Last Updated on December 15, 2022 4:24 pm by Erwin Noguera
As we close the Christmas Holiday, the UFC has set up quite an exciting main event for all fight fans, and it will be taking place in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
This fight night may not have as many known names as some of the previous ones this month, but it has a high-caliber main event, and a few exciting names for the hardcore fans, including Alex Caceres, Bobby Green, and UFC Veteran Jake Matthews.
The event is headlined by Jared Cannonier, who will be facing Sean Strickland, and this battle could become a title eliminator as the new king of the division has settled in.
This is an event with multiple exciting bouts, and a total of 14 fights to watch; 6 of them on the main card and 8 on the prelims.
You can check all the UFC/MMA bets, the analysis of each fighter, and the final bet you can make in this fight.
UFC Fight Night – Cannonier vs. Strickland – Betting Odds and Free Picks – Info
When: Saturday, December 17th, at 4:00 pm ET
Jared Cannonier -109 / Sean Strickland -116
Arman Tsarukyan -200 / Damir Ismagulov +155
Amir Albazi -476 / Alessandro Costa +329
Alex Caceres +140 / Julian Erosa -181
Drew Dober -158 / Bobby Green +124
Cody Brundage +214 / Michal Oleksiejczuk -285
Cheyanne Vlismas -196 / Cory McKenna +151
Jake Matthews -277 / Matt Semelsberger +208
Julian Marquez -178 / Deron Winn +140
Said Nurmagomedov -119 / Saidyokub Kakhramonov -106
Maheshate +109 / Rafa García -138
Bryan Battle +123 / Rinat Fakhretdinov -158
David Dvořák +188 / Manel Kape -250
Sergey Morozov -294 / Journey Newson +219
Where Can I Watch it?
UFC Fight Night: Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland
Why Bet on Jared Cannonier
Jared Cannonier is now 38 years old and the window is starting to close for the former title challenger to get one more crack.
Before losing his last fight to Israel Adeysaya, Cannonier scored two big back-to-back wins over Kelvin Gastelum and Derek Brunson.
Why Bet on Sean Strickland
Strickland suffered his first UFC loss since 2018, with his first-round KO defeat to Pereira at UFC 276.
Before that Stickland picked up a split decision win over Sweden’s own Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall.
Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland Final Betting Analysis:
The difference between Cannonier and Strickland is Cannonier has real finishing power.
That being said, the Killa Gorilla can be hesitant sometimes and waits for the perfect shot instead of setting up shots.
Strickland, on the other hand, strikes in volumes as mentioned above – and there is a real possibility here that he smoother Cannonier’s style.
Cannonier’s patience and defense are key here against Strickland, knowing how Pereira waited for his moment- Cannonier can do the same and lull Strickland and rock him and rush in with a flurry of combos to finish him.
UFC Fight Night: Arman Tsarukyan vs. Damir Ismagulov
Why Bet on Arman Tsarukyan
Tsarukyan’s career trajectory would be a whole lot different had the judges awarded him the decision opposite Mateusz Gamrot last time out.
It was pretty clear that the Armenian standout did quite a bit more damage, but some late takedowns swayed the decision.
Tsarukyan is such a wild physical talent. His general strength, explosiveness, and gas tank are all top-notch for 155 pounds, and Tsarukyan combines these attributes with an excellent wrestling base and a really powerful kicking game.
Why Bet on Damir Ismagulov
Ismagulov has won five straight to start his UFC career, extending his win streak to an absurd 19 in a row.
He has yet to score a high-profile win, instead going about his UFC rise the hard way: taking on all the lesser-known (but still pretty darn-skilled) contenders just outside the Top 10.
A Master of Sports in hand-to-hand combat, Ismagulov is a tricky distance striker who maintains a great output.
He can shut opponents down with his counterstriking, to the point that it’s easy to forget just how excellent his wrestling can be.
Arman Tsarukyan vs. Damir Ismagulov Final Betting Analysis:
In just about all of his fights, that physicality is such a huge factor, and that remains true against Ismagulov.
The Russian is a quality technician in all areas, able to kickbox at a very high level and chain wrestle like nobody’s business.
However, he cannot hope to match Tsarukyan in pure speed or power, and that makes such a massive difference in MMA.
