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UFC on ESPN 38 main card preview & best bets – June 25, 2022

UFC 254 Main card preview and betting picks

The undefeated sensation Shavkat Rakhmonov will be on display in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 38, taking on Neil Magny in a welterweight bout. Here’s a preview of that matchup and the other four fights on the main card this Saturday night leading up to the main event of Arman Tsarukyan vs Mateusz Gamrot.

Welterweight: Neil Magny (+300) vs Shavkat Rakhmonov (-400)

Shavkat Rakhmonov (15-0-0) entered the UFC with plenty of hype in 2020, coming into the promotion with a 12-0-0 record comprised of seven knockouts and five submission wins. He’s rolled to a dominant 3-0-0 start with the promotion, submitting Alex Oliveira and Michel Prazeres before knocking out Carlston Harris in his most recent bout. Nine of his 15 career wins have come in the first round.

Neil Magny (26-8-0) is a steady, reliable welterweight that is 5-1-0 over his last six fights. He’s at least worth consideration at these odds, but Rakhmonov looks like a superstar in the making and we just haven’t seen anything in his game to suggest that he’s vulnerable to an upset here, especially against an opponent like Magny who isn’t much of a threat to win via stoppage. Look for the Rakhmonov train to keep rolling with another knockout win.

Shavkat Rakhmonov by KO/TKO

Best odds
@
Bovada

Heavyweight: Josh Parisian (-114.94) vs Alan Baudot (-105.26)

Josh Parisian (14-5-0) and Alan Baudot (8-3-0) both entered the UFC with solid records, but they’ve struggled in their first few fights with the promotion. Parisian had knocked out six straight opponents before producing a 1-2-0 record through his first three UFC fights, and Baudot was 8-1-0 before going 0-3 through his first three fights (0-2 officially after his loss to Rodrigo Nascimento was overturned due to a failed drug test. This is a winnable fight for both, and both will be swinging for the knockout early. Without any real edge in sight, we’ll take the slightly better odds on Baudot.

Alan Baudot by KO/TKO

Best odds
@
Bovada

Lightweight: Thiago Moises (-238.1) vs Christos Giagos (+205)

Thiago Moises (15-6-0) has lost back-to-back fights to Islam Makhachev and Joel Alvarez since winning each of his previous three fights. Christos Giagos (19-9-0) is off to a 4-3 start in the UFC with losses to Charles Oliveira, Drakkar Klose, and Arman Tsarukyan. Both of these fighters are better than their recent record indicates, and both are in need of a bounce-back win. Moises should have enough of an edge on the mat to get the job done, either by submission or by grinding out a decision win.

Thiago Moises by submission

Best odds
@
Bovada

Bantamweight: Nate Maness (+650) vs Umar Nurmagomedov (-1250)

Umar Nurmagomedov (14-0-0) is undefeated including a 2-0-0 start with back-to-back submission wins over Sergey Morozov and Brian Kelleher. The dominant cousin of former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov should have little trouble with Nathan Maness (14-1-0), as these betting odds clearly indicate.

Umar Nurmagomedov by submission

Best odds
@
Bovada

Middleweight: Chris Curtis (-135.14) vs Rodolfo Vieira (+115)

Chris Curtis (28-8-0) is finally getting some respect at the betting window coming off of impressive upset knockout wins over Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen. Curtis is 7-0-0 over his last seven fights with seven straight knockout wins. Rodolfo Vieira (8-1-0) poses a unique threat to Curtis as an excellent grappler who has earned seven of his eight career wins via submission. This will be a race to who scores a finish first, and Vieira is the value side at this price.

Rodolfo Vieira by submission

Best odds
@
Bovada

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