Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 9:45 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Alex Pereira by TKO (+100) over Jiri Prochazka
12:15 AM EST. It would be easy to simply bet on Alex Pereira over and over again with the way the UFC has pumped him up. Akin to a real-life boogeyman, Pereria is a multi-time kickboxing champion who's reputation proceeded him upon his signing to the UFC, mostly because of his multi-victories against phenom and UFC star, Israel Adesanya.
Fast forward to Pereira in current form and the world now sees why the 36 year old striker is such a hit. The guy delivers punches and kicks with the power of a heavyweight, and he looks considerably bigger than the majority of his opponents. After finally losing to Israel in his last bout, Pereira is making the move to Light Heavyweight and now he's fighting for the interim belt since Jamahal Hill incurred an injury. That's a quick ascension, and some analysts may wonder why he's the betting favorite as a new member of the weight class, but it's as much about the matchup as it is about Poatan's striking ability.
Jiri Prochazka is a character. The Czech is constantly posting wild videos of his training in intensely cold environments and he has a fighting style that can throw off any fighter. He's just kind of weird out there, flexible, rangey, but also susceptible to a proper punch. Prochazka beat Glover Teixeira a year ago in his last fight, submitting the 42 year old legend in the fifth round, but he got hit an astounding amount of times considering his aged opponent. Jiri has incurred some injuries and hasn't fought since, but we'd be remiss to ignore the damage he took against a less powerful, less able Teixeira outside of his prime. Jiri allows himself to get hit, he likes to press forward, and he's willing to put his head and body at bad angles to get in submission-position or for some wild combination of strikes. That's not a good thing when you're facing the explosive Brazilian, who's looking to cement a quick and terrifying legacy as a two-belt champion in under a year.
The 31 year old Prochazka also has a lot of wear and tear on his body, 33 professional bouts to be exact, and he hasn't faced many upper echelon fighters. Besides Teixeira last year and Dominick Reyes the year prior, you wouldn't recognize many other names from his fight history. Jiri is full of excitement for this contest and while we've seen Pereira go down from a TKO before, Prochazka is not Israel Adesanya, nor does he have the experience or familiarity with a fighter as ominous as Pereira.
We would want Jiri to win this, he deserves it after a long and dynamic career, but Poatan is standing in the way and we hate the matchup. Alex Pereira lands a punch at the right time, and we have a new interim light heavyweight champion of the UFC.
Alex Pereira +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)
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