The UFC makes its promotional debut in Uruguay as the octagon lands in Montevideo for UFC on ESPN+ 14 with one of the best women’s fighters on the planet set to take centre stage in the main event.
Valentina Shevchenko actually lost to her opponent this weekend, Liz Carmouche, way back in her career, but much has changed since her TKO defeat to “Girlrilla” and she now stands as the premier 125-pound female fighter on the planet.
Carmouche – the first female fighter to ever set foot in the UFC octagon – is as tough as they come, and will be fully focused ahead of what’s almost certain to be her last world title opportunity in the UFC.
But, while victory for Carmouche would produce a quite remarkable story, Shevchenko is simply too good to let that happen.
Expect her to win, and expect her to do it inside the distance.
Bet of the bout: Shevchenko to win by KO/TKO – 17/10
Luque to march on
Brazilian welterweight Vicente Luque is quietly climbing the ranks and is currently riding a five-fight, five-finish win-streak heading into this weekend’s co-main event against crowd-pleasing striker “Platinum” Mike Perry.
Luque loves to finish people with his strikes, and has done just that in each of his last four bouts, with three of those coming inside the opening round.
You can grab Luque to win a firefight by KO/TKO at 11/4, but there’s a value bet well worth considering in this one.
Luque has six submission victories to his name, and considering Perry has never been stopped with strikes – but HAS been submitted – the 10/3 on a Luque submission win looks like solid value.
Bet of the bout: Luque to win by submission – 10/3
Oezdemir to rediscover that winning feeling
It’s been a tough run for Swiss light heavyweight contender Volkan Oezdemir, but to simply say that he has lost three-in-a-row would not tell the full story.
His first loss of the three came at the hands of pound-for-pound king Daniel Cormier during his light-heavyweight title reign, and the most recent defeat was a highly-questionable split-decision loss to Dominick Reyes that even saw his opponent’s cornermen congratulate him on his win before the surprising result was announced.
It means Oezedmir will be fired up to put a frustrating year-and-a-half behind him and get back into the win column with a big victory as he takes on fellow light heavyweight contender Ilir Latifi.
Latifi is big and strong, but he’s not the most mobile, and Oezdemir shouldn’t have any problem finding a home for his heavy hands. When he does, expect the Swiss ace to get the 12th knockout victory of his career.
Bet of the bout: Oezdemir to win by KO/TKO – 13/8
* All odds correct at time of posting.