On Saturday, February 27th, the UFC will be live from their Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Fight Night 186. For this betting preview, we will be examining the preliminary card only.
Currently, there are numerous changes being made to this portion of the show, which is set to begin at 5PM ET on ESPN+.
UFC betting sites have released their odds for the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 186. Let’s step inside the betting octagon to size up these odds, identify any betting value, and front leg kick these predictions.
— MMA Form Guide (@MMAFormGuide) February 22, 2021
Cancelled UFC Fight Night 186 Prelim Fights
Marcelo Rojo vs Raphael Assuncao
Here’s a fight that was doomed from the get go. The UFC originally scheduled Raoni Barcelos versus Raphael Assuncao for this event, but Assuncao was forced off the card due to a positive covid test.
Marcelo Rojo was lobbying to replace Assuncao and got his wish as the promotion decided to book this matchup as a catchweight fight at 140 pounds instead of 135 pounds:
“I think we make a great matchup for entertainment. We’re both aggressive fighters, and I think that’s gonna make it great. I came here to fight and that’s what you get when you are in a cage with me.”
Unfortunately, that catchweight bout was also called off due to Barcelos and his wife testing positive for covid. Neither of them are experiencing any significant symptoms.
At this point, it’s unclear as to what the UFC will do with any of these fighters moving forward. There’s a chance that we get the original Barcelos vs Assuncao fight scheduled for a future event. Rojo will most likely be left off this weekend’s card or used as a replacement for another fight if needed.
Charles Oliveira vs Randy Brown
The welterweight clash between Randy Brown and Charles “Cowboy” Oliveira has been called off due to Brown withdrawing from the fight. As of now, there’s no official word as to why Brown is out.
The UFC is actively looking for a new opponent for Oilveira, who is a fan friendly fighter and a name that will add to the preliminary card. At this point, there’s no word on if the UFC has had any success at finding a replacement for Brown.
Sam Hughes vs Emily Whitmire
This women’s strawweight bout was originally scheduled for Emily Whitmire to take on Hanna Cifers. Sam Hughes agreed to fill in for Cifers on less than two weeks’ notice.
Unfortunately, this fight was cancelled as Whitmire withdrew for undisclosed reasons. A few days later, the UFC found Hughes a new opponent in Loma Lookboonmee.
However, this newly booked contest was not added to UFC Fight Night 186. Instead, it was added to the Fight Night Event on May 1st.
Macy Chiasson vs Marion Reneau
This women’s bantamweight fight was originally scheduled for UFC Fight Night 184 and it was an enticing matchup as the two were looking to get a big win and move up within the division.
Unfortunately, Reneau tested positive for covid leading up to the fight. So, the UFC decided to push it back to the featured bout of the preliminary card for UFC Fight Night 186.
This time around, Chiasson withdrew from the bout due to an injury and the UFC decided to once again push it back. Now, the two will fight on March 20th which Reneau posted on her social media:
“If you haven’t heard the fight for Feb 27th has been moved to March 20 due to my opponent having an injury. The mission has and WILL NOT CHANGE! Only the date changes… again.”
Reneau has had some bad luck over the last few years. This is her 5th bout that has been cancelled or rescheduled. Furthermore, this bout has now been rescheduled two different times and pushed back six weeks from the original date.
Jiri Prochazka vs Dominick Reyes
Lastly we already know by now that the main event of this show between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka was cancelled a few weeks ago due to Reyes suffering an injury. The UFC rebooked this bout for May 1st and bumped the Gane vs Rozenstruik to the main event for this show.
Dustin Jacoby vs Maxim Grishin
- Dustin Jacoby (-185)
- Maxim Grishin (+160)
- Over (-125)/Under (+105) 2.5 rounds
Almost nine years after his first stint with the UFC ended, Dustin Jacoby returned to the UFC last November to take on Justin Ledet. He earned another opportunity following a victory on DWCS in August 2020.
