Predictions and Betting Tips for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka

| April 28, 2021 6:59 am PDT

Following a blockbuster night of fights at UFC 261, it’s time to look forward to Saturday’s UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka card.

I’ll be making predictions and picks for Reyes vs. Prochazka as well as the other eleven bouts scheduled for the UFC APEX on May 1. Of course, the main event is the one that everyone is talking about. But there are some intriguing bouts on the main card as well as the prelims. 

If you’re looking to bet on UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka, I’ll also be providing the best bets and sleepers for the night. We’ll get to those after I have made my predictions for all bouts.

Let’s start with the big one between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka.

Prochazka to Beat Reyes by KO/TKO

In a parallel universe, Dominick Reyes got the nod against Jon Jones.

He took the title into a fight with Jan Blachowicz, and won that, too. But unfortunately for Reyes, he’s not doing so well in this realm. In fact, he’s officially 0-2 and in danger of falling well down the pecking order if he loses against former Rizin FF light heavyweight king, Prochazka.

The Czech striker is the betting favorite on the night. He is looking to follow up an impressive UFC debut performance that culminated in a knockout over Volkan Oezdemir in July 2020. A win over Reyes would surely bag him a shot at Jan Blachowicz’s 205-pound strap, and provide us with our first ever all-European UFC light heavyweight title fight.

But can he beat Reyes on the night? Those betting on Prochazka to win will be confident in his abilities to take Reyes out inside the distance, and I’m inclined to agree. I believe he is too unpredictable for Reyes to tie down, and I’m expecting another big performance that ends with a knockout win.

My betting pick for Reyes vs. Prochazka is a Round 2 KO/TKO for the Czech. 

Chikadze to Beat Swanson by Decision

The co-main event of the evening is a great matchup on paper.

Giga Chikadze will be hoping to make his mark on this featherweight scrap from the get-go, against a rejuvenated Cub Swanson. The former Glory 145-pounder is aiming to make it eight wins on the bounce against the former contender, and the bookmakers like the cut of his jib. 

Swanson looked all but done for just a couple of years ago but has sprung back to life with encouraging wins over Daniel Pineda and Kron Gracie. As such, he’s not one to write off, although his striking-heavy style might not exactly be suitable against such a livewire in Chikadze.

One thing working in Swanson’s favor is that Chikadze is not known for his power. Therefore, Cub will be a little more inclined to push the Georgian and try to find some success on the inside.

With that said, his opponent stopped Jamey Simmons in the first round of their bout in December and could be looking for an even bigger finish on the night.

Still, I can’t see Chikadze having what it takes to stop Swanson. Instead, I believe he will turn the pace up to eleven and cause the Californian mega problems on the feet. Although the American might want to pursue the possibility of taking his man down and grinding out a win, I think Chikadze’s footwork and defense will see him through.

Ultimately, he will get the nod from all three judges this Saturday. 

Cutelaba to Beat Jacoby by KO/TKO

Moldova’s Ion Cutelaba makes his first appearance inside the cage since a first-round KO at the hands of Magomed Ankalaev in October. 

Cutelaba faces a tough test this Saturday against Dustin Jacoby, but the American is not exactly on the same level as Ankalaev. Therefore, I’m expecting this one to be much tighter, and with more room for Cutelaba to express himself in the usual high-octane fashion.

One thing that bettors should be aware of is Jacoby’s impressive striking. Throw this in with Cutelaba’s propensity for some headless chicken theatrics, and you might consider the recipe for a third-straight stoppage for the European as something to bet on. 

Still, I believe Cutelaba will have learned from his last two fights. Providing he keeps it together and makes use of his superior grappling skills, he should overcome Jacoby and pick up a decision on the night. 

I wouldn’t exactly call this the toughest of my picks for the Reyes-Prochazka card, but it could go either way. The probability, however, is with a points win for Cutelaba.

Strickland to Beat Jotko by KO/TKO

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Sean Stickland.

In the sense of performances, of course. I mean, you wouldn’t want to overlook a fighter like Jotko, of course, especially as he has the capability of springing a surprise on the night. However, Strickland has looked exceptional in recent times, and his win over Brendan Allen spoke volumes for his skills inside the cage.

