UFC Predictions: UFC Fight Night 175 Smith vs. Rakic picks and best bets

Dec 21, 2019; Busan, SOUTH KOREA; Volkan Oezdemir (red gloves) fights Aleksandar Rakic (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Sajik Arena.
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Matthew Lowrimore

UFC · 2 years ago

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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.

This weeks’ card will feature a three-round Main Event because the original Main Event was cancelled a few weeks ago. This fight will feature two Light Heavyweights looking to make their case for a shot at the title.

We’ll share our UFC Fight Night 175 best bets here but head over to our main UFC Fight Night 175 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 Fight Night 175 Best Bets

Main Card

Anthony Smith/Aleksander Rakic – Fight to go the Distance (+160)

Aleksandar Rakic comes in ranked as the #8 contender in the division. He suffered his first loss in the UFC to Volkan Oezdemir by split decision back in December of 2019. Rakic relies heavily on his striking, averaging 5.17 significant strikes per minute. He absorbs 2.47 strikes per minute and has never been knocked out.

Anthony Smith is looking to rebound from a beating he took earlier this year in May to Glover Teixeira. Smith was dominated in this fight and was out-struck 138 to 86 before he finally was finished.

A huge note to keep in mind is this is a rare three-round Main Event due to the original Main Event fighters withdrawing from this event some time ago. Smith may have been dominated by Teixeira, but it took him until the 5th round to be finished. This is definitely a scary play but I think Smith can tough it out for just three-rounds to see this one go to the scorecards.

Neil Magny Money Line (-255)

Neil Magny comes into this fight riding a two-fight win streak and has also won four of his last five fights. He last fought at UFC 250, beating Anthony Rocco Martin by unanimous decision. Magny is a balanced fighter, averaging 3.95 significant strikes per minute and 2.55 takedowns per every 15 minutes. Another impressive factor to take into consideration is Magny’s ability to limit the damage he takes. Absorbing just 2.17 strikes per minute, he does not get knocked out often.

The biggest issue with Robbie Lawler is he looks to be slowing down. He has lost three fights in a row and four of his last five. His most recent fight came against Colby Covington back in August of 2019. He was out-struck 179 to 78 in this fight and lost by unanimous decision.

You really have to consider Lawler’s age and how he looked in that last fight. Overall, I think Magny will just be too much for the veteran and Magny will continue his quest for a chance at the title.

Preliminary Card

Impa Kasanganay Money Line (-126)

Maki Pitolo fought at the beginning of August, which resulted in a loss to Darren Stewart. We know Pitolo has pretty good striking, averaging 4.95 significant strikes per minute. What has me more concerned is his inability to stop a takedown. His takedown defense is 42% and we saw what happened when the fight was brought to the ground against Stewart.

Impa Kasanganay is a perfect 7-0 in the MMA and will be making his UFC debut in this fight. He just fought on Dana White’s Contender Series – Week 2, earned his UFC contract and is now set to fight in the Octagon. Kasanganay has been a balanced fighter, averaging 5.53 significant strikes per minute and landing them at an accuracy of 58%. He absorbs just 2.27 strikes per minute as well, so he knows how to limit the damage. Kasanganay can also fight on the ground, where he averages 2.50 takedowns per every 15 minutes.

Look for Kasanganay to ride the momentum from his Contender Series fight and pick up a UFC debut win.

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