This article is part of our MMA Best Bets series.
The UFC remains at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 41 on Saturday, October 23 before back-to-back weekends of stacked pay-per-views. In the main event, top-five middleweights clash, as Paulo Costa takes on Marvin Vettori.
In this series of articles, I'll share my favorite play, an underdog pick, a prop, and a two-fighter parlay I like. All lines are taken from William Hill online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.
Livinha Souza (14-3) vs. Randa Markos (10-11-1)
Weight Class: Strawweight
Not often do you see a UFC fighter with a losing record, but that is what you are getting with Randa Markos, as she is on a four-fight losing streak. That is part of the reason I like Livinha Souza to win this fight.
Both Souza and Markos aren't very active on the feet, as Souza lands 2.06 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.38. Markos, meanwhile, lands 2.87 and absorbs 3.27. However, the difference in this fight will be on the ground, as Souza averages 2.4 takedowns per 15 minutes and goes for 1.2 submissions per 15 minutes. The Canadian, meanwhile, has a 52 percent takedown defense and has struggled against grapplers.
Markos can get controlled on the ground, and I expect that to happen here. Souza will be able to get the takedowns and use her ground-and-pound to win the rounds. She will likely win a decision, but I wouldn't be surprised if she finds the submission.
The Play: Livinha Souza (-125)
Khama Worthy (16-8) vs. Jai Herbert (10-3)
Weight Class: Lightweight
I don't understand the odds on this fight, as to me this is a pick'em. Effectively, I have to take a shot on the +150 underdog in Khama Worthy.
Worthy is on a two-fight losing streak where both losses came by first-round KO. His chin is a concern, but Jai Herbert is not as big of a power puncher as his last two opponents. Worthy has also shown off his skill set against quality competition, as he knocked out Devonte Smith in his debut and submitted Luis Pena in the fight afterwards.
Herbert, meanwhile, has been stopped in both of his UFC fights and struggles on the ground. A big knock on him is his volume, as he's only landed 1.33 significant strikes per minute through just over 20 minutes in the cage. Worthy, meanwhile, lands 4.22 significant strikes and absorbs 3.86, doing so over a larger sample size.
I do think Worthy is the more complete fighter and has the skills to pull off an upset.
The Play: Khama Worthy (+150)
Jessica-Rose Clark (10-6) vs. Joselyne Edwards (10-3)
Weight Class: Women's Bantamweight
Clark and Edwards both throw a ton of volume, but the difference will be Clark's wrestling. Although she only averages 1.01 takedowns per 15 minutes, Edwards has a miserable 37 percent takedown defense.
The fight will be a close one and women will have moments, but I think it goes the distance. To get plus-money on Clark to win by decision is a shot I have to take.
The Play: Jessica-Rose Clark by decision (+138)
Seung Woo Choi (10-3) vs. Alex Caceres (18-12) &
Grant Dawson (17-1) vs. Ricky Glenn (22-6-1)
Weight Class: Featherweight& Lightweight
Choi is facing Alex Caceres, who despite being on a winning streak, hasn't fought the best competition. The fight should remain standing and Choi is the better striker, at least defensively. Choi also has the wrestling advantage, and I expect him to mix his grappling and striking to win a decision.
On the other leg, I like Dawson to defeat Glenn, who is taking the fight on short notice. Dawson has been improving his striking, but he'll be able to take Glenn down, control him on the mat and use his ground-and-pound to look for the finish. On the feet, I think he can hang with Glenn, but his big advantage will be on the ground.
The Play: Choi and Dawson parlay (-141)