Saturday’s UFC slate has some intriguing matchups with Paul Felder and Rafael dos Anjos headlining the action. The 11-fight card starts at 4 p.m. ET with six preliminary fights and four fights on the main card, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
This week, we’ve included Sean Zerillo’s projections for Saturday’s card and you can see his picks by following him in The Action Network’s app.
UFC Fight Night Moneylines
UFC Fight Night Props
Our crew has pinpointed two specific fights on Saturday’s undercard and main card that present some betting value. You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
UFC Fight Night Betting Picks
Reed Wallach: Antonio Arroyo vs. Eryk Anders
Contributor at The Action Network
This line smells fishy to me. Eryk Anders is a household name in the UFC despite middling results. Known for his football career — he is a former University of Alabama linebacker — Anders is 5-5 in the promotion but draws some fanfare for his prior accolades. He enters this fight as a slight favorite against an opponent in Antonio Arroyo who lost his official UFC debut but did grab two victories on Dana White’s Contender Series.
The Brazilian will be slightly taller, standing 6-foot-3 to Anders’ 6-foot-1, but Anders has the 2-inch reach advantage. What Arroyo has shown that Anders has not has been activity and precision. Arroyo has a striking accuracy of 69% to Anders 45% and takes less than half the shots Anders takes, albeit a smaller sample size.
Anders has been held back by his inactivity throughout his UFC career and it has cost him fights, namely his prior fight to Krzysztof Jotko. If Arroyo is able to set the tone early, and maybe establish some leg kicks to slow down Anders even more, this could be a long bout for the former collegiate defender.
On top of the strategic advantages, Anders is stepping in on short notice while Arroyo has had a full camp. Anders’ unpreparedness was on display on the scales Friday, when he landed a pound and a half overweight at weigh-ins. I have a feeling that Anders rushed back into this and the situation calls for an Arroyo upset as the slight underdog.
After opening around -170, Anders has dropped to -130 so the best value is most certainly gone, but I would play Arroyo at any number under -110 on a card that I expect a few dogs to bark throughout.
The Pick: Antonio Arroyo +105
Malik Smith: Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Senior Editor at The Action Network
Felder jumping out of the booth and into the octagon on just five days notice is risky, but admirable. The Irish Dragon had been training for a triathlon, which isn’t exactly the same as training for a fight. However, not getting beat up for a six-week camp has its advantages as well.
At 36, Felder is a pro and his proximity to the action as a broadcaster should keep his mind fresh even if the odds are stacked against him. Late replacement fighters typically win at a rate of 38%, which is roughly what Felder’s implied odds equate to against dos Anjos (37.24%).
RDA is moving back down to lightweight after going 4-4 in the welterweight division. To be fair, three of those losses came against the very top of the division — champion Kamaru Usman, No. 1-ranked Colby Covington and No. 3-ranked Leon Edwards — and all three went to the cards.
The short notice could have just as much impact on dos Anjos’ strategy as it has on Felder’s stamina. RDA was anticipating fighting a wrestler, but will get a striker instead.
While dos Anjos’ only win in the past two years has come by way of submission, his fights have typically gone to the scorecards. Felder hasn’t finished an opponent or been finished by an opponent since his KO win against Charles Oliveira in 2017.
I think the value here is on the betting this fight to go the distance. Sean Zerillo’s UFC Model projects this fight to got the distance 66% of the time and the distance prop at BetMGM (-162) converts to 61.8% implied odds.
Both of these men are seasoned veterans and I anticipate neither will fall into any traps that could lead to an early night.
The Pick: Fight Goes the Distance (-162)