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UFC on ESPN 23 predictions, picks, best bets and four-fight parlay

UFC on ESPN 23 predictions, picks, best bets and four-fight parlay

We are back in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex for UFC on ESPN 23. This weeks card will feature a Light Heavyweight fight as the Main Event.

Here is our favorite four-fight parlay that pays at odds of +616. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC on ESPN 23 predictions for the full 12-fight card.

Cub Swanson vs. Giga Chikadze, Fight to go the Distance – Yes (-155)

Giga Chikadze comes into this fight 5-1 in the UFC. His only loss in the UFC was before his official debut at a Dana White’s Contender Series Event. Chikadze is averaging 3.45 significant strikes per minute and landing them with an accuracy of 43 percent. He is absorbing 2.65 strikes and has a striking defense of 60 percent.

Cub Swanson comes into this fight 17-10 in the UFC and has won his last two fights in a row. Most recently, he beat Daniel Pineda back in December of 2020 by TKO/KO. Swanson is averaging 4.64 significant strikes per minute and landing them with an accuracy of 50 percent. He is absorbing 3.64 strikes and has a striking defense of 60 percent.

While I do like Chikadze to win this fight, I am a bit worried with him facing a UFC veteran. Four of Chikadze’s last five UFC fights have gone the distance, so backing this fight to do the same will be my play.

Sean Strickland/Krzysztof Jotko, Fight to go the Distance – Yes (-140)

Sean Strickland comes into this fight 9-3 in the UFC and has won three fights in a row. He most recently beat Brendan Allen by TKO/KO back in November of 2020. Strickland is averaging 5.09 significant strikes per minute and is landing them 38 percent of the time. He is absorbing 3.77 strikes and has a striking defense of 66 percent.

Krzysztof Jotko comes into this fight 9-4 in the UFC and has won his last three fights in a row. His most recent win came back in May of 2020 and was against Eryk Anders. He is averaging 2.98 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 45 percent. Jotko is absorbing 1.90 strikes and has a striking defense of 58 percent.

Strickland is the heavy favorite here and that is probably warranted. However, Jotko has been very good at limiting the damage he takes. He has lost by TKO/KO only twice in his career, but not since 2018, so backing this fight to just go the distance will be our play.

Luana Pinheiro Money Line (-162)

Luana Pinheiro comes into this fight with an MMA record of 8-1. She is 1-0 in the UFC after earning her UFC contract back in November of 2020 at a Dana White’s Contender Series event. This was a win by TKO/KO against Stephanie Frausto. She is averaging 3.57 significant strikes per minute and landing them 40 percent of the time. She is absorbing only 1.43 strikes and has a striking defense of 78 percent.

Sometimes backing an experienced fighter like Markos might be the right play against someone making their debut, however she has been far too inconsistent. Markos has lost four of her last five fights and six of her last 10, so backing Pinheiro to win will be my play.

Gabriel Benitez vs. Jonathan Pearce, Fight to go the Distance – No (-175)

Gabriel Benitez comes into this fight 6-4 in the UFC, most recently beating Justin Jaynes back in December of 2020. This was a win by TKO/KO. Benitez is averaging 4.38 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 38 percent. He is absorbing 3.26 strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 70 percent.

Jonathan Pearce comes into this fight 2-1 in the UFC, most recently beating Kai Kamaka by TKO/KO back in November of 2020. He is averaging 8.80 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 55 percent. He is absorbing 6.65 strikes and has a striking defense of 46 percent. Pearce is a very good grappler, averaging 5.91 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He has a takedown accuracy of 60 percent and a takedown defense of 75 percent.

All of Pearce’s UFC fights have ended inside the distance, while six of Benitez’s 10 UFC fights have done the same. For that reason, I like the fight to end inside the distance.

Last updated: Fri 30th April 2021

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