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UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield vs. Fiorot Betting Preview & Picks | Johnny Covers

Chidi Njokuani (-170) vs. Rhys McKee (+142)

We’re starting with the first fight of the main card for this one, as a pair of welterweight strikers will square off. Now on his second stint with the UFC, McKee has yet to pick up a win under the banner, as three of his four professional losses have come in the UFC. We last saw him lose a decision to Ange Loosa in September, following three straight wins in Cage Warriors after his 2020 UFC loss to Alex Morono. 

As for Njokuani, the former Bellator fighter enjoyed a four-fight win streak from 2020 to 2022, knocking off the lethal Marc-Andre Barriualt for his UFC debut in February 2022. Since then, however, he’s gone just 1-3, losing his past three coming into this one. 

The metrics, however, are what I’m standing tall on for this one, as Chidi Bang Banh comes in with edges in knockdowns, striking accuracy, and most importantly, absorbing less than one-third of the significant strikes as McKee. 

Pick: Chidi Njokuani (-170 at BetMGM Sportsbook)

Vicente Luque (-120) vs. Joaquin Buckley (+100)

Ranked welterweight Vicente Luque will put his number (11th) on the line for this one against the unranked Joaquin Buckley, who comes into this one riding a two-fight win streak and with a ranking top of mind. We last saw Buckley knock off Alex Morono in October, moving his record in the UFC to 7-3.

As for Luque, having joined the UFC back in 2015 via The Ultimate Fighter, career wins over Belal Muhammad, Jalin Turner, Tyron Woodley, and most recently, Rafael dos Anjos have confirmed his place as a potential contender in this division. Unfortunately, consecutive losses in 2022 to Muhammad and Geoff Neal have derailed that, but I think a statement win here gets him back on course. 

In addition to the experience, Luque has edges in this matchup in submission average and significant strikes landed per minute, two areas he should use to overpower Buckley. Add in nearly 4” of height difference, and I think we see Luque put the division back on notice with his performance here. 

Pick: Vicente Luque (-120 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Erin Blanchfield (-198) vs. Manon Fiorot (+164)

A top-five women’s flyweight bout is on deck for Saturday night in Atlantic City, as #2 Erin Blanchfield takes on #3 Manon Fiorot. For the lesser-known Fioriot, you have to go back to her very first professional fight in June of 2018 to find her only loss, as she comes into this one on an 11-fight win streak.

As for Blanchfield, also with just one loss, hers also came years ago (2019), as she comes into this one on a nine-fight win streak. With three of her past four coming inside the distance, we last saw her in August, a decision win over Taila Santos. 

For me, the big line just isn’t big enough, as Blanchfield has edges across the board, including 20% more significant strikes landed per minute, 3x more submissions, and 3x more takedowns per 15 minutes in the octagon. With more clear paths to victory, I think Blanchfield gets it done. 

Pick: Erin Blanchfield (-198 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 .