UFC Vegas 66 – Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland – Main Card Betting Predictions

UFC Vegas 66 is a card for the hardcore fans. There are no fighters with big names, but plenty of exciting stylistic clashes.

Here are my main card UFC Fight Night picks.

Michał Oleksiejczuk vs. Cody Brundage

Cody Brundage finished his last two opponents, but did not look good while he was in the cage against Dalcha Lungiambula and Tresean Gore.

Brundage possesses tenacious chain-wrestling and is a solid athlete, so he has the potential to improve – but I don’t think his game is very refined at the moment.

Taking this fight on short notice, Brundage must wrestle for dear life. He might be able to hit a takedown or two, but I’m not convinced he can advance positions and find the finish or stall out rounds in top position.

Michał Oleksiejczuk is a bad grappler when you put him flat on his back, but has shown the ability to get up to his feet – and that might be enough here.

When the fight stays standing, expect the Polish athlete to storm forward, ripping huge combinations to the body and head.

Oleksiejczuk does a good job of attacking the liver and I think Brundage will struggle to hold his ground.

I don’t see any value at -270, but Michal Oleksiejczuk should win this fight.

Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green

This is an intriguing stylistic clash between Drew Dober and Bobby Green, both of whom are predominantly strikers.

Fighting from the southpaw stance, Dober likes to take the front foot and press opponents backwards. Dober throws heavy body kicks as well as hard, compact punches in the pocket.

I believe body shots will be useful against Green, who likes to slip and roll with the punches.

Dober is susceptible to head strikes, although he has a granite chin. He has been hurt a lot more in recent fights however, so it’s possible his durability is waning.

Green clowns around more than he should, but he is a plus athlete with sharp counters and slick technical boxing. He’ll also give different looks from the southpaw and orthodox stances.

I don’t think Green will have a problem finding Dober’s chin, but I’m not sure he will have the superior optics if we see the scorecards – since Dober throws with maximum impact and will be the one moving forward.

I slightly lean toward Drew Dober getting his hand raised, but this is not a confident pick whatsoever.

Alex Caceres vs. Julian Erosa

Alex Caceres has had a lot of success over the past few years, but when you take a closer look at his record – his wins have aged badly. The majority of opponents he defeated are no longer in the UFC and his win against Seung Woo Choi was a ridiculous comeback in a fight he was losing.

“Bruce Leroy” will never be in contendership for the title, but he’s a formidable combatant.

Fighting from the southpaw stance, he has a decent check hook, left straight and an improving grappling game. He’s also difficult to look good against, since he likes to fight off the back foot and doesn’t engage toe to toe.

Skill for skill, Julian Erosa is the more complete mixed martial artist. He throws well in combination, has an amazing workrate over three rounds and will mix in grappling when he needs to.

He put on his most impressive performance to date against Hakeem Dawodu and looks like a ranked featherweight when he’s on his game.

Unfortunately, he sometimes drops the ball and does idiotic stuff. He has a tendency to brawl when he doesn’t need to, which is particularly unintelligent since his chin is weak.

Still, “Juicy J” is a solid fighter and this feels like an opponent he should get the better of.

I’ll pick Julian Erosa to win, although I’m not enthusiastic about betting him at -175.

Arman Tsarukyan vs. Damir Ismagulov

At only 26-years-of-age, Arman Tsarukyan is one of the most talented prospects on the roster.

The Armenian is an excellent wrestler and transitional grappler, but his striking is improving by leaps and bounds too.

He manages distance well and throws effective low kicks as well as round kicks to the body. He throws a nice 1-2, but will certainly want to avoid prolonged boxing exchanges in this fight.

I anticipate Tsarukyan will want to be all the way out at kicking range, or all the way in – trying to muscle Damir Ismagulov to the mat.

I feel that Ismagulov is the more sophisticated boxer, although he does incorporate kicks into his game as well.

The Kazakh fighter does a good job of mixing up his shots to the head, body and legs of opponents and we’ve seen him slide just out of range when kicks are thrown at him – only to answer back with low kicks of his own.

Ismagulov also has strong hips and stellar takedown defense, which will surely be tested here.

I believe this will be a highly competitive fight and I see value on Damir Ismagulov at +160

Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland

Skill for skill, I think Jared Cannonier is a superior striker to Sean Strickland.

“Killa Gorilla” has more weapons in his arsenal and picks his shots intelligently. I believe calf kicks will be useful for him from the orthodox stance, while heavy body kicks and a devastating right hook will serve him well while standing southpaw.

He’s not a huge volume guy (which is a concern here), but can still win rounds with accurate, impactful shots.

Sean Strickland’s personality is perfectly conveyed in his fighting style. “Tarzan” isn’t afraid of a bloodbath and will happily stand and trade with anyone – fighters and civilians!

Strickland likes to take the front foot and build his offense around his jab. He’ll also mix in some wrestling and cage grinding if he feels it to be advantageous, although I doubt he can take Cannonier down.

I think Strickland is susceptible to body and leg strikes and he often looks like a professional boxer wearing MMA gloves.

I’m picking Jared Cannonier to get his hand raised, but I think the fight will be highly competitive.