Jacoby made the following comments after his win over Ledet:
“I’m on cloud nine. A lot of hard work, perseverance, grit and self-belief. I knew I’d be back here. I’m officially a UFC fighter. I’m pumped. … I knew it was going to be a standup war. Right when I got in, he was like ‘Let’s do this.’ It pumped me up. Hat’s off to Justin. I knew it was going to be an awesome fight. It couldn’t have gone any better.”
It was certainly a long road for Jacoby to get back to the UFC. He traveled through different territories and lost all of his fights in the recognized promotions like Bellator and WSOF.
He didn’t compete for 4 ½ years before returning to MMA in June 2019 and showed off a polished kickboxing arsenal. He won in a regional promotion which earned him his chance on DWCS.
10 of his 13 pro wins have come via stoppage with nine by way of TKO/KO. He’s 3-2 when going the distance.
Grishin went 4-0-2 during his run with PFL which earned him a shot in the UFC last summer. Unfortunately, he lost to Marcin Tybura via unanimous decision. He went up to heavyweight to compete in this contest.
Grishin returned to light heavyweight and bounced back with a 2nd round TKO win over Gadzhimurad Antigulov in October 2020.
22 of his 31 pro wins have come via stoppage with 16 by way of TKO/KO. He’s 9-2-2 when going the distance.
I like this contest to go over 2.5 rounds (-125) and the full distance (-110). I believe both men will be durable enough to survive a fire fight.
I’m going with Jacoby in this matchup as I believe he’s a more versatile fighter than Grishin. Jacoby will land the more convincing shots in this bout and come away with the decision victory. I think the best value is for the fight to go Over 2.5 rounds.
Dustin Jacoby vs Maxim Grishin –Jacoby (-185)
Over 2.5 rounds (-125)
Fight goes the distance (-110)
Jacoby wins via decision (+195)
Vince Cachero vs Ronnie Lawrence
- Vince Cachero (+140)
- Ronnie Lawrence (-160)
- Over (-280)/Under (+240) 2.5 rounds
Cachero made his octagon debut last August on short notice and fought veteran Jamall Emmers who had a huge height and reach advantage. It was a big test for Vince. Although he lost, he still felt good in his debut which gave him the confidence that he belonged in the UFC:
“Really, it’s further proof that yes, I belong here. Yes, I’m good enough to fight in the UFC. I can be a pretty dominant force in the 135 division. Now, I’ve just got to go out there and prove it. Overall, I’m excited to be here, and I know I belong here.”
Cachero is 1-3 in his last four fights which span back the last two years. Four of his seven pro wins have come via stoppage with two apiece for TKO/KO and submission. He’s 3-2 when going the distance.
Lawrence is on a three fight winning streak that has seen him win in three different promotions including on DWCS last September which earned him this UFC shot.
— UFC (@ufc) September 2, 2020
His lone defeat came in October 2016 when he competed for Bellator. He lost to Steve Garcia via unanimous decision.
Three of his pro wins have come via TKO/KO, while the other three have come via decision.
Like with the Jacoby fight, I am also taking this fight to go the distance (-265) and Over 2.5 rounds (-280).
I’m also taking Lawrence in this contest. I believe his takedowns and grappling will be more than enough to handle Cachero who showed an inability to defend the takedown in his Emmers fight.
I also believe that Lawrence has the better gas tank and can keep up an aggressive pace that will put Cachero on his back foot or flat on the mat.
Four of Lawrence’s six pro fights have gone the distance including three of his last four bouts. Five of Cachero’s 10 pro fights have gone the distance. The value is with Lawrence winning via decision (+120).
Vince Cachero vs Ronnie Lawrence –Lawrence (-160)
Over 2.5 rounds (-280)
Fight goes the distance (-265)
Lawrence wins via decision (+120)
William Knight vs Alonzo Menifield
- William Knight (-110)
- Alonzo Menifield (-110)
- Over (-130)/Under (+110) 1.5 rounds
This battle of DWCS alums is very close with online betting sites as most of them are unable to decide who the favorite is.
