The UFC’s first trip to Chile could be the start of something big. Not just because it’s a new market, but because the Fight Night card in Santiago is filled with top prospects across a number of divisions. You might not know some of these fighters yet, but there’s a great chance you’ll see a few of them vying for titles in the future.
In the main event, Kamaru Usman looks to vault into the title mix in a matchup with No. 5 Demian Maia. The 40-year old Brazilian might be on a two-fight losing streak, but he’s just one fight removed from a title bid of his own. Colby Covington, who beat Maia in his most recent outing, is now fighting for the interim title. The brash Usman could be next should he take out the respected contender.
The co-main event features a meeting of two blue chip prospects in the women’s strawweight division. Mexico’s Alexa Grasso, with the looks and the striking style to become a star, locks horns with the undefeated Tatiana Suarez, a low-key personality with suffocating wrestling. Grasso was tabbed as a future star, but Suarez has the ceiling to be a champion.
Also on the card is Dominick Reyes, an unbeaten light heavyweight prospect in a division in sore need of fresh young talent. A former NFL hopeful, Reyes is big, athletic and currently boasts an 88% finishing ratio. He’s scored first-round finishes in both of his UFC fights, but his competition gets seriously dialed up against Jared Cannonier, another guy with explosive thumping power.
Who else? Andrea “KGB” Lee makes her UFC debut, and she’s already got some hype for her good looks and solid wins from LFA and Invicta FC. Chile’s own Diego Rivas will carry the torch for his home country, and Canada’s Vicente Luque will look to build on a 14-2 record.
You should have no complaints about this card, and there are some great bets to make here. Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu and break down your best options.
Demian Maia +415 vs Kamaru Usman -655
Latest odds: (Click here)
Just for reference, Maia was a +160 underdog against Tyron Woodley and a -130 favorite against Colby Covington. After getting schooled by both, he’s now a massive ‘dog against Usman. That’s because Usman, like T-Wood and Covington, is a powerhouse wrestler who should be able to stuff Maia’s takedowns.
Maia might be a legendary BJJ artist, but despite nearly two decades of cagefighting experience his striking is still ridiculously subpar. If he’s not able to dictate where the fight goes, he’s pretty much castrated offensively. Nobody’s confusing Usman for a prime Anderson Silva, but he’s younger, faster and already a more dangerous striker than Maia.
Safe Pick: Parlay Usman to win at -655
Maia can’t handle strong wrestlers. It’s that simple. Because Usman’s price is so expensive, it’s barely even usable as a parlay anchor.
Savvy Risk: Usman wins by KO/TKO
Usman might only have one UFC knockout, but he racked up a four-fight TKO streak in LFC and knocked out Sergio Moraes with a single punch just two fights ago. Against a middling striker like Maia, he could very well land a fight ending bomb.
Tatiana Suarez -700 vs Alexa Grasso +450
Latest odds: (Click here)
Grasso is the more polished kickboxer, and she’s got a decent grappling game to boot. But if she struggled to stay standing against Randa Markos, Tatiana Suarez is going to be a legit nightmare. Suarez was well on her way to the 2012 Olympic games for wrestling before suffering a neck injury and later being diagnosed with Thyroid cancer.
On season 23 of The Ultimate Fighter, coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha both targeted Suarez as their No. 1 pick after watching her overpower her opponent in tryouts. She submitted all her opponents on her way to winning the season. Grasso can be a good fighter, but Suarez is already looking like a contender – she just needs a few more wins under her belt.
Safe Pick: Parlay Suarez to win at -700
For Grasso to win, she has to control the distance, avoid the clinch and fight off takedowns. Just the threat of going to the mat will likely take away from her kickboxing game. That’s too much for the young striker, as Suarez will likely put her on her back early and keep her there.
Savvy Risk: Fight goes the distance
We get it, the price on Suarez to win is insanely expensive. This is solid pick, as Grasso is a savvy jiu-jitsu player that should be able to avoid submissions on the ground.
Jared Cannonier +200 vs Dominick Reyes -250
Latest odds: (Click here)
Tough call here. In Reyes, you’ve got a guy that looks like the next big thing at 205 pounds. But Cannonier ain’t a guy you mess with. Though “The Killa Gorilla” is unranked, his only losses at light heavyweight came against top 5 guys in Glover Teixeira and Jan Blachowicz. He’s explosive and knows how to crack.
At 6’4”, Reyes is big even by light heavyweight standards. He’ll have a four-inch height advantage against Cannonier, and he’s shown the ability to use his size to keep guys at the end of his punches. But the 28-year old will have to take his game to another level after feasting on fringe fighters.
Savvy Risk: Cannonier to win at +200
This is a value pick that takes advantage of Reyes’ hype. Cannonier should absolutely be an underdog, but he’s got a much better chance to win than these odds suggest.
Check out the latest UFC Fight Night 129 betting odds.