By Nick Stavas
Main Card (10:30 P.M. ET on ESPN)
– #2 Holly Holm vs. #6 Irene Aldana – Women’s Bantamweight Bout
– Yorgan de Castro vs. Carlos Felipe – Heavyweight Bout
– #1 Germaine de Randamie vs. #4 Julianna Pena – Women’s Bantamweight Bout
– Kyler Phillips vs. Cameron Else – Bantamweight Bout
– Dequan Townsend vs. Dusko Todorovic – Middleweight Bout
Prelims (7:30 P.M. ET on ESPN+)
– Carlos Condit vs. Court McGee – Welterweight Bout
– Charles Jourdain vs. Joshua Culibao – Featherweight Bout
– Jordan Williams vs. Nassourdine Imavov – Middleweight Bout
– Loma Lookboonme vs. Jinh Yu Frey – Women’s Strawweight Bout
– Casey Kenney vs. Heili Alateng – Bantamweight Bout
– Luigi Vendramini vs. Jessin Ayari – Lightweight Bout
Holly Holm (-125) vs. Irene Aldana (-105)
Since beating Ronda Rousey to win the women’s bantamweight title back in 2015, the UFC hasn’t treated Holly Holm (13-5) well. However, despite being just 3-5 in her last eight fights, Holm showed a revamped skill set that involved both wrestling and clinch work in her last outing, something she hadn’t displayed up to that point. This could come in handy against a boxing-savvy Irene Aldana (12-5), who is 5-1 in the UFC dating back to 2018. Aldana has the ability to land a knockout blow, but if Holm is able to execute that same game plan that got her a decision win over Raquel Pennington back in January, it could be a long night for Aldana.
Best Bet: Holly Holm moneyline (-125)
Yorgan de Castro (-250) vs. Carlos Felipe (+200)
Each fighter is coming off their first loss of their career, as Yorgan de Castro (6-1) lost to Greg Hardy by decision back in May, while Carlos Felipe (8-1) was defeated by Sergey Spivak via decision in July. Aside from his snoozefest with Hardy, Castro is a certified knockout artist, with four of his six pro wins coming by first round KO. I expect another quick finish and a bounce back win from Castro. It seems Castro holds the advantage in just about every category and Felipe has yet to show us anything to suggest he has the skills to pull off the upset here.
Best Bet: Yorgan de Castro by KO/TKO (+105)
Germaine de Randamie (-150) vs. Julianna Pena (+120)
The former (and inaugural) UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion, Germaine de Randamie (9-4) returns to the Octagon after nearly a year off. GDR’s only two losses in the UFC are both to the greatest women’s fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes. GDR is a world class striker who can pick apart just about anyone the promotion puts in front of her. I expect the same here, as I can’t imagine Julianna Pena (9-3) will be able to hold her own on the feet in this fight. Pena has only fought once in the past three years, and even though it was a win, skill discrepancy in the striking category is going to be too much for her on Saturday night.
Best Bet: Germaine de Randamie moneyline (-150)
Dequan Townsend (+275) vs. Dusko Todorovic (-350)
In terms of odds, this is one of the most lopsided bouts on this card, as it should be. On one side, you have Dequan Townsend (21-11) trying to salvage a fizzling career that never really took off to begin with. On the other side, you have Dusko Todorovic (9-0), an entertaining finisher who has yet to lose a professional fight. Townsend is 0-3 since entering the UFC while Todorovic looked like a promising prospect in his victory on Dana White’s Contender Series back in August of 2019. This one is a no-brainer.
Best Bet: Dusko Todorovic inside distance (+135)