the distance and get his man to the mat, I expect Battle to make him pay for every entry. Given his seven combined knockouts and tapouts in nine career wins, look for the promising Battle to earn another stoppage with a nasty counter or club-and-sub.

Prop bet: Means vs. Fialho goes the distance (+165 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

Both Means and Fialho are entering their matchup on three-fight slumps, and these kinds of skids often render action fighters gun-shy. While Means has often struggled against younger, faster competition, the old dog can play the methodical kickboxer when he needs to and isn’t above slowing the action down with the occasional takedown.

As for Fialho, the Portuguese bruiser often does his best work in the opening stanza, and if these two welterweights see a second round, they’ll likely end up hearing the final horn.

Parlay: Means vs. Fialho Over 2.5 rounds (+130) + Ramos vs. Jourdain goes the distance (-105) + Rodriguez by decision (-165) = +621 via DraftKings ⭐⭐⭐

In addition to a variation of our prop bet, this week’s parlay includes another round prop for a compelling featherweight clash and a victory on points for Marina Rodriguez over a familiar foe in Michelle Waterson.

In a compelling, stylistic matchup, I expect Jourdain to methodically work from distance and find himself in some tough spots on the ground over 15 minutes, while Rodriguez should ride her superior striking to a second decision win over Waterson, who’s folded to strikes only once in nearly 30 pro fights.

UFC best bets made 22/9/2023 at 12:04 a.m. ET.

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