Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:20 PM EST
UFC Vegas 30 - UFC Apex - Las Vegas, NV
Timur Valiev +181 over Raoni Barcelos
5:25 PM EST. Where does one even start to pick apart a price like this? Good Lord. Let's start with the chalk, Raoni Barcelos. On paper, he looks good, really good. Dude hasn't lost a cage fight in over six years. That spans a four fight win streak to finish up his run on the regional circuit, leaving RFA as its featherweight champion, a belt he defended twice on his way out. Five straight wins in the UFC's Octagon is about as good as it gets for any new fighter. However, a deep dive into Barcelos shows nothing but drama. One could list all the comings and goings, fights scheduled, fights cancelled, medical suspensions, COVID scares and injuries along the way, but we respect your time. A quick Google search will tell you everything you need to know. For a summary, dude has fought just five times in nearly five years, and the quality of his opponents leaves much to be desired. It is really hard to gauge where Barcelos is in his development. The dude is 34; this is not some plucky prospect. The point is, most will only see what is on the surface, a fact we count on across all fields of play.
Timur Valiev, on the other hand, was once a highly touted UFC prospect, and he appeared to be on his way in his promotional debut against Trevin Jones. Valiev was all over Jones in that fight, but he could not finish the job, and he paid for it by way of one of the most brutal comebacks we have ever seen in the Octagon. Nasty as that knockout was, Jones' win was overturned by the NAC to a no-contest after he tested positive for marijuana. While that is by no means a performance-enhancing drug, the facts are that Valiev faced Jones on just a few days notice and Jones was the biggest dog on the card. That's our kind of play. Perhaps that's why we are much more forgiving of Valiev's setback that night. In his last fight, "The Lucky" mauled Martin Day and picked up his first UFC win. Now Valiev gets to put his top level striking up against another dude in Barcelos that loves to throw down. This easily could become Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots brought to life. Situationally speaking, Barcelos has little to gain here from beating a relative UFC newcomer in Valiev, but the senior fighter has everything to lose, including his perfect UFC record. If Barcelos is too aggressive, he just might get slept.
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Timur Valiev +180 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.60)