UFC on ESPN 42: Stephen Thompson vs Kevin Holland picks, predictions and best bets: Pavlovich continues to show his power

Mar 19, 2022; London, UK; Sergei Pavlovich (blue gloves) defeats Shamil Abdurakhimov (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at O2 Arena.
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Matthew Lowrimore

UFC

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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.

UFC on ESPN 42 takes place on Saturday at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. This card features a welterweight fight between Stephen Thompson vs Kevin Holland as the Main Event

We are sharing our UFC on ESPN 42 best bets here, but head over to our main UFC on ESPN 42 predictions for picks for each fight on the main card. Let’s get into our best bets for Saturday’s card.

UFC on ESPN 42 Main Card best bets

Matheus Nicolau Win by Decision over Matt Schnell (+150)

Matheus Nicolau comes into this fight with an MMA record of 18-3-1. He is 6-1 in the UFC, most recently beating David Dvorak by unanimous decision back in March of this year. Nicolau is averaging 3.64 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 52%. Nicolau is absorbing 3.09 strikes and has a striking defense of 67%. His grappling also looks to be solid, averaging 1.46 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 1.0 submission attempts during the same time period. His takedown accuracy is 42% and his takedown defense is 93%.

Nicolau is a heavy favorite in this fight, and while he looks to be the right side, picking him on the money line looks to be too risky. He has won 5 of his 7 UFC fights by decision, including his last 3 UFC fights in a row. For that reason backing Nicolau to win by decision will be the play.

Sergei Pavlovich Win by KO/TKO over Tai Tuivasa (-135)

Sergei Pavlovich comes into this fight with an MMA record of 16-1. He is 4-1 in the UFC, most recently beating Derrick Lewis by KO/TKO back in July of this year. Pavlovich is averaging 6.83 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 51%. He is absorbing 4.44 strikes and has a striking defense of 45%. He has still not shown any grappling ability, but does have a takedown defense of 66%.

Pavlovich is a heavy favorite in this fight, but Tai Tuivasa certainly has the power to give him a chance in this fight. However, the biggest difference in this fight is that Tuivasa has lost by KO/TKO twice, while Pavlovich has done so just once. Pavlovich’s one loss was also back in 2018, and he still has the superior striking. For that reason backing Pavlovich to win by KO/TKO will be the play.

Roman Dolidze ML over Jack Hermansson (+165)

Roman Dolidze comes into this fight with an MMA record of 11-1. He is 5-1 in the UFC, most recently beating Phil Hawes by KO/TKO back in October of this year. Dolidze is averaging 2.60 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 48%. He is absorbing 1.54 strikes and has a striking defense of 63%. His grappling has also been solid, averaging 2.47 takedowns per every 15 minutes and 1.6 submission attempts during the same time period. His takedown accuracy is 52% and his takedown defense is 33%.

Jack Hermansson is a big favorite in this fight, but he has been inconsistent recently — just 3-3 in his last 6 UFC fights. Dolidze is 3-0 in his last 3 UFC fights and is better in terms of his grappling and his ability to absorb damage. For that reason backing Dolidze to pull the upset will be the play.

Make sure you also read our UFC on ESPN 42 four-fight parlay (+446 odds!)

At Pickswise we provide free expert MMA picks and MMA Predictions for all of the top UFC Cards. Our UFC Predictions and UFC Picks include a pick and analysis for all of the main card fights.

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