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  • Keith Eppinger

UFC Fight Night: Reyes vs Prochazka Main Card Picks and Predictions

All right fight fans and bread stackers, we are back for another money making opportunity in the UFC with Fight Night: Vegas 25.

If you’ve been tailing me on UFC picks, last week we went 5-1, and we’ve gone 11-5 since UFC 260 back in March. Let‘s keep the train rolling this weekend.

Poliana Botehlo -260 vs Luana Carolina +220

Poliana takes the W in this fight. She’s a more polished grappler than Luana. This is accredited to her work with American Top Team, a gym notorious for preparing their fighters by not only honing their skills but also providing them with comprehensive game plans. I imagine that the plan they’re coming up with for her at ATT heavily involves her grappling skills. Luana is very weak on the ground and lost her last fight via submission by a knee bar from Ariane Lipski. However she is a pretty solid striker so she has a chance if this becomes a boxing match. Unless she somehow finds a way to keep the fight on the feet she’s going to be dominated on the ground by Poliana Botehlo for the entire fight. Poliana still has a really good chance of winning on standing too though as she has a long awkward stance that provides a challenge for opponents. I’m not sure how she’ll win the fight, and I don’t like her odds straight up so I’ll be adding her to my parlay.

poliana botehlo, ufc, dana white
Beastly Botehlo.

Merab Dvalishvili -250 vs Cody Stamann +200

This is a tough fight to call. Merab’s number one training partner, Aljamain Sterling, beat Cody Stamann by way of submission. Aljo is currently the (disputed) bantamweight division champ, so he’s a pretty good fighter. A lot of people think Merab is going to use Aljo’s tactics and a similar game plan to defeat Cody Stamann, but Merab is no Aljo, and Cody should come in prepared for that attack. Merab is a takedown machine and no easy task, as he averages 8 takedowns a fight. Cody Stamann was a good collegiate wrestler and can defend the takedowns and, if he is taken down, win on the ground. Cody is the better striker of the two and if he does defend Merabs takedowns he can win on his feet. He has a major disadvantage coming into this fight however, which is that he moved down from the bantamweight division to featherweight, and a move down in weight class typically negatively affects a fighters cardio. Being that both of these men often see their fights end by decision, the potential for bad cardio does not bode well for Cody Stamann. On top of all that, Merab is on a five fight win streak, all in the featherweight division. Despite everything that I just said, I‘m picking Cody Stamann to win straight up based purely on gut feeling and the plus money. it doesn’t even feel worth it to take Merab Dvalishvili by decision because it’s currently -148. We have to take at least a few underdogs every week!

Merab and Cody.

Sean Strickland -265 vs Krzysztof Jotko +210

I feel good about this one. Sean Strickland is the only athlete to come back after a motorcycle accident and compete better than they did before. He dominated Jack Marshman and landed 106 significant strikes on him (wow). He KO’d Brenden Allen, who’s a solid fighter, early in the second round after landing 94 significant strikes on him. He defends the takedowns 81% of the time, and the last person to actually take him down? Kamaru Usman, and it wasn’t easy for him. Jotko seems to be declining steadily, as opposed to Sean Strickland’s two win streak. At -265, he’s a good parlay piece, but I have two more picks on this fight: the under rounds which currently sits at 2.5 for +130, and Sean Strickland to win by KO/TKO/DQ at +210. If he keeps up his striking performances, we‘re in for an entertaining fight and some fat wallets.

Ion Cutelaba -148 vs Dustin Jacoby +120

I just got done watching the face offs for Saturday and I did not like Cutelaba grabbing Jacoby’s neck. Anyone who’s willing to sacrifice the chance to get paid to fight and compete in the UFC just to brawl at the face offs appears mentally weak. Ion Cutelaba is clearly the much better grappler in this fight but he tends to go wild early and tire out. Dustin Jacoby was in the UFC, got cut, and worked his way back. He’s a better striker, and even though he’s very weak on the ground, both Vegas and I seem to like his chances here. Between Cutelaba’s tendency to tire and his clear mental weakness, and Jacoby’s inability to quit, I’ve come to a clear conclusion as to who I think wins this one: Dustin Jacoby.

Giga Chikadze -165 vs Cub Swanson +135

I’ve been a Cub fan for a while and he certainly presents an opportunity for yet some more underdog money. He’s a veteran of the UFC and a good test for up-and-comer Giga. Giga hasn’t really had any tough opponents yet and this is a time for him to get exposed. Nobody has really gone at Giga the way Cub Swanson will, as most of his opponents have sat back and let Giga come to them. He is an incredible kickboxer but Cub is durable and when he gets hit he actively pursues his target. He’s also a BJJ black belt, and Giga has hardly fought on the ground. If Cub takes Giga down he can manage a submission or at least dominate him there for a bit. I don’t feel great about Cub here as he is losing 4 inches of reach and height to Giga. I’m going to take him anyway though. Lets go Cub.

Cub and Giga.

Dominick Reyes +112 vs Jiri Prochazka -137

Prochazka has only fought one other fight in the UFC. He’s now ranked number five in the light heavyweight division. This is a weight class starved for talent and household names. Prochazka is exactly what the doctor ordered. He’s a character, doing things like “charging his chakra” mid-fight and rocking haircuts the likes of which I’ve only seen in video games. He handily TKO’d Volkan Oezdemir in the second round of his only UFC fight. Reyes’s last fight was against the current champ Jan Blajowicz and his name carries a bit of weight in the division. He took a lot of damage in that fight and appears to be regressing. At this point Dana White knows what he’s doing: put a down-and-out guy with a name against a rising star in order to promote their career. This fight feels exactly like that. Prochazka will defeat Reyes with ease and burst onto the scene as one of the next big names in fighting. At -137, it’s not a bad pick straight up but I will be adding him to my parlay. Not sure how Jiri Prochazka gets it done, but I’ll be taking him at +120 for KO/TKO/DQ as well because it feels very attainable.


Poliana Botehlo -260

Sean Strickland -265

Jiri Prochazka -137

This comes out to a total payout of +229.

Tail me or fade me, the choice is yours. Whatever you do, do it responsibly.

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