Press ESC to close

UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Nascimento Betting Preview & Picks | Johnny Covers

Alonzo Menifield (+205) vs. Carlos Ulberg (-250)

A welterweight clash between Alonzo Menifield and Carlos Ulberg is on deck for Saturday night in St. Louis, as both come in riding multi-fight win streaks. For the #11 ranked Menfield, a 2021 loss to William Knight lit a spark that has since seen him win four straight, with a draw mixed in against Jimmy Crute. Of his four recent wins, three have come inside two rounds, as Menifield has turned a corner in his march up the rankings. 

As for Ulberg, the only loss of his career came in his UFC debut (2021), and he has since rattled off five straight wins, the last four of which have come inside the distance. In this matchup, Ulberg comes in with nearly 2x the significant strikes landed per minute, at 7.29.

For my money the future of the division, I like Ulberg to get this one inside the distance as he cracks the top 15 and continues his rise in the relatively shallow light heavyweight division. 

Pick: Carlos Ulberg – Inside the Distance (-150 at BetMGM Sportsbook)

Joaquin Buckley (-170) vs. Nursulton Ruziboev (+140)

Despite having a more than 6 inch height advantage, Ruziboev comes into this fight the underdog, at least in part due to his just two fights in the UFC. With 44 professional fights, however, Ruziboev has been around the block, and comes into this fight having not lost since 2019, with all nine wins since coming in the very first round. 

As for Buckley, his three-fight win streak has seen him rise to #11 in the welterweight rankings, with a recent second round win over Vicente Luque being his most impressive to date. For the second time in three fights, Buckey finished his opponent inside the distance, and comes into this fight with a slight advantage in striking. 

Ruziboev’s ground game is what sets him apart for me here, however, as I think the 30-year-old could very well make a run in a welterweight division begging for international star power; starting with a decisive win here over Buckley.

Pick: Nursulton Ruziboev (+140 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Derrick Lewis (-148) vs Rodrigo Nascimento (+124)

The Black Beast makes his return to the octagon this Saturday, looking to resume a career that has been on the ropes as of late. Coming into this fight, Lewis has now lost four of his past five fights, all but one came inside the distance in violent fashion. 

That task becomes taller this week, as he draws a guy in Nascimento who has won three straight since starting his UFC career (2020) with a 1-1 start. Nascimento has fought little in terms of top-tier talent, however, and his three recent wins all came via tight decisions. 

In what could be his final main event, I like for Lewis to get back on track here as he leans on his years of experience fighting the best in the promotion. 

Pick: Derrick Lewis (-148 at Caesars Sportsbook)

Johnny Covers

Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping UFC for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as Oddschecker, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, Yardbarker, and many more. Johnny runs giving out free UFC analysis and picks on every card, going 56% in 2021, 65% in 2022, and trending at 60% for 2023. He has also made multiple appearances on UFC's official betting show "On the Line" along side head MMA oddsmaker at Circa Sportsbooks Nick Kalikas and professional sports bettor Gianni the Greek .