On Saturday, March 13th, UFC Fight Night 187, also known as UFC Las Vegas 21, will come to use live from the Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and features a Top 13 welterweight clash between Leon Edwards and Belal Muhammad.
The co-featured bout is a Top 15 light heavyweight matchup between Misha Cirkunov and Ryan Spann. In total, the main card is scheduled to have at least five fights and begin at 8PM ET on ESPN+. Just like with the UFC Fight Night 187 preliminary card, this main card is still being finalized.
Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine the latest odds courtesy of the best UFC betting sites, identify any betting value, and put these predictions in a rear naked choke.
Within the last 24 hours, we’ve learned that two more fights have been cancelled from this weekend’s event:
Ricardo Ramos vs Zubaira Tukhugov
This featherweight bout was an intriguing matchup between Ramos (14-3) and Tukhugov (19-5-1) as both men were looking to get back on track in the division.
Unfortunately, it’s been removed from the show due to Tukhugov suffering an injury and being forced to withdraw.
UFC officials tried to find another opponent for Ramos, but were unable to do so.
Ben Rothwell vs Phillipe Lins
This main card heavyweight fight was a promising matchup where fans were going to be treated to some fireworks as both men are heavy hitters.
As of now, reports indicate that an injury has forced this bout off of UFC Las Vegas 21. However, officials are looking at rescheduling it as soon as possible.
Lins is still looking for his first UFC win. The former PFL champ went 0-2 in his first year with the promotion.
Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker
Dan Ige (-150)
Gavin Tucker (+105)
Over (-265)/Under (+225) 2.5 rounds
This bout was originally supposed to be Ryan Hall vs Dan Ige, but Hall withdrew from the fight after suffering an injury during training. Gavin Tucker agreed to step in and replace Hall on two weeks’ notice.
Ige commented on the change of opponents:
“I had a weird feeling he was going to pull out from the beginning. I don’t know why, I just had this strange feeling. It was weird, but I was already mentally preparing to face anyone, no matter who on March 13. When he did pull out, I was prepared for it and we got a new opponent in Gavin Tucker. I was ready to face anyone, but now my eyes and my mind are focused on Tucker.”
Ige is the 9th ranked featherweight, but will not take on the unranked Tucker. Despite facing an unranked fighter, Ige is willing to do what he believes others in the Top 15 won’t and that’s risking his ranking.
Ige earned his shot with the UFC after winning on DWCS in July 2017. Since then, he’s gone 6-2 inside the octagon. Ige lost his UFC debut via unanimous decision to Julio Arce, but then went on to win six in a row.
That winning streak set up a main event fight against Calvin Kattar last July where he lost via unanimous decision in a five round war.
Eight of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. He’s 6-3 when going the distance and has never been stopped in a fight.
The Canadian made his UFC debut four years ago and has gone 4-1 inside the octagon. He enters this contest on a three fight win streak. His last bout was in December where he beat Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision.
10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. He’s 3-1 when going the distance. Like his opponent, Tucker has never been stopped in a pro fight.
Ige is the favorite, but Tucker will be a live dog in this fight. It’s a tough call considering both men are solid fighters. The safest route to go for this contest is with the Over 2.5 rounds (-265) and for the fight to go the distance (-240).
For Tucker, three of his five UFC fights have gone the distance. For Ige, six of his eight UFC bouts have gone to a decision including four in a row. I expect this contest to be a 15 minute affair.
With that said, I am going with Ige to win due to his striking advantage. Tucker is better on the mat, but Ige is the better striker. He should be able to score more points with the judges due to the volume of strikes and the significant strikes landed.
However, if Tucker gets this fight to the mat then it could be a long night for Ige, which is why this contest is a tough one to predict.
Dan Ige vs Gavin Tucker –Ige (-150)
Over 2.5 rounds (-265)
Fight goes the distance (-240)
Ige wins via decision (+140)
Manel Kape vs Matheus Nicolau Pereira
Manel Kape (-150)
Matheus Nicolau Pereira (+130)
Over (-115)/Under (-105) 2.5 rounds
This bantamweight contest was originally supposed to be Tagi Ulanbekov versus Matheus Nicolau Pereira. But, the matchup has been cancelled for the second time and Manel Kape agreed to fill in on a week’s notice.
Kape made his UFC debut one month ago and lost via unanimous decision to Alexandre Pantoja. He entered the UFC on a three fight win streak which included a run as the RIZIN bantamweight champ. Unfortunately, he wasn’t ready for the Top 10 matchup against Pantoja.
Manel Kape steps in for Tagir Ulanbekov to fight Matheus Nicolau at March 13 UFC event https://t.co/N2wufpcY1m pic.twitter.com/KQnxa2dQZ3
Yet, Kape is still a talented fighter who gets a quick turnaround to try and secure his first UFC win. 14 of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-3 when going the distance.