Knight is on a three fight win streak which includes going 1-0 inside the octagon. He competed on DWCS last September and won via 1st round TKO over Cody Brundage.
He made his UFC debut three weeks later and beat Aleksa Camur via unanimous decision. That was the first time that he’s gone the distance in a fight. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via TKO/KO. His loss came via TKO/KO.
Menifield started off red hot and appeared twice on DWCS. However, it was his 1st round TKO win in eight seconds over Dashawn Boatright that earned him a UFC contract.
Nicknamed “Atomic,” Menifield started of 2-0 in the octagon where he defeated Vinicius Moreira and Paul Craig via 1st round knockouts.
Unfortunately, the hype ended in 2020 after Devin Clark handed Menifield his first pro loss and Ovince St. Preux knocked out Menifield in the 2nd round of their fight last September.
All nine of his pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of TKO/KO. He’s 0-1 when going the distance.
As for this upcoming fight, Menifield is determined to take out Knight in the 1st round:
“I noticed the dude [Knight] said something on Instagram saying ‘don’t blink’. So I take that in a full offense, so I’ll be gunning to take him out in the first round. If it happens, it happens. I’m [also] ready to go through a 3 round war.”
Combined, these two fighters have gone the distance just two times in 21 total fights. Furthermore, they’ve combined to go to the 3rd round just four times. Take the Under 1.5 rounds (+110) and for the fight to end inside the distance (-285).
As for the winner, this is going to be a tough call. I expect a lot of firepower and someone to get knocked out before the midway point of the 2nd round.
Whichever fighter you choose, their moneyline offers the best value for this matchup.
William Knight vs Alonzo Menifield –Menifield (-110)
Under 1.5 rounds (+110)
Fight ends inside the distance (-285)
Menifield wins inside the distance (+125)
Menifield wins via TKO/KO (+150)
Sabina Mazo vs Alexis Davis
- Sabina Mazo (-200)
- Alexis Davis (+170)
- Over (-420)/Under (+335) 2.5 rounds
The 37 year old Alexis Davis enters this contest on a three fight losing streak. She hasn’t competed since July 2019 where she lost to Viviane Araujo via decision. Prior to that, she lost to Jennifer Maia and Katlyn Chookagian via decisions.
Davis has been with the UFC since 2013. She has a decorated MMA career with plenty of big wins. In Strikeforce, she scored a 2nd round TKO win over Amanda Nunes who is the GOAT of women’s MMA. She beat WWE star Shayna Baszler in 2013 when they were in Invicta FC.
Davis started off her UFC run going 3-0 with wins over notable fighters like Liz Carmouche and Jessica Eye. She then lost to Ronda Rousey during her prime. A 3-1 run brought her to the current three fight losing streak.
10 of her 19 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. She’s 9-6 when going the distance.
Sabina Mazo fight week.
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) February 23, 2021
Mazo made her UFC debut two years ago after being the former LFA champ. Unfortunately, she lost via unanimous decision to Maryna Moroz. Since then, she’s gone 3-0 inside the octagon. Mazo last competed in September 2020 where she beat Justin Kish via 3rd round submission.
For Mazo, she recognizes that this will be a solid step up in the division if she can get the win on Saturday:
“She’s had a name in MMA for quite some time, so for me it’s a name that can help me get to where I want to get to. I don’t know if on paper it will change anything, but just the experience alone and the type of fight that I’m getting here it could open up the possibilities to fight other fighters in the rankings. I think it goes beyond maybe affecting the rankings or not. I think the type of fight opens many doors for me to get higher profile opponents.”
Three of her nine pro wins have come via stoppage. She’s 6-1 when going the distance and has never been stopped in a fight.
Take the Over 2.5 rounds (-420) and for this bout to go the distance (+335). Combined, these two women have gone the distance in 22 of 39 pro bouts.
