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UFC on ESPN 37 main card preview & best bets – June 18, 2022

UFC 254 Main card preview and betting picks

Donald Cerrone will be looking for his first win in over three years when he takes on Joe Lauzon in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 37. Here’s a preview of that matchup and the other four fights on the main card leading up to the main event of Calvin Kattar vs Josh Emmett.

Lightweight: Donald Cerrone (-170) vs Joe Lauzon (+145)

Donald Cerrone (36-16-0) is 0-5-1 over his last six fights, though his draw against Niko Price was later overturned to a no contest after Price failed a post-fight drug test. Cerrone’s first three losses during this six-fight winless streak were forgivable as they came against some top-tier lightweights in Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor, but his lack of success against Anthony Pettis, Price, and Alex Morono is far more troubling.

Cerrone now has a golden opportunity to end his skid against Joe Lauzon (28-15), who hasn’t fought since October of 2019 and is just 1-3 over his last four fights. This bout was obviously set up to get the veteran Cerrone a win, but we just don’t have enough faith in him to lay this price, especially considering four of Lauzon’s last five wins have come by knockout. We’ll take a shot on Lauzon to extend Cerrone’s winless streak with an upset win.

Joe Lauzon by KO/TKO


Welterweight: Kevin Holland (-280) vs Tim Means (+240)

Kevin Holland (22-7-0) was one of the UFC’s hottest fighters in 2020 with a 5-0 record in that calendar year that included four knockout wins. 2021 was far less impressive with two losses and one no contest due to an accidental head clash, but he got back in the win column wih a knockout win over Alex Oliveira in March. Tim Means (32-12-1) has won three straight fights since going 2-4 over his previous six fights.

Holland should be favored in this fight and he should pick up the win as the more talented and athletic fighter, but once again the price is way too high. Means showed off his tough chin in his decision win over Mike Perry, and he’s got only two knockout losses in 46 career fights. If the veteran can once again avoid getting knocked out, he’s getting way too good of a price to pass up on here as a big underdog in what could be a more competitive fight than the betting sites are expecting.

Tim Means by decision


Middleweight: Joaquin Buckley (+205) vs Albert Duraev (-240)

Albert Duraev (15-3-0) improved to 10-0-0 over his last 10 fights with a decision win over Roman Kopylov in his promotion debut at UFC 267 last October. Joaquin Buckley (14-4-0) moved to 4-1 over his last five fights with a split decision win over Abdul Razuk Alhassan in February. Five of his last six wins have come by way of knockout. This should be a fun striker vs. grappler matchup, but we’re giving the edge to the grappler as Duraev should be able to win this one as long as he can avoid getting caught with a knockout blow.

Albert Duraev by submission


Lightweight: Damir Ismagulov (-148) vs Guram Kutateladze (+128)

Damir Ismagulov (23-1-0) is 18-0-0 over his last 18 fights including a 4-0-0 start in the UFC. Guram Kutateladze (12-2-0) carries a nine-fight winning streak into this bout, though his last fight came back in October of 2020. Given that Ismagulov has fought more recently and has more experience at the UFC level, we’re going with him in what should be a really good fight between two promising lightweight prospects.

Damir Ismagulov by decision


Middleweight: Julian Marquez (+150) vs Gregory Rodrigues (-175)

Gregory Rodrigues (11-4-0) had a four-fight win streak snapped with a split decision loss to Armen Petrosyan in February. Julian Marquez (9-2-0) is 7-1-0 over his last eight fights with four knockout wins and three submission wins over that stretch. Marquez is the clear value play here in a fight between two exciting fighters that could easily go either way and is very unlikely to go the distance.

Julian Marquez by submission


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