UFC predictions, picks and best bets for UFC on ESPN 23
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.
We’ll share our UFC on ESPN 23 best bets here but head over to our main UFC on ESPN 23 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 23 Best Bets
Jiri Prochazka Money Line (-135)
Jiri Prochazka comes into this fight with an MMA record of 27-3-1. He is averaging 5.67 significant strikes per minute, landing them 45 percent of the time. He is absorbing 7.05 strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 55%.
Dominick Reyes comes into this fight 6-2 in the UFC. He has lost two fights in a row, but both were to the Light Heavyweight title holder. He is averaging 4.53 significant strikes per minute, landing them 48 percent of the time.
Prochazka is still rather early in the UFC side of his career but having 24 career wins by TKO/KO is extremely impressive. He looks to be a special prospect, so for that reason, I will be backing Prochazka to win this fight.
Dustin Jacoby Money Line (+115)
Dustin Jacoby comes into this fight 3-2 in the UFC. He is averaging 3.68 significant strikes per minute and is landing them 46 percent of the time. He is absorbing 2.94 strikes and has a striking defense of 61 percent. His grappling is less prominent, but he has a takedown accuracy of 100 percent and a takedown defense of 70 percent.
Ion Cutelaba comes into this fight 4-5 in the UFC. He has lost two fights in a row, both to Magomed Ankalaev by TKO/KO in the first round. Cutelaba is averaging 5.10 significant strikes per minute, but only has a striking accuracy of 39 percent. He is absorbing 3.37 strikes and has a striking defense of 48 percent. His grappling will be important here as he is averaging 2.41 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He has a takedown accuracy of 71 percent and a takedown defense of 80 percent.
Jacoby is on a roll right now, while Cutelaba’s chin has not been good recently. Because we have seen Cutelaba struggle over his last four fights, I will be backing Jacoby to pull the small upset.
Merab Dvalishvili Win by Decision (-145)
Merab Dvalishvili comes into this fight 5-2 in the UFC, having won five fights in a row. He is averaging 3.91 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 39 percent. Dvalishvili is absorbing 2.08 strikes per minute and has a striking defense of 61 percent. He is an excellent grappler, averaging 7.71 takedowns per every 15 minutes. His takedown accuracy is 43 percent and a takedown defense of 80 percent.
Cody Stamann comes into this fight 5-2-1 in the UFC. He lost his last fight by unanimous decision to Jimmie Rivera. Like his opponent, his grappling is also very good. He is averaging 3.03 takedowns per every 15 minutes.
Both these fighters would probably be content with controlling this fight on the ground and using their grappling to grind out a win. Eight of Dvalishvili’s nine UFC fights have gone the distance, so because of his elite grappling, I am going to back Dvalishvili to win by decision.