The other big difference here is the ability to do damage. Ismagulov outplays opponents, but at the UFC level, he’s been restrained to decisions and isn’t usually coming close to finishing.
Tsarukyan, meanwhile, very clearly can batter opponents and hurt them on the feet or the canvas.
Between physicality and offensive potency, Tsarukyan should be able to push the pace and keep Ismagulov reacting, which goes a long, long way in securing victory.
UFC Fight Night: Amir Albazi vs. Alessandro Costa
Why Bet on Amir Albazi
Albazi has proven himself slick in a short time.
He’s a physical talent with strong wrestling, but he’s not content to just hold his opponents.
“The Prince” has a very strong jiu-jitsu game, and he’s a highly technical striker as well. Already, he’s advanced into the Flyweight Top 10.
Why Bet on Alessandro Costa
Costa certainly shares some traits with Albazi.
He’s a very strong wrestler in his own right, a quality submission fighter, and has knockout power in his hands.
A “Contenders Series” veteran and regional champion in Brazil, Costa deserves his spot on the roster regardless of this late opportunity.
Amir Albazi vs. Alessandro Costa Final Betting Analysis:
Unfortunately for “Nono,” Albazi is a serious ask without a full camp.
Costa’s grappling style means that he’ll be engaging Albazi on his strongest area, whether that’s a good idea or not.
From a distance, Albazi appears to be the slightly superior technical wrestler, but even if that’s not the case, it’s going to be tough to keep up with him for three rounds.
Defeating a wrestler the quality of Albazi requires excellent preparation, and Costa just didn’t have that opportunity here.
Barring a flying knee or something similar, the Brazilian ends up stuck on the bottom eventually.
UFC Fight Night: Alex Caceres vs. Julian Erosa
Why Bet on Alex Caceres
Caceres has his unique flair.
He fights more like a Karate guy than anything else, but even so, Caceres has funky kicks and tricky setups that you won’t see from someone like Stephen Thompson.
He’s also an underrated grappler, a serious submission threat who can take the back.
Why Bet on Julian Erosa
Erosa also fulfills the role of a lanky, tricky, and tough veteran.
His third UFC stint has proven his most successful by a country mile, as Erosa has picked up major confidence en route to winning five of six.
In particular, he’s pretty exceptional at hurting an opponent and then capitalizing by jumping on the neck.
Alex Caceres vs. Julian Erosa Final Betting Analysis:
Erosa fights with his hands low, trusting his range control and head movement to keep him safe.
It often works to great effect, but faster men have also found his chin and made him pay — that’s the double-edged sword of his fighting style.
Fortunately for “Juicy J,” Caceres just isn’t a huge knockout threat. He’s much more of a volume fighter, even as he’s settled into the Featherweight division and put on some size.
Likely, Erosa can take his opponent’s shots without major issues, and if that’s the case, Erosa’s heavy counter-punching game is likely to be more punishing.
Expect some back-and-forth exchanges and scrambles, but Erosa does enough to sway the judges.
UFC Fight Night: Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green
Why Bet on Drew Dober
Dober has come a long way since his UFC debut.
He’s shored up his defensive wrestling a good deal and evolved from volume striker to genuine knockout artist, and he’s been tough as nails all the while.
Why Bet on Bobby Green
Green is built from a similarly sturdy material.
An exceptional athlete even at 36 years of age, “King” relies primarily on his boxing skills and slick defense to outwork opponents.
Drew Dober vs. Bobby Green Final Betting Analysis:
Dober is a volume striker and pressure fighter, two traits the judges love.
Green works off the counter, meaning he has to massively outland opponents to convince those idiots that his strikes matter.
Between Green’s range and speed advantages, he’ll get the better of most exchanges with Dober, and he has the wrestling edge in his back pocket as well.
Ultimately, we side with Green because I think he’ll win the fight itself, and trying to guess whether the judges get it right is a hopeless endeavor.
UFC Fight Night: Cody Brundage vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Why Bet on Cody Brundage
Brundage is a pretty straightforward wrestler turned f wins via knockout, despite being undersized at 205 pounds for much of his career.
His takedown defense and conditioning are historic weaknesses, but perhaps his recent drop down to Middleweight will help alleviate those issues.
Why Bet on Michal Oleksiejczuk
Oleksiejczuk can CRACK! The Polish striker has scored 12 wins via knockout, despite being undersized at 205 pounds for much of his career.
