UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC 265: Yadong can crush Kenney

Mar 6, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Song Yadong of China punches Kyler Phillips in their bantamweight fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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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.
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UFC 265 takes place on Saturday at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The card will feature an interim heavyweight title fight as the main event, with the winner most likely to get a shot at the heavyweight title and Francis Ngannou later this year.

We’ll share our UFC 265 best bets here but head over to our main UFC 265 predictions page for picks for every fight on the main and preliminary card. Please gamble responsibly when following our MMA picks and predictions.

UFC 265 main card best bets

Song Yadong ML (+105) vs Casey Kenney

Song Yadong comes into this fight 5-1-1 in the UFC, most recently losing to Kyler Phillips by unanimous decision in March. This was his first loss in the UFC, so he will be looking to bounce back. Yadong is averaging 4.35 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 42%. He is absorbing 3.64 strikes and has a striking defense of 57%. His grappling is just okay, averaging 0.59 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Despite the low takedown average, he has a takedown accuracy of 75% and has a takedown defense of 56%.

Both guys are coming off a loss, so this will be an important fight. They each had problems defending takedowns in their recent losses, but the below-average takedown accuracy for Casey Kenney could prove to be an issue. As mentioned, Yadong does not attempt many takedowns, but he usually lands them when he does. For that reason, look for this fight to be close, but backing Yadong to win is the best play.

Angela Hill ML (+115) vs Tecia Torres

Angela Hill comes into this fight 8-9 in the UFC, most recently beating Ashley Yoder by unanimous decision in March. Hill is averaging 5.66 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 50%. She is absorbing 4.98 strikes and has a striking defense of 64%. Hill’s grappling is also not her strongest area, averaging 0.45 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Her takedown accuracy is 36%, but her takedown defense is 76%.

This fight is fairly even, but Hill looks to have a slight edge with her striking. Considering she also defends takedowns at a high level, she looks the top play for this fight.

Michael Chiesa ML (-105) vs Vicente Luque

Michael Chiesa comes into this fight 11-4 in the UFC, most recently beating Neil Magny by unanimous decision in January. In that fight, he dominated Magny and has now won 4 fights in a row. Chiesa is averaging 1.89 significant strikes and has a striking accuracy of 40%. He is absorbing 1.71 strikes and has a striking defense of 54%. Grappling is much more his style, averaging 3.60 takedowns per every 15 minutes. His takedown accuracy is 52% and his takedown defense is 68%.

The volume from Vicente Luque could be a concern, but Chiesa has done an excellent job at avoiding damage. He proved he can be legitimate contender after his last fight against Neil Magny and his takedowns look to be a huge boost. Because Chiesa looks to have the better grappling, he is the top play for this fight.

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