All eyes are on the UFC 257 rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor. Before we get to that point, though, Dana White has put together a Wednesday card on Fight Island that will start at 9 a.m. ET and run through lunchtime into the afternoon.
UFC on ESPN 20 features a main event between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny. This is a really busy card with 14 fights. It could be a tough handicapping card, as a lot of fighters on the slate are coming back from extended layoffs and some are either newcomers or those in their second UFC fights.
Chiesa is one of those fighters returning after a long absence from the Octagon. He’s +120 per the odds at BetMGM Sportsbook. That means that Magny is the -145 favorite with -150 odds on the fight going the distance. This fight will employ the championship rounds, which likely makes it that much tougher for Chiesa to win.
The underdog hasn’t fought since January 25, 2020, so it’ll be about a year for him. Magny won three decisions in 2020. Magny hasn’t gone into the fourth round in over two years, so we’ll have to see how the gas tanks work for both guys, but he’s got 14 decision wins in his career and only one loss when a fight has gone the distance. Chiesa is 6-0 in decisions.
If that fight feels too close to call, maybe there are others to consider. Tyson Nam is only -135 against Matt Schnell and that line feels like a bit of a bargain. Schnell is +110 on the dog price. Schnell is one of several fighters on the card that did not fight in 2020. Nam struggled with Kai Kara-France and Sergio Pettis, but Schnell is not the same type of striker as those two. This seems like a better stylistic matchup for Nam.
Schnell is more of a ground game guy, so we have a striker vs. grappler fight. This could be a good one for live betting at BetMGM because Schnell taking the fight to the ground would really help his chances. Nam would prefer to do the striking, which means either top control or an upright fight.
Nam at -135 would be the play before the fight, but you can easily buy out with in-play wagering if Schnell is dictating the type of fight.
Another wrinkle on this card is that a lot of these fighters have either been inconsistent or downright disappointing. Take Vinicius Moreira and Ike Villanueva. Villanueva is -145 with the pup price at +120 for Moreira. This could very well be Moreira’s last chance. After impressing Dana White enough to get a contract, he’s 0-3, losing to Paul Craig, Eryk Anders, and Alonzo Menifield.
Villanueva is not in the category of those other three fights, though, so it looks like a good buy opportunity on Moreira. Villanueva has taken some abuse in his last two fights. Moreira’s back is against the wall and he needs an impressive win. Not to mention, Villanueva is now 36 and he’s clearly shown some signs of age in his last two scraps.
One of the harder fights of the night to figure out is Warlley Alves at +185 against Mounir Lazzez at -225. Alves hasn’t fought in 14 months. Lazzez scored an impressive debut win over Abdul Razak Alhassan, but it was his opponent’s first fight in 22 months after a long, drawn-out legal battle. Alhassan aged a lot from that and wasn’t a spring chicken to begin with.
This is a big opportunity for both fighters, as Alves looks to hang on and Lazzez looks for bigger and better things. One thing that is certain is that these two guys should be aggressive based on everything on the line coming into this fight. The over/under 2.5 is sitting at -110 both ways and under 2.5 looks awfully attractive.
There are a lot of other fights on the card, but one with great intrigue is Jordan Davis at -185 against Mason Jones at +155. Jones was the lightweight champion in Cage Warriors prior to taking this UFC assignment. Jones enters this one undefeated, while Davis has losses to Gilbert Burns and Sodiq Yusuff. Those two fighters are better than anybody Jones has faced.
Now he gets Davis in his debut fight. Davis hasn’t fought in a while, though, and this line has fluctuated a bit. It was lower, but some money has shown on Davis. At +155, Jones seems like a live dog in the biggest opportunity of his career.
It should be a fun fight card and you can get up to a $500 Welcome Bonus at BetMGM for some Wednesday morning and afternoon action. In some states, like Tennessee, that is a Deposit Match Bonus up to $500. In other states, that will be a Risk-Free Bet up to $500.
BetMGM has a lot of options for betting the UFC and that’s why you want to bet the best the MMA world has to offer at the King of Sportsbooks.