The UFC 292 main card continues with fights between Neil Magny and Ian Garry, Da’Mon Blackshear and Mario Bautista, and Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz. Read on for best bets for each of these fights along with relevant UFC 292 odds and UFC 292 predictions.
UFC 292 Main Card Best Bets
It was a bumpy road to get to UFC 292 as this main card has already featured two canceled fights. Both Geoff Neal and Cody Garbrandt have bowed out of their fights against Ian Garry and Mario Bautista, now slotting in the likes of Neal Magny and Da’Mon Blackshear. Both coming in as underdogs, yet both are capable of putting on a show for what should be a jam-packed card. For a breakdown of the two title fights to cap off the night, you can read a breakdown of them here.
Neil Magny Vs. Ian Garry
While you have to applaud Neil Magny for stepping up to take this fight after Geoff Neal backed out, he may be in over his head as betting markets have him as a massive underdog. It should come as no surprise as Ian Garry is in a class of his own with his striking in comparison to Magny.
Garry nearly doubles Magny in significant strikes landed per minute, landing an impressive 6.85 to Magny’s 3.52. The accuracy numbers are nearly identical at around 58%.
Where this gets interesting is in the takedown department. While Garry would prefer to be on his feet, Magny is aggressive in his efforts of getting his opponents to the cage and accumulating control time while also hunting for a takedown from the clinch.
The issue for Magny is that Garry excels at stuffing takedown attempts with a takedown defense percentage of 63%. Garry may have to keep this close with his lack of reach yet will be wise to stay near the middle when he steps closer to unleash a combination. His ability to deal damage near clinch will force Magny into an uncomfortable back pedaling position as a majority of Neil’s gameplan comes from clinch control.
Pick: Ian Garry to win inside the distance
Da’Mon Blackshear Vs. Mario Bautista
Unlike Neil Magny, Da’Mon Blackshear serves as a far more capable fighter when he took this fight on short notice. The issue is that Bautista outclasses him in nearly every statistical category.
Bautista lands more significant strikers per minute, connects at a higher percentage, and completes more takedowns per fight. He’s a dangerous all-around fighter and has an advantage in nearly every scenario.
Blackshear’s saving grace would be getting a takedown and holding him tightly to the chest, yet Blackshear only completes his takedowns at a 29.41% rate. That’s less than ideal against Bautista who stuffs takedowns at a 63% clip.
Bautista should have no issue with being in control, pressing Blackshear from the start until he gets an eventual takedown. From there Bautista will be in a good position to finish the fight, firing off submission attempts while transitioning through guard.
Pick: Mario Bautista ML
Marlon Vera Vs. Pedro Munhoz
Marlon Vera’s run came to an end after a split decision loss to Cory Sandhagen yet comes into this one as a decent sized favorite against Pedro Munhoz who got his career back on track with his recent win over Chris Gutierrez. The stakes for this main card opening fight are as high as it gets as the winner of this one will most likely find himself in a number one contender fight while the other plummets down the rankings as an aging veteran.
Sean O'Malley says Marlon Vera is the logical first challenger with a #UFC292 title win.
"Merab's out. Corey's out. Who else would it be?"
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) August 17, 2023
Marlon Vera is the deserving favorite as the far superior striker, possessing an ability to slow his opponents down with his lethal leg strikes and punishing counter punches. While Vera’s grappling is less to be desired, Munhoz will find it troubling to get Vera to the ground with weakened legs. It also doesn’t help that Vera has a decent sized reach advantage, giving up 5.5 inches to the lengthy striker.
With Vera possessing an elite ability to pick apart his opponents while also maintaining his distance, this gives us an opportunity to cut through his moneyline by taking him to win by decision. Vera would be wise to avoid a close quarters fight as that gives Munhoz the chance for a clinch style takedown, as well as limiting the opportunity for a flash KO. Couple Vera’s potential striking gameplan with the fact Munhoz has never been finished in the UFC and this has all the makings for a decisive victory.
Pick: Marlon Vera by decision
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