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MX News Update 2024

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UFC St. Louis: Best betting props, parlays and picks

UFC St. Louis headliner Derrick Lewis when he beat Rogerio de Lima. | Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images

UFC St. Louis goes live this weekend (Sat., May 11, 2024) with heavyweights Derrick Lewis and Rodrigo Nascimento in the main event. Checkout all the odds right here …

UFC St. Louis goes down live this weekend (Sat., May 11, 2024) inside Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The main event on tap for this rare foray outside of the UFC APEX is Derrick Lewis vs. Rodrigo Nascimento in the Heavyweight division. The co-main event includes St. Louis’ own Joaquin Buckleywho is still remembered for this epic highlight finish — taking on Nursulton Ruziboev. Also on the card is “Bruce Leeroy” Alex Caceres, who meets Sean Woodson.

UFC St. Louis’ “Prelims” include a few recognizable names, too.

There’s young man Chase Hooper versus “Slava Claus” Viacheslav Borshchev. And Tecia Pennington (nee Torres) is also in action. She’s fighting Tabatha Ricci. As always, UFC St. Louis has plenty of opportunities for the gambling crowd and we’re going to break those down below …

UFC Fight Night: Almeida v Lewis
Photo by Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
UFC St. Louis headliner Derrick Lewis fell to Jailton Almeida last time out.

UFC St. Louis Main Card Money Line Odds

Derrick Lewis (-155) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (+130)

Lewis stuck with UFC last year instead of potentially heading to PFL, where a multi-million dollar match-up with Francis Ngannou may have been possible. No, instead he continues to reap the rewards of resigning with UFC, appearing in another “Fight Night” main event opposite a young Brazilian up-and-comer. This time, at least, Lewis is the favorite against the very mid-appearing Rodrigo Nascimento. Lewis turned 39 this year, but the oddsmakers believe there is still plenty of pop in his hands. He’s a slim favorite to beat Nascimento, who is one a three-fight decision streak over Don’Tale Mayes, Ilir Latifi and Tanner Boser (the Latifi and Boser fights were split decisions).

One reason the bookies might be liking Lewis in this fight is that Nascimento is often there to be hit in his fights. He absorbs 4.76 significant strikes a minute and has a 43 percent striking defense. Jailton Almeida is second in UFC for fewest significant strikes absorbed per-minute with 0.7. Lewis faced Almeida last time out and was able to land 20 significant strikes over 25 minutes. That’s 0.8 per minute. If Lewis was able to hit Almeida at a marginally better clip than most others, you can see why some believe he’ll be able to hit Nascimento (who was KO’d by Chris Daukaus in his third UFC fight).

UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield v Fiorot
Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images
Joaquim Buckley, who will be fighting at home at UFC St. Louis.

Joaquin Buckley (-135) vs. Nursulton Ruziboev (+144)

Buckley is a decent favorite in this Welterweight clash. That’s likely because of the impressive form Buckley has shown over his last few fights. He’s done well to show that his insane spinning kick knockout over Impa Kasanganay (a PFL champ now) was no fluke (watch it) and that he has genuine power in his hands and feet. He’s one a three-fight win streak now, with a unanimous decision over Alex Morono book-ended by stoppages over Vicente Luque (check it out) and Andre Fialho (check this out, too).

Buckley will give one to take one, though. And that’s proved a bad gameplan against Chris Curtis and Kevin Holland in the past.

Ruziboev will be hoping to test Buckley’s chin, as he did when he KO’d both Sedrique Dumas and Brunno Fereira in his two UFC bouts to date. Ruziboev’s striking defense in UFC is 80 percent, albeit against suspect opponents. The 30-year-old has been stopped once with strikes in his 40-fight professional career (back in 2014).

UFC 293: Adesanya v Strickland
Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images
Carlos Ulberg will be making a long trip to get UFC St. Louis.

Alonzo Menifield (+220) vs. Carlos Ulberg (-270)

Alonzo Menifield and Carlos Ulberg are both known to stand and bang. For Ulberg, that’s meant four of his six UFC wins have come via (technical) knockout (his sole loss being a knockout to Kennedy Nzechukwu). Menifield has gotten five (technical) knockout finishes in UFC, scoring big stoppages over Misha Cirkunov and Paul Craig. Menifield has also been KO’d one time before, getting slumped by Ovince Saint Preux.

The likeliness that these two throw down in the center of the cage has this bout as a “Fight of the Night” contender. Ulberg is the taller and younger fighter here, with a slight reach advantage. He’s also on a five-fight win streak. Even so, the odds on Menifield (who is on a five fight undefeated streak himself) looks a little long.

MMA: MAY 20 UFC Vegas 73
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Diego Ferreira is coming off a KO win over Michel Johnson.

Diego Ferreira (+310) vs. Mateusz Rebecki (-395)

Diego Ferreira comes off a devastating knockout win over Michael Johnson (see it here) to find himself as a big underdog against Mateusz Rebecki. Ferreira turned 39 in January and, while he doesn’t have a ton of fight miles on him (23 fights), he has taken a lot of damage in the last few years. Prior to his win over Johnson, Ferreira took a year off after back-to-back technical knockout losses to Mateusz Gamrot and Gregor Gillespie.

