UFC Fight Best Bets Today (6/17/23): Expert Predictions for Vettori vs Cannonier & Tsarukyan vs. Silva
Tonight’s main card starts at 10:00 PM EST with a middleweight showdown between Martin Vettori and Jared Connonier. While most major sports are in the midst of an offseason, the UFC will be giving us an event every weekend for our viewing pleasure for the foreseeable future. This gives us MMA fans something to lean on until the return of football season, spending our late Saturday nights watching the carnage unfold in the octagon while also potentially making a few bucks in the process.
UFC Best Bets June 17
After an eventful PPV that featured Charles Oliveria back in the title picture and Amanda Nunes retiring out on top, we now get to look forward to a fight night headlined by two title contending middleweights. Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier have both familiarized themselves at the top of the pecking order, yet both have failed to beat the upper tier of middleweight talent. They now square off against each other in what will most likely have them near the front of the line for another middleweight title shot.
Marvin Vettori Vs. Jared Cannonier Prediction
If you were to tier the current middleweight roster, Marvin Vettori and Jared Cannonier would be at the top of tier two. Both have yet to take the next step up as a legitimate title threat as both of their recent losses come from the current champion Israel Adesanya and top middleweight contender Robert Whittaker. With former champ Alex Pereira moving up to light heavyweight, that means the winner of this battle most likely takes on Whittaker in what will be a number one contender fight.
An epic middleweight showdown 𝐈𝐒 𝐂𝐎𝐌𝐈𝐍𝐆…😤👀
— UFC (@ufc) June 15, 2023
With Vettori taking on heavy steam since the opener, I am turning my sights elsewhere for how I think this will play out. With a heavy chin and a knack for creating space with his leg kicks and precise strikes, I am betting that Vettori will win by decision due to the way these two match up against each other as it sets up to be a lengthy fight.
Cannonier is built like a brick house and relies on his powerful strikes as a former UFC heavyweight. The issue this time around for Cannonier is that Vettori has yet to be finished inside the distance as he has an elite jaw and a keen ability to get himself out of danger with his separation ability as a technical striker.
This style of fighting puts added pressure on Cannonier as the fight goes on to the later rounds, especially as the weaker force in the grappling game. Vettori dwarfs Cannonier in the takedown apartment as Cannonier’s Takedown Defense Success Rate sits at 64%, as well as nearly being doubled in successful attempts per fight. We can rest easy knowing that submission attempts are a second thought for either fighter when on the ground as both will opt into the idea of wasting time in our favor when on the mat instead.
Vettori has no issue in continuing his point style type of fighting, giving me conviction that we are in for a full-length fight as he keeps separation and shoots for high quality takedown attempts. Should Cannonier gas out quicker than anticipated, I am also taking a SGP by combining Vettori’s moneyline with an over 3.5 rounds.
Pick: Vettori by decision +130
Pick: Vettori / o3.5 rounds SGP -110
Arman Tsarukyan Vs. Joaquim Silva Prediction
While the main event is labeled as a near pick’em, the co-main event leading up to it is deemed a lot more lopsided as Tsarukyan comes into the contest as an astonishing -1000 on the moneyline. This drastically limits our options of how to attack the co-main event, opting into exact methods in an attempt to cut the juice to limit our risk.
As the odds suggest, Tsarukyan is poised to control this fight from start to finish as he makes his climb up the lightweight leaderboard. The question is if he will finish Silva inside the distance or go the full length to a decision victory.
I lean towards another decision type wager as Silva is an elite grappler as a BJJ black belt, having no issue when this goes to the ground in an attempt to limit Tsarukyan’s damaging striking ability when they are on their feet. Tsarukyan is a respected grappler himself, being able to defend against Silva’s submission attempts.
This gives us time-killing opportunities when on the mat as Silva will struggle to establish his positions while also wanting to avoid having to go back on their feet where he is far easier to pick off for the powerful striking Tsarukyan.
Pick: Tsarukyan by decision +380