His takedown defense and conditioning are historic weaknesses, but perhaps his recent drop down to Middleweight will help alleviate those issues.
Cody Brundage vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk Final Betting Analysis:
Brundage certainly has the wrestling to give Oleksiejczuk a headache.
However, Oleksiejczuk is not a completely inept wrestler, especially when he’s fresh and in the correct weight class.
Brundage will have to survive some serious shots to last long enough to get his wrestling game going, and that doesn’t seem likely against a sniper like Michal Oleksiejczuk.
UFC Fight Night: Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Cory McKenna
Why Bet on Cheyanne Vlismas
A dominant Contender Series victory over Hilarie Rose left Cheyanne Vlismas (7-2) with plenty of hype behind her as she entered the Octagon, only to suffer a humiliating decision loss to Montserrat Ruiz in her debut.
A 60-second “Performance of the Night” knockout of Gloria de Paula got her back into the win column, and she followed up with a unanimous decision over Mallory Martin.
Why Bet on Cory McKenna
Cory McKenna (7-2) followed her own Contender Series victory over Vanessa Demopoulos by edging out Kay Hansen in her first UFC appearance.
A split decision loss to Elise Reed followed, though she secured her first Octagon finish soon after by stopping Miranda Granger via Von Flue choke.
“Poppins” has knocked out and submitted two professional foes apiece.
Cheyanne Vlismas vs. Cory McKenna Final Betting Analysis:
Vlismas is a genuinely solid Strawweight with the right toolbox to beat McKenna.
She’s more than skilled enough on the feet to maximize her five-inch reach advantage and shut down a determined takedown artist in Martin’s last time out.
With how badly McKenna struggled to control Elise Reed — who got murked on the mat by Sam Hughes not long after — she’ll have all sorts of issues trying to corral “The Warrior Princess.”
This is assuming that McKenna is still the same fighter we saw last time, of course.
She’s very young and fighting out of a quality camp in Team Alpha Male, a combination that tends toward explosive growth.
Just based on what we’ve seen so far, though, Vlismas should take her apart on the feet.
UFC Fight Night: Jake Matthews vs. Matt Semelsberger
Why Bet on Jake Matthews
A red-hot UFC start gave way to a 2-3 skid for Jake Matthews (18-5), prompting a move from 155 to 170 pounds.
It’s paid dividends, as he sits at 7-2 since and is coming off a bonus-winning knockout of Andre Fialho.
Why Bet on Matt Semelsberger
Matthew Semelsberger (10-4) smashed his way to a 4-1 UFC start, the lone loss a unanimous decision to Khaos Williams.
This set up a clash with Alex Morono, who survived a flush flying knee to hand Semelsberger his second defeat in four fights.
Six of his seven professional stoppage wins have come by knockout.
Jake Matthews vs. Matt Semelsberger Final Betting Analysis:
Matthews deserves credit for how much he’s developed.
There was a time when he largely skated by on his size and strength, but he’s blossomed into a versatile and highly effective mixed martial artist.
The current iteration of him should dispatch Semelsberger without too much issue.
Semelsberger’s right hand can launch people’s heads into the lower atmosphere, but he showed worrying grappling deficiencies against A.J. Fletcher and struggled badly to adapt to both Williams and Morono’s striking.
Semelsberger’s puncher’s chance is also neutered by the fact that Matthews hasn’t been dropped since 2015, and that’s despite fighting the likes of Fialho and Li Jingliang.
In the end, Matthews mixes his strikes and takedowns to either a late finish or a one-sided decision.
UFC Fight Night: Julian Marquez vs. Deron Winn
Why Bet on Julian Marquez
“The Cuban Missile Crisis” shocked Phil Hawes on Contender Series to secure a UFC contract, then stopped three of his first four Octagon opponents while securing as many post-fight bonuses.
A 14-month layoff followed, which ended in June 2022 when Gregory Rodrigues became the first man to stop Marquez.
All of his professional wins have come inside the distance, five of them via knockout.
Why Bet on Deron Winn
After punching his UFC ticket with a decision win over Tom Lawler, Deron Winn (7-3) started his Octagon career with a “Fight of the Night”-winning a decision over Eric Spicely at UFC Greenville.
