A busy fight card for both the men and the women comes your way from the UFC Apex on Saturday July 24 for UFC on ESPN 27. There are 12 fights in total on the card, including four women’s fights, so it will be a good night for the females and the men on Saturday.
It will also be a good card for those without an ESPN+ subscription because the entirety of the card will be broadcast on regular ESPN. The main event features a couple of familiar names in Cory Sandhagen and TJ Dillashaw, as Dillashaw returns from a two-year suspension for a banned substance.
We’ll use the odds from BetOnline Sportsbook to break down all 12 fights on the card.
You can use our sign-up bonus for BetOnline Sportsbook to get up to $1000.
Diana Belbita (+114) vs. Hannah Goldy (-134); Total: 2.5 (-285/225)
We begin in the women’s strawweight division with Diana Belbita and Hannah Goldy. Goldy is the modest favorite here against Belbita, who is 0-2 in her UFC fights, with losses to Liana Jojua and Molly McCann. Goldy was a winner in her Dana White Contender Series match, but then lost her fight contract fight to Miranda Granger.
Goldy hasn’t fought since 8/3/19 and Belbita is fighting as a strawweight for the first time after two flyweight fights. There are just too many unknowns and variables here.
Elise Reed (+285) vs. Sijara Eubanks (-345); Total: 2.5 (-175/145)
Elise Reed is 4-0 as she makes her UFC debut against Sijara Eubanks. Reed has three wins in CFFC since August 13 and also won her Bellator debut back on October 25, 2019. The 28-year-old Reed just fought on May 29 and scored her second career knockout victory. She does draw a UFC veteran here in Sijara Eubanks, but one not really worthy of this big of a favorite role.
Eubanks went 2-2 in 2020, but lost her two most recent fights. Each of her last 10 fights has gone to a decision. She’s lost four of the last six. This is the right kind of spot to take an underdog, an aggressive underdog that will look to finish this fight and that should make Eubanks very uncomfortable. Reed is a good bet for an upset.
Andre Ewell (+165) vs. Julio Arce (-190); Total: 2.5 (-225/185)
Andre Ewell has had four lackluster performances in a row as he gets set to take on Julio Arce. Ewell is 2-2 in those fights, but has two split-decision wins, a unanimous decision loss, and a knockout loss. He’s out there for the long haul in every fight, as each of the last eight fights has gone into the third round. He is just 4-3 in seven UFC fights and has three split-decision wins.
Julio Arce is back off of a long layoff. We haven’t seen him since UFC 244 against Hakeem Dawodu. Arce is certainly getting the benefit of the doubt here with this line. This looks like a pretty tricky fight to bet. Ewell has a big size advantage, which has helped with the decision wins, so maybe you look at him at +165 in a fight likely to go the distance.
Randy Costa (+185) vs. Adrian Yanez (-220); Total: 1.5 (-145/115)
After losing his debut to Brandon Davis on 4/13/19, Randy Costa has had a couple of really impressive first-round knockouts. We’ll see if he can make it three in a row here, but he is an underdog to Adrian Yanez and a sizable one at that. Yanez is riding a six-fight win streak that includes two wins under contract in the UFC and his Dana White Contender Series appearance.
Yanez lost twice in LFA, with losses to Miles Johns and Domingo Pilarte, both of whom are now in UFC. Both were by split decision. Yanez is a pretty hot prospect for the UFC and the 27-year-old seems to have the chance at a highlight knockout here. This one has potential for fireworks and should be over quick, so the under 1.5 is the look at plus money.
Nassourdine Imavov (+132) vs. Ian Heinisch (-152); Total: 2.5 (-210/170)
Remember when Ian Heinisch was getting big billings and main card fights? Now Heinisch is fighting guys making their third UFC appearances on the undercard of a regular Fight Night event. Heinisch has lost three of four as he looks for a bounce back bout against Nassourdine Imavov.
Imavov is 1-1 in UFC and both fights have gone the distance. Heinisch is really stepping down in class here and this line looks oddly low given the caliber of competition, but you have to think this is a fine that Heinisch can win, despite a pretty big size disadvantage. Confidence does seem low in the 32-year-old, so maybe this is a good buy point.
Brendan Allen (-110) vs. Punahele Soriano (-110); Total: 1.5 (-135/105)
This looks to be a good fight between undefeated Punahele Soriano and a 25-year-old in Brendan Allen that already has 20 career fights. Soriano is 8-0 and off to a solid 2-0 start in UFC, 3-0 if we include his Contender Series win over Jamie Pickett, and we probably should. That was Soriano’s only career fight without a finish, as he has five knockouts and two submission wins.
This has Fight of the Night potential written all over it. Allen is 5-1 in UFC if we include his DWCS matchup. He lost to Sean Strickland by knockout, but bounced back very nicely with a first-round win over Karl Roberson. We don’t normally see UFC put fights like this together, as you don’t really want either one of these guys to suffer a setback, but this is an awesome fight.
