The UFC continues it’s impressive run of events on Yas Island AKA ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi this Saturday night. Topping the card is a bantamweight match-up with title implications between Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen.
Prior to that fans get to enjoy a stacked six-fight main card. Join us ahead of UFC Fight Island 5 as we preview and predict each of those bouts. If you’re going to be putting money down this weekend stick with us and check out 20bet for all the best MMA & football betting odds.
Marlon Moraes vs. Cory Sandhagen
This is an intriguing main event match-up. Marlon Moraes is a long-time contender at bantamweight and has only came up short against the very best – Henry Cejudo. He holds high profile wins over the likes of Aljamain Sterling, Pedro Munhoz, Jose Aldo, Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera and John Dodson. Despite his clear pedigree he is considered the underdog this weekend by the oddsmakers who have priced him at +110. His opponent, Cory Sandhagen is the slight favourite at -137 but we aren’t quite sure why. Sandhagen has got height, reach and youth on his side heading into this one but the 28-year-old has not proven himself to be at the same level as Moraes, not yet anyway. Last time out he was quickly tapped by Sterling who as we mentioned earlier lost to Moraes. While MMA math doesn’t always work out it would be silly to pass up on the brilliant Brazilian as an underdog in this one.
Edson Barboza vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Former lightweight contender Edson Barboza is a considerable favourite to get his first victory at 145lbs against Makwan Amirkhani this weekend. The Brazilian knockout artist is -250 to record to the win and we think he will do just that. Barboza is on a two-fight losing streak but has looked really good in both of them and only lost out to Paul Felder and Dan Ige due to some dodgy judging. Amirkhani is a good fighter but has never beat anyone at this level. He is also stepping up on short notice, so you have to question if he’s ready for the biggest fight of his life. We predict no and for that reason will be betting on Barboza to score a finish in this one at odds of +120.
Ben Rothwell vs. Marcin Tybura
A really tough fight to call in the heavyweight division. Ben Rothwell and Marcin Tybura are really well matched, so we have two bets for you to consider in this one. Rothwell is the favourite at -170. We think he is likely to get this fight done inside the distance and betting on that will boost his odds to +175. However, Tybura is capable of edging this one out on the scorecards. We doubt he will be able to finish ‘Big Ben’ who hasn’t suffered a stoppage defeat since 2013. So, if you are leaning towards the Polish fighter be sure to bet on him to get the decision at odds of +250.
Markus Perez vs. Dricus Du Plessis
Another intriguing match-up. Another fight that’s hard to call. Markus Perez is the +130 underdog in this one and we will be picking him purely for the value. Perez is a three-year UFC veteran and has picked up some impressive wins during his time with the company. The favourite, Du Plessis still has it all to prove at this level. His odds of -160 suggest the bookmakers are backing his reputation over the already obvious fighting ability of Perez but we always fancy the more experienced fighter against a UFC debutante.
Tom Aspinall vs. Alan Baudot
The 26-year-old English heavyweight, Tom Aspinall looked sensational in his UFC debut earlier this year. The teammate of Darren Till made quick work of Jake Collier who by no means was expected to beat Aspinall but was supposed to put up more of a fight. The win earned Aspinall a $50,000 bonus and a ton of new fans who’ll be excited to see him compete again. He’s a huge -500 favourite in this one so if your hoping to make some money by betting on him you’re going to have predict the round he stops late replacement opponent Alan Baudot in his UFC debut. In our opinion, it’s going to be early. Baudot usually competes at 205lbs and will likely struggle to cope with Aspinall’s power. We are gonna give the French fighter some credit and hope he survives round one as it only pays -105. Whereas an Aspinall finish in round two will give much bigger odds of +450.
Youssef Zalal vs. Ilia Topuria
We really like Youssef Zalal. He has looked great since joining the UFC earlier this year. Zalal already has three wins inside the Octagon and is understandably the favourite heading into this one at -188. His opponent is undefeated and has looked brilliant throughout his eight professional fights against less than impressive opposition. The bookmakers have him an underdog at +163 which may entice some to have a flutter on the European fighter. We will be sticking with Zalal. Whatever happens both these fighters look destined for big thing aged just 24 and 23 years old.