On Saturday, November 7th, the UFC will be live from their APEX Center for UFC on ESPN+ 40: Santos vs Teixeira. But, before we look at the main card, we must first examine the six fight preliminary card.
The action in the prelims is expected to be fast, furious and entertaining as there are many notable fighters like Darren Elkins, Marcos Rogerio, Alexander Romanov, Max Griffin, Raoini Barcelos, Trevin Giles and Begon Lewis.
The UFC on ESPN+ 40 preliminary card will begin at 7PM ET on ESPN+. UFC betting sites have released odds for this portion of the event. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to take a closer look at these lines, identify any value, and make some winning predictions.
This fight was originally scheduled to open the show, but Felipe Colares was forced to withdraw from the bout due to testing positive for covid. The former Jungle Fight bantamweight champion didn’t even realize he had it because he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms:
“I wasn’t feeling any symptom. I was having one of the best camps of my life, actually, but God knows what He does.”
Gustavo Lopez was looking to bounce back from a loss in his UFC debut five months ago. Lopez was the favorite heading into this bout.
There’s conflicting news as to what the UFC plans on doing with Lopez. Some sources believe that he will still fight on this card. Other sources report that the UFC will just push this fight back to another event instead of rebooking Lopez.
As of this writing, there’s UFC has not made an official decision as of yet.
Max Griffin vs Ramiz Brahimaj
Max Griffin (-155)
Ramiz Brahimaj (+135)
Over (-185)/Under (+155) 2.5 rounds
Max Griffin enters this weekend’s contest having lost four of his last five fights including two in a row. Griffin last competed in May and dropped a split decision to Alex Oliveira. He’s now 3-6 inside the octagon and is facing a release if he loses this weekend.
Griffin commented on his close outcomes and where he’s at in his evolution as a fighter:
“I’m a lot more versatile now. I know that I don’t have to rush, and I won’t, and that’s helped me tremendously these past six months. I feel like I’m so close, even my record with these guys that I lost to, or if it went my way like it should have, I’d be top-15, easy. So I know this. I’m ready to shine and eliminate this guy.”
Nine of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 6-7 when going the distance in a fight.
Ramiz Brahimaj is making his UFC debut this weekend having last fought in March 2019 and winning via submission. He’s 2-2 in his last four fights and went 4-2 in the LFA prior to joining the UFC. All eight of his pro wins have come via submission. He’s 0-2 when going the distance.
Brahimaj is known for being a submission specialist and he will be going up against the heavy hitting Griffin. Brahimaj has never been stopped in his career and I think he will keep that streak going this weekend.
With that said, I believe Griffin will do a good job with defending takedowns and working from a distance with his jab. He will have the advantage in the standup department, so I expect him to do all he can to capitalize on this strength in order to pick up the victory.
I see this fight going Over 2.5 rounds (-185) and the full distance (-165). Griffin has gone to a decision in seven straight bouts. Brahimaj’s only losses have come via the scorecards.
Griffin winning via decision offers the best value (+140) in this fight. 13 of his 21 pro contests have gone the distance including seven of his nine UFC bouts.
Max Griffin vs Ramiz Brahimaj –Griffin (-155)
Over 2.5 rounds (-185)
Fight goes the distance (-165)
Griffin wins via decision (+140)
Darren Elkins vs Luiz Eduardo Garagorri
Darren Elkins (-230)
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri (+190)
Over (-175)/Under (+145) 2.5 rounds
Luiz Eduardo Garagorri will make his third trip into the octagon this weekend having last fought one year ago and losing via 1st round submission to Ricardo Ramos. The loss dropped Garagorri to 1-1 in the UFC.
10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six victories by way of submission. He’s 3-0 when going the distance.
Elkins has been a UFC mainstay since joining in 2010. Unfortunately, he’s dropped four straight contests and is in danger of having his contract terminated. He’s now 14-8 inside the octagon and last competed in May where he lost via unanimous decision to Nate Landwehr.
Many fighters would be cut after three losses in a row, definitely four straight defeats. Yet, because Elkins has been with the promotion for over a decade and he still puts on action packed contests, the UFC has had a long leash with him. However, that could end this Saturday if he loses again.
It’s hard to imagine the UFC keeping a 36 year old fighter who has lost five in a row. 12 of his 24 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight victories by way of TKO/KO. Elkins is 12-5 when going the distance.
From what I’ve seen of Garagorri, I haven’t been overly impressed. I think the UFC has given Elkins a winnable matchup. He just has go out there and do it.
I believe Elkins will snap the losing streak and pick up a decision victory. I think his volume of striking and pace will be too much for Garagorri to overcome. As long as Elkins doesn’t get foolish on the mat, he should win this bout.
Take the Over 2.5 rounds (-175) and for the fight to go the full 15 minutes (-150). Elkins winning by decision is the best value at +135 odds at UFC betting sites.
For his career, Elkins has gone the distance in 17 of his 33 pro contest including three of his last four and 11 of his last 13 bouts.
Darren Elkins vs Luiz Eduardo Garagorri –Elkins (-230)
Over 2.5 rounds (-175)
Fight goes the distance (-150)
Elkins wins via decision (+135)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs Alexander Romanov
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+285)
Alexander Romanov (-345)
Over (+150)/Under (-180) 1.5 rounds
Alexander Romanov is listed as one of the biggest betting favorites for the entire event, which makes Marcos Rogerio de Lima one of the biggest underdogs.
