UFC 255 Prelims Predictions – Free Picks for UFC 255 Preliminary Fights

Figueiredo-vs-Perez

On Saturday, November 21st, the UFC returns to PPV with UFC 255: Figueiredo vs Perez. However, prior to examining the PPV lineup, we’ll first take a closer look at the seven fight preliminary card that begins at 6:30PM ET on ESPN+ and ESPN2.

Because this is a big PPV card, the prelims will feature some notable fighters like Kyle Daukaus, Joaquin Buckley, and Antonina Shevchenko taking on Ariane Lipski.

The featured bout for the preliminary card is a Top 6 flyweight battle as the #2 ranked Brandon Moreno takes on the #6 ranked Brandon Royval. The winner could be next in line for a title fight.

Online sports betting sites have released their odds for the entire UFC 255 preliminary card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any betting value, and hit these predictions with a flying knee.

Louis Cosce vs Sasha Palatnikov

  • Louis Cosce (-410)
  • Sasha Palatnikov (+330)
  • Over (+125)/Under (-145) 1.5 rounds

Palatnikov is the first UFC fighter from Hong Kong as he makes his octagon debut this weekend. He last fought in September and won via 1st round TKO. Sasha has won five of his last six contests. Two of his five pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-0 when going the distance.

Cosce has been a wrecking machine no matter what promotion he’s fighting. All seven of his pro wins have come in the 1st round including a DWCS victory over Victor Reyna via 1st round TKO. Five of this seven pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s never even gone to the second round.

I don’t see how this fight makes it out of the 1st round. Palatnikov is severely outgunned in this matchup. Take Cosce to win via 1st round TKO/KO as both of Sasha’s losses have come via TKO/KO. The best value for this bout is Cosce winning in the 1st round at +105 odds.

Louis Cosce vs Sasha Palatnikov –Cosce (-410)

Under 1.5 rounds (-145)

Fight ends inside the distance (-365)

Cosce wins inside the distance (-195)

Cosce wins via TKO/KO (-175)

Cosce wins in the 1st round (+105)

Kyle Daukaus vs Dustin Stoltzfus

  • Kyle Daukaus (-310)
  • Dustin Stoltzfus (+255)
  • Over (-130)/Under (+110) 2.5 rounds

Despite being positioned as the second fight of the prelims, this bout actually has the makings of winning one of the bonuses for the night. Both men are rising prospects with solid all-around skills.

Dustin Stoltzfus will make his octagon debut riding a 10 fight win streak which includes a 1st round TKO win over Joseph Pyfer on DWCS in August. He’s finished off five straight opponents inside the distance and looks like a solid grappler with some striking chops.

Kyle Daukaus is a former CFFC middleweight champ who took a short notice fight against Brendan Allen in June and lost via unanimous decision in his octagon debut. Prior to that, Daukaus was 9-0 which included a win on DWCS in June 2019.

Both men have a lot to gain in this contest and it really is a lot closer than what the odds indicate. So, let’s start with the easier prop bets first.

This fight will end inside the distance (-115), which offers the best value. In a combined 24 total fights, these two men have gone to a decision in just eight of them. That means they’ve finished off an opponent 2/3rds of the time.

Stoltzfus has five straight stoppage wins. Daukaus has scored eight stoppage wins via submission in his 10 pro fights.

I also believe this bout will end Under 2.5 rounds as these two combatants are finishers who will be aggressive in this matchup as they look to make a statement with a stoppage victory.

With that said, I like Daukaus in this contest. I believe he will capitalize on his opponent’s aggression and find an opening to take the fight to the mat where he will pick up his 9th submission win probably in the 2nd round.

Kyle Daukaus vs Dustin Stoltzfus –Daukaus (-310)

Under 2.5 rounds (+110)

Fight ends inside the distance (-115)

Daukaus wins inside the distance (+155)

Daukaus wins via submission (+250)

Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden

  • Alan Jouban (-145)
  • Jared Gooden (+125)
  • Over (-105)/Under (-115) 2.5 rounds

Here’s another solid matchup on paper, where the oddsmakers actually got it right in regards to how close the odds are.

Gooden was a former title contender in LFA, which ultimately led to his UFC opportunity after going 4-1 in his last five fights. He last competed in July for Titan FC and won via 2nd round TKO.

13 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-3 when going to a decision.

