A Friday night UFC event is on the docket for this week. We’ve had a lot of Saturday, and even Sunday, cards this year, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen Friday Night Fights on Dana White’s watch. We’ve got one this week with UFC on ESPN 6, as Dominick Reyes and Chris Weidman square off in the main event.
In total, we’ve got 13 fights on the card, which will be on ESPN2, despite what the name of the event implies. This UFC Boston event has some pretty big draws with experienced fighters and some up-and-coming prospects.
As always, we’ll break it down with some thoughts on each fight, including deeper breakdowns into the main card. Odds are from 5Dimes, but shop around for the best prices.
Fighting starts at 6 p.m. ET with heavyweight action between Daniel Spitz and Tanner Boser. Even though Spitz has five inches of height and seven inches of reach on Boser, the smaller fighter is the -140 favorite here. The total is 2.5 with the over at -175, which is apparently why the smaller fighter is favored. We don’t see many heavyweight scraps with totals like this, especially when Spitz’s last two fights have ended in knockouts. This is the UFC debut for Boser, who comes in at 16-5-1. Spitz seems like a live dog despite a long layoff here.
Brendan Allen is +145 and Kevin Holland is -165 for this fight, another one expected to go the full 15 minutes with -205 on the over 2.5. Allen gets a crack after an impressive first-round sub of Aaron Jeffery back in July on Dana White’s Contender Series show. Allen was the middleweight titleholder in LFA before getting his shot in UFC. Holland was also a DWCS find, but over a year ago. Since then, he’s lost to Thiago Santos, but beaten John Phillips, Gerald Meerschaert, and Alessio Di Chirico. Holland is a worthy favorite here, but this should be a pretty good fight. Maybe the over 2.5 is a good parlay piece.
Can veteran Court McGee deal Sean Brady his first career loss? The odds suggest that he cannot, as Brady is a -225 favorite in another fight expected to go 15 minutes with -270 on the over 2.5. McGee has dropped three of his last four fights. Brady is stepping up from CFFC, but seems to be a pretty good prospect, so he’s given a decent name on a downswing in his first UFC fight. We see this play out a lot.
It only makes sense that a guy named Boston Salmon would fight in Boston. Salmon had a hard time swimming upstream in his first official UFC fight back at UFC 236. He lost in 25 seconds to Khalid Taha. Randy Costa lost his debut on that card against Brandon Davis by submission. He was 4-0 in Cage Titans FC before that. Salmon is a -170 favorite here coming off of that outlier performance against Taha, but Costa seems like a decent prospect and looks like a live one.
Kyle Bochniak is a -135 favorite against Sean Woodson in the featherweight division. With the fight lined at over 2.5 (-240), your starting point is to look at Bochniak here. He doesn’t quit. He’ll take a lot of abuse, but keep going. Each of his last five fights have gone to decision and he’s been on the short end in three of them. Woodson, who was in Shamrock FC before getting a chance to fight in front of Dana White, has a pretty good gas tank of his own, but Bochniak is a clear step up in class. Bochniak by decision looks pretty good here.
Molly McCann is far and away the biggest favorite on the card at -500 against Diana Belbita. Belbita is 13-4 in her MMA career and has a size advantage, but she’s also stepping way, way up in class here. Her most recent fights have been in RXF, where she’s had success, but McCann has had UFC success. This is another open parlay piece.
Charles Rosa is +120 to Manny Bermudez’s -140 in this featherweight fight at 145 pounds. Rosa hasn’t fought since April 8, 2017, so it has been a long time for the 33-year-old. Bermudez, who just suffered the first loss of his career to Casey Kenney, is likely to bounce back here and likely to win this fight by submission, as he so often does. We’ll have to see what kind of shape Rosa’s takedown defense is in. This might be a fight to leave alone pre-fight, but then live bet Bermudez if he has success getting Rosa to the mat.
Darren Stewart (+105) vs. Deron Winn (-125); Total: 2.5 (-205/165)
Darren Stewart has quite a size advantage here in the middleweight division over Deron Winn, but the odds make it seem like that won’t be a big concern. Stewart is just 3-2 over his last five fights. The two most recent bouts have gone to decisions. Stewart has seven career knockouts, but hasn’t been able to finish those last two opponents and that lack of finishing power seems to be baked into this line.
Deron Winn, who looked good in his debut fight against Eric Spicely, gets another UFC crack here against Stewart. Most guys wind up coming through the Dana White Contender Series, but not Winn. He has basically taken fights wherever he can get them and he got a UFC shot after a Golden Boy MMA promotion appearance. Back in June, he won 29-28 on all three cards against Spicely, which was enough of an impression to make him a favorite here. Who are we to argue?
