Another UFC pay-per-view is on the horizon, but not before this week’s UFC on ESPN 24 event. Perhaps more commonly known as UFC Vegas 26, we’ll see a main event between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez in the women’s flyweight division as the capper on a 12-fight card.
The UFC Apex will once again be the venue for the Saturday May 8 festivities. There is one more event scheduled for the Apex after UFC 262, but with increasing vaccination rates and fewer restrictions on capacity, the chances of seeing more and more fans at UFC events look pretty good.
Odds come from BetRivers Sportsbook as we survey this UFC Vegas 26 fight card. You can get up to a $250 Deposit Bonus from BetRivers Sportsbook if you sign up through us at ATS.
UFC Betting Odds: Rodriguez vs. Waterson
Per the fine folks at BetMGM, Marina Rodriguez is the -215 favorite with Michelle Waterson at +175 for the five-round main event. With the championship rounds in play, the total sits at 4.5 with the vig on the over sitting at -240. The fight is -230 to go the distance.
Dana White seems to have plans to close down the flyweight division and move the women around between bantamweight and strawweight because there simply aren’t enough title contenders or challengers. It is a hard point to argue, but fighters have already voiced their displeasure. We’ll see if that discussion picks up any more steam after this fight.
You have to like Rodriguez in this fight. She is the more aggressive, bigger, rangier fighter in the smaller UFC Apex Octagon. She will keep pushing forward. Whether she wins by decision or stoppage, she will look the part of the aggressor and that goes a long way in these women’s fights.
Each of the last seven fights for Waterson have gone to the judges. That’s about her only way to win, but she faces long odds to win that way here. Rodriguez could win by decision or KO. The -215 looks like a good bet here.
Pick: Marina Rodriguez
UFC Betting Odds: Cerrone vs. Morono
Donald Cerrone has done a lot for the UFC. Lately, he’s done a lot for the careers of other people. It would seem that the UFC matchmakers have thrown him a bone here. It’s a pretty big bone for Cerrone to be -177 against Alex Morono. Morono is +145 on the takeback as the underdog in this fight.
Cerrone has lost five in a row. Ignore that Niko Price tested positive for marijuana, so his win was overturned. Cerrone lost that fight pretty big, too. He’s become a punching bag for opponents and he’s there for paychecks, love from the fans, and to be a good soldier for the promotion.
The over 2.5 is -190 here. Cerrone hasn’t gone the distance much lately, mostly because he’s been punched in the face a lot. His last two fights have, though, so at least we know that he can do it at his advanced age.
Morono lost two of his three fights last year, with losses to Anthony Pettis and Khaos Williams. He did beat Rhys McKee pretty handily and then took the Pettis fight on short notice.
I just don’t see how you can lay upwards of 75 cents on Cerrone. It’s clear that UFC officials want him to get a win for playing along the last few years, but he may not even be able to do that.
Total pass on this fight.
UFC Betting Odds: Neal vs. Magny
Or, maybe you prefer Neal vs. Neil. Geoff Neal is the -190 favorite against Neil Magny in this matchup of guys that are coming off of losses. Magny was bested in rather dominant fashion by Michael Chiesa, who kept him down on the canvas for extended periods of time in a fight with very little striking.
Neal lost to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a fight that featured over 300 combined strikes landed over the five rounds. Credit to Neal for staying upright after taking more than 200 shots in the fight. The thing for Neal that stands out in this fight, and a big reason why the -190 price tag has been slapped on him, is that he’s the much more aggressive and active striker.
Magny has gone the distance in four straight. He’s the taller fighter, but he hasn’t been able to use that his advantage much. This one does project to go the distance. If that’s the case, you have to believe the judges reward aggression.
Pick: Geoff Neal
UFC on ESPN 24 Best Bets
The heavyweight fight between Maurice Greene and Marcos Rogerio de Lima is an interesting one and there is one great way to bet this fight as far as I’m concerned. Greene is a big underdog at +150. de Lima is -190. However, the paths to victory are very telling here. The line on this fight is 1.5 rounds and the under is juiced, so it should end with a finish.
de Lima only has three submission wins in his career against 12 knockout wins. Greene actually has the better ground game between the two and de Lima has lost six times by sub.
At BetRivers Sportsbook, you can take Maurice Greene by submission at +500 and Marcos Rogerio de Lima by KO/TKO/DQ at +130. Set up your bets properly and you’ll make money regardless of which outcome we get. Those seem like the two most likely outcomes. This fight will not go the distance. Greene could score a KO, but he only has two of those in 15 fights.
I think this is a great way to bet this fight with minimal risk.
Another good bet is a money line parlay of Ludovit Klein and Amanda Ribas. Klein is the biggest favorite on the card at -245 for his fight against Michael Trizano, the TUF 27 champion. Trizano has not fought in almost two years. Klein is 17-2 in his career and has won 16 times by stoppage.
Amanda Ribas fights Angela Hill and is priced at -190. Ribas lost to Michelle Waterson last time out and wound up with just her second career defeat. Hill is 2-2 in her last four fights and the two that she has lost to seem much closer to the talent level of Ribas than the fighters she has beaten.
A -245 with a -190 comes out to around +115. That seems like a strong bet.
UFC on ESPN 24 will be on Saturday May 9 on ESPN and ESPN+.