He’s since gone 1-3, including a horrible beating courtesy of Phil Hawes last time out.
Julian Marquez vs. Deron Winn Final Betting Analysis:
Marquez has never been a particularly stout defensive wrestler and his arms are nearly as stubby as Winn’s, so Winn should find it easier than usual to get inside and get his takedowns going.
Thing is, Winn, slows down as fights progress and Marquez does not.
We’ve seen Marquez get into early pinches before, only to claw his way back through sheer will, volume, and power.
It’s going to get harder and harder to keep Marquez on his back as the fight progresses and Winn’s gas tank starts to wane, and once the takedown is off the table, Marquez’s knack for violence will take over in a hurry.
So long as that loss to “Robocop” didn’t shatter his confidence, Marquez weathers a rough first round to batter Winn into submission and ultimately find his neck.
UFC Fight Night: Said Nurmagomedov vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Why Bet on Said Nurmagomedov
Said Nurmagomedov (16-2) claimed victory in three of his first four UFC bouts before spending 15 months on the sidelines.
He made up for lost time with a 47-second guillotine finish of Cody Stamann, then followed up by cruising past Douglas Silva de Andrade six months later.
His eight professional finishes are split evenly between knockouts and submissions.
Why Bet on Saidyokub Kakhramonov
Five months after winning the CFFC Bantamweight title, Saidyokub Kakhramonov (10-2) stepped up on short notice to choke out Trevin Giles in his UFC debut.
Eleven months later, he made it 2-0 in the Octagon with a one-sided decision over Contender Series graduate Ronnie Lawrence.
He faces a half-inch reach disadvantage.
Said Nurmagomedov vs. Saidyokub Kakhramonov Final Betting Analysis:
This is an opportunity for Nurmagomedov to exorcise some demons. His only UFC loss came against Raoni Barcelos, and Nurmagomedov had taken full control of the fight before an errant spinning back kick allowed Barcelos to take him down and ride out the pivotal third round.
The relentless Kakhramonov represents a similar threat— he’s nowhere near the striker Barcelos is, but he’s an incredibly strong takedown artist with a great gas tank.
He’s tough and aggressive enough to jam Nurmagomedov’s kicks and turn it into the sort of slog where the latter’s dynamism is less of a factor.
If Nurmagomedov can get past him, though, he’s ready for a Top 10-ranked fighter.
UFC Fight Night: Maheshate vs. Rafa García
Why Bet on Maheshate
Maheshate (9-1) defied nearly 5:1 odds to upset Achilles Estremadura on Contender Series and walk away with a UFC contract.
His Octagon debut was even more impressive, flattening Steve Garcia just 64 seconds into the first round.
Why Bet on Rafa García
Rafa Garcia (14-3) — a former Combate champion — struggled his way to a winless (0-2) UFC start.
“Gifted” evened things up with decisions over Natan Levy and Jesse Ronson but proved unable to topple Drakkar Klose on short notice.
His nine professional stoppages include eight via submission.
Maheshate vs. Rafa García Final Betting Analysis:
While it’s clear at this point that Garcia peaks below the Lightweight elite, he’s a significant step up for Maheshate.
The 23-year-old has never met a wrestler of this caliber, especially not one with the five-round experience to test his takedown defense all night. Maheshate may be a physical beast, but he may not be prepared for this sort of grind.
To his credit, Maheshate is a very effective counter-puncher, and Garcia’s aggression should give the former plenty of opportunities to land that nasty right down the pipe.
Durability has never been among Garcia’s failings, though, so expect him to steadily break down the younger man with relentless wrestling en route to a late finish.
UFC Fight Night: Bryan Battle vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov
Why Bet on Bryan Battle
Bryan Battle (8-1) capped off his successful The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) run by choking out late replacement GIlbert Urbina in the finals.
Subsequent efforts have seen him defeat another castmate Tresean Gore and crush Takashi Sato with a 44-second head kick six months later.
Why Bet on Rinat Fakhretdinov
A 55-second knockout of Eric Spicely extended Rinat Fakhretdinov’s (20-2) win streak to 14 and caught Dana White’s eye, resulting in a UFC contract.
He would not make his debut for another 16.5 months, at which point he out-classed Andreas Michailidis in June 2022.
He’s ended 17 professional fights inside the distance, 11 via knockout.
