On Saturday, December 5th, the UFC returns to action on ESPN+ live from their Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC on ESPN 19: Hermansson vs Vettori also known as UFC on Vegas 16.
The main card of this event is scheduled to have five fights beginning at 10PM ET on ESPN+. The main event of the night is a Top 13 ranked middleweight battle as the 4th ranked Jack Hermansson takes on the 13th ranked Marvin Vettori who took this fight on short notice.
Also in action is the unbeaten Movsar Evloev taking on Nate Landwehr, the undefeated Roman Dolidze battling John Allan, 15th ranked Montana De La Rosa fighting Taila Santos, and a co-main event of light heavyweights Jamahal Hill taking on the #15 ranked Ovince Saint Preux.
UFC betting sites have released their full slate of odds for UFC on ESPN 19’s main card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any value, and heel hook these predictions.
The main card opens up with this featherweight fight, which will certainly provide plenty of fireworks. In fact, you don’t want to miss any minute of this contest regardless of what the oddsmakers say. These two men were former champs in M-1 and will put on a thrilling contest.
Currently, this bout has the largest disparity in betting odds as Movsar Evloev is the largest betting favorite for the entire card.
Nate Landwehr was the former M-1 featherweight champ and earned a UFC shot after winning seven straight fights. Unfortunately, he lost in his UFC debut to Herbert Burns via 1st round KO. Landwehr would bounce back in May and win via unanimous decision over Darren Elkins.
Eight of his 14 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 6-1 when going to a decision.
Movsar Evloev was the former M-1 bantamweight champion and came to the UFC before Landwehr. Evloev debuted in April 2019 and won via unanimous decision over Seung Woo Choi. Currently, he’s 3-0 in the octagon with all three wins via unanimous decision.
As for this weekend’s event, Evloev made the following comments about Saturday’s fight:
“I think it will be an interesting matchup because everyone is interested when two champions find out who’s best. He has many strong qualities, but the main thing is that I clearly understand where I am much stronger, and I intend to show this to the whole world on December 5th.”
At 26 years old, the Russian Evloev is a rising prospect who can really do some damage in the featherweight division. If he wins this weekend then he will crack the Top 15 rankings and also get a bigger name in his next contest.
Seven of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of submission. He’s 6-0 when going the distance.
There’s no value with Evloev’s moneyline at -630 odds. So, we need to look for another wager in this fight that will provide better value. Fortunately, there is a good one and that’s for Evloev to win via decision at -135 odds.
Online betting sites heavily favor the Over 2.5 rounds (-210) and for the fight to go the full 15 minutes (-175). There’s plenty of data to suggest this will happen.
Combined, these two men have gone the distance in 13 of their 30 pro fights. For Evloev, he’s gone the distance in three straight fights, which were all in the UFC. Landwehr has gone the distance in two of his last three bouts.
I believe this fight will go to the scorecards where Movsar Evloev will pick up the unanimous decision victory. He’s a step above Landwehr in talent and he will close out 2020 with another strong performance. This will be the best fight of the main card other than the main event.
Nate Landwehr vs Movsar Evloev –Evloev (-630)
Over 2.5 rounds (-210)
Fight goes to a decision (-175)
Evloev wins via decision (-135)
Roman Dolidze vs John Allan
Roman Dolidze (-190)
John Allan (+165)
Over (-130)/Under (+110) 1.5 rounds
This is the first of two light heavyweight bouts on the main card and it features the unbeaten Roman Dolidze versus John Allan. Both men will be making their second trip inside the octagon.
John Allan returns to the octagon after serving a one year suspension for a failed drug test following his win in his UFC debut against Mike Rodriguez. The July 2019 victory was overturned and ruled a No Contest by the CSAC.
Allan lost his DWCS fight in August 2018, but was still offered an octagon appearance 11 months later. In between those two bouts, Allan defeated Alexandre Silva via 2nd round TKO in the Future FC promotion.
12 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-1 when going the distance. Four of Allan’s five pro losses have come via submission.