Pereira went 3-1 in his first stint with the UFC before being cut three years ago after a KO loss to Dustin Ortiz. He would go on to win two fights in a row in 2019 for other promotions before being given another shot with the UFC. He hasn’t fought since August 2019.
Pereira was set to fight in March, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic. Then he was scheduled to fight Ulanbekov at UFC 257, but that was also cancelled because his opponent withdrew from the contest.
Nine of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. He’s 6-0-1 when going the distance.
I think this is the type of fight that Kape will win. He’s facing an opponent that’s a level below him and it’s a good opportunity to get his first UFC victory.
Pereira has two TKO/KO losses and I actually see him picking up a third one this weekend. Kape is a solid striker with good combinations and the ability to fight at any distance. He also has explosiveness and knockout power which will be on display in this bout.
I’m taking this fight to go Under 2.5 rounds (-115) and to finish inside the distance (-135). The best value is for this bout to end inside the 15 minute time limit. In 38 total fights, these two men have combined to finish off 23 opponents.
Manel Kape vs Matheus Nicolau Pereira –Kape (-150)
Under 2.5 rounds (-115)
Fight ends inside the distance (-135)
Kape wins inside the distance (+160)
Kape wins via TKO/KO (+160)
Angela Hill vs Ashley Yoder
Angela Hill (-380)
Ashley Yoder (+315)
Over (-400)/Under (+325) 3.5 rounds
This women’s strawweight bout is a rematch as the two first fought in July 2017. Angela Hill won that contest via unanimous decision. Since then, Yoder has gone 3-3 inside the octagon and Hill has gone 4-6.
Furthermore, this fight features the largest disparity in betting odds. Additionally, it was pushed back two weeks from the original scheduling of UFC Las Vegas 20 due to health protocols.
Yoder enters this weekend’s fight as the largest underdog for the entire event. She snapped a two fight losing streak with a win against Miranda Granger last November via unanimous decision. Yoder is now 3-2 in her last five contests, but sits firmly outside of the Top 15.
Half of Yoder’s pro wins have come via submission while the other half have come via decision. She’s never been stopped in a pro fight. All six of her losses are via decision.
Hill enters this weekend’s bout as the largest betting favorite and ranked 12th in the division. She’s lost two straight fights via split decision to Claudia Gadelha and Michelle Waterson which took place last September. The defeats snapped a three fight win streak.
Nevertheless, Hill is looking forward to recapturing some of her momentum and moving back up the rankings:
“Even though my last two fights didn’t go the way I wanted, I still feel like I was successful in those fights. I’ve never had a group of fights go that way for me where I’m just like, ‘Man, I’m just really showing everyone how good I am, and everyone is on my side, and people want to see me succeed,’ so it was a really good year for me. I just want to keep that momentum going, so the sooner I can get back in there, the sooner I can get a couple more wins under my belt, and I think I’ll be looking pretty good.”
Five of her 12 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. She’s 7-7 when going the distance.
This bout will go Over 2.5 rounds (-400) and the full distance (-355). Combined, these two women have gone the distance in 24 of 37 pro bouts. Hill has gone the distance in three straights contests and Yoder has gone to a decision in eight straight fights.
Once with the judges, I predict that Hill will get the victory. She’s the better striker and will unleash a high volume of strikes on Yoder. The “Spider Monkey” won’t be able to overcome Hill’s striking arsenal, but she should survive the matchup.
I don’t see any value with this fight.
Angela Hill vs Ashley Yoder –Hill (-380)
Over 2.5 rounds (-400)
Fight goes the distance (-355)
Hill wins via decision (-170)
Misha Cirkunov vs Ryan Spann
Misha Cirkunov (-125)
Ryan Spann (+105)
Over (+115)/Under (-135) 1.5 rounds
This co-main event bout is a Top 13 ranked fight as Misha Cirkunov is ranked 11th and Ryan Spann is ranked 13th. It also has the closest betting odds for the entire UFC Fight Night 187 event.
This contest was originally scheduled for last December, but the bout was postponed as Cirkunov suffered an injury.
Ryan Spann is the former LFA light heavyweight champ and started off his UFC tenure going 4-0. He earned his UFC contract with a DWCS win three years ago and appeared to be a rising fighter in the division.
Unfortunately, he ran into Johnny Walker last September and suffered a 1st round KO. The loss snapped an eight fight winning streak.
15 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of submission. He’s 3-2 when going the distance and has been stopped four times.
