UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori Predictions & Betting Tips

UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori Predictions

Paulo Costa vs. Marvin Vettori

Costa came into his title fight with Israel Adesanya last year feeling supremely confident after compiling an undefeated 13-0 record in the sport, but the biggest night of his career also turned out to be his worst as the champ dominated him in the striking department and then TKO’d him on the mat with ground-and-pound.

Now he goes up against Vettori, who is no stranger to coming off second best against Adesanya himself, having now been beaten by him two times, including a more convincing unanimous decision loss to him in their rematch just a few months ago, which brought his five-fight unbeaten run to an end.

At his best Costa is an aggressive, forward-pressing striker who hits as hard as his imposing, muscular physique would suggest, but also manages to maintain an impressive volume of strikes in the process, leading to all but two of his wins coming via TKO or KO. That didn’t pay off against Adesanya though, who was too sharp and technical, while Costa was uncharacteristically gun-shy in response, and lost his air of invulnerability when he was stopped convincingly in the second round.

Vettori doesn’t have Adesanya’s elite striking ability though, being more similar to Costa on the feet in terms of his relentless forward pressure, though without the raw power of his opponent.

Aside from being very durable, one of Vettori’s other big strength is his wrestling ability and that could be a key factor here to neutralize Costa’s offensive threat on the feet. Vettori also has strong cardio, and in a five round fight I could see that giving him an advantage the longer the bout goes, especially if he can get his wrestling going effectively. That won’t be easy though, particularly as Costa is a skilled BJJ player.

I was expecting to see a better version of Costa this time compared to his title challenge up until word started emerging that he’s come in heavy for this fight and has had to arrange a 195lb catchweight just three days before the bout – before being pushed out again to a 205lb catchweight!

Costa is already a big middleweight, so it’s a risk for Vettori to have accepted this late switch, but it does leave huge question marks over the Brazilian’s physical and mental state heading into the bout.

My original feeling before this news was that Vettori won’t be intimidated by Costa’s early aggression, and with his strong chin and wrestling chops he’d be able to get him to the mat and control him there to win out on the scorecards, and I think I’ll stick with that as I don’t like what I’m seeing from his opponent during fight week.

Prediction: Marvin Vettori to win by decisionBet @ Sportsbet

Grant Dawson vs. Rick Glenn

There’s a distinct disparity in form between these two heading into this co-main event clash, with Dawson being undefeated in his five fights in the Octagon so far, while Glenn has gone 4-3 in the promotion so far.

A former Contender Series prospect, Dawson has strong wrestling and at times has been able to manhandle opponents, particularly when he was competing down at featherweight, with a knack for wrapping up rear-naked choke submission finishes into the bargain. Dawson’s ground-and-pound is also very solid though and he’s an increasingly capable striker on the feet too.

Like Dawson, Glenn has bobbed up and down a bit between 145lbs and 155lbs due to weigh-cut woes. He also only returned to action in June after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines due to a hip surgery, and did so in style with a 37 second KO victory over Joaqium Silva.

That showed off Glenn’s punching power on the feet, though it’s worth noting that though he does have 13 finishes by T(KO) from 22 career victories, that was actually his first stoppage win in his seven UFC outings so far. Even so, he does stay active offensively and he can grapple too.

Glenn could give a good account of himself on the feet here, but I think Dawson can remain somewhat competitive when required, but will use his skills on the mat to gain the upperhand here and emerge with a decision victory.

Prediction: Grant Dawson to win by decisionBet @ Sportsbet

Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Joselyne Edwards

After two losses in a row, Clark picked up a TKO win last time out, while Edwards is seeking her first win in the promotion after losing her debut by decision.

Edwards will have a considerable size advantage here, standing 3″ taller than Clark in addition to a 6″ reach advantage. She’s a good striker who brings speed and respectable power to the table and had a good record of finishing opponents on the regional scene, though her two fights in the UFC so far have gone to a decision.

Clark is a forward-pressing all-rounder who will mix things up between her striking and wrestling, but doesn’t really shine in any particular regard. I believe Edwards size and skills on the feet could cause problems for her, so I expect her to seek opportunities to work the action to the mat early and often here.

