I like UFC Fight Night 229 from a betting perspective and there are plenty of interesting stylistic matchups. Check out my main card MMA predictions below.
Bill Algeo vs. Alex Hernandez
Alex Hernandez is the perfect example of a fighter who is a good hammer and a bad nail. He often gets off to a good start, yet struggles to maintain momentum if he can’t put his opponent away.
Hernandez has a well-rounded skill set, but his style entails lots of explosive actions and constant footwork – which takes a toll on his cardio system.
Interestingly, Hernandez will be dropping to featherweight again – despite a disastrous outing against Billy Quarantillo at the weight class last year. It sounds as if his weight cut was a lot smoother this time, but it’s still a major point of concern for a renowned frontrunner.
Stylistically, I think this is a good fight for him.
Bill Algeo has more weapons on the feet, but he is hittable in boxing range and will be at a speed disadvantage. I believe Hernandez will be able to step in with big knees to the body, land accurate punches and then move back to safety.
I’m just not confident he can keep it up indefinitely – especially if his cardio is depleted from the weight cut. Algeo is tough as nails and has weathered early storms in the past before rallying to victory.
If Hernandez redlines his gas tank early on, there is a strong chance he gets finished in the second half of the fight.
Hernandez has the option to land takedowns, although it might be a path to nowhere. Algeo has porous takedown defense, but he is difficult to hold down and is excellent in scrambles.
I’ll pick Alex Hernandez to win, but I don’t think I’m getting any value at -120.
Drew Dober vs. Rick Glenn
As the odds suggest, Drew Dober is a stylistic nightmare for Rick Glenn.
Throughout his career, Glenn has relied on toughness and perseverance to get his hand raised. I don’t think that will be enough to defeat Dober – who benefits from numerous stylistic and physical advantages.
Dober has the superior lead hand and low kicks, which should play a major factor in a mirrored southpaw fight. He is also significantly faster, more powerful and athletic.
We’ve seen Dober get put on his back by strong wrestlers, but Glenn is more of a grinder who slowly breaks opponents – and he will have to absorb heavy damage while closing the distance.
The one reservation I have with Dober is that he’s coming off his first career knockout loss and has taken a lot of damage throughout his career. If he returns in a diminished state then this could level the playing field – but I wouldn’t count on it as a betting man.
I’d probably take Drew Dober by KO at -159 if I was forced to play this fight, but I’m not enthusiastic about any betting spots here.
Alex Morono vs. Joaquin Buckley
Alex Morono seems to be a popular underdog bet this week, but I can’t get on board personally.
Morono isn’t the most athletic welterweight, but he has good lateral footwork, a stiff jab and excellent counters with the right hand.
However, his style works better against slower opponents with poor footwork – which won’t be the case here.
Joaquin Buckley’s ability to blitz into range and punctuate combinations with kicks should cause havoc for Morono. Buckley will likely target Morono’s soft midsection and I wouldn’t be surprised if he mixed some takedowns into his repertoire.
Morono has aways suffered from weak takedown defense, but has benefitted from fighters wanting to stand and bang with him. It’s not out of the question for Morono to latch onto a front choke opportunistically, but I think he will concede significant control time if he gets planted on his back at any point during the fight.
I like Joaquin Buckley to win and I think there is value at -165.
Joe Pyfer vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan
Abdul Razak Alhassan has good judo and a devastating right hand, but he never developed into a well-rounded mixed martial artist. Now in his late thirties, I doubt we’ll see any improvements at this point and he’ll likely retain his identity as a puncher/brawler until he retires.
I give him a small but realistic chance against Joe Pyfer – who fights well behind the jab, yet leaves openings defensively.
Like his opponent, Pyfer has a crushing right hand – but there is more sophistication involved in setting up his power shots. He is also significantly bigger and with less mileage on his body.
Pyfer is a skilled grappler, although we haven’t seen much evidence of it during his UFC tenure. While throwing leather is always fun, Pyfer would be wise to lean on his grappling acumen and take the fight to the floor at the earliest opportunity this weekend.
I wouldn’t touch Joe Pyfer at -450, although his submission line may hold value at +500.
Grant Dawson vs. Bobby Green
While Grant Dawson’s striking is sloppy and chaotic, it’s good enough to set up his takedown entries – which is all he needs to get his game going.
Dawson is a fantastic chain-wrestler and strong positional grappler. He is one of the best back takers in the modern era of the sport and can transition to the body triangle in only a few moves after grabbing hold of any part of an opponent’s body!
There are a few contenders at lightweight with the ability to stuff the takedown, disengage and force Dawson into a striking contest in open space – but I don’t think Bobby Green is one of them.
Green is a good scrambler with strong takedown defense, but he backs up to the fence and I suspect he will have trouble freeing himself from the grip of Dawson – who possesses orcish strength in the clinch.
Things could get interesting if Green is able to make Dawson work for takedowns. We’ve seen Dawson slow down in the past and his striking cardio is significantly worse than his grappling cardio.
That said, Green is probably going to get his back ridden and I can already envision him running his mouth to no avail while he gets stuck in bad positions for long periods.
I wouldn’t touch Grant Dawson at -480, although over 2.5 rounds is somewhat tempting at -120.