The UFC hosts their second event at Fight Island this Wednesday, July 15, with UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige.
Calvin Kattar is looking to put himself into contention for a shot at Alexander Volkanovski’s UFC title on the night, but Dan Ige could put a serious dent in his ambitions with a win.
The top UFC sportsbooks have Kattar as a significant favorite to get the job done, but today, I’ll be showing you a way to get some better odds on this fight.
I have four of the UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige best bets waiting for you, so let’s start with the main event and a prediction that I believe has a great chance of coming true.
Kattar vs. Ige to Go the Distance (+105)
Calvin Kattar vs. Dan Ige should be a classic. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that putting two of the deadliest featherweights on the planet in the cage with one another — two that have never been knocked out in a combined 41 fights — is asking for trouble.
Although I’m with the oddsmakers in favoring Kattar for this fight, his odds to beat Ige are -334. I am not comfortable taking such paltry odds in a fight that could be very close. Therefore, betting on this battle to go the distance makes more sense.
Kattar’s brutally violent finish of Jeremy Stephens in May cannot be forgotten. His power is there for all to see, and what makes that power even scarier is the fact that he is the owner of some of the best boxing skills in the promotion. Crisp, clean punches, homing-missile-like accuracy, and measured yet creative shots make him a dangerous prospect for anyone.
Ige gets this fight on merit. He is riding a six-fight winning streak into this fight and coming off a career-best win over Edson Barboza. Eyebrows were raised when he got the decision over the Brazilian in May, but to call it a “robbery” is a bit of a stretch.
Kattar is 21-4 in MMA, while Ige is 14-2. Both men are as tough as nails, with Ige’s submission loss in a regional circuit bout in 2008 coming as the only time either has been finished inside the distance.
So, who is the better striker? I’m confident in saying that is Kattar, but Ige is far from an amateur in this department. Both men are closer to one another in terms of skill than the odds would have you believe.
Everyone loves a knockout, but I don’t think we’ll see one in this fight.
Rivera to Beat Stamann (-138)
Jimmie Rivera is 2-3 in his last five fights, which makes for tough reading. But given the fact that his three losses have come to elite bantamweights, you could give him a break.
As for those fighters? Well, Rivera was outpointed by both newly crowned UFC bantamweight champ Petr Yan and potential future bantamweight king Aljamain Sterling. He was also stopped by Marlon Moraes — a guy that fought for the title in June last year.
Prior to being beaten by Moraes, Rivera was on a run of 20 fights unbeaten, with five of them coming in the UFC. He is still a quality fighter and is just 31 years old.
Stamann overcame the tragedy of losing his young brother prior to his win over Brian Kelleher at UFC 250 last month and looked good in that fight.
Before that, he drew with Song Yadog in December, with many arguing that he should have won. Stamann’s submission loss to Aljamain Sterling in September 2017 is his only loss in the UFC and just the second in a 22-fight pro career.
An excellent wrestler with good hands, Stamann is yet to earn a finish in the UFC. I don’t see him having the power or submission game to stop Rivera, meaning this one should resemble more of a tactical battle on the feet.
Rivera’s takedown defense sits at an impressive 95%. He has a paltry four KOs and two submissions from 22 wins, and I can’t see him adding to that on the night.
Rivera gets the nod on the cards, but it won’t be easy.
Alhassan to Win by KO/TKO/DQ/Submission (-225)
Remember Abdul Razak Alhassan? For those of you who don’t know the story behind why Alhassan has been absent from the UFC, I’ll fill you in with the very short version.
Just two weeks after KO’ing September 24, 2018, in 43 seconds, Hassan was indicted on charges pertaining to the alleged rape of two women in March of the same year. The trial was held on March 5 of this year, and Alhassan was found not guilty of sexual assault charges.
Now, the big-hitting Ghanaian is back in business. The opponent for his return to the cage is Mounir Lazzez, who makes his UFC debut against the terrifyingly powerful welterweight prospect.
Although Alhassan has a strong judo game that stretches back more than two decades, his insistence of leaning heavily on that ferocious power of his means we have yet to see just how good it is.
Alhassan enters this contest with a record of ten wins — which have all come by way of first-round knockout — and one loss, by split decision, to Omari Akhmedov. The Russian’s superior grappling was the difference on that night.
Lazzez is 9-1 and looks a solid prospect. The UFC will be throwing him in there with a guy that is known for brutal knockouts, so it will be interesting to see how he navigates this one. That said, Lazzez is also known for his finishing power, having taken all but one of his nine wins by way of KO/TKO.
Given Lazzez’s inexperience at this level and Alhassan’s absence from the cage, you could make an argument for either man. But in all fairness, I can’t see this ending in any other way than a KO/TKO for Alhassan.
Shore to Beat Phillips by KO/TKO/DQ/Submission (-150)
I’ve been keenly following Jack Shore’s career for over four years now and tipped the Welshman for great things.
An excellent mixed martial artist and nice, down to earth dude, Shore is anything but when the cage door closes. The Tillery Combat star is a product and champion of the European mixed martial arts promotion Cage Warriors — the same outfit that has provided the UFC with the likes of Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping, Gegard Mousasi, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Dan Hardy.
Shore can make it two wins from two against Aaron Phillips, who is making his UFC debut on the night. He is heavily favored against the Lafayette man, but odds of -650 are not too exciting.
Shore has six submissions, four KO/TKOs, and just one decision in 11 wins inside the cage. His last two have finished with rear-naked chokes, and I see “Tank” getting another sub here on the night.
And That’s It
If you are to ask me how just how good this UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige card might be when compared to UFC 251, I’d venture a guess that it could be better.
On paper, UFC 251 was an incredible event. And while some fights definitely delivered, others were lacking in excitement. No need to point any fingers, though.
But these four bets above add weight to my belief that we could be in for a very special night of fights at Fight Island this coming Wednesday, July 15. So if you’re planning on betting on them all, make sure to get the latest UFC odds, news, and views right here.
Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA and boxing.
A self-confessed sports fanatic, when Adam is not watching and writing about rugby, soccer, Gaelic Games, and F1, he can often be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.
For his troubles, Adam is a big fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.