UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC on ESPN 17
We are in Las Vegas this week at the UFC Apex for UFC on ESPN 17. This weeks’ card will feature a Light Heavyweight fight with title aspirations as the Main Event.
We’ll share our UFC on ESPN 17 best bets here but head over to our main UFC on ESPN 17 predictions homepage if you want picks for every fight on the main and preliminary card. Please gamble responsibly when following our MMA picks and predictions.
UFC on ESPN 17 Best Bets
Brendan Allen Money Line (-108)
Brendan Allen comes into this fight 3-0 in the UFC. Allen is certainly not the greatest striker, averaging 2.67 strikes per minute. He is landing these strikes with an accuracy of 60%, which will certainly help him do more damage. Allen also has some ability to grapple, averaging 1.42 takedowns per every 15 minutes. More importantly, he averages 2.4 submission attempts during the same time period.
Ian Heinisch comes into this fight 3-2 in the UFC. He recently snapped a two-fight losing streak by beating Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 250 in June of this year. He is a better striker, averaging 3.62 strikes per minute. Heinisch is less effective on the ground, averaging 1.16 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Though he lands his takedowns just 19% of the time.
Allen looks to be the more balanced fighter and with his ground-based ability, I do believe he is going to be able to win this fight and remain undefeated in the UFC.
Raoni Barcelos Win by Finish (-115)
Raoni Barcelos is one of the bigger favorites on the card and is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC. Barcelos is averaging 4.79 strikes per minute, while absorbing 4.46. His chin is very strong though, considering he has never been knocked out in his career. He also has the ability to grapple, averaging 2.31 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He lands his takedowns 58% of the time and defends them 83% of the time.
Taha comes into this fight 1-1 in the UFC. Taha is averaging 2.64 strikes per minute and is absorbing 2.29 strikes. He has also never been knocked out. He does not have much grappling ability and defends takedowns 63% of the time.
Because Barcelos is the much more balanced fighter, I like him to win this fight. He has three finishes in the UFC, and a total of 10 in his career, so to reduce the juice significantly, I will back Barcelos to win this fight by finish.
Thiago Santos vs. Glover Teixeira Over 1.5 Rounds (-136)
Thiago Santos enters this fight with a UFC record of 13-6. He lost to Jon Jones by split decision recently, so it was a very close fight. This fight was back in July of 2019, so the layoff could be a slight concern. Santos is averaging 4.44 strikes per minute, landing them 47% of the time. He is absorbing just 2.19 strikes, so he has done a good job at limiting damage. Santos will probably not look to grapple much, averaging just 0.83 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He does defend takedowns 68% of the time, so that is a good sign.
Glover Teixeira enters this fight 14-5 in the UFC and has won his last four fights in a row. Teixeira is averaging 3.74 strikes per minute, absorbing 3.87 strikes. He has been knocked out just twice in the UFC, so he looks to have a strong chin. Teixeira will look to grapple more than his opponent, averaging 1.87 takedowns per every 15 minutes.
Both guys have the chin to stand up and fight and Santos has a solid takedown defense to prevent this fight going to the ground. I am going to back this fight to go at least 1.5 rounds and look for a finish in the later rounds of the fight.