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UFC on ESPN 39 predictions & best bets – Saturday, July 9

UFC 254 Main card preview and betting picks

Caio Borralho will meet Armen Petrosyan for a middleweight clash in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN 39 this Saturday night. Here’s a preview of that match and the other three bouts leading up to the UFC on ESPN 39 main event of Rafael dos Anjos vs Rafael Fiziev.

Middleweight: Caio Borralho (-230) vs Armen Petrosyan (+195)

Caio Borralho (11-1-0) is a perfect 10-0-0 over his last 10 fights since losing the second fight of his professional career back in 2015. Borralho earned his spot in the UFC with a first round knockout win over Jesse Murray in the Dana White’s Contender Series last year and also picked up a win in his UFC debut in April over Gadzhi Omargadzhiev.

Armen Petrosyan (7-1-0) also won a Dana White’s Contender Series bout last October before winning his UFC debut against Gregory Rodrigues in February. Petrosyan won his first six fights by way of knockout, but in his UFC debut he just narrowly scratched out a win via split decision. While neither of these fighters have much experience at this level, Borralho looks like the more polished and promising prospect, so we’ll roll with him to pick up the win.

Caio Borralho by decision

Best odds

Bantamweight: Said Nurmagomedov (-335) vs Douglas Silva de Andrade (+275)

Said Nurmagomedov (15-2-0) has bounced back from his first UFC loss in December of 2019 in style with back-to-back stoppage wins in less than a minute. He knocked out Mark Striegl in 51 seconds and then submitted Cody Stamann in 47 seconds. Douglas Silva de Andrade (28-4-0) was 22-0-0 before joining the UFC, who he has compiled a 6-4-0 record in 10 fights with. Andrade has also recorded back-to-back stoppage wins, and this may end up being a tougher fight than these betting odds are indicating; but we still don’t see Nurmagomedov losing this one.

Said Nurmagomedov by decision

Best odds

Heavyweight: Jared Vanderaa (-205) vs Chase Sherman (+175)

Jared Vanderaa (12-8-0) and Chase Sherman (15-10-0) both head into this bout in desperate need of a win. Vanderaa has lost three straight fights to fall to 1-4-0 in five career UFC fights while Sherman has lost four straight fights since winning his UFC debut against Isaac Villanueva back in 2020. Vanderaa is the better fighter between the two, but this feels like a crapshoot between two heavyweights in poor form, so we’ll take the nice underdog odds on Sherman.

Chase Sherman by KO/TKO

Best odds

Lightweight: Michael Johnson (+200) vs Jamie Mullarkey (-235)

Michael Johnson (20-17-0) snapped a four-fight losing streak with his knockout win over Alan Patrick in May. Jamie Mullarkey (14-5-0) fell to 2-3 through his first five UFC fights after getting knocked out by Jalin Turner in March, snapping a two-fight winning streak in the process. Mullarkey is a tough sell as a -235 favorite, but Johnson was 2-7-0 before his win over Patrick, and that wasn’t exactly a statement win against a guy who hasn’t won a fight since 2018. This fight was scheduled to get Mullarkey back on track, and it will likely succeed in doing so.

Jamie Mullarkey by KO/TKO

Best odds

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