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UFC Vegas 61 Odds, Picks & Predictions For Dern vs. Yan

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 10 mins

UFC Vegas 61 Odds, Picks & Predictions For Dern vs. Yan

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Following a rare off week, UFC Vegas 61 goes down this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event is a five-round women’s strawweight bout between top contenders Mackenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan. 

We will break down this week’s headliner plus two other undercard bouts in our UFC Vegas 61 Best Bets at Bookies.com, and give you our best UFC picks.

Favorite Underdog
Mackenzie Dern | -225 Yan Xiaonan | +190

Odds via DraftKings sportsbook and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review and latest DraftKings Promo Codes.

UFC Vegas 61 Main Event Best Bet

Mackenzie Dern (-225) vs. Yan Xiaonan (+190)

The UFC Vegas 61 main event features Mackenzie Dern against Yan Xiaonan. Dern is a -225 favorite to win the fight, and I see her beating Xiaonan for one of the biggest wins of her career.

The 29-year-old Dern is the No. 5 ranked women’s strawweight in the UFC. She joined the UFC roster back in 2018 and since then she has racked up an impressive 7-2 record including four wins by submission, which is her specialty. 

She has fought and defeated many of the best fighters in the division, including Tecia Torres and Virna Jandiroba. Dern’s ground game is as elite as it gets. Not only that, she is also improving her striking and she has been gaining a ton of experience as of late as she’s fought some elite opponents and even gone five rounds. 

Her wrestling isn’t great, but she still always finds a way to get her opponents to the ground.

Xiaonan is 33 years old and she is the No. 6 ranked women’s strawweight in the UFC. She has been a member of the UFC roster since 2017 and has a 6-2 record overall in the promotion.

After winning her first six fights in the Octagon, Xiaonan was looking like a serious contender at 115 lbs as she showed off great striking and improved grappling. However, after winning her first six UFC fights, she has lost her last two fights in a row to Carla Esparza and Marina Rodriguez. 

In the Esparza fight, Xiaonan’s ground game was exposed as she was brutally finished on the ground. If Dern is able to get her down to the mat this could be a short night for Xiaonan. Her key to winning is to keep this fight standing, but that’s definitely a big question mark.

Dern’s grappling should give her the edge in this fight. If she gets Xiaonan down to the ground, there is definitely a good chance that she can submit her. Give me Dern to win the UFC Vegas 61 main event as a -225 favorite on UFC betting sites, and for a prop, take Dern inside the distance.

UFC Vegas 61 Best Bet: Mackenzie Dern wins at -225 DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 61 Best Prop Bet: Mackenzie Dern wins inside the distance at -140 DraftKings Sportsbook

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Other UFC Vegas 61 Best Bets

Randy Brown (-315) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+260)

The co-main event is a welterweight bout between Randy Brown and Francisco Trinaldo. Brown is a -315 favorite to get his hand raised, and I think he does just that with a victory over Trinaldo.

Brown is one of the most underrated welterweights on the UFC roster today. The 32-year-old fighter has been on the UFC roster since 2016, going 9-4 overall during that stretch ,with notable wins over Khaos Williams and Bryan Barberena. 

Brown is one of the tallest welterweights in the UFC, standing at 6’3” and possessing a 78” reach, which is long for the weight class. 

He is a very well-rounded fighter who has great striking to go along with an effective grappling game. He is also coming into this fight with a lot of momentum, having won his last three fights in a row and five of his last six fights overall. In other words, he’s on a roll.

UFC Vegas 61 Odds, Picks & Predictions For Dern vs. Yan 1

Trinaldo is also coming into this fight on a roll, having won his last two contests and five of his last six. Overall, he has had an excellent career since he first stepped foot into the Octagon back in 2012, going 18-7 overall in the UFC. 

It is worth pointing out, though, that most of those fights came down at lightweight. Moreover, Trinaldo is now 44 years old and there is just no way he can keep up with this forever. 

Fighting is a young man’s sport, and while older fighters do occasionally pull off the upset, it’s difficult to see Trinaldo defeating Brown.

Brown is the bigger, taller, younger fighter who has many advantages over Trinaldo in this fight, including being 12 years younger and having six inches of height and eight inches of reach. 

This is Brown’s fight to lose, and I like him here as a -315 favorite on betting apps. For a prop, you can take a look at Brown by decision, because even though Trinaldo is an aging fighter, he is still very durable.

UFC Vegas 61 Best Bet: Randy Brown wins at -315 DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 61 Best Prop Bet: Randy Brown wins by decision at +130 DraftKings Sportsbook

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Tabatha Ricci (-210) vs. Jessica Penne (+180)

On the preliminary card, Tabatha Ricci faces off against Jessica Penne in a women’s strawweight bout. Ricci is a -210 favorite and I believe she will win this fight.

Just 27 years old, Ricci joined the UFC last year and since then she has a 2-1 record in the Octagon. After losing to top contender Manon Fiorot in her short-notice UFC debut up a weight class, Ricci has picked up two straight wins over Maria Oliveira and Polyana Viana. 

Ricci landed five takedowns in each of those two bouts, and her grappling will likely be her key to victory against Penne as well. Overall, Ricci is a young, talented, and improving MMA fighter who has the ground game to beat a lot of opponents inside the Octagon. 

If she can keep working on her striking and her ground and pound, we could be looking at a future title contender at 115 lbs.

Penne, on the other hand, was a title contender at one point in time, having fought for the UFC women’s strawweight belt back in 2015. However, she is now 39 years old and is not the same fighter she once was. 

While she has won two of her last three fights, she was not exactly impressive in those bouts. Credit to Penne for her submission win over Karolina Kowalkiewicz last year, but her split decision win over Loopy Godinez was a very questionable decision by the judges as she was out grappled in that fight. 

She then lost a decision to Emily Ducote in her last fight where she was outstruck. Penne has good grappling skills, but her striking is not there, and her grappling won’t work against Ricci, which makes this a tough matchup for Penne on paper.

Given Ricci is 12 years younger and has far more potential and upside in MMA, she should absolutely win this fight. 

Give me Ricci to get the job done as a -210 favorite. She will likely win a decision, so take a look at that prop if you are interested in an alternative pick for this fight.

UFC Vegas 61 Best Bet: Tabatha Ricci wins at -210 DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 61 Best Prop Bet:Tabatha Ricci wins by decision

NOTE: Ricci vs. Penne is OFF the card after Penne was forced to withdraw due to an illness.

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About the Author

Adam Martin for Bookies.com
Adam Martin
A writer based out of Toronto, Adam Martin has covered professional sports, with an emphasis on sports gambling, for more than a decade, writing for such outlets as The Toronto Star and Sportsnet. He is an expert in UFC, while also covering NHL betting and the Stanley Cup.