UFC Vegas 37 preview and top bets

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MMA Betting Tips: UFC Vegas 37

3pts Anthony Smith v Ryan Spann to last less than 2.5 laps at 5/6 (Sky Bet, Bet365)

2pts Nikolas Motta to be won by KO or Submission at 6/5 (Bet365)

1pt Erin Blanchfield to be won by KO or Submission on 10/21 (Bet365)

Sky Bet odds | Rice power | Betfair sports betting


No judge necessary

Saturday night’s main event is an intriguing test of experience against track and field as 51-fight veteran Anthony Smith takes on hard-hitting prospect Ryan Spann. Both men have proven to be proficient in multiple disciplines within mixed martial arts as the duo hold a plethora of both knockout and submission finishes throughout their careers.

The main event status states that the fight will take place over five rounds, but few expect their collision to last that long. Smith is known to engage in chaotic fights, with 46 of his 51 fights ending at a distance. 28 of them came by knockout, with another 18 by submission. Wherever combat takes place, Lionheart will never be too far away from finding or being the target of a finish.

Spann’s MMA career may be half the length of his opponent, but he’s proven to be just as volatile. Superman is the harder hitter of the two and can wrap opportunistic chokes in the blink of an eye if his opponent gives him half a chance. He too knows how to create chaos in his fights, having only seen the scoreboards five times in 25 appearances, taking his fair share of stoppage losses along the way.

76% of the duo’s collective fights lasted LESS THAN 2.5 TURNS, and the clash of styles should see this one follow suit. Smith’s durability has been called into question in recent years, and Spann has shown a lack of defensive awareness when he goes into the kill. Both men are dangerous with strikes and submissions, but both are also a danger to themselves when their fights spiral into chaos. At 5/6, that seems like the right bet for what promises to be a boisterous brawl.


Iron fist

Nikolas Motta’s initial fight against Jim Miller failed last week after the latter tested positive for COVID-19, presenting an opportunity for late notice for Cameron VanCamp. VanCamp enters the fight on a four-game winning streak, finishing his last three by submission and wasting little time doing so.

Motta will naturally have to make some adjustments against a taller former welterweight grappler, but the Brazilian is preparing to face the record holder for most UFC appearances and the third-highest number of submissions to Miller. No two opponents are the same, but the focus on defensive grappling that Iron Motta worked on in training should make this fight against VanCamp a walk in the park in comparison.

The punters seem to agree, seeing the Brazilian as a big favorite on Saturday night. With eight of his 12 career knockout victories, Motta will chase for the finish every second that this fight stays on its feet. Weight loss and lack of preparation should help, as VanCamp is likely to be fragile and far from being in great shape, having only had eight days to prepare. Things are getting worse due to the American’s wrestling style, as he will desperately attempt strikeouts in the first round and undermine his already hampered cardio with each unsuccessful attempt.

Iron Motta is therefore viable for a finish at any time, whether through sheer potency at the start or attrition towards the end. He may never have won by submission, but by supporting MOTTA TO WIN IN DISTANCE at 6/5 is the safest bet when a tap out is always a possibility. Either way, the Brazilian is expected to find the finish at some point and look to reschedule the fight with Miller as soon as he can.


Cold blooded killer

Erin Blanchfield is taking her long-awaited walk to the UFC Octagon on Saturday night, after signing for the company almost six months ago. The 22-year-old impressed many during her time at Invicta FC (a feed promotion that showcases the best female talent to come into the sport), securing victories over current UFC fighters Victoria Leonardo and Kay Hansen. Many believe Cold Blooded has the potential to be a future title challenger, and a big statement in his debut would put the rest of the division on guard.

Sarah Alpar earned her entry into the UFC with a victory in Dana White’s Contender Series, but her later debut at the company showed she wouldn’t stay long if her cardio didn’t improve. Too Sweet came out with a heavy game plan in that loss, but she was exhausted halfway through the second round and finished in the third.

This fight really seems like a tough situation for Alpar as it looks like she’s outmatched in every department. Blanchfield is the more defensively conscious forward and will likely fight more economically than her stand-up opponent, but the two are polar opposites on the mat. Alpar should go for the latter option and attempt to bring her opponent to the ground and bleed the clock, but she will risk facing submissions with every passing second.

Blanchfield is a big favorite for a reason, but I think the chances of her finding a finish are actually understated. Cold Blooded disguises his header perfectly and used it to full effect in his knockout victory over Leonardo last year. If she hits the same attack on Alpar, it will likely result in another knockout, or at least force the fight to the ground.

If Blanchfield finds herself at the top at any point, her aggressive and smooth transitions will find her in a dominant position, where heavy strikes on the ground or an opportunistic submission will seal the deal. Half of the prospect’s wins have come by stoppage, but Alpar’s defensive fragility and ever-dwindling stamina should see another end to this fight. At 10/21, this seems like a great way to capitalize on a legitimately heavy favorite.

Posted at 0810 BST (09/17/21)


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