Cirkunov has been with the UFC since the summer of 2015. He started off his run with the promotion going 4-0. Unfortunately, he then went 1-3 in his next four fights with losses to Oezdemir, Teixeira and Walker.
His last bout came in September 2019 where he beat Jimmy Crute via 1st round submission. Misha has a 6-3 overall record inside the octagon.
13 of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s 2-0 when going the distance and has been stopped five times.
With the long layoff for Cirkunov, and the assumed adjustments for Team Spann, I believe that “Superman” Spann will pick up the win this weekend.
He was in control of his fight against Walker before his over aggressiveness left him open to a desperate counter strike that changed the tide of the fight. I believe that Spann will have learned from that mistake and show a more tactical approach this weekend.
How long this fight goes is a tough call. All three of Cirkunov’s losses have come via 1st round stoppage. Let’s play it safe and go with the Over 1.5 rounds (+115), but for the fight to end inside the distance (-425) at one of these UFC betting sites.
I’m taking Spann to win this bout inside the distance (+160) and most likely via TKO/KO (+200). He’s the bigger fighter, has been more active, and I believe he’s the better overall athlete.
The best value for this co-main event is with each fighter’s moneyline.
Misha Cirkunov vs Ryan Spann –Spann (+105)
Over 1.5 rounds (+115)
Fight ends inside the distance (-425)
Spann wins inside the distance (+160)
Spann wins via TKO/KO (+200)
Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad
Leon Edwards (-260)
Belal Muhammad (+220)
Over (-190)/Under (+165) 4.5 rounds
This main event fight was originally scheduled for the 3rd ranked welterweight Leon Edwards to take on Khamzat Chimaev. But, the latter was forced out of the contest due to health reasons. The 13th ranked Belal Muhammad agreed to step in on three weeks’ notice.
Muhammad has gone 8-1 in his last nine fights which includes winning four in a row. He last competed in February and beat Dhiego Lima via unanimous decision. Unfortunately, Muhammad will compete against Edwards without his head coach due to the pandemic.
Five of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. He’s 13-2 when going to a decision and has one TKO/KO loss.
Muhammad shared his view about higher ranked fighters ducking him:
“It wasn’t like he was forced to say yeah, but he said no to all these other guys thinking that they weren’t worth it. But now, you’re going to fight the hardest guy on the roster, and it’s for sure not worth it for you. The higher guys, they all know how good I am, so they can use that excuse that the number’s not too high against the name. It’s like these guys forget why we’re in this game. I don’t have to go through 13 other guys to get to No. 3, I can just go straight to No. 3, win this fight, and get a title fight.”
Edwards was disappointed with the Chimaev fight falling through, but he has nothing but well wishes for Khamzat who is struggling to overcome the virus and has talked about being forced to retire from MMA.
When that fight fell through, UFC tried to get Colby Covington to take on Edwards, but he rejected the idea so the UFC turned to Muhammad:
“The UFC wanted the fight. They went to him, came to me and said ‘would you fight Colby?’ I said yes. They went to him and he just says no. So I suspect that’s what he’s going to do. You cannot force a man to fight. It would have been great to have him in there, to put him in there to smash his head in but now here we are with Belal Muhammad.”
Edwards hasn’t fought since the summer of 2019 when he beat Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision. The long layoff could have an impact on his performance this weekend. He has won eight fights in a row and is clearly one of the top contenders in the division.
Nine of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 9-2 when going the distance and has never been stopped in a fight.
With Edwards coming off a long hiatus and Muhammad’s evolution inside the octagon, this bout is going to be closer than most online betting sites think.
For Edwards, there’s more risk than reward but he really needed to get back inside the octagon and compete. For Muhammad, he has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Although, even with a victory, he isn’t jumping to the front of the line for a title shot.
I expect this fight to go Over 4.5 rounds (-190) and the full distance (-180). 15 of Muhammad’s 21 pro bouts have gone the distance including eight of his last nine contests. 11 of Edwards’ 21 pro bouts have gone to a decision including eight of his last 10.
This is going to be a competitive bout for the full 25 minutes so I’m definitely taking the over on my mobile UFC betting app. Edwards will try to fight from a distance while Muhammad looks for takedowns and the clinch. Yet, in the end, I believe Edwards will pull out the decision win (+125) which offers the best value for this bout.
Even with the close loss, Muhammad will see his stock rise and he will be a Top 10 welterweight with another big fight in the near future.
Edwards will secure his spot as a challenger for the welterweight title currently held by Usman. But, he will have to wait as Masvidal and Covington are ahead of him in line for a title shot.
Leon Edwards vs Belal Muhammad –Edwards (-260)
Over 4.5 rounds (-190)
Fight goes the distance (-180)
Edwards wins via decision (+120)
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. …