Following up a pay-per-view card with two title fights is not easy. The UFC will try its best to do that this week with UFC on ESPN 25, maybe better known as UFC Vegas 29, with a main event featuring The Korean Zombie and Dan Ige.
There are a lot of fighters on this card with a lot to prove and that should make for some interesting action. There are a lot of guys that have had some nice wins, but also some disappointing losses. We’ve got some experience and some youngins. We’ve got a little bit of everything on this card.
We’ll use the odds from BetMGM Sportsbook this week to survey the fights. Our breakdowns will include the three main card headliners and best bets from the rest of the action.
UFC Betting Odds – The Korean Zombie (-110) vs. Dan Ige (-110)
Flip a coin here, boys and girls. The fight is lined at -110 both ways and it is tough to find betting edges in this bout. Many would say that The Korean Zombie should have beaten Yair Rodriguez, who knocked him out with one second left in the fifth round way back on November 10, 2018. Brian Ortega just beat him in five rounds back in October.
Does that mean that Chan Sung Jung needs an earlier knockout for the win? His last three wins have all been via first-round knockout. The problem with that approach is that Dan Ige has never been knocked out. He’s never lost by stoppage. He’s 6-3 in decisions with nine finishes.
Does that give Ige the upper hand in this fight? The longer it goes, the better off he should be, right? Well, he lost going 25 minutes with Calvin Kattar last July and has not really looked all that impressive in fights that have gone the distance.
It creates quite a conundrum for both fighters. For bettors, too. Sometimes it’s best to just pass on the main event. If you absolutely have to bet it, The Korean Zombie has fought some stronger competition it seems, but that’s a flimsy reason to place a wager.
Pick: The Korean Zombie
Aleksei Oleinik vs Sergey Spivak Odds & Prediction:
UFC Picks – Is This the End for Aleksei Oleinik (+180)?
Aleksei Oleinik takes on Sergey Spivak here and Spivak is the -225 favorite at BetMGM Sportsbook. The 43-year-old Oleinik has been violently beaten up in his last two losses against Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus. Spivak is just 3-2 in the UFC after coming in at 9-0. He really hasn’t been all that impressive, but he has a chance at a big-name win against Oleinik, who turns 44 on Sunday.
The thing that is concerning for Oleinik is that his wrestling advantage doesn’t really seem to be one in this fight. Spivak can hold his own on the mat and has already against Carlos Felipe and Jared Vanderaa. Of course, he did also lose to Marcin Tybura.
There aren’t a lot of really strong betting angles in this fight either, at least not from a side standpoint. At time of writing, BetMGM did not yet have totals up for this fight, but other books did and they were showing 1.5 rounds with the over on the plus side.
This doesn’t look like a quick finish either way. Spivak has gone over 1.5 rounds in each of his last four fights. We know that Oleinik is aware of his limitations. The over is the best bet here.
Aleksei Oleinik vs Sergey Spivak Pick: Over 1.5
UFC Vegas 29 Odds – Davey Grant (+165) vs. Marlon Vera (-200)
This is a really big fight for Marlon Vera. He was an underdog to Sean O’Malley back at UFC 252 and may well have lost that fight had O’Malley not suffered an ankle injury from a slip early in the first round. If so, it would have been three losses in a row for Vera. Instead, he was able to keep pressing forward and scored the KO win.
He’ll need to be aggressive against Davey Grant. Grant has been aggressive and has won his last three fights, including a second-round stoppage against Jonathan Martinez. Vera, who was a top contender in the division before losing to Jose Aldo in December, absolutely has to win this fight if he wants a title shot at any point in his career.
Vera should win. The odds say he should win. His recent performances are not as reflected in the line as we would expect with that -200 price. That seems to say something if you ask me.
Davey Grant vs. Marlon Vera Pick: Marlon Vera
UFC Best Bets
Looking around the rest of the card, here are some best bets:
Virna Jandiroba (-145) over Kanako Murata (+120) – Virna Jandiroba has 16 career submission wins to her name. Even if she doesn’t lock in a sub here, you really have to wonder about Kanako Murata’s takedown and clench defense against a more experienced fighter that has only lost to Mackenzie Dern and Carla Esparza, two veteran fighters.
Josh Parisian (-140) over Roque Martinez (+115) – We watched as Josh Parisian squandered a big size advantage over Parker Porter. That should have been a learning experience for the 31-year-old in his first fight under contract. The 6-foot-4 favorite takes on the 5-foot-10 Martinez here. Martinez is already 0-2 in the UFC against bigger fighters and that could be a big reason why the 35-year-old never caught on. Parisian is a good bet here.