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UFC on ESPN 36 main card preview & best bets – May 14, 2022

UFC 254 Main card preview and betting picks

A light heavyweight matchup between Ion Cutelaba and Ryan Spann will serve as the co-main event for this Saturday night’s UFC of ESPN 36 card. Here’s a betting preview for that matchup and the other bouts on the card leading up to the main event of Jan Błachowicz vs Aleksandar Rakic in Las Vegas.


Light Heavyweight: Ryan Spann (+185) vs Ion Cuțelaba (-222.22)

Ion Cutelaba (16-6-1) picked up his first win since September of 2019 when he defeated Devin Clark via decision last September. Cutelaba was 0-2-1 in his three fights prior to that win with back-to-back losses to Magomed Ankalaev followed by a draw against Dustin Jacoby. In his last eight fights, Cutelaba is 4-3-1 with three first-round knockout wins.

Ryan Spann (19-7-0) fell to 1-2 over his last three fights when he suffered a first-round submission loss to Anthony Smith in September. All three of Spann’s last three fights have ended in the first round as he knocked out Misha Cirkunov in March and was knocked out by Johnny Walker in his previous bout. Spann was 8-0-0 with a 4-0-0 record in the UFC before this recent slump.

This should be a fun main event that doesn’t seem to likely to go to the cards. Cutelaba’s knockout power and experience in more matches against higher-end talent should give him the edge in this spot.

Ion Cutelaba by KO/TKO

Best odds
@
Bovada

Bantamweight: Davey Grant (-303.03) vs Louis Smolka (+250)

Davey Grant (13-6-0) has suffered back-to-back decision losses to Adrian Yanez and Marlon Vera, though the margin was tight in the loss to Yanez which came by split decision. Louis Smolka (17-8-0) has alternated wins and losses since joining the UFC, recording a 3-3-0 record with the promotion after most recently being knocked out by Vince Morales. Grant’s last two losses have come against very respectable bantamweights; facing a significantly less talented opponent this Saturday, Grant should be able to get back in the win column

Davey Grant by KO/TKO

Best odds
@
Bovada

Women’s Flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian (-175.44) vs Amanda Ribas (+150)

Katlyn Chookagian (17-4-0) has recorded three straight wins over Cynthia Calvillo, Viviane Araujo and Jennifer Maia since her last loss to Jessica Andrade back in 2020. Amanda Ribas (11-2-0) defeated Virna Jandiroba at UFC 267 to improve to 6-1 over her last seven fights. We’re leaning towards Chookagian here; her two losses during this current 6-2 run have come by knockout against two of the best in the business in Jessica Andrade and Valentina Shevchenko. Facing an opponent who doesn’t have much knockout power, Chookagian should be able to control the tempo with her striking en route to a win.

Katlyn Chookagian by decision

Best odds
@
Bovada

Lightweight: Frank Camacho (+103) vs Manuel Torres (-123.46)

Manuel Torres (12-2-0) is set to make his UFC debut this Saturday night. Torres hasn’t fought more than one round in any of his last seven fights with four submission wins, one knockout win and two submission losses. Frank Camacho (22-9-0) has struggled in the UFC since joining the promotion in 2017, compiling a 2-5-0 record with the promotion including a current 1-4 skid. We just haven’t seen enough out of Camacho at this level to trust him in a bout against what looks to be a solid young up-and-comer.

Manuel Torres by KO/TKO

Best odds
@
Bovada

Flyweight: Jake Hadley (-222.22) vs Allan Nascimento (+185)

Jake Hadley (8-0-0) is undefeated through his first eight professional fights and is set to make his UFC debut in this event. Allan Nascimento (18-6-0) made his UFC debut in a split decision loss to Tagir Ulanbekov last October, falling to 2-3-0 over his last five professional fights. Hadley is the much more promising prospect, and we expect him to pass this test on Saturday night.

Jake Hadley by decision

Best odds
@
Bovada

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