I told you I was back! I went 4-1 with my UFC 235 betting tips, including my Lock of the Night and Upset of the Night both hitting. . . again! We’ve got a UFC Fight Night tonight with one of everyone’s favorite heavyweights stepping back into the Octagon. As usual, tonight’s UFC Fight Night is available for free online and on local TV. There are several up-and-comers and some unknown fighters getting their first shot at UFC fame.
I really don’t like a lot of these fights in terms betting, so my picks are limited this weekend.
Record: 84-28 (75%)
Lock of the Night: 13-2 (87%)
Upset of the Night: 12-2 (86%)
Tim Means vs. Niko Price
Means has had success outside of the Octagon, winning King of the Cage titles in two different weight classes; however, he has seen mixed results in the UFC. Means has gone 2-3 over his last five fights, and is looking to establish his legitimacy as an actual contender in the big show.
Price had a lot of success in the regional Florida combat sports before going 3-2 in the UFC. He does own two Performance of the Night bonuses since stepping up in competition, but I don’t think he is ready for the battle-tested Means.
My Pick: Means (-200)
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Ben Rothwell – MY UPSET OF THE NIGHT
Ivanov is a Sambo fighter that was stabbed in the chest during a bar fight a few years ago, only to come back and win his next four fights. He’s definitely a tough SOB! Blagoy is also a former World Series of Fighting Heavyweight Champion, but was done dirty with his first UFC, being pitted against Junior dos Santos in his debut. Ivanov and dos Santos went to a decision, but dos santos won it unanimously.
Rothwell, also coming off of a unanimous decision loss against dos Santos, has been around the block a few times and has fought many of the top Heavyweights in the world. Before the loss, he racked up four finishes versus top tier HWs Brandon Vera, Alistair Overeem, Matt Mitrione, and Josh Barnett. I think his ring experience against big-time contenders will be too much for the #15 ranked Ivanov.
My Pick: Rothwell (+110)
Derrick Lewis (#3) vs. Junior dos Santos (#8) – MY LOCK OF THE NIGHT
Derrick Lewis – the Black Beast – is one of the most entertaining fighters in the game. thebeastufc Instagram account is almost as legendary as his post fight interviews. He is the epitome of the term “a puncher’s chance,” owning some of the heaviest hands in the sport. He is coming off of a submission loss to the “Champ-Champ” Daniel Cormier, which he took less than a month after his come from behind upset KO victory over Alexander Volkov.
dos Santos has sandwiched wins over the aforementioned heavyweights Rothwell and Ivanov around a title shot loss to Stipe Miocic. His last fight was a second round TKO victory over Tai Tuivasa in December. He’s a former UFC HW title holder whose only losses since 2007 have been to Miocic, Alistair Overeem, and Cain Velasquez, three of the top fighters in the world.
As much as I like taking the higher ranked underdog, I’m going to have to go with the favorite tonight.