One of the Flyweight division’s most consistent entertainers, Kai Kara-France, returns to the main event spotlight this Saturday evening (June 3, 2023) when he looks to hand fast-rising finisher, Amir Albazi, the first loss of his UFC career. UFC Vegas 74, which will take place inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, will also host a volatile Featherweight battle pitting Alex Caceres against Daniel Pineda and Jim Miller’s clash with short-notice replacement, Jared Gordon, who’s looking to bounce back from his recent “No Contest” against Bobby Green.
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You know, I keep forgetting that Mackenzie Dern hits like a truck, although I don’t think anyone could have predicted that she’d have the gas tank to throw heaters for 25 minutes. It was impressive survival from Hill, but you don’t get points for surviving.
What Went Right?
Karolina Kowalkiewicz, Natalia Silva, Anthony Hernandez, Joaquin Buckley, Viacheslav Borshchev, Rodrigo Nascimento and Carlos Diego Ferreira
I can’t say I expected Ferreira to win like that, but win he did. Everyone else performed to expectations, though Nascimento let it get closer than he should have. Nevertheless, it was our best evening in awhile.
UFC Vegas 74 Odds For The Under Card:
Abubakar Nurmagomedov (-110) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (-110)
Got a gut feeling that says Nurmagomedov is a decent investment. Top-notch wrestlers have historically given Zaleski dos Santos issues (with the exception of the undersized Benoit Saint-Denis) and Nurmagomedov has quietly developed into a solid striker as well. Just don’t invest too heavily because there’s some uncertainty as to Zaleski dos Santos’ status after that United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) layoff.
Muin Gafurov (N/A) vs. John Castaneda (N/A)
Weirdly, these odds aren’t available at time of writing. If you can get Gafurov better than -150, go for it — he should win; however, he’s struggled with the weight cut before, so the short notice makes me wary of investing if he’s too big a favorite.
Don’Tale Mayes (-125) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+105)
Slap a bit down on “The Pitbull.” While Mayes is enormous and an impressive athlete, I’m not convinced he’s meaningfully better than the low-level guys Arlovski’s been feasting on these last couple years, especially considering how awful he looked against Augusto Sakai last time out.
Daniel Santos (-205) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr (+175)
Same argument as the last time these two were supposed to fight: Munoz tends to fade down the stretch and Santos is too good a scrambler for “Kid Kvenbo” to submit him early. “Willycat” should bury him with pressure, so be in position to benefit.
Elise Reed (-130) vs. Jinh Yu Frey (+110)
Small bet on Reed here. Frey is coming off a nasty knockout loss to Polyana Viana and is almost completely out-classed on the feet. There’s an outside chance of Frey lay-and-praying her way to victory, but the odds are close enough to warrant investing in Reed.
Luan Lacerda (-140) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (+120)
Blackshear struggles so badly off of his back that Lacerda seems like a decent investment.
Maxim Grishin (-135) vs. Philipe Lins (+115)
Too close for comfort, especially considering Grishin’s layoff and the sheer number of times each man has seen a fight fall through.
UFC Vegas 74 Odds For The Main Card:
Kai Kara-France (-110) vs. Amir Albazi (-110)
My first instinct was to go with Kara-France on the strength of his takedown defense and power, but Albazi is skilled and well-rounded enough that I can’t pull the trigger. Enjoy this one without money involved.
Alex Caceres (-175) vs. Daniel Pineda (+150)
Caceres fights have long been an Achilles’ heel of mine, so I’m just gonna leave this one alone.
Jared Gordon (-190) vs. Jim Miller (+160)
I’d ordinarily go with Gordon, but the fact that he got knocked unconscious by a headbutt little more than one month ago (watch it) gives me a bad feeling.
Tim Elliott (-175) vs. Victor Altamirano (+150)
So long as Elliott still has his head on straight, he should win this without much issue. Altamirano has struggled with persistent takedown artists in the past and has some bizarre defensive habits that should give Elliott plenty of opportunities to tie up and get his scramble-heavy game going.
Karine Silva (-225) vs. Ketlen Souza (+190)
Too close for my tastes, largely because of Silva’s unproven cardio. Leave it be.
Jamie Mullarkey (-500) vs. Muhammadjon Naimov (+400)
I can’t really argue with these odds. Naimov is a Featherweight stepping up on short notice and his two losses came to opponents markedly worse than Mullarkey. Slap Mullarkey in a parlay if you need to beef up the odds a smidge.
UFC Vegas 74 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Abubakar Nurmagomedov and Jamie Mullarkey: Bet $35 to make $45.15
- Parlay — Luan Lacerda and Jamie Mullarkey: Bet $30 to make $31.50
- Single bet — Elise Reed: Bet $39 to make $30
- Single bet — Andrei Arlovski: Bet $40 to make $42
- Parlay — Daniel Santos and Tim Elliott: Bet $50 to make $66.50
UFC Vegas 74 has its foibles, but a great main event and a handful of interesting matches make for a decent evening. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $614.26
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 74 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (also on ESPN+) at 9 p.m. ET.
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