Roman Dolidze made his UFC debut in July on Fight Island and won via 1st round TKO over Khadis Ibragimov. Dolidze was aiming for a knockout as his opponent irked him by looking at him the wrong way. How can you not get behind a fighter that uses something small like that for motivation?
The man from the country of Georgia is a solid UFC prospect and could quickly move up the rankings in the light heavyweight division as this is a weight class starving for new stars.
All seven of his wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. Dolidze has never gone the distance in a fight.
In 25 combined fights, these two men have gone the distance twice. So, it’s a good bet that this bout will end inside the distance (-260). With that said, I am going with the Over 1.5 rounds (-130).
Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable either way. Dolidze can finish it quickly like with his Fight Island debut in the summer or Allan could drag it past the halfway mark.
Either way, I do believe Dolidze will get the victory inside the full 15 minutes (-110). This prop bet offers the best value for the entire fight considering he’s never gone the distance before.
As for the method of victory, it can go either way. Dolidze is a more polished striker than Allan and has the power to finish him off. But, I am leaning towards a submission win since Allan has four submission losses and Dolidze is the superior grappler between the two.
Roman Dolidze vs John Allan –Dolidze (-190)
Over 1.5 rounds (-130)
Fight ends inside the distance (-260)
Dolidze wins inside the distance (-110)
Dolidze wins via submission (+500)
Taila Santos vs Montana De La Rosa
Taila Santos (-210)
Montana De La Rosa (+175)
Over (-235)/Under (+195) 2.5 rounds
This women’s flyweight contest features two fighters looking to move up in the division. Montana De La Rosa is ranked 15th in this weight class, while Taila Santos is unranked.
Originally, this fight was supposed to be Maryna Moroz taking on Taila Santos. However, Moroz withdrew from the card due to undisclosed reasons. Montana De La Rosa agreed to take the fight on less than three weeks’ notice.
Montana De La Rosa last fought in September and lost via unanimous decision to Viviane Araujo. Prior to that, MDLR was 4-1 in the UFC since debuting in 2017. She also had a successful run on the Ultimate Fighter 26.
After doing part of training camp through Zoom, Montana De La Rosa expects to finish Talia Santos 🔥 #UFCVegas16 (via @ColeShelton91) https://t.co/HeDzbcMDcz
Inside the octagon, De La Rosa’s other loss came to Andrea Lee in June 2019. This weekend’s bout will be her third in 2020, but oddsmakers are pegging her to lose. Nevertheless, De La Rosa feels confident heading into this fight and is hoping to finish off her opponent on Saturday:
“Styles make fights and McCann was a good fight for her. But, she is super strong and tough and comes forward and bangs. It will be interesting getting in there with her. The only thing she has on me is her Muay Thai. So, just not keeping it at that kicking range is where I think I win. I think my cardio will be great and I’ve been working on it a lot. It is my fight style, I like to get the finish and it is the goal.”
Eight of her 11 pro wins have come via submission. MDLR is 3-4 when going the distance.
Taila Santos earned her UFC shot by winning on DWCS in August 2019 via unanimous decision. However, her octagon debut against Mara Romero Borella in February 2019 ended in a split decision loss.
Santos bounced back 17 months later when she beat Molly McCann via unanimous decision in July 2020 on Fight Island. It was a surprise win as Santos really dominated McCann.
12 of her 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with 10 by way of TKO/KO. She’s 4-1 when going the distance.
Combined, these two women have gone the distance in 12 of their 34 pro fights. I see this bout going Over 2.5 rounds (-235) and the full 15 minutes (-205). For De La Rosa, she’s gone the distance in three straight fights, as has Santos.
This bout is going to come down to who can dictate where the fight ends up. Santos will want to keep it standing and at a range where she can use her length to land punches and kicks. De La Rosa will want to get in close, push Santos against the fence and eventually get the fight to the mat.
Santos has the striking advantage, while De La Rosa has the grappling advantage.
I was really impressed with Santos in her fight against Molly McCann. It’s not often we see McCann get beat up like that. However, I don’t see Santos being able to duplicate that success against De La Rosa this weekend.
