UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC on ESPN 22
We are back in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex for UFC on ESPN 22. This weeks card will feature a Middleweight fight as the Main Event.
We’ll share our UFC on ESPN 22 best bets here but head over to our main UFC on ESPN 22 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 22 Best Bets
Robert Whittaker Win by Decision (+120)
The Main Event at UFC on ESPN 22 will see Robert Whittaker comes into this fight with a UFC record of 13-3. He is averaging 4.52 significant strikes per minute, but only has a striking accuracy of 40 percent. Whittaker is absorbing 3.44 strikes and has a striking defense of 60 percent.
Kelvin Gastelum has had plenty of disappointing results recently, so there really is no way I can back him to win here. I like the striking from Whittaker and believe he will win this fight. His last four wins in the UFC have been by decision, therefore backing him to win on the cards will be my top play for this fight at plus money.
Tracy Cortez Win by Decision (-120)
Tracy Cortez is a heavy favorite here and comes into this fight with an MMA record of 8-1. She is 3-0 in the UFC, most recently beating Stephanie Egger by unanimous decision. She is averaging 3.67 significant strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 53 percent. Cortez is absorbing 1.98 strikes and has a striking defense of 62 percent. Her grappling is solid as well, averaging 3.00 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Her takedown accuracy is 42 percent and her takedown defense is 85 percent.
Even though Justine Kish looks to be a more aggressive striker, Cortez does a better job at grappling and her ability to avoid damage is better. Cortez has won all of her UFC fights by decision, so I will back the same here.
Josiane Nunes Win (-120)
Zarah Fairn comes into this fight with an MMA record of 6-4. She is 0-2 in the UFC after losing to Felcia Spencer in her most recent fight. Fairn is averaging only 1.98 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 45 percent. She is absorbing 6.61 strikes and has a striking defense of 39 percent. Her grappling is nothing great and she defends takedowns 50 percent of the time.
Josiane Nunes will make her UFC debut here and has an MMA record of 7-1. She has won six fights in a row and now has six wins by TKO/KO. Her lone loss came back in 2013 too, so Nunes looks to be a special prospect. Given that her opponent has a questionable chin, I am going to back Nunes here. Fairn has yet to impress and the power from Nunes is likely going to be the difference. For that reason, I will gladly back Nunes to pick up a win in her UFC debut.