UFC Vegas 15 is one of the lowest level UFC events in recent memory, and the cancellation of the main event has this card on life support. Curtis Blaydes tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout against Derrick Lewis has been cancelled, bumping Anthony Smith vs Devin Clark up to the main event.
This isn’t the same Anthony Smith that has been the main event in his last seven fights and fought for the Light Heavyweight belt. Smith has lost two straight and has taken some serious damage with over 180 strikes landed on him in 2020 alone. The good news for Smith is that Devin Clark is the lowest level of competition he has faced in a while, and it will be interesting to see how they both handle the (now) 5-round fight. Both fighters trained for a 3-round fight, but an additional two rounds are being added now that it’s the main event.
The only way my degenerate self knows how to boost interest in a night of lackluster fights is with some wagers, so let’s get into my best bets for Saturday night.
UFC Vegas 15 Prediction: Over 2.5 Rounds – Anthony Smith vs Devin Clark (-139)
My thinking behind the over in this fight is that I’ve hated what I’ve seen from Anthony Smith in his last two fights. Smith has fought 10 rounds in 2020 so far and has only won one of them. Smith is primarily a finisher, but I think the recently added two rounds will slow down the pace of the fight.
And then there is Devin Clark who is a decision fighter if there ever was one; eight of his 12 wins have come by decision and all of his finishes were early in his career against low level competition. If Clark can avoid getting caught by the pressure of Anthony Smith, I think it’s very likely we see this fight get to the championship rounds.
Clark has faced two power punchers in Alonzo Menifield and Dequan Townsend in his last two fights and won both by decision. I believe he has the fight IQ to get this fight over 2.5 rounds and maybe even squeak out a decision win. Devin Clark has never lost a decision and he’s facing a fighter that has a lot of question marks surrounding him. Play it safe and take the rounds.
Making the Best of UFC Vegas 15: Miguel Baeza to Defeat Takashi Sato -161
Sato will be at a size disadvantage standing three inches shorter than Baeza. Along with the size disadvantage, Sato isn’t nearly as quick and technical with his striking. There’s a chance Sato can catch Baeza with one of his looping hooks, but I think he should be a higher than a +130 underdog. I expect Baeza to use his leg kicks to keep Sato at a distance and pick him apart when Sato rushes in. Very similar to what Baeza did to Matt Brown in his last fight.
For method of victory, I’m leaning towards Baeza by stoppage at +130 but Sato has a decent chin, only being knocked out once in 2015. Sato ate some big shots in his loss against Belal Muhammad and eventually lost by submission, who’s ranked 14th in the division, compared to Baeza at 42. If Baeza can’t get the stoppage I don’t see any way Sato wins this by decision, so Baeza by decision at +350 is worth a shot.
Malcolm Gordon vs. Su Mudaerji Betting Pick: Gordon by KO, TKO, DQ or Submission +500
Malcolm Gordon by KO, TKO, DQ or Submission +500
This will be a smaller play of mine, but I think the line is just a bit off for Gordon’s likely method of victory. Su Mudaerji is expected to beat Gordon as he is the -333 favourite, but these fighters can exploit each other’s weaknesses. Gordon is 12-4, has won half the time by submission and three of his four losses are by KO. Su Mudaerji’s four losses are all by submission and 10 of his 12 wins are by KO.
This fight isn’t expected to see the judges’ scorecards and the odds reflect that at -300 to not go the distance. I’m going to take a shot here with the underdog and hope he catches Mudaerji in his fifth submission loss.
UFC Vegas 15 Parlay
Over 1.5 rounds – Miguel Baeza vs Takashi Sato
Gina Mazany to defeat Rachael Ostovich
Kai Kamaka to defeat Jonathan Pearce by decision
Martin Day to defeat Anderson Dos Santos