Strickland is the more exciting fighter of the two. I also believe he is much better on the feet, and won’t be too troubled by the uncreative striking game of Poland’s Jotko.

My pick for Strickland vs. Jotko is a TKO win for Strickland.

Dvalishvili to Beat Stamann by Decision

Merab Dvalishvili’s inclusion on this card gives it a real Georgian flavor, with his compatriot, Giga Chikadze, also donning gloves on the night.

Like Chikadze, I expect Dvalishvili’s fight to go the distance. His opponent, Cody Stamann, has enough about him to provide a genuine challenge to the bantamweight contender on the feet. However, on the mat, things could begin to look very different.

Dvalishvili looks incredibly strong at 135-pounds, and I don’t see many fighters living with him, from a physical perspective. He has five straight wins by UD, with the likes of Casey Kenney and John Dodson absolutely smothered by his grappling game. 

My pick for Reyes vs. Prochazka’s second main card fight is Dvalishvili by unanimous decision.

Botelho to Beat Carolina by Decision

The main card opener should be another interesting one. 

Brazil’s Poliana Botelho will be hoping to get the upper hand in her bout against Luana Carolina.

To be honest, I’m not crazy about either fighter. There is little to separate the pair, other than Botelho being a little more expressive and varied with her strikes. For that reason, I’m leaning towards Botelho taking this fight by way of decision. 

This fight might be close enough to produce a draw. But with both ladies fighting for their UFC careers, the one who comes in more energetic and ready to rock will likely scrape it.

UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka Prelims Picks

  • Markos to Beat Pinheiro by Decision
  • Benitez to Beat Pearce by Decision
  • Kamaka to Beat Brown by Decision
  • Lookboonmee to Beat Hughes by KO/TKO
  • Sanders to Beat Colares by KO/TKO
  • Michailidis to Beat Bhullar by KO/TKO

You can find my picks for the prelims this Saturday, above.

Interestingly, I don’t see a single submission on the card, including the prelim bouts. But just like the main portion of the event, I’m anticipating results to be split between knockouts and decisions. 

There are some solid main card and prelims fights to bet on at UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka this Saturday. With that in mind, let’s move on to my top wagers for the night.

Best Bets for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka

Strickland to Beat Jotko -255
Michailidis to Beat Bhullar -250
Dvalishvili to Beat Stamann -245
Chikadze to Beat Swanson -150

This week, I have four of the best UFC bets for the fights.

First up, Sean Strickland looks a cert to get the win over Krzysztof Jotko on the main card. Strickland could very well knock his man out, which makes checking out the top prop bets for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka well worth a shot. 

The other three are solid picks, with Michailidis to Beat Bhullar on the prelims another one to look out for. I’m backing “The Spartan” to knock his man out, so make sure to see what odds you can get for this on our recommended UFC sportsbooks.

Dvalishvili to Beat Stamann is another UFC wager to consider for this Saturday, while Chikadze to Beat Swanson is the best paying of my top bets. 

Top Sleepers for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka

Markos to Beat Pinheiro +150
Lookboonmee vs. Hughes Under 2.5 Rounds +220

If you’re looking for the best sleeper pick for the Reyes-Prochazka card, Randa Markos to win is probably it.

I don’t believe there is much to separate these two and have even picked Markos to over overcome Pinheiro on the night. I would be surprised if Pinheiro looks like a sure thing against her opponent, and believe the value is with Markos.

The other top sleeper for the UFC this weekend is Lookboonmee vs. Hughes to end under 2.5 rounds. Sure, finishes are not as common in women’s MMA, but Hughes suffered a doctor’s stoppage in her last outing and I believe the Thai has what it takes to consign her to her second successive loss inside the distance.

More Predictions and Picks for This Weekend’s Sport

That covers my predictions and picks for UFC on ESPN: Reyes vs. Prochazka, as well as the best bets to place on the night.

I’m not expecting this card to be as staggeringly spectacular as UFC 261, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for anyone betting on Reyes vs. Prochazka and the rest of the bouts on May 1. There are plenty of opportunities to win money on the fights, and you should have a better understanding of how to attack your wagers.

Of course, MMA is not the only sport we’re covering ahead of the weekend. You can find more odds, bets, predictions, and gambling tips from us and me by visiting the following sections of our site.

Good luck with your bets!

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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