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UFC on ESPN 16: Holm vs Aldana Betting Preview, Odds and Picks


On October 3rd, UFC on ESPN 16: Holm vs Aldana will come to us live on ESPN from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. This event features two Top 6 ranked women’s bantamweight bouts that will surely shed light on who the next challenger for the world title will be.

In the main event of the night, #3 Holly Holm takes on #6 Irene Aldana. Also scheduled for this show is the #1 Germaine De Randamie fighting #5 Julianna Pena. The four fight main card is set to begin at 10:30PM ET.

UFC betting sites have released their full slate of odds for the UFC on ESPN 16 main card. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, identify any potential betting value, and force these predictions to tap out.

You become the best by fighting the best!

This Saturday – @IreneAldana_ looks to go up another level 🇲🇽

[ #UFCFightIsland4 | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi ]

— UFC (@ufc) September 29, 2020

Dequan Townsend vs Dusko Todorovic

  • Dequan Townsend (+265)
  • Dusko Todorovic (-325)
  • Over (-210)/Under (+175) 1.5 rounds

The main card action kicks off with a middleweight contest featuring the debuting Dusko Todorovic who is a massive betting favorite.

Todorovic is unbeaten in his career and earned this octagon opportunity with a win on DWCS 13 months ago. He was supposed to debut three different times over the last year, but all of his bouts were cancelled for one reason or another.

Todorovic is excited to finally get his UFC shot and wants to become the Novak Djokovic of the UFC:

“MMA in Serbia is like everywhere in the world; it is growing, it is going up. That’s a good thing. People are becoming more aware of the sport. I feel like this victory will skyrocket that popularity in Serbia. But I would like to be the Novak Djokovic of MMA in Serbia. That would be nice.”

Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 1-0 when going the distance.

Dequan Townsend has had a rough time in the UFC having lost his first three bouts. He last fought in February and lost via unanimous decision to Devin Clark. 17 of his 21 pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 4-9 when going the distance.

Townsend has the power to pull off the big upset, but he also has too many flaws that Todorovic will take advantage of.

Townsend has a terrible takedown defense and plenty of holes in his striking defense. I see Todorovic having success changing levels and outstriking Daquan throughout this contest. I believe Dusko will eventually land a shot that either finishes the bout or sets its up for a ground and pound TKO.

Dequan Townsend vs Dusko Todorovic –Todorovic (-325)

Over 1.5 rounds (-210)

Fight ends inside the distance (-140)

Todorovic wins via TKO/KO

Germaine de Randamie vs Julianna Pena

  • Germaine de Randamie (-135)
  • Julianna Pena (+115)
  • Over (-200)/Under (+170) 2.5 rounds

As mentioned, this is a Top 5 women’s bantamweight battle as the #1 ranked Germaine de Randamie takes on the #4 ranked Julianna Pena.

Since joining the UFC in November 2013, Julianna Pena has gone 5-1 inside the octagon with notable wins over Jessica Eye and Cat Zingano. Her lone loss was to Valentina Schevchenko in 2017. However, Pena hasn’t fought since July 2019.

Six of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage with victories evenly split over TKO/KO and submission. She’s 3-1 when going the distance.

ONE SHOT 👊@IronLadyMMA wastes NO time in the Octagon.

[ #UFCFightIsland4 | #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi ]

— UFC (@ufc) September 30, 2020

When we last saw Germaine de Randamie, she was taking on Amanda Nunes for the title. Unfortunately, GDR came up short as she lost via unanimous decision last December. That’s actually the second time now that GDR has lost to Nunes in her career.

Prior to the second Nunes defeat, de Randamie had won five straight bouts. She’s motivated to get another crack at the title. Yet, GDR knows that this weekend’s contest will be a big fight and she isn’t taking Pena lightly even if Julianna has been out for 15 months:

“I just want to fight. It doesn’t matter. A fight stays the same. If someone has a two-year layoff of one-year layoff, it doesn’t matter. I expect the best Julianna Pena to show up. I know she has something to prove and wants that title shot, so I’m the one to beat.”

This fight will come down to how well GDR can stuff the takedowns. If she’s able to keep this fight upright then she will cruise to a victory. I have a hard time putting confidence in Pena as she’s been out of the octagon for 15 months and isn’t as good of a striker as de Randamie.

GDR went five full rounds against the “GOAT” Amanda Nunes last December and didn’t look hurt at all. She has the experience advantage, the reach advantage and the striking advantage in this matchup. I’m taking Germaine de Randamie to win this bout via unanimous decision.

Germaine de Randamie vs Julianna Pena –de Randamie (-135)

Over 2.5 rounds (-200)

Fight goes the distance (-175)

Randamie wins via decision (+180)

Yorgan De Castro vs Carlos Felipe

  • Yorgan De Castro (-260)
  • Carlos Felipe (+220)
  • Over (-115)/Under (-105) 1.5 rounds

The heavyweights are in action at UFC on ESPN 16 as Yorgan De Castro takes on Carlos Felipe.

