UFC Betting Tips: Fight Night 148
UFC Fight Night 143 Nashville, Tennessee, March 23rd at the Bridgestone Arena is primed for a striking clinic. Two of the most flashy and dynamic strikers in the UFC today go head to head. The former welterweight title challenger Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson looks to bounce back and get 2019 off to a flying start. Pettis is also coming off a loss, the former lightweight champion is making the jump to welterweight for the first time to face the #3 ranked fighter in the division. This should be a great display of unique striking and movement from both guys.
The Bet UK UFC and MMA tipster is back to give thoughts, analysis, predictions and UFC main card treble ahead of the event. Bet UK online sportsbook has the latest UFC betting odds, including method of victory betting.
Stephen Thompson vs. Anthony Pettis
While Thompson has already fought for the UFC title twice with one draw and one loss he's the #3 ranked fighter in the division. His karate style has earned him wins over some of the best guys in the division including Jorge Masvidal and Rory MacDonald. He throws unique strikes from unexpected angles, coming from such a heavy karate background many opponents have yet to figure out the best way to fight against him. Flashy kicks and low hands with a rapid in-out movement poses a really tough task for anyone. It's the speed and timing that makes it hard for people to deal with. Pettis is a former champion but is making the move up in weight, mainly because he's missed weight a few times and he's gone as far as he can go at lightweight. Once again, he's got a unique striking arsenal but since losing his lightweight strap he's not been able to put together a good winning run. 'Showtime' has fought the who's who of the division so this will be a good change of pace for him. Many people have suggested the move up in weight is long overdue. When fighters move up and down in weight it's hard to judge, usually it takes a few weight cuts and diet changes to get the preparation right. This will be entertaining but for Pettis I think he needed a tune up fight first. Thompson has his preparation down to a tee and many fights at this weight.
Curtis Blaydes vs. Justin Willis
Curtis Blaydes' last outing saw him get KO'd in 45 seconds, however apart from Ngannou, Blaydes has been able to have his way with other heavyweights. He's taken notable wins over Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. He likes to get the action to the ground and start landing big elbows and punches. He's a grinding fighter who likes to wrestle, and with good cardio he's a tricky fighter to deal with. Willis has been touted as a bit of a heavyweight prospect by some experts, notably with his win over Mark Hunt. Willis is always improving and he's not got the experience of Blaydes in the UFC just yet, but he's unbeaten since his pro debut and should not be taken lightly. Blaydes with his second loss to Ngannou will make him even hungrier to prove he belongs. I believe this fight will be a wrestling and ground n pound clinic.
John Makdessi vs. Jesus Pinedo
Makdessi comes into the fight with back-to-back wins over a tough and durable Ross Pearson. Makdessi has been around for a long time, this will be his 16th fight in the UFC since his debut in 2010. He's got good defence and knows how to slow the fight down and when to put the pressure on, his cage IQ is very high being a veteran of the sport. However, in my opinion, he's a good, tough fighter but there is something missing. The fight was there for the taking against Vannata, who takes lots of chances and he should've got the win over Medeiros, which would have given him a five fight winning streak. As I say, he's just slightly off the more elite fighters in the division. Pinedo, from Peru, is a well-rounded fighter with a longer reach and a striking background. He's also got some good momentum with a 7-fight winning streak so this will be a good test for the debutant. It's up to the Peruvian to come out and show his worth, he's basically fighting for his UFC contract. I think there will be an upset here and see Pineda taking top control and pushing the pace for a decision.
Jussier Formiga vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
Formiga finds himself at the top of the flyweight rankings coming off 3 wins in his last 3 fights, including a notable win over Sergio Pettis. Depending on what happens with the division, this is a possible number one contender fight for both men. There's also momentum around Figueiredo as he is unbeaten in 15 fights, which includes 4 in the UFC. He's a scrappy finisher who loves to knock people out using his boxing, although Formiga's background is muay thai. This is going to be a clash of styles - power vs precision. Formiga has shown good posture and excellent ground game so we might see him go for the takedowns whereas Figueiredo will look to keep it on the feet and land his power punches. Another close fight here, I am going with the power puncher, Figueiredo is undefeated and also has a win over former title challenger John Moraga.
Luis Peña vs. Steven Peterson
Two featherweight up-and-comers collide with Pena vs Peterson. Pena was one of the more memorable fighters from the Ultimate Fighter 27, mainly due to his character and style. Peterson has been a vet of the American circuit for a while now with fights at Bellator and LFA and then found his way to the UFC Contender Series - the development league for new fighters - where he impressed enough to earn a spot on this UFC card. His latest fight was against Matt Bessette, which he won. Pena will have a 6 inch reach advantage and with many wins by submission we expect him to stick and move on the outside, and get the right to ground in the later rounds. Peterson does have more experience, but on paper Pena has the better striking and grappling.
Maycee Barber vs. JJ Aldrich
Another test here for the highly-touted Barber. In six fights she is undefeated with just one going to the final bell. However, Aldrich is no joke and will be a stern test. She's coming off a three fight winning streak in the UFC, as well as experience in Invicta. Both fighters have high level BJJ and have good all-round MMA skills. But there's a lot of momentum behind Barber at the minute and she has destroyed everyone in front of her so far.
Bet UK’s UFC Fight Night 148 Main Card Treble
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.
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