Bets to Make for UFC 215

Here are the bets to make for tomorrow’s UFC 215 PPV:

Odds from

1. Ashlee Evans-Smith (-250) over Sarah Moras (+200)

Smith is a more tenacious striker, much physically stronger, and the more accomplished wrestler. She has seemed motivated coming off of a loss in the past and, quite frankly, Moras has not looked impressive thus far.

This is Smith’s fight to lose and -250 is a great value. Moras’ takedown defense has been exposed more than once, her physical fitness is not on par with Smith, and Smith should be able to outpower wherever the fight goes.

What could go wrong: Moras pulling a submission from her back, as she can be very active from this position at time. Evans was caught slipping against Raquel Pennington and left herself open to a submission out of nowhere in a fight she was winning, and could happen again. Also, although Smith is better on her feet, she is only about a 79 in the standup game, while Moras is about a 72. But that is a significant enough difference to where if Moras does outland her, Smith should be able to use grappling, which she has a more than 10 point advantage. So for Smith to lose, both that seven point gap would have be voided and her 10 point grappling advantage would have to be as well. This is not a sure thing, but a strong bet very worthy of a main ticket.

Adriano Martins (-500) vs. Kajan Johnson (+375)

This match is an example of what I’ll call going forward, the “bet test.” The bet test is when after researching the fighters in every possible way, especially through film study, you then consider the fight a must-bet. This must be before you lay eyes on the betting odds. And then, when you lay eyes on the betting odds, the oddsmakers agree wholeheartedly with you. Martins opened as a -400 favorite and the line continues to grow. With the Johnson/Borg main event scrapped, he is now the biggest favorite on the card. So this passes the bet test and is more than worthy of a bet. Before the odds were released, this was already the first fight that I put on my main ticket.

Kajan Johnson’s advantages coming into this fight is his movement and speed advantage. If he can keep away from the power shots and stay upright, his best chance is to win by a decision (probably a split decision).

What is much more likely to happen, however, is Martins using his power advantage both standing and in grappling to come out victorious. Johnson is coming off of a two-year layoff and he is facing an opponent who holds victories over Rustan Khabilov and is the only man to defeat Islam Makhachev.

Any exchange in the pocket will favor the stronger Martins. Johnson’s path to victory, distance, is unlikely because even if he is successful with this approach at first, Martins should be aware that a takedown is in order. Martins is the better grappler, so this should be a strong plan B. Martins has shown he can finish, with 3 of his 4 UFC wins coming by stoppage. But he also has shown, with 12 decision victories, that he is able to grind out a victory, which, if Johnson fights better than expected and uses his movement, Martins should be able to find a way to do.

Henry Cejudo (-340) over Wilson Reis (+ 265)

This is another passer of the bet test.

Reis usually goes for the takedown so that he can work his high-level BJJ. Not happening against the Olympian Henry Cejudo. Cejudo will probably keep the fight standing like he has in most of his fights and this will probably look similar to the Benavidez fight. Only I see Reis tiring where Benavidez didn’t. Benavidez is a cleaner striker than Reis, and one could argue that Cejudo got the better of the standup even though the decision went to Benavidez. I expect Cejudo to have much greater success over Reis and take rounds more handedly.

Cejudo is likely to keep a better pace over the course of three rounds. Reis’s best chance to win is in the first 1 and ½ rounds with a TKO. He has the power to get it done, but Cejudo has yet to be rocked with a punch like that and all in all has very strong standup defense.

I feel that the line for this fight is just right. Cejudo is a comfortable favorite but Reis is extremely dangerous and could score the upset. Reis is better with submissions, is quicker, and has more KO power. But 1)Reis is highly unlikely to get him down for any submission. And Cejudo, knowing Reis’ BJJ skills, will probably keep the fight standing where he can outpace him for three rounds. 2) Reis’ quickness advantage in this fight applies with strikes, but after the first round or so, those punches will come slower. Also, Cejudo, though not the best standup fighter, has excellent defensive IQ standing up and I expect him to outsmart and outstrike Reis in volume. And 3)Cejudo has yet to be rocked by a power strike mostly due to the aforementioned standup IQ. Not saying that Reis can’t do it, but you should feel comfortable betting that he won’t.

Those are the three main bets. No matter where you bet, and how the spread varies, you should make a little bit more than even money on this parlay.

Optional Add-Ons for More Money:

Sara McMann (-205) over Ketlen Vieira (+175)

McMann’s standup defense has looked suspect in the past, even though her standup offense has improved. Vieira also has a wrestling background so she may be able to stuff the takedown and keep the fight standing up which could spell trouble for McMann because Vieira’s striking looked superb in her last outing against Evans-SMith. But this is still a good backup bet or add-on bet if you are trying to win big because McMann’s standup has improved, she has looked more powerful every fight, and even though Vieira has strong takedown defense, she has never gone against an Olympic wrestler who has more power than her.

My philosophy is, as long as the wrestler is consistent standing up (Unlike Mitch Clarke, hence him not being on any ticket), and they’re not going against a straight killer, you should usually find a way to put some money on the wrestler….especially if it’s a Division I or Olympic level wrestler…even if it’s just a bet on a small, back-up parlay ticket, which is what I’m doing with McMann.

Valentina Shevchenko (-125) over Amanda Nunes (-105)

This is an extremely close fight, and whenever you see two fighters in the minus, then it’s probably a toss-up. But I think this is great value for Valentina for a backup bet. Nunes’ biggest strength is bullying weaker opponents with deadly combinations that they cannot handle. Well, Valentina can handle it. She’s shown she can handle it. And since her loss to Nunes,she has shown that she can outstrike accomplished boxers like Holly Holm and that if Nunes tries to take it to the mat, that she is not a one-dimensional fighter but rather an evolving fighter who is full of surprises, as Julianna Pena found out.

I feel that it’s Valentina’s time. I feel she is more equipped mentally and physically to go five rounds, even if she gives up the first couple to Nunes, and I feel that she is very, very determined. But admittedly, there is more conjecture on many of these claims than the other fights, which is why I would advise against putting this on a main ticket.

My tickets:

MAIN: Adriano Martins (-500), Henry Cejudo (-340), Ashlee Evans Smith (-250)

Small Bonus Ticket: Adriano Martins (-500), Cejudo/Reis OVER 2 1/2 Rounds (-280), Ashlee Evans Smith (-250), Sara McMann (-220), Valentina Shevchenko (-130)

If you do not live in a gambling city, you can easily make deposits and gamble on online websites like You can also check to see how much tickets could win here or any online parlay calculator:

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