The UFC’s return to Orlando will feature a pair of welterweight bouts to close out a 14-fight card with no shortage of compelling matchups. Read on for our parlay picks and predictions ahead of Saturday’s UFC event.
Nearly a year removed from his last walk to the Octagon, two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson meets fan-favorite Kevin Holland in the event’s main event.
Thompson, 39, has dropped back-to-back decisions to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns, while Holland gets the booking he asked for after doing the company a solid and facing Khamzat Chimaev on short notice at UFC 279, despite losing by first-round submission.
In the bill’s welterweight co-headliner, Rafael dos Anjos returns to 170 pounds to face Bryan Barberena after suffering a brutal knockout opposite Rafael Fiziev this past July. The stoppage snapped a two-fight winning streak for the former lightweight champion, while Barberena continues his legends tour on a three-fight win streak after outslugging welterweight luminaries Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler earlier this year.
With that said, here are my top parlay picks for Saturday’s Thompson-Holland event (odds via PointsBet).
UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland Fight Card and Odds
- Stephen Thompson (+145) vs. Kevin Holland (-175)
- Bryan Barberena (+425) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (-600)
- Matheus Nicolau (-400) vs. Matt Schnell (+300)
- Tai Tuivasa (+185) vs. Sergei Pavlovich (-239)
- Jack Hermansson (-190) vs. Roman Dolidze (+155)
- Eryk Anders (+180) vs. Kyle Daukaus (-220)
- Niko Price (-135) vs. Phil Rowe (+105)
- Angela Hill (+108) vs. Emily Ducote (-130)
- Clay Guida (+145) vs. Scott Holtzman (-176)
- Michael Johnson (+255) vs. Marc Diakiese (-325)
- Darren Elkins (+380) vs. Jonathan Pearce (-500)
- Natan Levy (-200) vs. Genaro Valdez (+165)
- Marcelo Rojo (+140) vs. Francis Marshall (-170)
- Yazmin Jauregui (-325) vs. Istela Nunes (+255)
Top UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland Parlay Picks
- Diakiese by decision (-112)
- Rowe by KO/TO/submission (+190)
- Dos Anjos by decision (-125)
Combined odds: +888
Top UFC on ESPN 42: Thompson vs. Holland Parlay Predictions
Diakiese by decision (-112)
In his last four UFC victories, Marc Diakiese has fought methodically and relied on his takedowns to score lopsided decisions. Now that he’s tasked with a notoriously inconsistent foe who’s repeatedly fallen to grapplers in Michael Johnson, I expect him to repeat the feat on Saturday.
A greener Diakiese may have stood and traded zingers with Johnson (and likely paid for it), but simply put, the book on how to beat Johnson has long been written, and if Diakiese can earn even a shred of respect on the feet, he’ll get this one to the mat and wrestle his way to another W on points.
Rowe by KO/TKO/submission (+190)
Phil Rowe has earned two straight victories and five total by KO/TKO and another four by submission, while Niko Price has fallen within the distance in four of his five pro losses, with three of those coming via KO/TKO.
An action fighter who wins and loses big, Price will look to make it a dog fight and put the rangy Rowe on the back foot early. Once Price fades and the second stanza begins, look for Rowe to open up with some nasty clinch knees and combos before putting his opponent away to keep his 100% finish rate intact.
Dos Anjos by decision (-125)
Barberena’s legends tour ends Saturday night. He’s been out-grappled by past rivals Colby Covington and Leon Edwards, and I see dos Anjos giving him the same treatment.
The ex-lightweight champ is a cerebral technician with excellent timing on his level changes, and knowing better than to trade leather with Barberena for long, dos Anjos should cleverly set up his takedowns yet again and have his way on the mat to rebound with a 17th career decision victory.
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UFC Thompson-Holland picks made on 12/3/2022 at 1:54 a.m. ET.