Jouban has been with the UFC since the summer of 2014 and has a record of 7-5 inside the octagon. Unfortunately, he’s gone 1-3 in his last four fights. He last competed in April 2019 where he lost via a controversial split decision to Dwight Grant. 11 of his 16 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 5-3 when going the distance.

This bout could have some fireworks for however long it lasts. Neither man is great on the mat despite Gooden having six submission wins. They both have showed a liking for standing and striking, which will benefit Jouban in this contest.

With 24 finishes between them, I don’t see this fight going the distance. I think this bout will come in Under 2.5 rounds (-115) as I believe someone will pick up a TKO/KO win before the final round.

For me, I like Jouban in this bout as I believe he’s the better striker and is proficient enough in defending the takedown to keep this fight upright where he will find the finish. The best value is Jouban winning inside the distance.

Alan Jouban vs Jared Gooden –Jouban (-145)

Under 2.5 rounds (-115)

Fight ends inside the distance (-150)

Jouban wins inside the distance (+185)

Jouban wins via TKO/KO (+230)

Fight won’ start round 3 (+100)

Nicolas Dalby vs Daniel Rodriguez

  • Nicolas Dalby (+260)
  • Daniel Rodriguez (-320)
  • Over (-160)/Under (+140) 1.5 rounds

Dalby first appeared in the UFC in May 2015 and ended up going 1-3-1 before being released in the spring of 2018. A four fight unbeaten streak brought him back to the octagon where he’s gone 1-1 since returning. He last fought in July and lost via 1st round submission to Jesse Ronson.

10 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 8-3-1 when going the distance.

Rodriguez first appeared on the UFC’s radar in the summer of 2019 and won on DWCS via unanimous decision. However, he didn’t get a UFC contract until earlier this year. Rodriguez has won all three of his octagon appearances including a 1st round KO in his last fight against Dwight Grant in August.

Rodriguez is taking this fight on less than two weeks’ notice, but comes in as a large betting favorite. He will also have a three inch height and 1.5 inch reach advantage.

Between these two, I like what I’ve seen from Rodriguez more than Dalby. He’s a rising welterweight that could crack the Top 15 with a win this weekend. He’s already put together a nine fight win streak, which includes three solid victories in the UFC.

Although Rodriguez has only gone the distance in three of his 14 pro fights, Dalby has been stopped just once in his career. His other three losses have come via decision. I see Dalby surviving in this contest and pushing it Over 1.5 rounds (-160) where it will go the full 15 minutes (+135).

Once there, I expect Rodriguez to win via unanimous decision due to landing a larger volume and the more powerful strikes.

Since I believe this fight will go the distance, I really like the prop bet of this contest starting the 3rd round at -110 odds.

Nicolas Dalby vs Daniel Rodriguez –Rodriguez (-320)

Over 1.5 rounds (-160)

Fight goes the distance (+135)

Fight starts round 3 (-110)

Antonina Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski

  • Antonina Shevchenko (-155)
  • Ariane Lipski (+135)
  • Over (-300)/Under (+250) 2.5 rounds

In the first high profile bout of the prelims, we have Ariane Lipski taking on Antonina Shevchenko. Her sister will also be fighting on this card in the co-main event.

Lipski put together a nine fight win streak, which earned her a contract with the UFC. Unfortunately, she dropped her first two appearances inside the octagon and the hype was over. However, Ariane turned it around over the last 12 months as she’s won two in a row.

Her last fight came in July and she won via 1st round submission with a vicious kneebar against Luana Carolina. Nine of her 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. She’s 4-4 when going the distance.

Shevchenko earned a UFC contract in the summer of 2018 when she won on DWCS via 2nd round TKO. Like Lipski, she’s also gone 2-2 inside the octagon by alternating between wins and losses. Antonina last fought in May and lost via 3rd round decision to Chookagian.

Three of her eight pro wins have come via stoppage with two by way of TKO/KO. She’s 5-2 when going the distance.

This is a tough fight in regards to picking a winner. However, it is easier when looking at the other wagers first. Combined, these two women have gone the distance in 15 of their 28 pro bouts. So, take the Over 2.5 rounds (-300) and for the fight to go the distance (-265).

Once with the judges, I think Lipski will come away with a split decision win. She will land more takedowns, which will be the difference in this striking affair. I don’t expect her to do too much once on the mat as Shevchenko should scramble back to her feet.

With such a close matchup between two strikers and it certainly to go the distance, I like Lipski’s value as the underdog.

