UFC on ESPN 18 predictions, picks, best bets and three-fight parlay

Feb 17, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Ashlee Evans-Smith (red gloves) and Andrea Lee (blue gloves) fight during their flyweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Lee won via decision.
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Matthew Lowrimore


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Matthew has been with Pickswise for a while now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passions are college football and UFC, and those are the sports he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will put in the research to try and achieve this. For Matt Lowrimore media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.

This week the Main Event at UFC on ESPN 18 was cancelled due to Covid, so the Co-Main Event will serve as the last fight of the night. There are some huge favorites among this event, so looking for a parlay could be the best way to find the most value.

Here is our favorite three-fight parlay that pays at odds of +827. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC on ESPN 18 predictions for the full 10-fight card.

Kai Kamaka Win by Decision (+115)

Kai Kamaka enters this fight 8-2 in the MMA. He is 1-0 in the UFC after beating Tony Kelly by unanimous decision back in August of this year. Kamaka is a very high-volume striker so far, averaging 7.6 significant strikes per minute. He also absorbs 7.6 strikes per minute, but his chin has not yet been an issue. Kamaka will more likely look to take this fight to the ground where he is averaging 5.00 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He lands and defends his takedowns with 100% accuracy.

Jonathan Pearce enters this fight with an MMA record of 9-4. He is 1-1 in the UFC, losing his most recent fight to Joe Lauzon back in October of 2019. It was a loss by TKO as well and happened in the first round. Pearce is averaging 11.21 significant strikes per minute, but absorbing 7.85 strikes. He also has the ability to grapple, averaging 4.48 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He is landing his takedowns 50% of the time, but is defending them 80% of the time.

Pearce’s chin is no doubt a concern coming into this fight. He absorbs quite a lot of damage, and while Kamaka does the same, he has not been knocked out since 2015. I think Kamaka will be able to control this fight standing up, but he will win it with his ability to take his opponent down. As a result, I will take Kamaka to win as a lean, but will back him by decision to get a plus money price.

Rachael Ostovich Money Line (+148)

Gina Mazany comes in as a decent sized favorite, but it is hard to justify this price. She is 6-4 in the MMA and 1-4 in the UFC.  She lost her most recent fight back in June of this year. This was a loss by TKO to Julia Avila. Mazany is averaging 2.75 significant strikes per minute, landing her strikes with an accuracy of 49%. She also absorbs 3.14 strikes per minute. Her grappling ability is solid, averaging 3.14 takedowns per every 15 minutes. She does land takedowns with an accuracy of 70%, but defends them only 20% of the time.

Rachael Ostovich comes into this fight 4-5 in the MMA and 1-2 in the UFC. She has not fought since January of 2019, a fight that ended in a submission loss. Ostovich is averaging 2.32 significant strikes per minute and is landing them at an accuracy of 43%. She is absorbing 3.28 strikes per minute, and has a striking defense of 59%. Ostovich will look to take this fight to the ground more often than not, averaging 3.28 takedowns per every 15 minutes. She also averages 1.3 submission attempts per every 15 minutes. Ostovich lands and defends takedowns 100% of the time.

Neither of these fighters have looked good and the fact that Mazany is 1-4 in the UFC will keep me off her side. Ostovich’s ability to stop a submission is concerning, but because Mazany cannot defend takedowns very well, I will back Ostovich to win.

Ashlee-Evans Smith Money Line (-138)

Ashlee-Evans Smith comes into this fight 6-4 in the MMA and 3-4 in the UFC. Her most recent fight did end in a loss to Andrea Lee. Though this fight was in February of 2019. Smith is at least a solid striker, averaging 4.86 significant strikes per minute. The problem here is her striking accuracy is 35%. She also absorbs 4.37 strikes per minute, but has never been knocked out in her career. Her grappling ability is also decent, averaging 1.3 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Her takedown accuracy is poor at 25%, but she defends them 72% of the time.

Norma Dumont comes into this fight 4-1 in the MMA and 0-1 in the UFC. She lost her UFC debut back in February of this year, losing by TKO to Megan Anderson. Dumont is averaging just 1.42 significant strikes per minute, and is landing her strikes at an accuracy of 31%. She is absorbing 1.99 strikes per minute, but her chin was unable to hold up as mentioned in that previous fight. Dumont will look to take this fight to the ground where she is averaging 4.27 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Though her takedown accuracy is only 33%, so she may struggle in this department as well.

The lack of striking ability for Dumont is concerning and the fact that she got knocked out so quickly last time out will keep me off her side. I like the balance from Smith an even though she has been somewhat inconsistent recently, I think her striking will win her this fight.

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