Frankly, this one seems too close to call, as a knockout is likely, but it will all depend on which fighter lands the shot.
Mickey Gall (+142) vs. Jordan Williams (-162); Total: 2.5 (105/-135)
The main card begins at 170 pounds with Mickey Gall and Jordan Williams. The highly-touted Gall is 2-3 in his last five fights and his wins are over George Sullivan and Salim Touahri. The losses are the better fighters in Mike Perry, Diego Sanchez, and Randy Brown. It sure seems like Jordan Williams is being grouped with those guys based on the odds.
Williams is getting a lot of respect here for a guy that has had multiple UFC chances and hasn’t really looked the part. He was on the Dana White Contender Series three separate times, with a win, a loss, and a No Contest. He lost to Nassourdine Imavov, who is fighting on the undercard here, last time out. This line seems out of whack, as Gall has been a disappointment, but against more proven fights.
Pick: Mickey Gall
Maycee Barber (+115) vs. Miranda Maverick (-135); Total: 2.5 (-200/160)
We have some really good fights on this card and this is one of them. Maycee Barber’s return from the torn ACL she suffered against Roxanne Modafferi was a 15-minute loss to Alexa Grasso back in February. It was a good, close fight that Grasso won 29-28 across the board, as she was the more active and more accurate striker. There was definitely a bit of cage rust from Barber and maybe some tentativeness coming off of the ACL injury.
Now she fights a really strong up-and-comer in Miranda Maverick, who has won both of her UFC fights. She just won on March 27 over Gillian Robertson by unanimous decision, but Robertson is just 9-6 and not really good enough for the promotion. This is a step up for Maverick and this may be a good chance for Barber to get back on track. She can trust the knee now and shook off the rust. An upset could very well be in the cards here.
Pick: Maycee Barber
Darren Elkins (+142) vs. Darrick Minner (-162); Total: 2.5 (-175/145)
Darren Elkins is 26-9 in his career. Darrick Minner is 26-11. This will be the 24th UFC fight for Elkins. It is the fifth for Minner, if we include his Contender Series loss to Herbert Burns. Talk about a guy that has paid his dues. Minner now steps in against Elkins in what could very well be his biggest fight to date. He is favored to win and move up in the division on the back of a win over Charles Rosa.
Elkins lost four in a row before beating Eduardo Garagorri back in November. He was definitely on the verge of maybe not having a spot in the UFC anymore, as the promotion has purged a lot of veterans over the last 18 months. This is a tough fight because Minner probably shouldn’t be this big of a favorite, but Elkins hasn’t shown much lately. The smaller Minner will test Elkins’s takedown defense and that is where the fight looks to be won.
Pick: Darrick Minner
Raulian Paiva (+235) vs. Kyler Phillips (-275); Total: 2.5 (-200/160)
Raulian Paiva had a really strong 2020, as he beat Mark De La Rosa and Zhalgas Zhumagulov to have a 2-0 year. That win over Zhumagulov was on July 11, though, so he has gone more than a year between fights as he steps in against Kyler Phillips. Phillips has won four in a row, including all three UFC fights.
The big price tag makes sense here. Phillips just fought on March 6 and has fought twice since the last fight for Paiva. The reason this fight draws a big billing on the main card is to drum up interest in Phillips. Otherwise, there are much better fights for this spot on the card. That seems to be a good indicator of how this one ends up.
Pick: Kyler Phillips
Macy Chiasson (+162) vs. Aspen Ladd (-182); Total: 2.5 (-195/165)
This doesn’t seem to be as good of a fight as Barber vs. Maverick, but these are still two solid fighters in the women’s bantamweight division. The two have a combined record of 17-2, as Chiasson suffered her only loss against Lina Lansberg a couple of years ago and Ladd had a loss with an asterisk against Germaine de Randamie after a really fast stoppage.
Ladd has not been seen since 12/7/19 against Yana Kunitskaya as she recovered from a torn MCL and ACL. We saw Maycee Barber have some cage rust against a very capable opponent in that spot. Who’s to say we don’t see the same from Ladd here? Chiasson is also the bigger fighter with a size advantage.
Pick: Macy Chiasson
TJ Dillashaw (+155) vs. Cory Sandhagen (-180); Total: 3.5 (130/-160)
Cage rust seems to be kind of a theme for the UFC on ESPN 27 card. This will be TJ Dillashaw’s first fight since January 19, 2019 when he lost to Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight title in just 32 seconds. The banned substance that Dillashaw took resulted in a two-year suspension, so the former champ returns at the age of 35 to take on Cory Sandhagen.
The much taller Sandhagen beat Frankie Edgar back in February on the heels of an impressive win over Marlon Moraes in October. His only two losses are to Jamall Emmers back in LFA and Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250. Dillashaw has had an excellent career, but this is a huge ask against Sandhagen, a great fighter in his own right looking to move up the rankings for another crack at Sterling. He should get it with a win here and he should get that win.