Antonina Shevchenko vs Ariane Lipski –Lipski (+135)

Over 2.5 rounds (-300)

Fight goes the distance (-265)

Lipski wins via decision (+300)

Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright

  • Joaquin Buckley (-255)
  • Jordan Wright (+215)
  • Over (+125)/Under (-145) 1.5 rounds

Wright earned a DWCS appearance two summers ago after going 9-0 in his career. Unfortunately, he lost via TKO/KO to Anthony Hernandez in 40 seconds. However, the fight was overturned due to a failed drug test via Hernandez.

Wright made his octagon debut in August and won via 1st round TKO over Isaac Villanueva in 91 seconds. All 11 of his wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s never gone to the 3rd round in a pro fight and has only gone to the 2nd round just once.

Buckley has had a lot of experience packed into his 14 fight career. He went 3-2 in Bellator before going 2-0 in LFA which earned him a ticket to the UFC. However, he made his octagon debut eight days after his last LFA fight and lost via 3rd round TKO/KO to Kevin Holland.

That loss didn’t hurt his confidence as Buckley got back in the octagon two months later and had a highlight reel knockout of Impa Kasanganay who was unbeaten. Eight of his 11 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 3-1 when going the distance.

Wright certainly has a puncher’s chance in this one especially with the height and reach advantages. However, he struggles with pressure and Buckley is going to do just that. I expect Buckley to close the distance right away, get in the pocket, and do some significant damage.

I don’t see this fight making it out of the 1st round. One way or another someone is falling in the opening frame. I think the prop bet of the fight not going to the second round (-110) offers the best value. Also, take the Under 1.5 rounds (-145) and for the fight to end inside the distance (-515).

As for the winner, take Buckley. He will emulate what Hernandez did to Wright two years ago and quickly finish this contest.

Joaquin Buckley vs Jordan Wright –Buckley (-255)

Under 1.5 rounds (-145)

Fight ends inside the distance (-515)

Buckley wins inside the distance (-165)

Buckley wins via TKO/KO (-160)

Fight won’t start round 2 (-110)

Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval

  • Brandon Moreno (-190)
  • Brandon Royval (+165)
  • Over (-145)/Under (+125) 2.5 rounds

Brandon Moreno was originally scheduled to take on Alex Perez, but after Cody Garbrandt withdrew from his title fight against Figueiredo due to an injury, Perez was given the nod to fill in.

That was a surprising decision made by the UFC considering Perez is ranked #4 and Brandon Moreno is ranked #2 in the division.

Instead of getting the title shot, Moreno gets the #6 ranked Brandon Royval. Despite the disappointment, Moreno is focusing on getting the win this weekend and then going on to become the first Mexican champion in the UFC:

“But if he wins, he’ll establish himself more as champion, and when I beat him, people are going to know I beat a hard rival, and that’s what’s best for me. Like I said, I don’t fight for titles. I want to beat the best, and if Figueiredo wins people are going to know I beat the real champion at 125 pounds. I’m going to be the first 100 percent Mexican champion in the UFC. That’s my clear goal in my mind.”

Moreno has gone unbeaten in his last four fights with a 3-0-1 record. He last fought in March and defeated Jussier Formiga via unanimous decision. Formiga is the last man to beat Figueiredo.

12 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with 10 by way of submission. He’s 5-5-1 when going the distance.

Brandon Royval enters this bout on a four fight win streak and winning seven of his last eight. He’s 2-0 in the octagon having last fought two months ago where he beat Kai Kara France. The win propelled Royval up the ranks within the division.

11 of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He’s 1-4 when going the distance.

Both men are very similar in striking and grappling. They enjoy a healthy submission game which is evident by their combined 18 submission victories. However, I don’t see either man picking up the submission in this contest or the stoppage.

In fact, I believe this fight will go the distance (-125), which offers the best value. It also means that this bout will go Over 2.5 rounds (-145). Six of Moreno’s last eight fights have gone the distance including three in a row.

I see Moreno defending the takedown really well. I also believe he has the advantage with punching power. This bout could break down into a scrambling affair and chaotic exchanges of punching and takedown attempts. I like Moreno to do well in that kind of environment.

Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval –Moreno (-190)

Over 2.5 rounds (-145)

Fight goes the distance (-125)

Moreno wins via decision (+140)

Rick Rockwell

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. …

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