Prime Picks: UFC Fight Night 151

By Adam Martin May 2, 2019
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Saturday night for UFC Fight Night 151. The card features several top Canadian fighters as well as a main event starring two of the best lightweights in the world. The sportsbooks are offering odds on all 12 bouts, and my top plays for the card are below in the UFC Ottawa edition of Prime Picks.

Al Iaquinta (-125)

The main event of the evening is a terrific lightweight matchup between Iaquinta (14-4-1) and Donald Cerrone (35-11, 1 NC), and I’m leaning towards Iaquinta winning the fight. “Raging Al” is coming off of a tremendous showing against Kevin Lee where he won a hard-fought decision as an underdog. He’s racked up an impressive 9-3 record during his Ultimate Fighting Championship run and the only loss he’s had in the last five years came to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. He has excellent takedown defense and a tremendous striking attack, making him a dangerous opponent for anyone in the lightweight division. Enter Cerrone, who is one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. “Cowboy” has a 22-8 record in the UFC and is coming off of two great wins over Alexander Hernandez and Mike Perry. However, he’s also 36 now and prior to his recent win streak was showing signs of significant wear and tear. Cerrone is a great fighter, but I feel like his time as an elite lightweight is nearing its end while Iaquinta’s time at the top is just beginning. Give me Iaquinta to win the fight and I like him at -125 odds.

Shane Burgos (-170)

Another favorite I like is Burgos (11-1), who likely defeats Cub Swanson (25-10) in a featured featherweight bout. I’ve been nothing but impressed with “Hurricane” during his UFC run. The 28-year-old American went on a three-fight win streak to begin his Octagon run with victories over Charles Rosa, Tiago dos Santos e Silva and Godofredo Castro before suffering a TKO loss to Calvin Kattar. But he bounced back from his first career loss with a tremendous submission win over Kurt Holobaugh, showing once again why he’s such a highly-touted prospect. He now fights the toughest test of his career so far in the form of Swanson, but this is a fight Burgos can win. Swanson is now 35 and appears to be on a steep decline. He’s currently riding a three-fight losing skid and hasn’t won a fight in over two years since a decision win over Artem Lobov. Yes, Swanson has only been losing to top fighters, but he hasn’t even been competitive in those fights. He’s had a great career and has a winning record of 10-6 inside the promotion, but I feel like his time as a top featherweight is done and Burgos is going to take his spot in the rankings. At -170 odds, give me the younger fighter to get the win.

Macy Chiasson (-700)

Although she’s a big favorite, Chiasson (4-0) is someone who can be used to bulk up a parlay, as I see her smashing Sarah Moras (5-4). Despite having only four pro MMA bouts, Chiasson has looked like a season veteran so far during her UFC run. She defeated Pannie Kianzad by submission to win “The Ultimate Fighter 28” as a featherweight, then made the drop down to bantamweight and needed less than two minutes to finish Gina Mazany with punches. At only 27, Chiasson is in the prime of her career and looks better and better every time she steps into the Octagon. Although she took this fight against Moras on short notice, filling in for the injured Leah Letson, stylistically this is a very favorable fight for her and it’s not surprising she’s such a big favorite. “Cheesecake” is just 2-3 in the UFC and is currently riding a two-fight losing skid. Aside from a submission win over Ashlee-Evans Smith in 2017, Moras has never been impressive in the UFC. She’s easily outstruck, outwrestled, and though she is generally durable it seems unlikely she’ll be able to handle the power of Chiasson. I think this is going to be a washout for Chiasson and at -700 she’s going to be in everyone’s parlays this weekend.

Brad Katona (+140)

For a dog pick, give me Katona (8-0) to defeat Merab Dvalishvili (8-4) in a bantamweight bout. The undefeated Canadian won “The Ultimate Fighter 27” with a decision nod over Jay Cucciniello and then followed that up with a decision win over Matthew Lopez his last time out. He’s an excellent grappler, and since he’s only 27, he should keep rounding out his overall game. Dvalishvili is just 1-2 inside the Octagon and saved his job with a decision win over Terrion Ware his last time out. The 28-year-old Georgian is also a grappler by trade but has also shown off some striking skills over the course of his career. Dvalishvili is a tough test for anyone, but Katona is a special prospect and he can win this fight. It’s worth noting that “Superman” actually opened as the betting favorite, but the line flipped with the early betting action coming in on Dvalishvili. I’m not buying it, though. With the hometown factor favoring him, not to mention untapped potential and an undefeated record, I like Katona to win this fight, and the +140 odds on him make for a shrewd underdog pick.

Adam Martin is a mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2011. He is currently the lead odds analyst for as well as the lead staff writer for Adam is also the co-host of “The Parting Shot Podcast” on iTunes. His favorite fight of all time is Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua and he wishes Pride never died. Adam is based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and he is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Centennial College. Get in touch with him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin. Advertisement
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