Rogerio struggled to make the light heavyweight limit of 205 pounds and finally decided to go up to heavyweight in November 2018. Since then, he’s gone 2-1 in the division and last fought in February where he beat Ben Sosoli via 1st round TKO.
15 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 2-1-1 when going the distance.
Romanov made his UFC debut two months ago and beat Roque Martinez via 2nd round submission. He’s unbeaten in his career and will face a tough veteran this weekend in a winnable contest. All 12 of his pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of submission. He’s never gone the distance.
Rogerio’s best chance at winning this fight is via TKO/KO as Romanov charges in. With that said, I don’t see it happening. I believe Romanov will get inside on Rogerio, push him against the cage and eventually rag doll him to the mat.
Once there, Romanov will either lock in a submission or ground and pound his way to victory. More than likely, it will be a submission as Rogerio has dropped four contests via tapping out.
Take this fight to go Under 1.5 rounds (-180) and for it to end inside the distance (NA). Romanov winning inside the distance (-225) has lower odds than his moneyline.
The best value is Romanov winning in the 1st round at +175 odds. Nine of his 12 pro wins have come in the opening round. Two of Rogerio’s six losses have come in the 1st round. Furthermore, five of his six defeats have come in Under 1.5 rounds.
Rogerio de Lima vs Alexander Romanov –Romanov (-345)
Under 1.5 rounds (-180)
Fight ends inside the distance (NA)
Romanov wins inside the distance (-225)
Romanov wins via submission (+175)
Romanov wins in the 1st round (+175)
Giga Chikadze vs James Krause-Simmons
Giga Chikadze (-470)
James Krause-Simmons (+375)
Over (-135)/Under (+100) 1.5 rounds
This bout has the largest betting disparity for the entire event as Giga Chikadze is the largest favorite and James Krause-Simmons is the largest underdog.
Simmons made his pro debut three years ago and has gone 7-2 since then. He’s on a three fight win streak which has earned him a shot in the UFC this weekend. He fought last month for a regional promotion and won via 2nd round submission.
Five of his seven pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. He’s 2-0 when going the distance.
Giga Chikadze is making a quick turnaround having fought one month ago on Fight Island where he beat Omar Morales via unanimous decision. The win improved his UFC record to 4-0 with all four victories coming via decision. Chikadze has won six straight fights overall.
Seven of his 11 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-1 when going the distance.
Chikadze is a former kickboxing contender and has a significant advantage over Simmons in this bout. The only chance that Simmons has is to get this fight to the mat and hope for a submission or to hold his opponent there for all three rounds. I don’t see either happening.
I believe that Chikadze will finally pick up his first stoppage victory in the UFC most likely via TKO/KO. I’m just not sure if it will be Over or Under 1.5 rounds. Play it safe and go with the Over 1.5 rounds (-130). Chikadze winning inside the distance has solid value at -145.
Giga Chikadze vs James Krause-Simmons –Chikadze (-470)
Over 1.5 rounds (-130)
Fight ends inside the distance (-230)
Chikadze wins inside the distance (-145)
Trevin Giles vs Bevon Lewis
Trevin Giles (-110)
Bevon Lewis (-110)
Over (-195)/Under (+160) 2.5 rounds
We go from the largest betting disparity to the closest as both men have the same betting odds.
Bevon Lewis last fought in January and defeated Dequan Townsend via unanimous decision to bump his overall UFC record to 1-2. He dropped his first two bouts inside the octagon after earning a contract with a 1st round TKO win on DWCS in July 2018.
Three of his seven pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 4-1 when going the distance.
When we last saw Trevin Giles he was supposed to take on Kevin Holland three months ago. Just prior to the bout, as Giles was getting ready to make his walk to the octagon, he passed out. At first they thought it was a minor issue, but that turned out not to be the case.
Giles’ heart had stopped and he was sent to the hospital via ambulance. In the hospital, his heart skipped again and so he had to stay longer for further evaluations. Fortunately for Giles, there were no specific medical causes for this incident and he sustained no damage.
Trevin Giles explains medical incident: ‘My heart stopped’ briefly at UFC Vegas 5 https://t.co/7PYl0a8GKl
Giles is confident that this was just an isolated incident:
“I’m confident that it’s an isolated incident. I haven’t had any issues training or – that’s the only time that’s happened to me. It was definitely just some extremely poor timing. No, I haven’t had any issues lately at all. … I’ve never had these kinds of issues before. All my tests and everything came back good. It was just a weird thing, apparently.”
Trevin joined the UFC in the summer of 2017 where he’s gone 3-2 since then. He last fought in February and defeated James Krause via split decision. The win snapped a two fight losing skid.
10 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with five wins apiece for submission and TKO/KO. He’s 2-0 when going the distance.
Both of Giles’ losses have come via submission and I don’t see that happening here. Lewis isn’t known for his submission skills, but more for being a striker. In fact, I think that Giles has the advantage on the mat.
With that said, I also believe that this bout will go the distance (-170). So, take the Over 2.5 rounds (-195) as well. The best value for this contest is Giles winning via decision (+175). He’s the better overall fighter and should take this bout via unanimous decision.
Trevin Giles vs Bevon Lewis –Giles (-110)
Over 2.5 rounds (-195)
Fight goes the distance (-170)
Giles wins via decision (+175)
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. …