These two fighters do have a common opponent in Mara Romero Borella. Santos lost to her via split decision while De La Rosa beat Borella via unanimous decision.
I am going with the betting upset here. I believe De La Rosa will do everything she can to quickly close the distance and get the fight to the mat. Once there, she can control the fight and win rounds.
I am taking De La Rosa to win via split decision.
Taila Santos vs Montana De La Rosa –Dolidze (-190)
De La Rosa (+175)
Over 2.5 rounds (-235)
Fight goes the distance (-205)
De La Rosa wins via decision (+320)
Ovince St. Preux vs Jamahal Hill
Ovince St. Preux (+145)
Jamahal Hill (-165)
Over (-165)/Under (+145) 1.5 rounds
Ovince St. Preux is currently ranked 15th in the light heavyweight division despite testing out the heavyweight division earlier this year and falling in defeat to Ben Rothwell via split decision.
After that loss, OSP returned to the light heavyweight division to take on the rising prospect Alonzo Menifield. OSP won that fight via 2nd round KO and showed that the veteran was still a formidable opponent despite being 37 years old.
St. Preux is 3-4 in his last seven fights including losses to Nikita Krylov, Dominick Reyes, and Ilir Latifi. This stretch led OSP to move up to heavyweight. But, it was clear that he’s not big enough to compete in that division.
20 of his 25 pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-9 when going the distance. Five of his 14 pro losses have come via stoppage.
The unbeaten Jamahal Hill earned a UFC shot with a 2nd round TKO win on DWCS in July 2019. He debuted for the UFC in January 2020 and defeated Darko Stosic via unanimous decision.
Hill took another fight in May and beat Klidson Abreu. Unfortunately, that outcome was overturned to a No Contest because Hill failed a drug test for smoking weed.
Yet, there was some controversy to that as Hill took the fight on four weeks’ notice and proclaims that he stopped smoking as soon as he accepted the fight. He also stated that weed affects everyone differently and it remained in his system until fight night.
Even with the one NC, Hill is a rising light heavyweight looking to pick up the biggest win of his career. A victory over OSP will put him on the cusp of the Top 15 rankings and announce that he’s someone to watch out for. Despite being suspended for six months, this will be Hill’s third fight of 2020.
I am surprised that OSP is a sizable underdog in this contest. He’s the proven veteran with an advantage in the grappling department.
He’s only suffered one TKO/KO in his recent career and that was against Jimi Manuwa over four years ago. Yes, he has two TKO/KO losses, but the first one came in 2009 when he was still evolving as a fighter.
Hill doesn’t have the grappling chops to win this fight. In fact, if he ends up on the mat, there’s a great chance he will lose. OSP took Menifield’s shots and Rothwell’s best punches, but didn’t go down. I don’t see Hill being able to knock him out in this contest.
I have successfully convinced myself to take OSP in this fight. I see the veteran winning via decision. I believe he will control the bout from the mat and successfully navigate any prolonged striking battles.
Take the Over 1.5 rounds (-165). I think the safest prop bet for this entire light heavyweight co-main event is that this fight will start round 3 at -110 odds.
Ovince St. Preux vs Jamahal Hill –St. Preux (+145)
Over 1.5 rounds (-165)
Fight goes the distance (+150)
St. Preux wins via decision (+495)
Jack Hermansson vs Marvin Vettori
Jack Hermansson (+120)
Marvin Vettori (-140)
Over (-135)/Under (+115) 1.5 rounds
This main event fight has been quite the roller coaster just to get Jack Hermansson an opponent. First, it was supposed to be Jack Hermansson versus Darren Till. But, Till was removed from the bout due to an injury.
This removal of Till really disappointed Hermansson because he spent a lot of time preparing for Darren and believed it was a winnable fight that would of showcased his skills along with putting him in line for a title eliminator or an outright title shot:
“I was very disappointed especially with all the work that went into this fight camp. I have been specializing on Darren Till. We just broke the game down into small details and worked so hard to perfect everything. Then he is suddenly out. I lose a great opponent and a big fan-favorite. That sucked, we managed to at least get a fight.”
