On Saturday, March 20th, the UFC will be live from their Apex Center for UFC on ESPN 21 also known as UFC Vegas 22. However, before we take a look at the main card, we must first examine the preliminary card which is set to begin at 7PM ET.
The featured bout of the UFC on ESPN 21 is a Top 11 women’s bantamweight fight between #9 Marion Reneau and #11 Macy Chiasson.
Also on the preliminary card are notable fighters like Grant Dawson, Trevin Giles, Montel Jackson, and the #15 ranked bantamweight Julia Avila.
UFC betting sites have released their full slate of odds for the UFC on ESPN 21 preliminary card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any betting value, and TKO these predictions within the first 15 seconds.
Fight booking wire (March 15-21): Johnny Eduardo off Saturday’s #UFCVegas22 https://t.co/4q8n7C5ruc
After nearly three years out of the octagon, Johnny Eduardo (28-12) was set to return and face Anthony Birchak (16-7). Unfortunately, the 42 year old will have to wait longer before stepping back inside the cage as he’s been ruled out of this fight.
Reports indicate that Eduardo ran into some issues with his visa and will not be able to make this event. As of now, the UFC hasn’t decided on what to do with Birchak. There’s a chance that they could find a replacement opponent so that Birchak can still compete on this event.
J.P. Buys vs Bruno Silva
Silva made his UFC debut in the fall of 2019 and lost to Khalid Taha. However, that fight was overturned after Taha failed a drug test.
Following his debut, Silva lost to David Dvorak via unanimous decision in March 2020 and to Tagir Ulanbekov via unanimous decision in October 2020. He’s 2-3-1 with 1 NC in his last seven fights.
Six of his 10 pro wins have come via stoppage with three apiece for TKO/KO and submission. He’s 4-3-2 when going the distance.
Buys made his first DWCS appearance in August 2017 and lost via 2nd round TKO. He would then return to the regional promotions where he put together a four fight win streak. That led to a second shot at DWCS where he won via 1st round submission last November.
Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of submission. He’s never gone the distance in a pro fight.
I’d like to say that Buys will win via stoppage, but it’s hard to feel confident in that result. Instead, I think the safe play here is for this fight to go Over 2.5 rounds (-180) and the full distance (-160).
Once with the judges, I believe Buys will get the win via decision (+142). Buys is the better grappler and I expect him to keep Silva grounded for long stretches at a time.
I don’t see any real betting value with this fight.
J.P. Buys vs Bruno Silva –Buys (-155)
Over 2.5 rounds (-180)
Fight goes the distance (-160)
Buys wins via decision (+142)
Julia Avila vs Julija Stoliarenko
Stoliarenko was bounced from her first UFC stint in November 2018 after suffering a split decision loss to Leah Letson. She would go on to fight in regional promotions before a debut in Invicta FC one year ago. Julija won five bouts in a row before returning to the UFC last August.
Unfortunately, she lost via unanimous decision to Yana Kunitskaya and is now 0-2 inside the octagon. Eight of her nine pro wins have come via submission. She’s 1-2-2 when going the distance.
The “Raging Panda,” Julia Avila went 6-1 and earned a contract with the UFC in the summer of 2019. She made her debut at UFC 239 and won via unanimous decision over Pannie Kianzad.
Avila followed that up with a 1st round TKO win over Gina Mazany in June 2020. However, she lost to Sijara Eubanks last September via unanimous decision.
Five of her eight pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. She’s 3-1 when going the distance.
I’m going to take this bout going Over 2.5 rounds (-180) and the full 15 minutes (-175) on my favorite UFC betting app. Two of Avila’s three UFC fights have gone to a decision. Stoliarenko has gone the distance in two straight fights. Additionally, both of her trips inside the octagon have gone to a decision.
As long as neither woman makes any major mistakes, this bout should result in a decision win for Avila (-110) which has the best value for this fight.
Avila is the better striker and I expect her to pepper Stoliarenko all fight long.
Julia Avila vs Julija Stoliarenko –Avila (-370)
Over 2.5 rounds (-180)
Fight goes the distance (-175)
Avila wins via decision (-110)
Montel Jackson vs Jesse Strader
This bout has the largest betting odds for the entire UFC on ESPN 21 event.
Strader is making his UFC debut this week after going 3-1 in the Combate promotion. He’s on a two fight win streak, but hasn’t competed since August 2019 when he won via 1st round KO in Combate.
Four of his five pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 1-0 when going the distance. His lone loss was a TKO/KO.
Montel Jackson treft UFC debutant Jesse Strader tijdens UFC on ESPN 21 in Las Vegas https://t.co/wqvTLW9zDU pic.twitter.com/5E5orFO5mZ
Strader made the following comments about his upcoming fight:
“He’s a rangy southpaw. He’s a little taller for the weight class. Also, he can wrestle with the best of them. He’s got good takedown defense and I saw he’s got a submission victory. It’s all good. It’s all to be expected. I think I have an edge if anybody is thinking like that. If anyone is thinking I got ring rust or they’re counting me out in any way or looking at my record, they’re in for a surprise. I’m getting my hand raised by finish.”
Jackson earned his UFC contract with a 3rd round TKO win over Rico DiSciullo in June 2018. That led to a debut fight against Ricky Simon where he lost via decision.
Jackson would then go on to win three in a row over quality opponents like Kelleher, Soukhamthath, and Colares. His last bout was in July 2020 where he lost via unanimous decision to Brett Johns.
Six of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-2 when going the distance.
Jackson struggled against the grappling of Johns and Simon, which led to decision losses. I don’t see that happening in this fight. In fact, I see this bout ending early as these two fighters will come out swinging. GO with Under 2.5 rounds (-170) and for the fight to end inside the distance (-170).
I think there’s a chance this bout could end in the 1st round. However, whether it’s the first or second, I see Jackson walking away with the stoppage win in this contest (-130), which offers the best value for this fight. I wouldn’t be surprised if he picks up the TKO/KO victory (+115).
Montel Jackson vs Jesse Strader –Jackson (-650)
Under 2.5 rounds (-170)
Fight ends inside the distance (-170)
Jackson wins inside the distance (-130)
Jackson wins via TKO/KO (+115)
Trevin Giles vs Roman Dolidze
Dricus Du Plessis was originally set to face Trevin Giles, but Du Plessis was forced off the show due to visa issues. Roman Dolidze has agreed to take the fight on one week’s notice. Unfortunately for Du Plessis, his visa was fixed as of this writing, but the UFC already moved on with Dolidze.
Giles started off his career going 9-0 before joining the UFC four years ago. His debut fight was a success as he won via 2nd round KO over James Bochnovic.
Giles opened up his UFC tenure with two wins before dropping two in a row to Zak Cummings and Gerald Meershchaert. He then bounced back with two straight wins last year with a split decision victory over James Krause and a 3rd round TKO over Bevon Lewis in November.
“The Problem,” is now 4-2 in the UFC. 11 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. He’s 2-0 when going the distance.
Dolidze made his UFC debut last summer on Fight Island and won via 1st round TKO over Khadis Ibragimov. He then beat John Allan via split decision in December. That was the lone decision of his career.
Seven of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage with four by way of TKO/KO. Prior to his decision win against Allan, Dolidze had only gone to the 3rd round one other time.
Combined, these two men have gone the distance in just three of their 23 pro fights. I don’t see them going the full 15 minutes in this one. More than likely, this bout will end inside the distance (-165) and Under 2.5 rounds (-140).
With that said, I am giving the edge to Dolidze. I like what I saw from him last year and I think he has the tools to win this fight via submission. Both of Giles’ pro losses have come via submission and inside the octagon.
The moneylines offer the best value no matter which fighter you choose to win. Giles is a live dog in this matchup.
