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UFC Vegas 35 main card preview & best bets – August 28, 2021

UFC betting tips

UFC Vegas 35: Barboza vs Chikadze

Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Barboza -120 at Bovada | Chikadze +100 at Bovada
When Saturday, August 28 – main card from 7pm PDT
Where UFC Apex – Las Vegas, Nevada
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass,

The co-main event of UFC Vegas 35 is the middleweight final of The Ultimate Fighter 29, pitting Bryan Battle against Gilbert Urbina. We’ll break down this fight and the other four bouts on the main card this Saturday night leading up to the main event of Edson Barboza vs Giga Chikadze.

Middleweight: Bryan Battle (-160) vs Gilbert Urbina (+140)

Bryan Battle (5-1-0) has four straight fights as a professional and earned his spot in the TUF 29 middleweight final with wins over Kemran Lachinov and Andre Petroski. Gilbert Urbina (6-1-0) was actually knocked out by Tresean Gore in the semi-finals, but Urbina advanced into the final due to Gore being unable to compete with an injured knee.

In addition to having actually earned his spot in this final, Battle is the more well-rounded fighter as well. The former heavyweight has settled in well in the middleweight class, mixing up solid footwork and striking on his feet and an excellent submission game on the mat. Urbina is an aggressive fighter that should be the one to push the tempo, but look for Battle to find a way to win.

Bryan Battle by submission


Bantamweight: Ricky Turcios (-162) vs Brady Hiestand (+142)

In the other TUF 29 final, Ricky Turcios (10-2-0) squares off against Brady Hiestand (5-1-0). Turcios was once 8-0 from 2013 through 2016 before going 2-2 over his last four professional fights. He beat Daniel Argueta and Liudvik Sholinian to advance to the final. Hiestand beat Joshua Rettinghouse and knocked out Vince Murdock to get to this point.

This looks to be a pretty even matchup on paper. Turcios should have the advantage off of the mat as the more aggressive striker, but Hiestand will have the edge in grappling, especially if this fight gets to the mat. This should be a fun one that will be closer than the betting odds suggest, making Hiestand a good value play as an underdog.

Brady Hiestand by points decision


Welterweight: Kevin Lee (-146) vs Daniel Rodriguez (+126)

Kevin Lee (18-6-0) is just 2-4 over his last six fights since going 16-2 over his previous 18. Lee is returning to the Octagon after a year-and-a-half off nursing torn ACLs in both legs. Daniel Rodriguez (15-2-0) is off to an impressive start in his UFC career with a 5-1 record since the start of 2020. Given how active and successful Rodriguez has been and that Lee could be dealing with ring rust coming off of two major injuries, we’ve got to take the underdog here.

Daniel Rodriguez by points decision


Middleweight: Andre Petroski (-575) vs Micheal Gillmore (+425)

Both Andre Petroski (5-1-0) and Michael Gillmore (5-3-0) appeared on TUF 29 but were eliminated. Gillmore replaced Miles Hunsinger on short notice and was submitted fairly quickly in the first round of his fight against Gilbert Urbina. Petroski is the significantly better prospect and should have no trouble winning this fight barring a fluky knockout or injury.

Andre Petroski by submission


Middleweight: Makhmud Muradov (-650) vs Gerald Meerschaert (+475)

Makhmud Muradov (25-6-0) is a perfect 14-0 over his last 14 fights including a 3-0 start to his UFC career. Gerald Meerschaert (32-14-0) returns in a familiar role of getting fed to promising up-and-comers; he is just 3-5 over his last eight bouts. Meerschaert has 24 submission wins under his belt and could steal a win with a timely submission if all of the stars align; but it’s far more likely that he’ll be seeing stars circling around his head after Muradov knocks him out.

Makhmud Muradov by KO/TKO

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