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UFC Vegas 81 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Yusuff vs. Barboza

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 10 mins

UFC Vegas 81 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Yusuff vs. Barboza

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The world’s top MMA promotion returns this Saturday with another fun event when UFC Vegas 81 goes down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The card features 11 fights in total, including a featherweight main event between strikers Sodiq Yusuff and Edson Barboza. We’ll give our pick for the main event plus two other bouts in this week’s edition of the UFC picks.

Favorite Underdog
Sodiq Yusuff | -166 Edson Barboza | +140

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

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UFC Vegas 81 Main Event Best Bet

Sodiq Yusuff (-166) vs. Edson Barboza (+140)

In the headliner of UFC Vegas 81, Sodiq Yusuff and Edson Barboza go at it for five rounds or less. Yusuff is a -166 UFC betting favorite, and I like him to get the biggest win of his career.

Yusuff is 30 years old and he has a 6-1 record in the UFC with three of those wins coming by way of finish. He enters this fight having won his last two fights in a row, so he has some momentum behind him as he takes on one of the toughest tests of his career in Barboza. There is a lot to like about Yusuff’s game. 

He has big power in his hands, he has a submission game, and he has the cardio to go a full, hard 15 minutes. There are many fans who believe he could be a title contender at 145 lbs, and a win over Barboza would show he’s one of the best in the world in his weight class. If he can win this fight, it would put him back on the fast track at 145.

In Barboza, we have a veteran striker who has been in the UFC since 2010. The 37-year-old Brazilian has a 17-11 record inside the Octagon with nine of those wins coming by way of knockout. He has always been one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster as his striking is a lot of fun to watch. 

That being said, he’s defensively not that sound and he has been finished in brutal fashion many times as well. He is a fantastic fighter to watch, but he is no longer in his prime, and going up against a youngster like Yusuff, this could be a tough fight.

Yusuff is in the prime of his career right now and he will get that big marquee name on his resume with a big victory over Barboza. Look for Yusuff to be the faster fighter in this bout as well as the more durable one, and outstrike Barboza and cause serious damage to him. Go with Yusuff to win the fight as a -166 favorite, and take him to win by TKO inside of the five rounds.

UFC Vegas 81 Best Bet: Sodiq Yusuff wins at -166 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 81 Best Prop Bet: Sodiq Yusuff wins by TKO at DraftKings Sportsbook

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Other UFC Vegas 81 Best Bets

Jonathan Martinez  (-112) vs. Adrian Yanez (-18)

In a bantamweight bout between top-15 ranked fighters, Jonathan Martinez takes on Adrian Yanez. Martinez is a slight -112 favorite, and I like him to win this fight.

Martinez is 29 and he has a very good UFC record at 9-3 overall in the Octagon, including wins in his last five fights. He is one of the better strikers in the weight class as he is able to put together his punches, kicks, and knees to maximum effect. He has had some tough losses along the way but he has learned from them. 

Overall he is an incredibly dangerous striker and he has been on a roll as of late. He’ll look to take that momentum into this fight against Yanez.

Yanez, meanwhile, was on a roll himself with five straight wins to open up his UFC career, including four of those wins by knockout. At just 29, he was looking like a future contender, but he ran into Rob Font in his last fight and suffered a brutal knockout loss. 

I’m not ready to write off Yanez after that one loss, but it certainly is concerning that he was finished in such a brutal fashion not that long ago, and now he fights another devastating striker in the form of Martinez.

Look for a very fun striking battle between two young fighters who love to put on a show for the crowd. Ultimately, I believe Martinez is a little more well-rounded with his striking in that he mixes in his kicks as well as his punches, and I believe he will outpoint Yanez on the scorecards. 

The fact Martinez rides into this bout on a five-fight win streak and has all the momentum also helps. Go with Martinez at -112 at betting apps and take him by decision for a prop bet.

UFC Vegas 81 Best Bet: Jonathan Martinez wins at -112 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 81 Best Prop Bet: Jonathan Martinez wins by decision at DraftKings Sportsbook

Chris Gutierrez (-305) vs. Alatengheili (+245)

Also at bantamweight, Chris Gutierrez fights Alatengheili. Gutierrez is a decent-sized favorite at -305 odds, and I believe he will win this fight.

Gutierrez is 32 years old and he has a terrific 7-2-1 record overall in the Octagon. He is one of the most dangerous strikers at 135 lbs as he has devastating low kicks and brutal knees to go along with slick boxing. 

He also has solid takedown defense as well and has very good cardio. He did lose his last fight as a big favorite to Pedro Munhoz, but overall he has looked fantastic in the UFC, and there is no reason to think that he can’t bounce back from that loss to Munhoz.

As for Alatengheili, he has a solid UFC record as well at 4-1-1, although against lesser competition than what Gutierrez has faced. The 31-year-old has won two straight wins and he has looked solid lately, but again, it was against subpar competition. He is a decent striker and wrestler, but he doesn’t really excel anywhere. 

Against Gutierrez, Alatengheili will be looking to get this fight to the ground, but if this fight stays on the feet, he will likely be in big trouble.

Although Alatengheili is a decent fighter who has shown off a good chin in the UFC, Gutierrez is the far superior striker in this matchup, and I can’t see him losing in this stylistic matchup. Look for Gutierrez to keep this fight standing up where he will light up Alatengheili with his leg kicks and punches over the course of 15 minutes. Take Gutierrez at -305 and take him by decision.

UFC Vegas 81 Best Bet: Chris Gutierrez wins at -305 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC Vegas 81 Best Prop Bet: Chris Gutierrez wins by decision at DraftKings Sportsbook

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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.