Trevin Giles vs Roman Dolidze –Dolidze (-140)
Under 2.5 rounds (-140)
Fight ends inside the distance (-165)
Dolidze wins inside the distance (+130)
Dolidze wins via submission (+300)
Leonardo Santos vs Grant Dawson
The 41 year old Santos comes into this weekend’s contest as the sizable underdog despite being 12-0-1 in his last 13 fights and going unbeaten in his eight trips inside the octagon.
Santos last fought in July 2020 and won via unanimous decision over Roman Bogatov. It was his second find since returning from a near-three year hiatus.
12 of his 18 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of submission. He’s 5-2-1 when going the distance. His lone stoppage defeat was via TKO/KO back in October 2006.
Dawson enters this weekend’s bout on a seven fight win streak which includes his entire run in the UFC so far. He appeared on DWCS in August 2017 and won via unanimous decision over Julian Erosa.
Dawson fought twice last year with wins over Darrick Minner via 2nd round submission in February and a unanimous decision victory over Nad Narimani in July 2020.
14 of his 16 pro wins have come via stoppage with 11 by way of submission. He’s 2-0 when going the distance and also has one stoppage loss via TKO/KO.
Win, lose or Draw this weekend, Dawson plans on fighting a lot more:
“Basically what happened, how it was explained to me was, basically after this fight I’ll be able to fight a lot more. How they basically said it was, I’m a puzzle piece, that’s trying to fit into a puzzle that I don’t belong in.”
Although both men have an impressive amount of finishes (26 total), I see this bout going Over 2.5 rounds (-195) and the full distance (-165).
Two of Santos’ last three fights have gone to a decision as have four of his eight UFC fights. Dawson has gone the distance in two of his four UFC fights including his most recent bout last July.
Once with the scorecards, I believe Dawson will get the decision victory (+130), which has some value. I think the will be more active and aggressive throughout this contest.
Leonardo Santos vs Grant Dawson –Dawson (-210)
Over 2.5 rounds (-195)
Fight goes the distance (-165)
Dawson wins via decision (+130)
Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson
This bout was originally scheduled to take place on February 6th, but Marion Reneau tested positive for covid and the fight was pushed back to February 27th. Unfortunately, Chiasson suffered an injury and the bout had to be postponed again. This time, it was pushed back to March 20th.
Reneau has been with the UFC for over six years and has a record of 5-5-1 inside the octagon. However, she enters this weekend’s contest having lost three straight bouts.
Her last fight came in June 2020 and she lost via unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington. Her other two losses over that span were also via unanimous decision to Yana Kunitskaya in March 2019 and to Cat Zingano in July 2018.
UFC clash between Marion Reneau and Macy Chiasson postponed once again, this time due to an injury https://t.co/o8Dy7XtzUw pic.twitter.com/FjfVim0Q8d
Eight of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. She’s 1-6-1 when going the distance.
Chiasson made her octagon debut in the fall of 2018 where she defeated Pannie Kianzad via 2nd round submission. She won two more fights in a row via TKO before dropping a decision to Lina Lansberg.
Her last fight was 13 months ago and she won via decision over Shanna Young. Four of her six pro wins have come via stoppage with two apiece for TKO/KO and submission. Chiasson is 2-1 when going the distance.
Although these two combatants combined for 12 finishes, I believe this contest will go Over 2.5 rounds (-215) and the fill distance (-185).
Reneau has gone the distance in three straight fights and seven of her 11 UFC bouts. Chiasson has gone the distance in two straight fights.
Once with the judges, I like Chiasson to win via decision (+110), which offers the best value for this bout. She’s the better overall fighter in this matchup. Plus, Reneau is 1-6 when going the distance.
Marion Reneau vs Macy Chiasson –Chiasson (-200)
Over 2.5 rounds (-215)
Fight goes the distance (-185)
Chiasson wins via decision (+110)
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. …