UFC on ESPN 50 – Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font – Main Card Betting Predictions

After an epic UFC 291 event, UFC on ESPN 50 feels like a letdown. Nevertheless, there are some intriguing fights on this card and I’ll be placing a few wagers.

Check out my MMA predictions for the main card.

Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Ludovit Klein

After storming into the UFC with a first-round knockout over Shane Young in 2020, it looked like Ludovit Klein would be a future contender in the stacked lightweight division.

His subsequent performances were less impressive and it’s clear that his fast-twitch explosiveness is not sustainable over fifteen minutes. In his earlier career, Klein carried significantly less muscle mass and he may have jumped on the protein powder pretty hard before entering the UFC.

From the southpaw stance, Klein throws fierce 1-2 and 3-2 combinations and does an excellent job of disguising his head kick behind the left cross. However, there isn’t much depth to his striking and I believe he’ll be on the wrong side of the volume equation.

After a poor performance in his UFC debut, Ignacio Bahamondes has grown stronger from fight to fight and is learning to use his physical advantages. The young Chilean fights well from both stances, picks his shots intelligently and maintains a high work rate.

If he doesn’t get rocked or dropped by a big punch, I believe Bahamondes will win the aggregate of exchanges and I think he’ll have success with body kicks against his southpaw foe.

It’s possible Klein could score takedowns, but I’m not confident he can maintain top position and he runs the risk of blowing his gas tank by wrestling.

Furthermore, Bahamondes has dangerous front chokes and could secure the submission if Klein becomes tired and starts shooting sloppily.

I like Ignacio Bahamondes at -200, I’d personally cap him as a larger favorite.

Tanner Boser vs. Aleksa Camur

MMA is a game of inches and Tanner Boser is on a rough run of form. He was robbed against Ilir Latifi, lost a coin flip decision to Rodrigo Nascimento and was quickly knocked out by Ion Cutelaba.

All of those were winnable fights, but now he is now facing the reality of being cut from the UFC with another loss.

Boser has some major holes in his grappling, but can give most light heavyweights a good run for their money on the feet.

The Canadian has good footwork and cardio for a big man and I believe he’ll have success with low kicks in this fight. Boser used to be reliant on the overhand, but has improved his boxing in recent years and now has decent hands to match his kicks.

My inclination is that Boser’s more diverse striking repertoire will be too much for Aleska Camur, who is boxing-centric and lacks the endurance to fight hard for fifteen minutes.

However, Camur is just entering his athletic prime and could’ve improved during his layoff (although some of it was spent recovering from nerve damage). With better cardio, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Camur to wrestle hard and exploit Boser’s grappling deficiency.

I’ll pick Tanner Boser to win, but this is not a fight I’m interested in betting.

Dustin Jacoby vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu

This fight will be dictated by whoever can maintain their preferred range.

Justin Jacoby has a high school wrestling background, but is more renowned for his kickboxing credentials.

Having fought elite kickboxers such as Simon Marcus and Alex Pereira in his former career, Jacoby is the more technical out-fighter and should be able to land volume on a defensively porous opponent.

Jacoby is capable of scoring the knockout in open space, but I believe he will struggle when pushed back against the fence.

Kennedy Nzechukwu has an insane reach for a light heavyweight, but does his best work battering opponents with knees, elbows and short punches at close range.

The Nigerian got punished for hanging out at range for too long against Da Un Jung and now takes the front foot relentlessly. So long as his chin holds up, I don’t see Jacoby’s jab keeping “African Savage” at bay for too long.

We’ve also seen improvements in the grappling department from Nzechukwu, so a submission victory wouldn’t surprise me either.

I’ll pick Kennedy Nzechukwu to win, but I’m not confident I’m getting a good deal at -155.

Diego Lopes vs. Gavin Tucker

Money has been coming in on Diego Lopes all week. I understand people wanting to bet the younger, fresher fighter with less mileage on his body – but this is not an easy fight for Lopes stylistically.

The Brazilian is a submission specialist with an active guard, but he is a weak wrestler and can lose rounds while fighting off his back.

His striking is rudimentary. He throws crisp straight punches and low kicks, but he is also hittable and stationary.

Gavin Tucker will be giving up some height and reach, but he is the far more nuanced kickboxer with superior footwork. So long as his chin is intact, I see Tucker dancing circles around Lopes as well as mixing in takedowns here and there.

While Lopes is the more dangerous submission threat, I believe Tucker is the better wrestler and positional grappler.

I have some reservations about Gavin Tucker due to the long injury layoff, but I see value on him at +150. I also like over 2.5 rounds at -110.

Tatiana Suarez vs. Jessica Andrade

As the odds indicate, this seems like a favorable matchup for Tatiana Suarez.

Not only is Suarez the bigger athlete, she is also a persistent chain-wrestler with a crushing top game. We’ve seen these kind of attributes present problems for Jessica Andrade in the past and there is the potential for this fight to be very one-sided.

However, there are weaknesses for Andrade to exploit.

Suarez strikes with the speed and fluidity of an Egyptian mummy and also fades in the later rounds.

I’m not confident that Andrade can keep the fight standing or survive if she does get taken down – but she should have a cardio advantage as well as the punching power to deter the forward momentum of a tenacious grappler.

If Andrade can weather the early storm and start defending takedowns, momentum could quickly swing in her favor.

I’ll pick Tatiana Suarez to win, but a bet is unfathomable at -400. I’ll be watching this fight like a hawk with the potential for a live bet entry.

Cory Sandhagen vs. Rob Font

In order to win this fight, Rob Font has to risk getting violently knocked out. He must take the front foot, keep the jab in Cory Sandhagen’s face and push him back relentlessly.

If Sandhagen is free to move about the octagon on his own terms, he should pick Font apart with his slick footwork, stance switches and dynamic attacks.

Font may find initial success, but I’m not confident he can do it consistently over five rounds (Sandhagen has a great chin and is monstrously difficult to finish).

We’ve seen Font get rocked and hurt in numerous fights and Sandhagen will find plenty of opportunities to land on him. Sandhagen also has a fantastic flying knee and may choose to wrestle in order to alleviate pressure.

Ultimately, I think Sandhagen is hitting his best form right now whereas Font is on the tail end of his career.

I don’t see a good betting opportunity on this fight. Cory Sandhagen is likely to win, but I can’t justify a wager at -350.