The endless well of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight quality matches churns out another one this Saturday (April 22, 2023) when Ricky Simon and Song Yadong duke it inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. The ESPN+-streamed show also sees Caio Borralho look to continue his rise against the always-dangerous Michael Oleksiejczuk and Rodolfo Vieira lock horns with fellow grappler Cody Brundage.
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What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 71?
Huh, this usually doesn’t happen until, like, June. I’m being very efficient this year.
In all seriousness, I’m sorry. I used to have the touch and now I don’t. I’ve been dealing with chronic insomnia and sleep apnea since March of last year, which is about when things first went off the rails, but I don’t think I can blame that for my poor decision-making when my “Prelims” picks are doing fine for the most part.
As is American tradition, I’ll be bailing myself out. That said, if this one also goes bust, I think I’m hanging up my visor and shades. I’m tired of coming out of fight cards relieved at best or miserable at worst, of not being able to enjoy stuff like Brandon Royval kneeing Matheus Nicolau’s head into the upper deck because I picked Nicolau and “Number Going Down: is more distressing than the joy of ape smashing ape can overcome.
Aight, enough moping … back to the grind!
She dominated Brogan Walker everywhere, and while she may have been able to force the stoppage with a bit more aggression, she did her job and I can’t knock her for it.
The “No Contest” was the right call. Evander Holyfield would be proud of that head butt (watch it).
Well, she showed the wrestling and striking needed to overpower Dumont. She just waited eight minutes to do so, and winning the third frame more decisively than the losing the first two rounds only counts in Asian mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions.
I said Mohammed Usman wouldn’t test Tafa’s takedown defense and I was very, very wrong. Tafa showed less eagerness to get to his feet than he did against a journeyman in a podunk promotion last year, and coming in at least 15 pounds above his ideal weight didn’t help. It was just a profoundly sad performance.
Like Rosa, he demonstrated the skills needed to win his fight only when it was too late to matter. I said Gomis’ kicks and movement would give him issues, but trusted Marshall’s aggression and takedowns to smother “Jaguar’s” offense. Marshall didn’t commit to doing so until he was already in an 0-2 hole.
Semelsberger has always been easy to take down, but I can’t recall him ever being this content with being stuck on his back. The last time he fought a dedicated grappler, he dragged A.J. Fletcher through hell after a rough first round. Here, he seemed totally content to just while away rounds in his closed guard despite his corner screaming at him to do something — ANYTHING — to get up.
It really just makes Jake Matthews’ insistence on striking with him all the more inexplicable.
I feel like whatever vengeful trickster god I offended in 2022 has the most fun when I confidently assert that someone has the edge in durability. Sergei Pavlovich wound up absorbing some monster counters without flinching, then battering Blaydes into submission where the likes of Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem failed.
UFC Vegas 72 Odds For The Under Card:
Jake Collier (-115) vs. Martin Buday (-105)
I’d recommend a small bet on Buday. If he actually follows his usual gameplan — namely bullying Collier against the fence and ruining his day with knees — this is a very winnable match for him. He didn’t follow that gameplan against Lukasz Brzeski, though, so keep it modest.
Julian Erosa (-150) vs. Fernando Padilla (+130)
Padilla has been out since 2021 and both men have the means to finish the other in an instant, so I’m leaving this one alone.
Charles Johnson (-150) vs. Cody Durden (+130)
Johnson is so painfully inconsistent that I’d rather not get money involved. I’d be all over that -150 line if this was five rounds, but Johnson can take so long to get into gear that investing in a three-rounder is a bad idea unless the stylistic match up is insanely lopsided.
Stephanie Egger (-305) vs. Irina Alekseeva (+255)
Egger should maul Alekseeva in the clinch. That said, Alekseeva’s been out for awhile, so skip it.
Brian Kelleher (-140) vs. Journey Newson (+120)
Too close to call. If you insist on betting, though, bank on Kelleher’s aggression to carry the day.
Jamey-Lyn Horth (-135) vs. Hailey Cowan (+115)
Though I do favor Horth’s striking and takedown defense to sink Cowan, the former is moving up in weight after a lengthy layoff, so there’s too much uncertainty to warrant investment.
UFC Vegas 72 Odds For The Main Card:
Ricky Simon (-120) vs. Song Yadong (EVEN)
Between Simon’s occasional durability issues and Song’s occasional struggles on the mat, each man has the means to demolish the other, making this too volatile to bet on. Just sit back and enjoy the carnage.
Caio Borralho (-350) vs. Michal Oleksieczjuk (+290)
Skip it. The odds are too lopsided to merit a bet on Borralho, and while Oleksieczjuk showed against Cody Brundage that he can flip the script at a moment’s notice, he’s flawed enough that betting on him doesn’t appeal, either.
Rodolfo Vieira (-245) vs. Cody Brundage (+205)
Definitely give me Vieira at these odds. Brundage’s defensive grappling has consistently proven a step behind his offense, allowing Nick Maximov to rack up takedowns and the likes of William Knight and Michal Oleksiejczuk to reverse bad positions. That’s not going to cut it against a submission artist of this caliber.
Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-165) vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta (+140)
Most of the time, Rogerio De Lima is such a mess that you shouldn’t bet on him. That said, he generally implodes by trying to force grappling exchanges in striking battles he’s winning, which won’t be an issue here. Not only is Cortes-Acosta a non-factor on the ground, he’s so limited on the feet that “Pezao’s” slugging should pay dividends. I favor the Brazilian everywhere, so put your faith in him.
Josh Quinlan (N/A) vs. Trey Waters (N/A)
Waters is making a two-week turnaround to replace Ange Loosa on short notice, so the odds aren’t out at time of writing.
UFC Vegas 72 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Martin Buday: Bet $42 to make $40
- Parlay — Marcos Rogerio De Lima and Rodolfo Vieira: Bet $35 to make $44.10
There are definitely a handful of bangers here to support the main event; be sure not to miss ‘em. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $404.97
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 72 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 72: “Yadong vs. Simon” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.