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UFC Brasilia Predictions and Best Bets

Predictions and betting picks for UFC Brasilia, featuring Kevin Lee and Charles Oliveira in the main event.

As we head into the weekend, just about every major professional and college sports organization has pulled the plug on what they had on the schedule, due to the protective measures being put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak. With numbers continuing to skyrocket related to confirmed cases, extreme measures are being taken all over the globe, and for good reason.

All week, it has been touch and go in determining what the plans would be for the UFC and their card in Brazil Saturday night. On Thursday, we received an update that the UFC would in fact move forward with their Saturday event, though in an empty Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil. 

Media day on Thursday, along with the ceremonial weigh-ins on Friday were cancelled. On Saturday night, less than 100 people will be allowed on site, which will make for a very unique fight card in Brazil, where the typical hostile crowd, backing their hometown fighters, will be null and void!

Last week, fight card predictions finished 8-3, and targeted matchups (bets) went 3-1, which included us accurately predicting both title fight winners. This now brings our overall predictions to 139-74-6 (65%) and targeted matchups (wagers) to 50-16-2 (75%) with average odds sitting at -109.

Let’s keep it going and dive into Saturday’s card!

Saturday's UFC Fight Night in Brasilia, Brazil has been moved up two hours, to a start time of 3 p.m. ET. It will air on ESPN+, as well as ESPN now. 

SATURDAY 03/14/20 at 3 P.M. ET
BROADCAST: ESPN+
VENUE: Ginásio Nilson Nelson
LOCATION: Brasilia, Federal District, Brazil
MATCHES: 12

MAIN CARD:

LIGHTWEIGHT 155LBS

#8 KEVIN LEE 18-5 VS #13 CHARLES OLIVEIRA 28-8

WELTERWEIGHT 170LBS

#5 DEMIAN MAIA 28-9 VS #12 GILBERT BURNS 17-3

WELTERWEIGHT 155LBS

#7 RENATO MOICANO 13-3-1 VS DAMIR HADZOVIC 13-5

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 205LBS

#11 JOHNNY WALKER 17-4 VS #13 NIKITA KRYLOV 26-7

LIGHTWEIGHT 155LBS

FRANCISCO TRINALDO 24-7 VS JOHN MAKDESSI 17-6

PRELIMS:

FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

#3 JUSSIER FORMIGA 23-6 VS #5 BRANDON MORENO 16-5-1

WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT 115LBS

AMANDA RIBAS 8-1 VS RANDA MARKOS 10-7-1

WELTERWEIGHT 170LBS

ELIZEU ZALESKI 21-6 VS ALEXEY KUNCHENKO 20-1

BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

RANI YAHYA 26-10 VS ENRIQUE BARZOLA 16-5-1

WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

MAYRA BUENO SILVA 6-0 VS MARYNA MOROZ 9-3

FLYWEIGHT 125LBS

BRUNO SILVA 10-4-2 VS DAVID DVORAK 17-3

WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT 135LBS

VERONICA MACEDO 6-3-1 VS BEA MALECKI 1-0

MATCHUPS TO TARGET:

#8 KEVIN LEE 18-5 VS #13 CHARLES OLIVEIRA 28-8

It’s too bad there won’t be a crowd on hand for this one, as this main event will have some fireworks. Not only are we in store for a show, but these fighters also have a lot at stake entering this matchup. A win on Saturday night could shoot either guy right into top-five ranking conversations in an already stacked lightweight division. 

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At 27, Kevin Lee continues to evolve, and his striking backed by his wrestling base continues to impress. Under the tutelage of head coach Firas Zahabi, I expect Lee to come in sharp and ready to go on Oliveira’s home turf, just as he did back in 2017 when he defeated another hometown favorite Francisco Trinaldo via submission as he quieted the crowd. In that fight, Lee ended Trinaldo’s seven-fight win streak, taking him out via rear-naked choke in under two rounds. Long story short, Lee is game. 

Across the octagon stands Charles Oliveira, who's riding a six-fight win streak of his own. Oliveira will do what he does. Come in, throw some wild stuff, pressure Lee, and look for some sort of highlight finish to potentially add to his UFC record 13 submission wins, the most in the organization’s history. Lee could pose some issues for Oliveira, and with his jab work followed with the right, he could neutralize the pressure from Oliveira as he looks to close in and put Lee up against the cage working towards a finish. 

Speaking of, we typically see Oliveira hurt his opponent while standing, and actually locking in his choke while on the feet. Lee should absolutely be well aware of this and stay at bay. If he’s able to do so, he'll keep him guessing with kicks to the body and legs, which could lead to him dropping his hands, opening up a big shot upstairs and eventually turning the momentum in this fight. 

Don’t get me wrong, Oliveira has been impressive, but he’s been typically going against guys just outside of the rankings. Lee, on the other hand, has been matched up against a string of ranked opponents, and win or lose, has been in every fight. 

The fact that the fans won’t be chirping on hand for this fight has me liking Lee’s chances even more. Although I don’t foresee it going the distance, I’ll stick with wagering the visiting fighter straight up.

Editor's Note: Lee missed weight, coming in at 158.5 pounds. However, the main event will still proceed.

PREDICTION: KEVIN LEE -140

BRUNO SILVA 10-4-2 VS DAVID DVORAK 17-3

Dvorak is taking this one on short notice and it will be only his second fight outside of the Czech Republic. He has a huge opportunity here. Not only is it a short notice fight, he’s making the trek of more than 15 hours to get to the venue. 

Bruno Silva, who’s trained a bunch with Henry Cejudo, has fought 10 of his fights in Brazil, and will be set up very comfortably for this one. In his UFC debut, he lost via submission to Khalid Taha, after Taha not only missed weight for the match, but also got popped by USADA. He will be looking to validate his spot on the roster here, but it won’t be easy. 

Dvorak hasn’t fought the top tier by any means, but is riding a 13-fight win streak, with all victories coming by way of finish. Dvorak has some talent both standing and on the mat, and will have the advantage on the feet here. He should have some size working in his favor as well, including a three-inch reach advantage, and a gas tank to boot. As long as the travel doesn’t suck too much out of the Czech flyweight, I like his chances to make it 14 in a row after Saturday night.

PREDICTION: DAVID DVORAK +100

ADDITIONAL WAGERS INCLUDE:

- GILBERT BURNS -170
- JOHN MAKDESSI +145

If available and interested, parlay at -170:

- OLIVEIRA/LEE: Fight doesn’t go to decision + WALKER/KRYLOV: Fight doesn’t go to decision

QUICK PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCHUPS:

KEVIN LEE defeats CHARLES OLIVEIRA

GILBERT BURNS defeats DEMIAN MAIA

RENATO MOICANO defeats DAMIR HADZOVIC

NIKITA KRYLOV defeats JOHNNY WALKER

JOHN MAKDESSI defeats FRANCISCO TRINALDO

JUSSIER FORMIGA defeats BRANDON MORENO

AMANDA RIBAS defeats RANDA MARKOS

ALEXEY KUNCHENKO defeats ELIZEU ZALESKI

RANI YAHYA defeats ENRIQUE BARZOLA

MAYRA BUENO SILVA defeats MARYNA MOROZ

DAVID DVORAK defeats BRUNO SILVA

VERONICA MACEDO defeats BEA MALECKI

Fight card prediction recap: 139-74-6 (65%)

Targeted matchups (wagers): 50-16-2 (75%)

Kick some tail this weekend!

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