MMA FREE PICKS

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UFC Vegas 54: Blachowicz vs. Rakic Picks

By Ryan Nadrajan

The UFC Apex is set to host UFC Vegas 54 this Saturday with the main event featuring an important light heavyweight title eliminator fight. Former champion and now the No. 1 ranked contender Jan Blachowicz will take on the No.3 ranked Aleksander Rakic.

Slotted on the main card is an intriguing bantamweight match-up, Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka (17-8) faces off against Davey “Dangerous” Grant (13-8). Both men look to climb back into the win column after suffering losses in their last bouts.

The last time Smolka was in the octagon was in December of 2021 when he suffered a knockout loss in the first round against Vince Morales. Davey Grant last graced the octagon in November of 2021 when he lost a close split decision against Adrian Yanez. Many people including myself thought that Grant had done enough to win that night. 

Davey Grant is coming into the fight as a -300 favorite and the oddsmakers seem to have gotten this one right. Grant is the superior fighter and is better than Smolka in every department. Grant has also fought better competition in his career making Smolka a step below his last two opponents (Adrian Yanez and Marlon Vera). Louis Smolka is a small bantamweight as he has fought most of his career as a flyweight. It should be noted that Smolka has not seen the judges' scorecards in 9 straight fights and Grant has finished 11 of his 13 victories. Grant has been adamant all week about a knockout victory and I believe the Englishman will use all his tools to have an early night at the office.

Pick: Grant to win inside the distance (KO, TKO, SUB, DQ) - 111(Betway) 

 

Other fights worth betting on:

Blachowicz/Rakic Over 3.5 Rounds - 132 (Bet99) - There has been a theme with the last few light heavyweight main events all going the distance. Both men will approach the fight respecting each other's power and it can easily become a slow-paced chess match.

Andrei Petroski to Win +400 (Betway) - The biggest underdog on the card is very much live. Nick Maximov is a pure wrestler but has yet to face another in the UFC. It is worth taking a shot at Petroski, who has a better finishing ability.

Betstamp is all about transparency, so whether you want to tail or fade my picks or even just check in on them to see how I’m going you can find my full documented betting record here. Admittedly I have not had the strongest start in my betstamp tracking days but am working hard and staying patient as I look to build my way back up into the green.

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