Bryan Battle vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov Final Betting Analysis:
While Fakhretdinov has some power, he’s often content to be an uninspiring lay-and-pray artist.
As “Pooh Bear” showed against Andre Petroski, that’s an approach he can deal with, and his mobile, high-volume striking style is likely to outclass Fakhretdinov’s more basic offense.
Fakhretdinov is admittedly a solid-enough wrestler to potentially grind out Battle, but he’s often so passive on top that he’ll struggle to offset the good work Battle does on the feet.
In the end, Battle stays long and peppers his way to victory.
UFC Fight Night: David Dvořák vs. Manel Kape
Why Bet on David Dvořák
Consecutive wins over Bruno Silva, Jordan Espinosa, and Juancamilo Ronderos put Poland’s David Dvorak (20-4) on the brink of contention.
The final step wound up a bit too treacherous, however, as Matheus Nicolau ended his winning streak at 16.
His finishes include eight by knockout and another eight by submission.
Why Bet on Manel Kape
Manel Kape’s (17-6) leap into the Flyweight deep end failed to produce immediate results, dropping narrow decisions to top contenders Alexandre Pantoja and Matheus Nicolau.
A subsequent uptick in aggression seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, resulting in first-round knockouts of Ode Osbourne and Zhalgas Zhumagulov.
“Starboy” fights for the first time in 12 months, having failed a drug test and seen subsequent foe Rogerio Bontorin botch his weight cut.
David Dvořák vs. Manel Kape Final Betting Analysis:
Dvorak is a very skilled fighter, a dangerous boxer with surprisingly stout defensive grappling to back it up.
If Kape comes out flat again, Dvorak is more than capable of sharpshooting his way to a decision even if he can’t match Kape’s ridiculous athleticism.
“Undertaker” does have one key issue, though: nasty as he is, he can be caught early.
Both Silva and Nicolau hurt him badly before he could find his footing, and considering Kape’s recent penchant for quick destruction, that’s a bad sign.
While we’re in for a great stand-up battle if things get past the first, odds are Kape cuts it off before it can develop properly.
UFC Fight Night: Sergey Morozov vs. Journey Newson
Why Bet on Sergey Morozov
Back in 2019, Sergey Morozov (18-5) defeated Josh Rettinghouse to avenge a knockout defeat, defend his M-1 Bantamweight title, and secure himself a UFC berth.
He’s alternated losses and wins in the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, most recently out-dueling Raulian Paiva in June 2022.
His 11 stoppage wins include eight by knockout.
Why Bet on Journey Newson
Journey Newson (10-3) opened his UFC career 0-2 (1 NC), a knockout win over Domingo Pilate overturned because of a failed drug test.
This led to almost 20 months on the sidelines, followed by an upset decision over Fernie Garcia upon his return.
Sergey Morozov vs. Journey Newson Final Betting Analysis:
Morozov just seems to be better everywhere. His stand-up is much more technically sound than Newson’s scattershot approach and he’s the stronger wrestler of the two.
Even if you think highly of Newson’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu pedigree, his bottom game in no way holds up to Morozov’s top game.
Though they’re both skilled in enough areas to keep Morozov from absolutely dominating, the difference in class should become clear before too long.
In short, his strong boxing and takedown skills carry him to a wide victory.
Cannonier vs. Strickland Betting Pick: Jared Cannonier
Tsarukyan vs. Ismagulov Betting Pick: Arman Tsarukyan
Albazi vs. Costa Betting Pick: Amir Albazi
Caceres vs. Erosa Betting Pick: Julian Erosa
Dober vs. Green Betting Pick: Bobby Green
Brundage vs. Oleksiejczuk Betting Pick: Michal Oleksiejczukighter
Vlismas vs. McKenna Betting Pick: Cheyanne Vlismas
Matthews vs. Semelsberger Betting Pick: Jake Matthews
Marquez vs. Winn Betting Pick: Julian Marquez
Nurmagomedov vs. Kakhramonov Betting Pick: Said Nurmagomedov
Maheshate vs. García Betting Pick: Rafa Garcia
Battle vs. Fakhretdinov Betting Pick: Bryan Battle
Dvořák vs. Kape Betting Pick: Manel Kape
Morozov vs. Newson Betting Pick: Sergey Morozov