For Mazo, she’s gone the full distance in five of her last six bouts. Davis has gone to the judges in five straight contests.
Davis is 13 years older and clearly has the overall experienced advantage, but I like Mazo in this bout. I believe her takedown defense is good enough to keep the fight upright where she has the clear advantage. Mazo will win via decision (-130), which offers the best value.
Sabina Mazo vs Alexis Davis –Mazo (-200)
Over 2.5 rounds (-420)
Fight goes the distance (+335)
Mazo wins via decision (-130)
Alexander Hernandez vs Thiago Moises
- Alexander Hernandez (-190)
- Thiago Moises (+165)
- Over (-185)/Under (+160) 2.5 rounds
This is the featured bout of the preliminary portion of UFC Fight Night 186 and it should be a good one. These two combatants have competed in multiple promotions at the same time and have a healthy understanding of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Moises earned his UFC contract with a win on DWCS in August 2019 via 1st round TKO. Unfortunately, he lost his UFC debut to Beneil Dariush and would go 1-2 in his first three trips inside the octagon.
Since then, Moises is 2-0 with wins over Michael Johnson and Bobby Green, which was his last fight in October 2020 where he won via unanimous decision.
Moises credits his losses in the UFC as opportunities to grow as a fighter and improve his fighting skills. There’s proof in that pudding as he would go on to win two in a row and look like a much improved fighter.
“I know that I’m one of the best fighters in the world, and I’m going to prove that fight-by-fight.”@ThiagoMoisesMMA can’t wait to shine against Alexander Hernandez at #UFCVegas20 ⤵️:https://t.co/ZZfXIeqTYE
— UFC News (@UFCNews) February 22, 2021
Nine of his 14 pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of submission. The Brazilian has never been stopped in his career and is 5-4 when going the distance.
Moises made the following comments about his upcoming bout against Hernandez:
“He’s a pretty explosive fighter — he has good wrestling, good striking, but he has a lot of holes in his game and I’m going to expose those on February 27. Hernandez was ranked before, and he has a lot of hype — people expect great things from him — and I’m going to go out there and steal that from him. And after I beat Alexander Hernandez, I want a Top 15 opponent.”
Hernandez rolled into the UFC three years ago having won six straight fights. He opened up his UFC tenure with two straight wins before losing to Donald Cerrone two years ago. Since that loss, he’s gone 2-1.
Hernandez last competed in October where he won via 1st round TKO over Chris Gruetzemacher. It was a nice bounceback performance from him considering he was TKO’d by Drew Dober six months prior.
Seven of his 12 pro wins have come via stoppage with five by way of TKO/KO. He’s 5-1 when going the distance.
Despite knowing of Moises for many years now, Hernandez isn’t impressed and believes that he’s the better fighter:
“But again, I’m not impressed. I know he’s a threat. I know he’s dangerous. He’s won caliber fights in a row now. Big finishes. So, he definitely gets this type of approval for a fight. But, I don’t see him as a threat outside of a puncher’s chance. I’m not expecting anything. I plan to go out there just like I did at the last fight and just execute on the practice when I’ve been working on. If it goes to the ground then hooray for me. If it’s on the feet, even more satisfying.”
Where Hernandez has run into trouble in the past has been with fighters who are better strikers than him. That’s not the case in this contest. Hernandez is the better striker and I think that’s how he wins this fight.
He’s good enough to hang on the mat while stuffing takedown attempts. Yet, he’s clearly the better striker between the two.
Because Moises has never been stopped in a fight, I believe he will push this bout the distance (-165) and Over 2.5 rounds (-185). With that said, take Hernandez to win via decision (-170).
I’m not seeing any wager that has value for this bout.
Alexander Hernandez vs Thiago Moises –Hernandez (-190)
Over 2.5 rounds (-185)
Fight goes the distance (-165)
Hernandez wins via decision (-170)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …