On Saturday, October 17th, the UFC returns to action on Fight Island with UFC on ESPN+ 38: Ortega vs The Korean Zombie also known as UFC Fight Night 180 and UFC Fight Island 6.
Before we get to the main card fights, we’re going to take a look at the seven fight preliminary card which begins at 4PM ET on ESPN+.
Notable fighters on the prelims include Said Nurmagomedov, Jun Yong Park, Claudio Henrique da Silva, Gillian Robertson and Mateusz Gamrot.
UFC betting sites have released their full slate of odds for the UFC on ESPN+ 38 preliminary card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any value, and KO our predictions.
– Spinning body shot – Head kick – Swarming punches to end
The opening bout for UFC on ESPN+ 38 has the second largest betting disparity for the entire event.
Striegl enters the UFC on a four fight win streak where he’s spent time with URCC and One Championship. His last bout came 18 months ago and it ended in a No Contest due to a low blow. 14 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage. He’s 4-0 when going the distance.
Nurmagomedov dropped his last fight in December via unanimous decision to Raoni Barcelos. The loss knocked down his UFC record to 2-1. It also snapped a seven fight win streak.
Nurmagomedov has six stoppage wins with three by submission and three by TKO/KO. He’s 7-2 when going the distance.
Nurmagomedov has gone to a decision in seven of his last nine fights and nine of his 15 overall fights. I expect this bout to go the distance as well (-210). Take the Over 2.5 rounds (-245).
As for the winner, it’s going to be Nurmagomedov as he has the clear striking advantage and a strong enough takedown defense to fend off any of Striegl’s attempts. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a TKO in the 3rd round due to the striking advantage for Said.
The best value for this fight is Nurmagomedov winning via decision at -140 odds.
Mark Striegl vs Said Nurmagomedov –Nurmagomedov (-425)
Over 2.5 rounds (-245)
Fight goes the distance (-210)
Nurmagomedov wins via decision (-140)
Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Maxim Grishin
Gadzhimurad Antigulov (+305)
Maxim Grishin (-365)
Over (+100)/Under (-120) 1.5 rounds
Gadzhimurad Antigulov has lost three straight fights and now has an octagon record of 2-3. He last fought in July and lost to Paul Craig via 1st round submission. 19 of his 20 pro wins have come via stoppage with 15 by way of submission. He’s 1-0 when going the distance.
Maxim Grishin made his UFC debut in July, but lost to Tybura via unanimous decision. Grishin took a short notice fight and went up in weight. He’s was clearly overwhelmed by the size difference. Grishin was 7-0-2 entering the UFC.
21 of his 30 pro wins have come via stoppage with 15 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 9-2-2 when going the distance.
Grishin will have a three inch height and a seven and a half inch reach advantage. I expect his reach to come into play as he hurts Antigulov with his striking. Eventually, Grishin will land a few power shots and end this fight Under 1.5 rounds (-120).
Antigulov has four TKO/KO losses in his career with two of his last three defeats coming via 1st round TKO/KO. I expect Grishin to pick up a 1st round TKO/KO victory in this contest. Grishin winning via knockout offers the best value at +110 odds if you plan to bet on this MMA fight.
Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Maxim Grishin –Grishin (-365)
Under 1.5 rounds (-120)
Fight ends inside the distance (-265)
Grishin wins inside the distance (-160)
Grishin wins via TKO/KO (+110)
Jamie Mullarkey vs Fares Ziam
Jamie Mullarkey (-140)
Fares Ziam (+120)
Over (-175)/Under (+155) 2.5 rounds
Fares Ziam made his UFC debut 13 months ago and lost via unanimous decision to Don Madge. The loss snapped a five fight win streak. It’s also the last time he stepped into the octagon. Nine of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-1 when going the distance.
Jamie Mullarkey also dropped his UFC debut fight 12 months ago via unanimous decision to Brad Riddell. The loss snapped a four fight win streak and it was also the last time he stepped inside the cage. 11 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of TKO/KO.
Ziam showed very little takedown defense or grappling chops in his UFC debut against Madge. He will have a hard time again this weekend as Mullarkey has decent wresting skills. I believe this fight will come down to Mullarkey getting the fight to the mat and controlling Ziam from there.
I expect this bout to go Over 2.5 rounds (-175) and go to a decision (-160). From there, I have Mullarkey winning via decision (+175) due to his grappling. His odds of +175 offer the best value for the fight.
Jamie Mullarkey vs Fares Ziam –Mullarkey (-140)
Over 2.5 rounds (-140)
Fight goes the distance (-160)
Mullarkey wins via decision (+175)
Jun Yong Park vs John Phillips
Jun Yong Park (-255)
John Phillips (+215)
There’s no Over/Under listed as of this writing. If I had to guess, I would think that MMA betting sites list it at 1.5 rounds.
John Phillips has lost four of his last five fights including a submission defeat to Chimaev in July. He’s now just 1-4 in the octagon and is widely recognized as being a limited striker. All 22 of his pro wins have come via stoppage with 20 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 0-2 when going the distance.
Park made his UFC debut 13 months ago and lost via 2nd round submission to Anthony Hernandez. He bounced back in December and won via unanimous decision over Marc-Andre Barriault. Prior to his UFC debut, Park had won seven straight fights.
Eight of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-2 when going the distance.
This fight will come down to Park navigating the early striking from Phillips and then taking him down to capture the submission win. Phillips has six submission losses in his career including three of his four defeats inside the octagon.
Park winning inside the distance (+125) offers the best value.
Jun Yong Park vs John Phillips –Yong Park (-255)
Fight ends inside the distance (-185)
Park wins inside the distance (+125)
Claudio Henrique da Silva vs James Krause
Claudio Henrique da Silva (+150)
James Krause (-170)
Over (-135)/Under (+115) 2.5 rounds
This fight was originally scheduled for Muslim Salikhov to take on da Silva. However, Salikhov was forced to withdraw from the fight. Krause agreed to step in on less than two weeks’ notice.
Claudio Henrique da Silva has won 14 straight fights in his career including going 5-0 inside the octagon. He left the cage for four years and returned in late 2018 to win three straight fights. Da Silva last fought 14 months ago and won via 1st round submission over Cole Williams.
11 of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He is 3-0 when going the distance.
Krause has been with the UFC for over seven years. In that time, he’s gone 8-4 inside the octagon. Krause last fought in February as he returned to the welterweight division. Unfortunately, he lost a controversial split decision to Trevin Giles. Some pundits thought Krause had won.
The loss to Giles snapped a six fight win streak which saw TKO/KO wins over Warlley Alves and Sergio Moraes. 22 of his 27 pro wins have come via stoppage with 14 by way of submission. He’s 5-5 when going the distance.
This fight is a tough one to predict despite the odds favoring Krause. Da Silva’s grappling is solid and he can still hang in the striking department. Krause is solid in both areas and should be able to hang with da Silva on the mat.
With two fighters close to evenly matched, the safe play is to take the fight to go Over 2.5 rounds (-135) and go the distance (-125). From there, I’m going with Krause to edge out da Silva for the decision win (+135). Krause will outwork da Silva over the full three rounds.
Claudio Henrique da Silva vs James Krause –Krause (-170)
Over 2.5 rounds (-125)
Krause wins via decision (+135)
Gillian Robertson vs Poliana Botelho
Gillian Robertson (-235)
Poliana Botelho (+195)
Over (-145)/Under (+125) 1.5 rounds
Botelho enters this contest as a large underdog, but is 3-1 inside the octagon. She last fought 18 months ago and defeated Lauren Mueller via unanimous decision. Her lone UFC loss came against Cynthia Calvillo nearly two years ago.
Six of her eight pro wins have come via TKO/KO. She’s 2-1 when going the distance.
Gillian Robertson has competed against top shelf talent during her tenure in the UFC. She’s 5-2 inside the octagon with wins over McCann, Whitmire and Casey. She last fought in June and defeated Casey via 3rd round submission.
Seven of her eight pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. She’s 1-2 when going the distance.
Combined, these two women have gone the distance in just six of 22 total fights. I would lean towards this contest finishing inside the distance (-195). However, I do see it going Over 1.5 rounds (-145) as it could enter the 3rd round before we get a winner.
With that said, I like Robertson in this matchup. She’s proven to be a highly skilled all-around fighter in the UFC with some solid wins on her resume.
I believe she will navigate the standup battle until she can score a few takedowns and lock in a submission for the victory (+155). Botelho does have one submission loss in her career.
Gillian Robertson vs Poliana Botelho –Robertson (-235)
Over 1.5 rounds (-145)
Fight ends inside the distance (-195)
Robertson wins inside the distance (-130)
Robertson wins via submission (+155)
Mateusz Gamrot vs Guram Kutateladze
Mateusz Gamrot (-290)
Guram Kutateladze (+245)
Over (-210)/Under (+175) 2.5 rounds
In what will most likely be the featured bout of the prelims, both Mateusz Gamrot and Guram Kutateladze are making their UFC debuts this weekend. Both of these fighters have potential in a deep lightweight division.
Guram Kutateladze enters the UFC on an eight fight win streak. He last competed 11 months ago and won via 1st round knockout in 44 seconds. Three of his last four wins have come via 1st round TKO/KO. He is the teammate of Khamzat Chimaev and could be another breakout star in the making.
Eight of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven victories by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.
Mateusz Gamrot is a former two division champ in KSW as he won the lightweight title in 2016 and the featherweight title in 2018. This will be his third fight of 2020 as he’s already won twice this year. His last bout came six weeks ago and he won via unanimous decision.
Nine of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 8-0 when going the distance in a fight.
I am surprised that Kutateladze is this big of an underdog considering his reputable skills inside the cage. I think he’s a risky flier for those bettors looking for a longshot.
With that said, I do believe Gamrot will come away with the split decision victory. His grappling skills will most likely be the difference in this fight. He’s long been talked about as one of the best fighters outside of the UFC and Bellator. He will now show the MMA world why that was so.
Sports betting sites heavily favor this fight going Over 2.5 rounds (-210) and the full distance (-175). Gamrot’s odds of -125 to win via decision offer the best value for this showdown.
Mateusz Gamrot vs Guram Kutateladze –Gamrot (-290)
Over 2.5 rounds (-210)
Fight goes the distance (-175)
Gamrot wins via decision (-125)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …