UFC on ESPN+ 24 Betting Preview
Another Saturday means another UFC event. This weekend, it’s UFC on ESPN+24: Blades vs Dos Santos. While it isn’t a main event, it still features plenty of action, even on the preliminary card. From up-and-comers to aged and experienced, grapplers to wrestlers, this card features all different kinds of different fighting styles for all MMA fans. Here are three fights that bettors should keep an eye on.
Arnold Allen (15-1) vs. Nik Lentz (30-10-2)
It may be on the prelim card but this bout between Arnold Allen and Nik Lentz is one you don’t want to miss. Allen is a well-rounded fighter that has a 5-0 amateur boxing record and a 3-0 kickboxing record. His only loss came via decision; an outcome that the majority of his 16 fights have resulted in. While six of his victories have come via decisions, he has five knockouts and four submissions, showing he can win a fight both ways. All of his knockouts have come in the first two rounds and all but one of his submissions have come in the last two rounds of the fight. Allen can score a knockout early as well as wear an opponent down late and get the submission. Allen is on an eight-fight win streak.
Lentz is an experienced 35-year-old fighter who has more than 40 career MMA matches. Coming from a wrestling background, Lentz has 11 wins by knockout and eight by submission. His losses are also level as he has been knocked out three times and submitted twice. Lentz is just 9-7 in his last 16 bouts and he was knocked out by Charles Oliveira in his last fight.
Allen is the favorite in this fight and for good reason. He is younger by nine years and has a one-inch reach advantage. Allen can win this fight standing up or on the ground. It may come to a decision but Allen’s all-around game should be too much for an aging Lentz.
Rafael dos Anjos (29-12) vs. Michael Chiesa (15-4)
Rafael dos Anjos takes on Michael Chiesa in the second-to-last fight of the night. dos Anjos is the more household name in this bout and is coming in around a -250 favorite. However, dos Anjos has lost three of his last four bouts, all by decision. Those losses have come against Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman, and Leon Edwards. dos Anjos is one of the best ground fighters the UFC has ever seen. He has 10 submission victories in his career, including two of his last three victories. The former UFC lightweight champion has struggled of late but he has the ability to regain that championship form on any given night.
Chiesa’s last three fights have all come at UFC main events (UFC 239, 232, and 226). He has won his last two bouts and three of his last four victories have come via submission. However, his last two losses also come via submission. You probably won’t see Chiesa getting a knockout in this fight as he has yet to suffer one in his career. That doesn’t bother him as he likes to take the fight to the ground.
This should be an excellent fight that submission fans will love. Two fighters who love to do more damage on the ground than standing up, this fight will go to the more aggressive ground guy. Chiesa has an incredible six-inch reach advantage and is five inches taller than dos Anjos. While that is usually a huge advantage, it may not matter much in this fight as most of it will be fought on the ground.
Curtis Blaydes (12-2) vs. Junior dos Santos (21-6)
The main event should be a good one as it pits together two giants heavyweights. Curtis Blaydes is a 6-4, 260-pound freight train that could punch a hole through a brick wall. Junior dos Santos is no slouch himself as he is also 6-4 and nearly 240 pounds.
Blaydes may be 12-2 but he is 12-0 against people not named Francis Ngannou. Ngannou managed to knock Blaydes out in both bouts but considering that Ngannou very well may be the toughest man on the planet, those losses are understandable. Blaydes has nine knockout victories of his own, including his first six victories and his most recent. Blaydes is seven years younger than dos Santos and has a crucial three-inch reach advantage.
Fresh off his Brazilian Dancing With The Stars stint, dos Santos was also knocked out by Ngannou, which was his last bout. Fifteen of his 21 career victories have come via knockout, so expect an excellent heavyweight bout between two of the biggest hitters not named Ngannou or Jairzinho Rozenstruik. While the previous fight between Chiesa and dos Anjos will be a submission fans’ dream, this one sets up well for those seeking knockouts. In the heavyweight division more than any, one punch has the power to end a fight. It is hard to imagine these two giants going at it for 25 minutes without someone getting caught. Blaydes is the -220 favorite as he should be, but this one could certainly go either way. Regardless, someone will probably be on their back with eyes closed at the end of this one.