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UFC Vegas 4 Best Bets, Poirier vs. Hooker Picks and Predictions


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UFC Vegas 4
Betting Odds & Best Bets

While spikes in COVID-19 positive tests across the country create unease about how it may impact what sports fans hope to see from MLB and NBA in late July and football come September, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to put on an eighth show in seven weeks this Saturday at the UFC’s Apex Facility in Las Vegas.
  • Date: Saturday, June 27, 2020
  • Venue: UFC APEX
  • Betting Odds: Sides and Totals
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
  • TV/Time: ESPN, ESPN+, 5:00 p.m. ET
UFC Betting Trends | UFC Expert Picks

UFC Vegas 4
Betting Odds

Lightweight: Dustin Poirier -230 vs. Dan Hooker +195
Welterweight: Mike Perry -300 vs. Mickey Gall +250
Middleweight: Brendan Allen -310 vs. Kyle Daukaus +260
Heavyweight: Gian Villante +170 vs. Maurice Greene -190
Catchweight: Sean Woodson -500 vs. Julian Erosa +400

Lightweight: Luis Pena -250 vs. Khama Worthy +210
Heavyweight: Philipe Lins -115 vs. Tanner Boser -105
Featherweight: Jordan Griffin -105 vs. Youssef Zalal -115
Women’s Strawweight: Kay Hansen -170 vs. Jinh Yu Frey +150

UFC Vegas 4
Picks & Predictions

Lightweight Bout
Dustin Poirier vs. Dan Hooker

This week’s headliner will feature former UFC interim lightweight champion, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, against Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker in a crucial 155-pound contest. As of Thursday, FanDuel had Poirier (25-6-1 MMA, 17-5-1 UFC) installed as a -230 favorite with Hooker at +184 on the comeback (risk $100 to win $184). The total was 4.5 rounds (‘under’ -260, ‘over’ +198).

By early Friday morning, Poirier was down to -210 while Hooker was the +170 underdog. The total had not budged.

Poirier is returning for the first time since September when he lost his lightweight title fight against Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov at UFC 242 at The Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Nurmagomedov scored a third-round submission (rear-naked choke) at the 2:06 mark.

The 31-year-old Poirier fell to 9-2 with one no-contest in the lightweight division since moving up from featherweight after a first-round knockout loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 178. During his climb into title contention, Poirier claimed six finishes and defeated three former champions and one current interim champ.

His victims included former champions Eddie Alvarez, Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway (twice -- at featherweight and lightweight), in addition to current interim lightweight champ, Justin Gaethje, who hasn’t lost again since dropping a scrap to Poirier by fourth-round KO.

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Poirier’s 17 career UFC wins and 11 career finishes leave him in a tie for 10th place for both categories in the promotion’s history. His 10 fight-night bonuses are in an eighth-place tie in the annals of UFC history.

Other notable scalps on Poirier’s resume include Jim Miller, Bobby Green, Joseph Duffy, Yancy Medeiros, Carlos Diego Ferreira, Diego Brandao and Pablo Garza.

Hooker (20-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has won three consecutive fights and is 7-1 since moving up to 155 pounds in the summer of 2017. His only loss in that span came by third-round KO to Edson Barboza in December of 2018.

The 30-year-old New Zealander will enjoy a three-inch advantage in both height and reach. Hooker is off a split-decision win over Paul Felder in a five-round war at UFC Auckland in February. The scrap earned Fight of the Night honors.

Between the loss to Barboza and the win over Felder, Hooker beat James Vick by first-round KO and earned a unanimous-decision triumph over Al Iaquinta at UFC 243 in Melbourne, Australia.

Prior to the loss to Barboza, Hooker handed Gilbert Burns his last defeat via first-round KO at UFC 226 on July 7 of 2018. Since then, Burns has moved up to welterweight and won four straight fights to earn a title shot next month against Kamaru Usman.

Hooker owns other notable victories over the likes of Jim Miller and Ross Pearson. His other three UFC losses came by decision to Jason ‘Mississippi Mean’ Knight, Yair Rodriguez and Maximo Blanco.

Hooker has captured 10 of his 20 career wins by KO, seven by submission and three via decision. He has one KO loss, two submission defeats and five setbacks by decision. As for Poirier, he has 12 KO victories, seven submission wins and six via decision. He has a pair of losses apiece by KO, submission and decision.

The fifth-ranked Hooker believes a win over third-ranked Poirier puts him next in line to face the winner of Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje. Whether that’s accurate or not remains to be seen, but he’d certainly be the conversation if he can get his raised Saturday night.

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UFC Vegas 4
Poirier vs. Hooker Picks

I have a lot of respect for Hooker, who has outstanding skills and an excellent chin. However, I think Poirier is better in all facets of MMA. The Lafayette, LA., native has had the longest layoff of his career going into this spot. It was needed, though, after a brilliant run – consecutive wins over the world’s best in Pettis, Gaethje, Alvarez and Holloway – and then the gut-wrenching setback in the biggest fight of his life against still-undefeated Nurmagomedov. The 10 months off has given Poirier time to heel physically and emotionally, and it has allowed him to reset and focus on another run at the belt. He’s stronger than Hooker in the clinch and in wrestling sequences. He has superior boxing as well with more power in his hands.

I’m okay with including Poirier in whatever parlay you might have working, but he’s too expensive for me to back on a straight wager. Instead, I like the prop on Poirier to win by KO/TKO for one unit and a +125 return. Also, I’ll go with Poirier for two units to win inside the distance at a -125 price (William Hill). I think Poirier gets the win by KO, but we ensure a profit by placing more on the inside-the-distance prop in case he scores a submission victory.

Welterweight Bout
Mike Perry vs. Mickey Gall

In the co-main event, Mike ‘Platinum’ Perry (13-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC) will collide with Mickey Gall in a welterweight showdown. As of late Thursday, FanDuel had Perry listed as a -340 ‘chalk,’ with Gall as a +260 underdog. The total was 1.5 rounds with a -112 price either way. Those numbers remained the same as of Friday morning.

Perry is looking to avoid a three-fight losing streak. He is mired in a 2-5 slump in his last seven Octagon appearances. Geoff Neal needed only 90 seconds to obliterate Perry by first-round KO at UFC 245 this past December.

Perry isn’t on a team currently and will only have his new girlfriend cornering him. The 28-year-old native of Flint, MICH., had been a participant in back-to-back Fights of the Nights before falling to Neal, who is 6-0 in the UFC with five finishes.

Perry won a UD over Alex Oliveira in April of 2019 before dropping a split decision to Vicente Luque last August. Both fights garnered Perry an extra $50,000 with FOTN bonuses.

He owns other notable scalps over Paul Felder, Jake Ellenberger and Danny Roberts. Perry has 11 of his 13 career victories via KO, while he’s been finished just twice (submitted by Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone and KO’d by Neal).

Gall (6-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) bounced back from a second-round KO loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC 235 by capturing a UD win over Salim Touahri last August. The 28-year-old Gall is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with five submission victories on his resume. His only other career loss was a UD setback vs. Randy Brown at UFC 217.

The 6-foot-2 Gall will have three-inch advantages in both height and reach.

UFC Vegas 4
Perry vs. Gall Picks

Perry will enjoy a significant advantage over Gall when the fight is standing. However, Gall has the better ground game if he can utilize his wrestling. Gall wants to make it an ugly fight that’s waged in the clinch against the fence or on the canvas. Perry is just being ignorant going into this fight without anyone cornering him. It’s clearly a sign that he’s underestimating his opponent. If Gall can avoid getting KO’d early, I like his chances. Give me one-half unit on Gall to pull the upset as a +260 underdog.

Middleweight Bout
Brendan Allen vs. Kyle Daukaus

Brendan ‘All In’ Allen (14-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC) will take on promotional newcomer Kyle Daukaus in a middleweight contest. As of Friday morning, FanDuel had Allen listed as a -320 favorite, with Daukaus available for a generous +245 payout. The total was 1.5 rounds (‘over’ -136, ‘under’ +108).

Allen has won six fights in a row. He submitted Aaron Jeffery in the opening frame of their fight on Dana White’s Contender Series last summer. Next, Allen scored a second-round submission victory over Kevin Holland at UFC Boston last October. Then on Feb. 29, Allen captured a first-round KO triumph over Tom Breese.

The 27-year-old Daukaus (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has eight submission wins.

UFC Vegas 4
Allen vs. Daukaus Picks

Allen has eight career wins by submission, five by KO and one via decision. Eight of his 17 career fights have ended in Round 1 and five others have ended in the second stanza. Only two of Daukaus’s nine career fights have made it into the third round. Let’s go with one unit on ‘under’ 1.5 rounds for a +108 return. Let’s also go with one-half unit on Allen to win inside the distance at a -125 price (William Hill).

Heavyweight Bout
Maurice Green vs. Gian Villante

Maurice Green (8-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC) will take on Gian Villante, as the 34-year-old Serra-Longo Fight Team member makes his heavyweight debut. As of Friday morning, FanDuel had Green installed as a -250 ‘chalk’ with Villante at +200 on the comeback. The total was 2.5 rounds (‘under’ -180, ‘over’ +140).

Green won his first three UFC fights. The 6-foot-7 Green took out Michel Batista (triangle choke) and Junior Albini (punches) with first-round finishes, and the 33-year-old captured a split-decision victory over Jeff Hughes.

However, at UFC Singapore last October, Green lost by first-round KO to Sergei Pavlovich. Then in January, Green dropped a second-round submission to Alexey Oleynik.

Villante (17-11 MMA, 7-8 UFC) has lost four of his last six fights. He owns notable career wins over Corey Anderson, Sean O’Connell, Anthony Perosh and Ed Herman.

UFC Vegas 4
Green vs. Villante Picks

Villante has a wrestling base and four of his past five fights have gone the distance. On the flip side, seven of Green’s last nine appearances have ended in the opening round. Most heavyweight contests have totals of 1.5 rounds, but this scrap has a total of 2.5 rounds. I’d be interested in the ‘under’ if the price wasn’t so expensive. As more props become available later today and on Saturday, I’d be okay with a prop for the fight to end in Round 1 or 2 as long as it’s not more expensive than -120. As I file this column early Friday, I haven’t been able to find that prop offering. Therefore, I’ll go with one-half unit on Green to win inside the distance (at a -118 price at William Hill) as my official play here at VI.

Lightweight Bout
Luis Pena vs. Khama Worthy

Luis Pena (8-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will face Khama Worthy in a lightweight showdown as the Prelims headliner. FanDuel had Pena listed as a -290 favorite with Worthy as a +225 underdog as of Friday morning.

Pena participated in Season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter. Both of his career defeats have come via split decisions.

Worthy (15-6 MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his UFC debut vs. Devonte Smith last August, taking the fight on only four days’ notice. Nevertheless, he beat Smith by first-round KO as a +650 underdog. Worthy has won six straight fights.

UFC Vegas 4
Pena vs. Worthy Picks

Let’s put one-half unit on Worthy as a lucrative +225 underdog.

B.E.’s Octagon Nuggets

-- Ramiz Brahimaj was removed from his welterweight scrap against Takashi Sato after one of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Jason Witt has been named as his replacement but was still awaiting medical clearance as of Friday morning.

-- Jorge Masvidal said he’ll fight before the end of the year, but he “won’t be played or underpaid.” Otherwise, “he’s set for life” and can retire if it comes down to it.”

-- Jon Jones now claims he’s willing to sit out 2-3 years in order to get paid what he’s worth.

-- Undefeated Bryce Mitchell and Andre Fili have been eyeing a featherweight matchup with each for the fall in social-media exchanges over the past week.

-- In the first round of his UD win over Shane Burgos in last Saturday’s co-main event, eighth-ranked featherweight contender Josh Emmett sustained a torn ACL, an MCL sprain with partial tearing, a focal impact fracture of his femur, a Baker’s cyst rupture and a chondral defect on his tibia. Nevertheless, he put on one of the best performances of his career. Emmett has pointed at Tony Ferguson’s quick return from an ACL tear in interviews this week, expressing that he hopes to be back sooner than his 9-12 month diagnosis.

-- According to Zabit Magomedsharipov’s manager, his client will face Yair Rodriguez in a crucial featherweight showdown on Aug. 29. The third-ranked Magomedsharipov has won 14 consecutive fights and is 6-0 in the UFC. The fifth-ranked Rodriguez has posted wins over The Korean Zombie and Jeremy Stephens since his loss to Frankie Edgar.

Bet $50 On a Fighter’s Moneyline, Get a $100 Bonus if the fight lasts for more than one round



  
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