Edwards takedown defense isn’t the best and I could see opportunities for Clark to duck under and get her lanky opponent onto the mat, so while I do have some reservations I’m going to pick her to grind out a decision win here.

Prediction: Jessica-Rose Clark to win by decisionBet @ Sportsbet

Alex Caceres vs. Seung Woo Choi

After over a decade in the UFC, Caceres is enjoying one of his best runs to date with four wins in a row, while Choi has bounced back from losing his first two UFC fights impressively by winning three in a row.

It’s been good to see Caceres finally get some consistency as there have been plenty of times when he’s been picking up as many losses as wins in the promotion. That being said, while his level of competition lately hasn’t been bad during his recent run, he has been going up against similarly hot-and-cold style opposition.

Despite Caceres’s flashy karate-based striking style, he’s never been a highlight-reel finisher, and in fact only has 3 stoppages via strikes in his entire career. That being said, lately it feels like he’s become a bit more effective with his output from range, making good use of the jab at times.

With his muay thai background, Choi will relish a stand-up battle and he has the better power of the two here and holds a slight height (2″) and reach (1″) advantage.

While Choi’s takedown defense was an issue in the past it’s something he’s improved upon and beyond that he is a capable grappler and is the stronger of the two here. Caceres is a tricky opponent to deal with on the mat though and his scrambling and submission ability can cause problems, though he has been tapped out himself a number of times by superior BJJ players.

I don’t see Choi bothering him in that regard, but I do think the South Korean can keep this one upright for the most part land the more meaningful offense on the feet to secure a decision win.

Prediction: Seung Woo Choi to win by decisionBet @ Sportsbet

Dwight Grant vs. Francisco Trinaldo

At 43-years-old Trinaldo is coming off a decision loss following three wins in a row beforehand, while the 37-year-old Grant has won in three of his last four trips to the Octagon, though his only loss during that spell came via KO last year.

Trinaldo’s recent loss came in his 170lb debut and he’s staying there for this fight, which will put him at a distinct size disadvantage compared to Grant, who has 4″ in height and 6.5″ in reach over him.

Trinaldo will look to pressure into closer range though and he’s a talented striker who will be more versatile than Grant, though it’s not entirely clear how much power he’s carrying up at welterweight.

We do know that Grant does have good power at 170lbs though and he’ll be looking to catch Trinaldo’s aging, though still relatively sturdy chin from range with clean punches, as he’ll be trickier to deal with up close and personal.

Grant doesn’t have the greatest offensive output though and I think that will be an issue against the busier, more technical striking of Trinaldo, leading the veteran to a decision win.

Prediction: Francisco Trinaldo to win by decisionBet @ Sportsbet

Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Ike Villanueva

With only one win from his four UFC fights to date, Villaneuva is battling to preserve his place on the roster when he fights Negumereanu, who has a win and a loss so far in the promotion.

Villanueva is certainly a dangerous offensive threat on the feet with his big punching power accounting for all 15 of his 18 career wins, but there’s major weaknesses to account for too, as he was tapped out several times on the regional circuit, while in the UFC he’s TKO or KO’d three times in four trips to the Octagon.

That seems like good news for Negumereanu as he’s picked up nine finishes in 10 career victories, mostly by TKO, but with a few submissions in there too. However, it should be noted that the Romanian’s level of competition prior to joining the UFC was very underwhelming at times.

Negumereanu has good physicality and can land powerful takedowns, while on the feet he’ll have a 1″ height and 5″ reach advantage. He’s also 10 years his opponent’s junior and has taken far less damage in his career to date, so I like his chances of finding a finish here, whether on the feet or on the mat.

Prediction: Nicolae Negumereanu to win by TKO in Rd2Bet @ Sportsbet

 

UFC Fight Night: Costa vs. Vettori Prelims

(Predicted winners in bold)

Jun Yong Park vs. Gregory Rodrigues

Alan Patrick vs. Mason Jones

Tabatha Ricci vs. Maria de Oliveira Neta

Jamie Pickett vs. Laureano Staropoli

Khama Worthy vs. Jai Herbert

Jeff Molina vs. Daniel Lacerda

Livia Renata Souza vs. Randa Markos

Ross Cole
About the Author: Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.

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