UFC on ESPN+ 25 (UFC Fight Night 167) is this Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
This is only the second time the UFC has been to New Mexico. The first UFC event in the state was in Albuquerque back in 2014 (UFC Fight Night 42). There are twelve fights scheduled on Saturday and the fight card will be headlined by a rematch between Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz.
UFC 247 didn’t go my way. We ended up going 1-3 (-2.76 units), which brings our 2020 profit down to +4.76 units. You can’t win them all, but I’ll look to bounce back with my best bets for this card.
UFC on ESPN+ 25 Main Event: Anderson vs. Blachowicz Predictions
America’s Bookie Fight Odds: Corey Anderson (-205) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+175)
Corey Anderson (13-4) is on a four-fight win streak since 2018 with wins coming against Cummins, Teixeira, Latifi and Walker. He recently defeated Walker by TKO at UFC 244 last November.
Many expected Anderson to lose to the up-and-coming Walker, but with the win, he may now be in line for a title shot against Jones if he can continue his win streak against Jan Blachowicz (25-8).
Blachowicz went 2-1 in 2019 with wins over Rockhold and Souza. The loss was against Santos by TKO.
UFC on ESPN+ 25 Fight Breakdown: Anderson vs Blachowicz II
These two fought at UFC 191 back in 2015, and Anderson won comfortably by decision. Anderson was able to outstrike Blachowicz (84-20) and he landed more takedowns (4-1) in the first fight.
Overtime is more known for his wrestling than his power. He has 5 TKO/KO wins and 8 decision wins in his career. Prior to knocking out Walker, he hadn’t won by stoppage since 2016 against O’Connell.
Anderson averages 4.45 SLpM (3.44 SLpM for Blachowicz) and 4.98 takedowns per 15 minutes (1.18 TDs per 15 minutes for Blachowicz). The Polish fighter only has 65% TDD as well.
Blachowicz has some power, but I believe many overstate his power. Since 2015, Blachowicz has been in twelve UFC fights and he only has one win by TKO/KO, so it’s unlikely he catches Anderson.
My money is on Anderson, but I don’t want to lay the -205 ML odds. I believe the Anderson TKO against Walker was an anomaly and I’m betting on Overtime to win by decision (+180 Odds).
Best Bet: Corey Anderson by Decision (+180)
UFC on ESPN+ 25 Co-Main Event: Sanchez vs. Pereira Predictions
First off, we have the veteran Diego Sanchez (29-12) who will be fighting in his home state for the first time since defeating Pearson back in 2014.
His opponent, Michel Pereira (23-10-0-2) is flashy and very unpredictable in the cage. He throws a lot of flashy strikes that use up a lot of energy, and in previous fights he has struggled to land his shots.
Pereira only has two UFC fights under his belt. He won in glorious fashion against Roberts in his debut, but he followed that up with an inexcusable loss to Connelly by decision.
Since 2018, Sanchez is 2-1 in the UFC with the loss coming in his most recent fight to Chiesa.
Sure, Pereira could connect with a flying knee or punch to end this fight. Sanchez has been KO’ed only four times in his career, but three of those TKO/KO losses have been in the last few years.
If Pereira looks like he did against Connelly, the veteran should have little problem winning. Sanchez has done a good job utilizing his wrestling in recent fights. He has 8 TDs in his last three fights.
One thing I’ve always loved about Sanchez is that he’s a complete monster in the cage. He never slows down and that pace is going to be tough for Pereira to deal with as the fight progresses.
My money is on the underdog here. This could end up being Sanchez’s last UFC fight and it’s in his home state against an opponent that’s far from a complete fighter.
Best Bet: Diego Sanchez ML (+145)
UFC on ESPN+ 25 Best Bet From the Rest of the Fight Card
This UFC on ESPN+ 25 fight card has plenty to be intrigued about. With this not being a PPV event, the fight card is void of the big stars of the promotion, but there’s plenty to get excited about.
There are several prospects on the card and numerous old-school veterans like Means and Miller.
Bet on Rogerio Bontorin ML (+125) vs. Ray Borg (-145)
Rogerio Bontorin (16-1-0-1) is 27-years-old and he just joined the UFC last year. He’s 2-0 in the UFC with wins against Bibulatov (Decision) and Paiva (TKO), but this is his first real test.
Ray Borg (12-4) has been fighting with the UFC since 2014 and he’s only 26-years-old. He even had a title shot back in 2017, but he was submitted by Johnson in the fifth round of that fight.
After losing to Mighty Mouse, Borg jumped up to bantamweight. Borg fought twice in 2019 at 135 lbs, going 1-1 with a win against Silva (Decision) and a loss against Kenney (Decision).
I’m surprised Borg is now moving back to flyweight, as the weight cut is going to be brutal.
Borg is a grappler (3.66 TDs per 15 minutes), but he only averages 1.26 SLpM. Bontorin is the better striker (3.23 SLpM), but he has poor stand-up defense (3.62 SApM vs. 1.80 SApM for Borg).
Bontorin is ranked #7 in the flyweight division and he needs this win to keep pushing forward. If he can limit Borg’s takedowns there’s a good chance he can overpower him in the stand-up.
The Brazilian is no slouch on the ground either. He has 11 submission wins in his career and he has averaged 2.72 TDs per 15 minutes (41% Accuracy). Borg will get gassed and lose this fight.