UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Shane Burgos vs. Godofredo Pepey

Shane Burgos (9-0) vs. Godofredo Pepey (14-4)

With another impressive victory this weekend, you can expect Burgos to take a huge step up in competition, and I would be stunned if you did not see him on a main card. He has the fight style and unblemished record to attract plenty of eye balls. Burgos has great balance, and like many jiu-jitsu specialists, though Pepey has strong submission skills, his takedown ability is not at the same level as his ground game. Therefore, you can expect this fight to stay standing. Burgos is very talented at willing a fight to remain standing up, and Pepey does not seem to be one who would attempt to force the fight to the mat if losing the striking battle over a prolonged period of time, and would be more than willing to stand and bang, which will most likely be his downfall.

Burgos’ keys to victory is to not change his pressing-forward style EXCEPT for one major thing: Keep your hands up! Godofredo Pepey throws wild strikes. And though he is known for his jiu-jitsu, he has 6 TKO/KO victories, including three in the UFC. Burgos has a tendency to leave himself wide open, and he has not faced anyone who has been a dangerous enough striker to take advantage of that.

It’s not as if Burgos is just walking through his opponents and making short work of them in the UFC. He has been hit many times. He sometimes walks forward with zero regard for the threat of his opponent, and he does not want to do that against Pepey, because that could spell doom and end what could end up being a pretty decent hype train with a victory here.

Godofredo “Pepey” Castro Keys to Victory:

Force Burgos to respect your standup. Throw unpredictable strikes and fight fire with fire for the majority of the round and then look for an opening to take the fight to the mat. Although Burgos is a more effective striker, Pepey has much more versatility standing up. Burgos has a higher quality of strikes, yet Pepey has a wider arsenal. If unable to take it to the mat, if I’m Pepey, I try to sway the judges with some flashy offense to accessorize my flashy appearance, and that could help score a decision if the fight makes it that far.

I believe Burgos is going to win this fight, but I am telling you right now, +320 is damn good incentive to take Pepey, as this fight is much closer than many think it will be. While I never suggest betting someone you don’t believe will win, and I won’t….if you are the type to try to get a steal just for the sake of exploiting sketchy odds, then this would be an example of that, and an incentive to take the underdog. Burgos’ offense, while impressive, is not good enough to excuse his lackadaisical defense…and it would not shock me one bit if Castro exploits that defense with a wicked combination to stop Burgos’ undefeated campaign or get the fight to the mat and exploit his untested ground game.

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