De Castro was unbeaten in his career entering the second fight of his UFC tenure before losing to Greg Hardy via unanimous decision in May. Yet, the loss didn’t hurt his stock much as he’s now in the co-main event of a UFC show.

Five of his six pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 1-1 when going the distance. As for this weekend’s fight, De Castro expects it to be over quickly:

“I hope so. I’m not going to shoot, it is a waste of time if we take each other down. We will waste our energy in that instead of making it a striking matchup. I’m expecting him to come forward and throw punches and I will do the same until one of us falls down. One of us will fall down.”

Carlos Felipe lost his UFC debut in July via majority decision. Prior to that, he was 8-0. Six of his eight pro wins have come via TKO/KO. He’s 2-1 when going the distance.

With as much firepower that will be in this fight, I have a hard time seeing it go Over 1.5 rounds. Combined, 10 of their 16 pro fights have ended in the 1st round. Go with the Under 1.5 rounds for this heavyweight bout and for the fight to end inside the distance (-285).

As for the winner, I think De Castro is going to pick up another TKO/KO win (+100). He has impressed me more than Felipe has and Yorgan’s edge in octagon experience will be a difference maker as well.

There’s solid betting value with De Castro winning inside the distance (-120) and via TKO/KO (+100). Both options offer better returns than Yorgan’s moneyline betting odds.

Yorgan De Castro vs Carlos Felipe –De Castro (-260)

Under 1.5 rounds (-105)

Fight to end inside the distance (-285)

De Castro to win inside the distance (-120)

De Castro to win via TKO/KO (+100)

Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana

  • Holly Holm (-120)
  • Irene Aldana (+100)
  • Over (-225)/Under (+185) 4.5 rounds

In the main event of the night, we have a Top 6 women’s bantamweight bout between #2 Holly Holm and #6 Irene Aldana. This fight is not only close on paper, but with online betting sites as well.

Aldana started off 0-2 in the UFC before going 5-1 in her last six bouts. The lone loss over that stretch was a split decision defeat to Raquel Pennington in July 2019. Aldana has won two straight contests with her last bout coming in December 2019 where she won via 1st round KO over Ketlen Vieira.

Nine of her 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO. She’s 3-3 when going the distance.

Who’s your money on at #UFCFightIsland4?

— bjpenndotcom (@bjpenndotcom) September 30, 2020

Aldana, who overcame covid-19, made the following comments on the fight against Holm this weekend:

“I think every fight is my toughest fight since I started this career. This is my hardest fight, she is well-rounded, strong, experienced, and has fought great fighters. I am here for a reason and I think it is a great matchup. It is not a secret that I love to keep it standing and exchange punches. We Mexicans love that, and I would love for it to be that kind of fight.”

The former world champ Holly Holm got another title shot last summer, but lost to Amanda Nunes via 1st round TKO. Holm would bounce back in January to defeat Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision. Eight of her 13 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. She’s 5-3 when going the distance.

Like Aldana, Holly Holm had some positive things to say about her opponent this Saturday:

“We’ve anticipated for a while now that I’d be fighting her at some point. Sure enough, she kept coming through and making waves and doing well. She’s one of those who I feel every time you see her fight, you see an improvement in her from the last time you saw her. That makes her a threat.”

Both of these competitors have one eye on their opponent and one eye on a future world title shot. A victory this weekend could help put the winner in line for a championship bout against Nunes.

With that said, the winner of Germaine de Randamie and Julianna Pena would probably get the first crack if it’s Pena who wins. If GDR wins, I believe the UFC would probably avoid a trilogy fight vs Nunes.

I think Holm is in a similar boat as GDR because she just lost via 1st round TKO to Nunes last summer. A win this weekend could possibly set up a fight against de Randamie for a title shot. However, if Aldana wins convincingly then she would jump to the front of the line and take on the champ.

The UFC needs and wants fresh challenges for Nunes. Both Aldana and Pena would fit the bill.

I see this main event fight going the full five rounds (-210) and Over 4.5 rounds (-225) as well. Aldana has gone the distance in six of her last eight bouts. Holm has gone to a decision in five of her last seven contests.

As for the winner of this contest, I believe it can go either way. It really is another coin flip. For me, I am going with Aldana to win via decision.

This is going to be an explosive fight. Both women like to stand and strike, but Aldana appears better on the mat than Holm does. If she can get some takedowns then she will cruise to a unanimous decision.

If you really want to take a flier on a longshot bet for UFC on ESPN 16’s main card, then drop a small wager on Aldana winning a fight night bonus at +1000 odds. This bout could end up as fight of the night based on these two combatants loving to stand and strike.

Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana –Aldana (+100)

Over 4.5 rounds (-225)

Fight goes the distance (-210)

Aldana wins via decision (+240)

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …

View all posts by Rick Rockwell

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