UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs Ige | Last Chance Value Picks

UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs Ige | Last Chance Value Picks
Original photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

Women’s Flyweight fights usually go the distance. That’s why Wednesday’s prelim between Diana Belbita and Liana Jojua belongs in your UFC picks.

Diana Belbita vs. Liana Jojua

Wednesday, July 15, 2020 (8:05 PM ET) at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE


I love it when a plan comes together. Saturday’s Bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo went pretty much according to script; Aldo faded in the championship rounds and fell to Yan via fifth-round TKO, cashing in at –240 on the UFC odds board. That was up from –210 the day before the fight, so we hope you didn’t wait until bell time to place your bets. That’s the funny thing about making UFC picks. In other sports, you expect a late rush of action on the public favorites, driving the betting value toward the underdogs – but in combat sports, it’s often the other way around. We might see something similar this Wednesday when Fight Island hosts UFC on ESPN 13. There aren’t any big-name fighters on the card, though, so we’re going to our old bag of tricks and betting on a Women’s Flyweight bout to go the distance.

Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

Oil and Water

It’s just the right thing to do. According to FightMatrix, 54 out of 84 Flyweight matchups have ended in a decision; that’s 64.3%, which works out to a vig-free –180 when you run it through the amazing SBR Odds Converter. We should be able to find value by following one (or both) of these two avenues:

1. Getting a better price
2. Choosing a fight that’s more likely than average to end in a decision.

Which brings us to the second fight on the early prelims. Diana Belbita (13-5 lifetime, 1-0 UFC) and Liana Jojua (7-3 lifetime, 0-1 UFC) have both earned multiple stoppages on the indie circuit, but the competition level tightens up inside the Octagon – and the clash of styles between these two should help them go the full 15 minutes.

Jojua, a Muay Thai practitioner from Georgia (the country, that is), does her best work on the mat. Belbita, a Romanian fighter out of Ontario, is a kickboxer who strikes with volume, but not power. She also isn’t very good at strike defense, but Jojua doesn’t throw the leather all that much. Here’s the way we see it: Belbita will use her height and reach advantage to dance around the perimeter, trying both to land and to avoid getting taken to the mat, which is where Jojua’s focus will be. Result: stalemate. As for the price, we’re not getting a bargain at –185, but that’s close enough to “average” for this division, and if we’re reading the tea leaves correctly, this fight is more likely than others at 125 pounds to go the distance. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

Free UFC Pick:

Goes to Decision-185
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