UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs. Rakic takes place Saturday, May 14 at the Apex Center in Las Vegas.
The pre-fight narrative: Jan Blachowicz returns to the ring for the first time since his shocking title defeat to Glover Teixeira in October 2021. Outside of his main event fight against Aleksandar Rakic, Ion Cutelaba tries to claw his way back into the light heavyweight rankings in a bout against Ryan Spann, while Amanda Ribas moves back up to women’s flyweight to take on Katlyn Chookagian.
Check out our best UFC Fight Night picks for May 14.
UFC Fight Night picks overview
- Blachowicz to win (+145)
- Cutelaba to win by finish (+110)
- Ribas to win (+110)
UFC Fight Night picks
Blachowicz to win (+145)
Blachowicz risks falling down the light heavyweight rankings if he can’t take care of business on Saturday.
Prior to his perplexing loss against the then 42-year-old Texiera, Blachowicz had won nine of his last 10 bouts in convincing fashion. Expect the former light heavyweight champion to return to form against Rakic, who is on a tear of his own.
Read More: How to bet on UFC
Rakic boasts a 14-2 record but has never faced a fighter with the finishing prowess of Blachowicz, who lands 3.59 significant strikes per minute. Three of Blachowicz’s last five wins have come via knockout.
The Austrian will likely try to keep his distance from Blachowicz with his patented leg kick and win on points. Five of Rakic’s seven UFC fights have gone the distance (4-1 record).
But Blachowicz has the ability to win passive fights. He outstruck Israel Adesanya 184-99 to defend the light heavyweight belt while scoring 3-of-5 takedowns. He will need to lean on a similar fighting style this Saturday night.
Rakic won’t go down easy and is billed as a -182 favourite. That being said, we’re rolling with Blachowicz at plus money for this headline fight.
Key stat: Blachowicz has won four straight fights as an underdog.
Cutelaba to win by finish (+110): Cutelaba has finished his opponent in 88% of his wins including three of his last four by way of knockout. He lands 4.91 significant strikes per minute and is coming off a strong bounce-back victory over Devin Clark.
Spann has knockout power but is also susceptible to being finished — two of his last three bouts ended with him on the mat. We’re going to roll with Cutelaba to get it done in a fight that’s -455 to end inside.
Ribas to win (+110): Ribas has won five of her six UFC fights and will be eager to notch a victory against Chookagian, the No. 1 flyweight contender. The Brazilian slightly outstrikes her American counterpart and is a better defensive fighter.
Ribas also holds a distinct advantage on the ground. She averages 1.68 more takedowns per 15 minutes while defending 86% of takedown attempts. Chookagian has gone to decision in 82% of all her bouts but Ribas has won three straight decisions. Expect Ribas to dictate the tempo and secure her second UFC flyweight victory.
Odds courtesy of Sportradar, via NorthStar Bets, as of 4:21 p.m. on 05/11/2022.