The Brazilian, meanwhile, holds wins over Anthony Pettis, Mairbek Taisumov (remember him?) and Olivier Aubin-Mercier. To beat Rebecki, he’ll need to defend the takedown (something he’s not that bad at) and survive more than 1.5 submission attempts per minute (something he’s also not that bad at — he’s a third-degree black belt under Luiz Guigo).

Rebecki is the favorite despite giving up a little height (two inches) and a lot of reach (eight inches). His very short odds are thanks to his 16-fight win streak, which spilled over from Poland when he joined UFC in 2022. So far he’s looked very good against lowly rated opposition, but a craft, and dangerous, veteran will be a good test for him.

UFC Fight Night: Chikadze v Caceres
Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Alex Caceres will be making his 29th UFC appearance in St. Louis.

Alex Caceres (+170) vs. Sean Woodson (-205)

Alex Caceres has been able to quietly stick around UFC for more than one decade now and is closing in on joining the select club of fighters who have appeared inside the Octagon 30 times or more. On his 29th trip, he’s an underdog against local fighter, Sean Woodson. Woodson is four years younger than Caceres and has half the amount of fights he has (13 compared to 36).

Caceres has been decent over the last few years, going 7-3 and getting wins over Chase Hooper and Julian Erosa. His three losses are to Giga Chikadze, Sodiq Yusuff and Kron Gracie. Woodson is coming off a split decision win over Charles Jourdain. The only loss in his professional career is a submission defeat to Erosa in his third UFC outing.

Both men are very active in their fights, but the oddsmakers might be liking Woodson’s size advantage over Caceres and his ability to mix takedowns in with his striking offense.

UFC 299: O’Malley v Vera 2
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images
Former Olympian Robelis Despaigne looked sensational in his UFC debut.

Waldo Cortes-Acosta (+170) vs. Robelis Despaigne (-205)

Robelis Despaigne who represented Cuba in Taekwondo at the 2012 Olympic Games — has looked like a very interesting elder prospect since switching codes to MMA in 2022. After reeling off four stoppage wins in Titan and Fury FC he landed in UFC with a bang at UFC 299 — taking out Josh Parisian in just 18 seconds (see it here). The 35-year-old is getting a big step up in competition at UFC St. Louis with Waldo Cortes-Acosta.

Cortes-Acosta was a little exposed by Marcos Rogerio de Lima in 2023, dampening the hype around his Heavyweight prospect status. Since then, though, he’s stopped Lukasz Brzeski and taken a unanimous decision over Andrei Arlovski.

Cortes-Acosta will be the smaller man in the cage on Saturday, despite being 6’4.” Despaigne has a freakishly large and long frame, measuring 6’7” tall with an 84-inch reach. The unknown factor around Despaigne is likely tempering his odds here. Plenty will believe the more diverse and experienced Cortes-Acosta is a live dog.

UFC St. Louis ‘Prelims’ Under Card Odds

UFC Fight Night: Hooper v Leavitt
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Chase Hooper is an underdog at UFC St. Louis.

Chase Hooper (+124) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (-148)

Chase Hooper is the slight underdog here against “Slava Claus.” The heavy-handed Borshchev is favored over the tricky grappling Hooper. Hooper’s porous defense (36 percent) means his long torso might get chewed up with body punches here.

Terrance McKinney (+136) vs. Esteban Ribovics (-162)

Terrance McKinney has been high-risk, high-reward during his UFC tenure. He’s got some great highlight reel wins and some brutal highlight reel losses. Esteban Ribovics is 1-1 since winning on Contender Series in 2022.

Tabatha Ricci (-142) vs. Tecia Pennington (+120)

Tabatha Ricci has done well when not facing an elite striker (like Manon Fiorot) or a top wrestler (like Lupita Godinez). Tecia Pennington is neither of those. Pennington has also been out for two years (for a very good reason).

Billy Goff (+136) vs. Trey Waters (-162)

Trey Waters will tower over Billy Goff in this one. He’ll also have a five-inch reach advantage. Goff will need to hit takedowns to get the win here. Waters did well defending those against Josh Quinlan last time out (stuffing seven of eight attempts).

Charles Johnson (+130) vs. Jake Hadley (-155)

The bloom has come off the rose that is Jake Hadley as of late. While he looked incredible in wins over Malcolm Gordon and Carlos Candelario, he seemed simply average in his other two UFC bouts (both unanimous decision losses). Johnson is 1-3 in his last four.

Jared Gooden (+180) vs. Kevin Jousset (-218)

City Kickboxing’s Kevin Jousset is perfect (2-0) in UFC competition. Jared Gooden is 1-1, but choked out Wellington Turman in his last bout.

JJ Aldrich (+120) vs. Veronica Hardy (-142)

Veronica Hardy holds a losing record in UFC (3-4). JJ Aldrich has won two straight and, other than against Sabina Mazo, has only lost to women who have done notable things in the Octagon.