Betting Guide for UFC Vegas 32
This week's UFC Fight Night card is incredibly strong compared to last week's.
Only three fighters sit at -200 or greater to get their hand raised on a 12-fight card littered with close, competitive fights -- and many fighters enter with several questions.
UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw takes place Saturday night from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas. So where is is the sharpest place to wager on Saturday's card?
Kyler Phillips (+260) to win by KO or Submission
Phillips is the second-largest favorite on the card at -290 on the moneyline, but his finishing prop is a great way to get juice on the ranked bantamweight.
Despite a hard-fought decision against his toughest opponent yet earlier in 2021, Phillips has been known as a finisher, with six of his total nine pro wins coming by knockout or submission.
The matchup is why Phillips is such a large favorite, as Raulian Paiva arguably does not even present a tougher challenge than Phillips' fight with Song Yadong. Paiva is moving up from flyweight to this heavier bantamweight class, and his -0.43 striking success rate does not inspire much confidence in the one-dimensional striker.
Paiva does have an 80% takedown defense rating, so it is unlikely Phillips dominates exclusively on the mat, so for the more daring, Phillips' +460 odds to win by knockout provide a larger payout, but his standard inside-the-distance number at +260 also hedges against a potential "club and sub" situation.
Andre Ewell (+310) to Win by Decision
Ewell's nickname is "Mr. Highlight," but "Mr. Decision" might be more appropriate. Six of Ewell's last eight fights have gone to a decision, and the only two exceptions were losses in which Ewell was the loser to stiffer competition.
That provides tremendous inherent value in the fact that if Ewell has a successful Saturday, it likely ends on the judge's scorecards in a decision. Can Ewell win this fight outright at a +170 underdog, though? Absolutely.
With a combined 0.87 takedowns per match between Ewell and Julio Arce, a striker's battle is on tap for Saturday. Of the two, Ewell has a higher rate of significant strikes per minute (4.42) and striking accuracy (43%).
However, the key factor to watch that may allow for Ewell to be more comfortable is the lack of leg kicks that Arce has thrown. Each of Ewell's past four opponents have landed at least 18 leg kicks to combat the length and power of Ewell, and Arce has landed just 10 combined in his past four fights. With his legs potentially under him, Ewell will likely look to set out and win an essential boxing match with a five-inch reach advantage.
Darrick Minner (+420) to Win by Submission
It takes just a brief glance at the stat sheet to know Darrick Minner's strategy -- choke someone out. Minner leads all fighters on the card at 3.6 submission attempts per match, and given that 22 of the 26 pro wins for Minner have come by submission, it is nearly shocking to see this -188 moneyline favorite so distant for his favorite outcome.
The reason is his opponent, Darren "The Damage" Elkins. Elkins is a grappler and wrestler himself, and the last time he was submitted was in 2010 to the now lightweight champion Charles Oliveira -- one of the greatest UFC submission artists ever.
Elkins, however, has just a 58% takedown defense, and Elkins has lost four of his past five fights. At 37 years old, Elkins is clearly slowing down from the crisp grappler that had him ranked in the UFC as recently as 2018.
That provides plenty of theoretical openings for Minner to use his athleticism and try early and often for his favorite chokes. The MMA community Tapology agrees, as 27% of their users believe Minner will win by submission, and that provides value in comparison to the 19.2% implied odds Minner currently has to win by submission on FanDuel Sportsbook.