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UFC Vegas 55 main card preview & best bets – Saturday, May 21

UFC betting

A welterweight fight between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Michel Pereira will be featured in the co-main event this Saturday night at UFC Vegas 55. Here’s a preview of that matchup and the other three fights leading up to the main event of Holly Holm vs Ketlen Vieira.

Welterweight: Santiago Ponzinibbio (+105) vs Michel Pereira (-125)

Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-5-0) was one of the hottest welterweights in the UFC back in 2018 before a bout with staph infection forced him to take a leave of absence from the promotion. He was 7-0-0 with four knockouts in the seven fights prior to his 27-month hiatus, but he hasn’t been the same fighter since returning with a 1-2-0 record in his last three fights with a win over Miguel Baeza sandwiched between losses to Li Jingliang and Geoff Neal.

Michel Pereira (27-11-0) got off to a slow start in the UFC with a 1-2 record through his first three fights, but he’s strung together an impressive 4-0-0 stretch since then that includes wins over Khaos Williams and Andre Fialho. At only 35-years-old, there may still be time for Ponzinibbio to find his past form and to get on a successful run before his career is over. But until we see signs of that turnaround, we can’t take him over a red-hot fighter like Pereira in a spot like this.

Michael Pereira by decision


Middleweight: Dusko Todorovic (+200) vs Chidi Njokuani (-235)

Chidi Njokuani (21-7-0) had about as impressive of a UFC debut as you will ever see in February, earning a Performance of the Night bonus with a knockout win over Marc-Andre Barriault in just 16 seconds. He is 3-0-0 over his last three professional fights with three straight knockout wins. Dusko Todorovic (11-2-0) opened his career with a 10-0-0 run that included a knockout win in his UFC debut, but he’s only 1-2-0 in three fights since then.

Fight fans who didn’t catch the preliminary bouts may have missed Njokuani’s knockout earlier this year. They’ll likely get the chance to see some fireworks on the main card in this one as Njokuani should overwhelm Todorovic with strikes en route to a knockout win.

Chidi Njokuani by KO/TKO


Middleweight: Eryk Anders (+175) vs Jun Yong Park (-205)

Jun Yong Park (13-5-0) suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Gregory Rodrigues last October to fall to 3-2-0 through his first five UFC fights. Eryk Anders also lost his last fight at UFC 269 to Andre Muniz and is now just 3-5-0 over his last eight fights. While Anders has had an underwhelming career in the UFC, it’s worth noting that he is 3-2-0 in his last five fights, and his two losses over that stretch have come against two very talented middleweights in Krzysztof Jotko and Andre Muniz. Anders has more experience against high-level opponents, and this match figures to be more competitive than the betting odds would suggest, which has us leaning towards the underdog in this one.

Eryk Anders by decision


Women’s Strawweight: Polyana Viana (+113) vs Tabatha Ricci (-133)

Tabatha Ricci (6-1-0) bounced back from a loss to Manon Fiorot in her UFC debut last June to defeat Maria Oliveira by decision in October. Polyana Viana (12-4-0), meanwhile, has earned back-to-back first-round wins by submission over Mallory Martin and Emily Whitmire since losing her previous three fights. Viana is 8-3 in her last 11 fights with seven submission wins and one knockout win; her ability to end matches early with her solid groundwork makes her a very live underdog in Saturday’s main card opener.

Polyana Viana by submission


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