UFC returns to its APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, for another ESPN+-streamed fight night this Saturday (May 20, 2023) — and with Raquel Pennington vs. Irene Aldana off the table — Mackenzie Dern and Angela Hill are set to take center stage. The evening will also see Edmen Shahbazyan continue down the comeback trail against Anthony Hernandez and Lupita Godinez once again step up on short notice to face former Invicta champion, Emily Ducote.
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What Went Wrong at UFC Charlotte?
Virna Jandiroba, Carlos Ulberg and Karl Williams
Nicely done. Williams underwhelmed, but he got the win.
Didn’t actually do anything wrong, but I’m cranky that his gimme win over Pete Rodriguez failed to materialize after Rodriguez screwed up his weight cut and I wanted to complain. A win from him, combined with Carlos Ulberg on the other half of the parlay, would have made for a slight overall profit on the evening.
Well, guess that knockout loss to Jeremiah Wells wasn’t a one-off thing. He was having a lot of success controlling Matt Brown against the fence, but just couldn’t withstand a clean counter.
Can’t argue with the scores; Douglas Silva de Andrade came out with an excellent gameplan and Stamann couldn’t adjust until it was too late. He definitely got shafted by the ref taking away top position in the first round, but he also let “D’Silva” off the hook in the third despite having him dead to rights, so he bears responsibility for coming up short.
UFC Vegas 73 Odds For The Under Card:
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-135) vs. Vanessa Demopoulos (+115)
While Demopoulos showed some much-needed improvement against Maria Oliveira, I’m not convinced she’s advanced enough to handle a well-rounded and technically solid veteran like Kowalkiewicz. Demopoulos’ wrestling isn’t sufficient to consistently put even an aging Kowalkiewicz on her back and she’s a step or two below Kowalkiewicz in kickboxing acumen. Demopoulos can’t rely on just outworking Kowalkiewicz like she did Jinh Yu Frey, either, as Kowalkiewicz can still unleash an impressive amount of volume.
Orion Cosce (-125) vs. Gilbert Urbina (+105)
Urbina has been out for a long time and Cosce underwhelmed against Blood Diamond last time out. Leave it alone.
Rodrigo Nascimento (-190) vs. Ilir Latifi (+160)
A little bit on Nascimento makes sense. He’s a decade younger than Latifi and thrives in the same sorts of grimy, clinch-heavy slogs that Latifi relies on at this stage of “The Sledgehammer’s” career.
Nick Fiore (-125) vs. Chase Hooper (+105)
Fiore is too unproven and Hooper too limited to warrant a bet either way.
Natalia Silva (-800) vs. Victoria Leonardo (+575)
Can’t exactly argue with those odds considering how badly Leonardo has fared against high-mobility strikers. I guess you could chuck Silva in a parlay if you’re incredibly desperate for a tiny edge.
Takashi Sato (-110) vs. Themba Gorimbo (-110)
I don’t think Gorimbo is all that good, but Sato is so gunshy that he could easily throw the fight away through lack of output — leave it alone.
UFC Vegas 73 Odds For The Main Card:
Mackenzie Dern (-190) vs. Angela Hill (+160)
This is a lot closer to 50/50 than the odds suggest, which makes me lean towards a bet on Hill. Dern is still a terrible wrestler and Hill has her massively outclassed on the feet. There’s the threat of Dern’s submissions, of course, but Hill has been finished just once in her last 23 fights, so I’m willing to take the risk at +160.
Anthony Hernandez (-240) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan (+200)
Boy, Shahbazyan’s team must be confident that they’ve fixed him up. Hernandez’s entire game is built around grinding down opponents’ cardio and takedown defense through sheer persistence, which seems like a death sentence for someone in Shahbazyan who got mauled on the mat by Nassourdine Imavov. As much as I want Shahbazyan to succeed now that he’s broken free from Edmond Tarverdyan, “Fluffy” seems custom-built to ruin his day.
Lupita Godinez (-150) vs. Emily Ducote (+130)
Godinez is way too prone to self-destruction to bet on any of her fights.
Carlos Diego Ferreira (-155) vs. Michael Johnson (+135)
Ferreira is 38 years old and coming off a lengthy injury layoff, but he’s a high-pressure grappler fighting a man allergic to high-pressure grapplers. His three-fight losing streak came against three of the very, very few Lightweights in the sport who can keep up with his takedowns and scrambling, an exclusive group to which Johnson absolutely does not belong.
Joaquin Buckley (-215) vs. Andre Fialho (+185)
A moderate bet on Buckley sounds good. Fialho has unearthly power in his left hand, but he’s prone to getting outworked and has no head movement to speak of. The fight comes down to whether Fialho can melt Buckley with a check hook, and while that’s a real possibility, -215 seems worth the risk.
Viacheslav Borshchev (-165) vs. Maheshate (+140)
It’s clear at this point that Borshchev’s chain wrestling defense isn’t ready for the big show. He scrambles well, but he really struggles to break opponents’ grip and reset at distance. Luckily, that’s not an issue here; Maheshate will trade hands with him, and Borshchev’s speed and technique blow Maheshate’s out of the water. “Slava Claus” will deliver a present for you if you believe.
UFC Vegas 73 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Angela Hill: Bet $40 to make $64
- Parlay — Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Natalia Silva: Bet $52.50 to make $50
- Parlay — Anthony Hernandez and Joaquin Buckley: Bet $40 to make $42.80
- Single bet — Viacheslav Borshchev: Bet $60 to make $36.36
- Parlay — Rodrigo Nascimento and Carlos Diego Ferreira: Bet $30 to make $45.30
UFC Vegas 73 is not much of a card, but at least there are a couple of decent scraps. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $479.80
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 73 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 7 p.m. ET.
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This story originally appeared on MMA Mania