Pick: Deron Winn
Gillian Robertson (+110) vs. Maycee Barber (-130); Total: 1.5 (-140/110)
You don’t see many women’s totals at 1.5, but we’ve got one here between Gillian Robertson and Maycee Barber. Barber had to be watching closely when prospect Mackenzie Dern was beaten by fellow prospect Amanda Ribas. Barber, maybe the best striker this division has seen in years, should have a renewed sense of focus.
Robertson showed a new wrinkle with a knockout at UFC 240, the first of her career. She previously had five wins by submission, including one over Molly McCann, who is also on this card. This is a terrific fight. Barber has won each of her three UFC fights by knockout and is just 21 years old. We haven’t completely seen Barber’s ground game yet in UFC and it could be tested here. We also haven’t seen Robertson take the abuse she’s likely to take in this fight.
Pick: Maycee Barber
Joe Lauzon (+130) vs. Jonathan Pearce (-150); Total: 1.5 (-135/105)
Longtime UFC fixture Joe Lauzon badly needs a win. He’s lost three straight fights and four of his last five as he takes on Jonathan Pearce. Lauzon hasn’t fought since April 7, 2018 to let some injuries heal and take a little time away from the cage. Let’s see if the time off helps. It surely appears that he needed it.
Pearce, another Dana White Contender Series find, has won four straight fights in four different promotions. He’s 9-3 in his career and does have issues when fights go to the ground. That seems to be Lauzon’s specialty with 17 submission wins. That’s your battle here. If the fight gets to the canvas, it plays to Lauzon. If Pearce can keep it upright and strike, it’s his for the taking. Either way, we’ve got a total of 1.5 and a reasonably low line on the over, suggesting that fireworks are coming.
Pick: Jonathan Pearce
Ben Sosoli (+240) vs. Greg Hardy (-280); Total: 1.5 (125/-155)
Ben Sosoli seems to be getting some respect here in this fight. He’s only +240 against Greg Hardy, who has several inches of height and reach on him. Sosoli is also making his UFC debut after a couple minutes on the Dana White Contender Series. That fight was ruled a No Contest. Sosoli, who only stands 5-foot-9, but 265 pounds, is getting a pretty premier billing in his first fight, which has to count for something.
Say what you will about the road that Hardy took to get here, but he’s been impressive in UFC. His only loss is a DQ for an illegal knee and he was well on his way to winning that fight. He’s scored back-to-back first-round knockouts since. He’s likely to get another one here. The fact that Sosoli can’t get inside for takedowns or punches is going to make it really hard on him.
Pick: Greg Hardy
Yair Rodriguez (-105) vs. Jeremy Stephens (-115); Total: 2.5 (-195/160)
Flip a coin here. This is a rematch of what was supposed to be the main event back on September 21. The fight was stopped just 15 seconds in for an accidental eye poke at UFC on ESPN+ 17. Let’s see what happens here. Stephens had lost his previous two fights to Zabit Magomedsharipov and Jose Aldo. That fight was lined exactly the same as this one currently is.
Rodriguez came back from a long layoff to beat Korean Zombie back on November 10, 2018. He’s fought 15 seconds since then. His previous fight was a loss to Frankie Edgar in which the ringside doctor said enough was enough after two rounds. Rodriguez isn’t much of a stoppage artist, so the over 2.5 makes a lot of sense here as an open parlay piece. Stephens has 19 knockouts in his career, but hasn’t had one since February 2018.
Pick: Yair Rodriguez
Chris Weidman (+150) vs. Dominick Reyes (-170)
We haven’t seen Chris Weidman in about a year. His last fight before that was July 2017. Weidman has had so many surgeries over the course of his career that it’s completely fair to wonder about his state now at 35 years of age. It’s also fair to wonder about how Reyes comes back off of the war against Volkan Oezdemir back in March.
Weidman was once up near the mountaintop in the light heavyweight division. Reyes has never really fought the caliber of opponents that Weidman has, but he’s been fighting regularly and has never been beaten. Still, this line feels like it could be a little high. The cage rust for Weidman is a real concern, but Weidman’s four losses, all over his last five fights, have been Jacare, Gegard Mousasi, Yoel Romero, and Luke Rockhold in one of the best fights ever.
Of course, that Rockhold fight was almost four years ago now. It’s hard to like Weidman given what the last few years have looked like, even if the price looks a little bit too big.
Pick: Dominick Reyes