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UFC Vegas 24 prelims betting predictions – Saturday, April 17

UFC betting

UFC Vegas 24: Whittaker vs Gastelum

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Whittaker -250 at Bovada | Gastelum +210 at Bovada
When Saturday, April 17 – prelims from 4pm PST
Where UFC APEX – Las Vegas, Nevada
Watch Live ESPN (US, AU), BT Sport (UK), UFC Fight Pass,

Seven fights highlight this Saturday’s preliminary card at UFC Vegas 24 (aka UFC on ESPN 22). The first bout on the bill has massive Fight of the Night potential, and there are three UFC debuts to keep an eye on. Enjoy our fight-by-fight analysis and betting picks for this weekend’s prelims in Las Vegas.

Dakota Bush (+160) vs Austin Hubbard (-185)

Our first prelim of the evening is a lightweight scrap between two up and comers in Dakota Bush (8-2-0, 0-0 UFC) and Austin Hubbard (12-5-0, 2-3 UFC). Bush is taking this fight on short notice and making his UFC debut in the process. It is interesting to note that this is Bush’s second fill-in bout since January, when he beat Austin Clem by TKO at LFA 98. In the other corner, Hubbard has five total UFC bouts under his belt.

This fight may come down to aggression. Bush will come out swinging in the first round, and that looks to be his best opportunity to finish Hubbard. However, after the adrenaline dump is where Hubbard does his best work; he will begin to put it on in the second and third rounds if he can make it past the initial aggression of Bush. We like Hubbard in this one, as well as a play on under 2.5 rounds.

Austin Hubbard to win


Tony Gravely (-340) vs Anthony Birchak (+280)

The second prelim bout of the evening features Tony Gravely (20-6-0, 1-1 UFC) taking on Anthony Birchak (16-7-0, 2-3 UFC). Both men last fought in November of last year, with Gravely taking home a split decision win and Birchak falling by submission. This will be an interesting fight between a wrestler in Gravely and an all-round fighter in Birchak. Gravely’s kryptonite is losing by submission, as five of his six professional losses have come that way. Birchak on the other hand as eight professional submissions on his career. The matchmakers have definitely set this one up with these stats in mind.

Gravely did show some improvement in his submission defense in his last visit to the octagon, so that may be what is giving him heavier odds as the favorite. If Birchak can piece Gravely up on the feet, however, it could turn the tide in his favor. We side with the UFC bookmakers and take Gravely for the win.

Tony Gravely to win


Zarah Fairn (+105) vs Josiane Nunes (-125)

Moving to the women’s bantamweight division, we have a bout between Zarah Fairn (6-4-0, 0-2 UFC) and UFC debutante Josiane Nunes (7-1-0, 0-0 UFC). Fairn is making a move down in class after dropping two losses at featherweight in the UFC, albeit to two of the top contenders in Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson. Nunes is riding a six-fight win streak coming into this bout, with the last five of those wins coming by finish.

We think Fairn moving down might help her, as she will have a significant height advantage on Nunes. This could help her striking in a big way. We like Fairn straight up, and we don’t think this fight will go the distance.

Zarah Fairn to win


Bartosz Fabinski (-135) vs Gerald Meerschaert (+115)

Our fourth bout of the evening features two middleweights in Bartosz Fabinski (15-4-0, 4-2 UFC) and Gerald Meerschaert (31-14-0, 5-7 UFC). Both men enjoy finishing fights, with some 29 of Meerschaert’s 31 professional wins ending inside the distance. About half of Fabinski’s fights have ended via finish, exclusively by knockout.

Meerschaert’s best bet for victory would be to find a way to tap Fabinski and stay away from a firefight. It helps that Meerschaert has 23 professional submission victories under his belt. We like the American as the slight underdog, and the submission prop is worth a look as well.

Gerald Meerschaert to win


Jessica Penne (+225) vs Lupita Godinez (-265)

Our fifth prelim fight features Jessica Penne (12-5-0, 1-3 UFC) against another UFC debutante in Lupita Godinez (5-0-0, 0-0 UFC). Penne is 11 years older than her challenger and hasn’t fought for nearly four years now, whereas Godinez’s last bout was a decision victory in April of 2020. Penne is known for her jiu-jitsu grappling and has seven submission victories to prove it. Godinez is more known for her stand up. We like the newcomer by decision, as ring rust might be a factor for Penne.

Lupita Godinez by points decision


Alexander Romanov (-125) vs Juan Espino (+105)

This should be a competitive heavyweight throwdown as Alexander Romanov (13-0-0, 2-0 UFC) takes on Juan Espino (10-1-0, 2-0 UFC). This has the potential to be a great grappling matchup, as both men enter this fight on streaks of multiple submission victories. Romanov is 10 years younger than the underdog Espino. Both fighters have completed unique submissions recently; Romanov defeated Marcos Rogerio de Lima with a forearm choke in November last year, while Espino downed Jeff Hughes with a scarf hold at UFC 253 in September.

From what we’ve seen, both men have aggressive takedown tendencies early in the fight. We like Romanov to win it inside the distance, as none of his contests have gone to the cards in his undefeated career. Even if this fight for whatever reason becomes a slugfest, we like Romanov there as well.

Alexander Romanov inside the distance


Tracy Cortez (-275) vs Justine Kish (+235)

Tracy Cortez (8-1-0, 2-0 UFC) is looking to stay undefeated in the UFC promotion, and a move down to flyweight from bantamweight will be a new journey for her. Justine Kish (7-3-0, 3-3 UFC) is a great opponent who is looking to get back in the win column and will provide some resistance on the feet as a quality striker. Cortez fights as an orthodox, while Kish in her last fight was a southpaw.

With similar height and reach, we see clinch work and some occasional grappling being the difference makers. Those areas are where we see Cortez edging Kish on the scorecards and coming away with the victory by decision.

Tracy Cortez by points decision

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