After losing Till, Hermansson said that five other opponents turned down an opportunity to fight him. He believed it was due to not having enough time to prepare for him.
Kevin Holland eventually stepped up to take the fight, but then with a little more than a week until fight night, Holland was forced from the card due to a positive covid test.
Marvin Vettori was preparing for a UFC 256 fight against Jacare Souza when he was offered the main event fight against Hermansson.
Ironically, Souza wanted the opportunity that Vettori got, but Hermansson allegedly rejected the idea. The two men fought in April 2019 and Hermansson won via unanimous decision in a five round main event contest.
Yet, even though Hermansson got a ranked opponent in Vettori, he’s not really excited for the matchup:
“Think about that: Being the best in the world at what you do. That’s the motivation to push and commit so much of your life to this. A win over Vettori isn’t motivating to me in and of itself. What’s motivating for me is that it takes me one step closer to my overall goal. If I didn’t think I could be the champion, I would quit now. Why push yourself through what it takes to compete at this level if you don’t feel you can eventually become the best? I still believe I can accomplish that and it really drives me.”
Although Hermansson lacks the excitement for a fight with Vettori, fans and pundits are very excited for what could be the fight of the night.
Vettori Believes He Will Destroy Hermansson
Never one to shy away from a fight, Vettori is fired up to take on the 4th ranked Jack Hermansson. Also, never lacking for confidence, Vettori believes he will destroy his opponent on Saturday night:
“To be honest, I think I’m going to destroy this guy. In all honesty, I think I’m better than this guy anywhere. He thinks he’s a good grappler. Guess what? I’m a better grappler than him. If you want to grapple, let’s grapple until he’s dead tired, and then I’m going to knock him out. To be honest with you, I know he beat Jacare (Souza), but from my standpoint, I think it’s actually a better matchup for me.”
Vettori has won three straight fights including a 1st round submission win over Karl Roberson in July. His lone loss in the last three years has come against Israel Adesanya. However, it was via split decision. Vettori is the only fighter to have beaten Adesanya on one of the judge’s scorecards.
The Italian fighter has been lobbying for a rematch and is working his way back up to get that title shot against Adesanya. A win this weekend would go a long way towards accomplishing this.
11 of his 15 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s 4-4-1 when going the distance. Vettori has never been stopped in his career.
Hermansson is a Real Contender for Middleweight Title
Since joining the UFC in 2016, Hermansson has gone 8-3 inside the octagon. He last fought in July and defeated Kelvin Gastelum via 1st round submission. It was a bounce back performance as he had lost via 2nd round TKO to Jared Cannonier 10 months prior.
The loss to Cannonier snapped a four fight win streak and also prevented Hermansson to get a title shot. Cannonier went on to face Robert Whittaker in a title eliminator, but lost. Hermansson wants to fight Whittaker next if he wins this weekend.
17 of his 21 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of TKO/KO, He’s 4-1 when going the distance.
Who Wins This Main Event Fight?
I am fired up for this bout. It features two fighters that I am a fan of. I believe we’re going to get an exciting fight between two rugged and entertaining middleweights.
This main event is scheduled for five rounds, so take the Over 2.5 rounds (-135) as I don’t see either man losing before then. Furthermore, I think we will go the distance (+160) as Vettori has never been stopped before.
I see both men nullifying each other’s strengths. But, the one area where Vettori has an advantage that will make the difference with the judges is his gas tank. He will be able to push a pace that keeps him in the driver’s seat for most of the fight where he will eventually get a split decision win (+340).
In addition to the Over, my favorite prop bet for this contest is for the fight to start round 4 at +105 odds. Vettori has gone the distance in six of his last seven fights. Although he’s never done a 5 round fight before, getting to the 4th round shouldn’t be a problem.
I have been rooting for Vettori to get another crack at Adesanya and this weekend will put him one step closer as the “Italian Dream” picks up the biggest win of his career in upset fashion.
Jack Hermansson vs Marvin Vettori –Vettori (-140)
Over 2.5 rounds (-135)
Fight goes the distance (+160)
Vettori wins via decision (+340)
Fight starts round 4 (+105)
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. …