Odds Shark Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Visit operator for details.

UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs Velasquez Betting Odds and Predictions

UFC Fight Night Phoenix: Ngannou vs Velasquez Betting Odds

The UFC is returning to Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, for the first time since January 2017 with a banger of a card. Headlining the first ESPN card is a tilt in the heavyweight division as former champion Cain Velasquez returns after a nearly three-year layoff to take on Francis “The Predator” Ngannou. Despite the long layoff, Velasquez is a -185 favorite with Ngannou coming back at +150. I have a breakdown and a pick for each fight on the main card.

Shark Bites
  • All 12 of Francis Ngannou’s wins have been finishes.
  • Cain Velasquez averages 6.38 significant strikes per minute.
  • Cain Velasquez averages 5.15 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez Fight Center

Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
Straight UpPicking FavoritesPicking Underdogs

Odds Analysis

I think the odds are a little high for Velasquez simply due to the extended time off. We all remember vintage Cain when he could take his opponents down at will and rain down his vicious ground and pound. However, he hasn’t fought in nearly three years so there could be some ring rust.

Meanwhile, Ngannou fought for the belt nearly a year ago and suffered his first loss in the UFC in that bout, but he looked like his normal self with his first-round knockout of Curtis Blaydes in November. I think that Velasquez should be the favorite, but I figured the line would be closer to -150.

Francis Ngannou vs Cain Velasquez

Ngannou (+150) ended his two-fight losing slide with a bang in his last time out, knocking out Curtis Blaydes in the first round. Prior to that triumph, the Predator had been manhandled by then-champion Stipe Miocic over five rounds in a decision loss, absorbing 200 significant strikes and being taken down six times.

In the following fight, he was gun-shy after the punishment from Miocic, losing again by decision to Derrick Lewis in a snoozer that saw just 31 total strikes land. The Cameroon native has ridiculous power that has resulted in eight of his 12 professional wins ending via knockout, most notably his devastating uppercut knockout over Alistair Overeem at UFC 218.

Velasquez (-185) is making his long-awaited return to the Octagon after his mauling of Travis Browne at UFC 200 in July 2016. The Mexico native has been riddled with injuries lately, most notably bone spurs in his back. Velasquez won the heavyweight title with a dominant five-round unanimous decision victory over Junior Dos Santos at UFC 155 in December 2012 and defended two times before losing via submission to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 188.

What makes Velasquez stand apart from his competitors is his insane cardio that is just pedal to the metal the entire duration of the bout, averaging 6.38 significant strikes per minute and 5.15 takedowns per 15 minutes. Cain has had five bouts in the UFC in which he has landed 100 or more significant strikes.

A classic striker vs grappler match as Ngannou will be looking to take Velasquez’ head off while Cain is looking to get the bout to the floor and go to work with his ground and pound. The Predator was taken down six times against Miocic when they met for the heavyweight strap and Velasquez is definitely on the same level as Miocic, if not better, but moving in for the takedown leaves him vulnerable to the uppercut by Ngannou.

Prediction: Cain Velasquez (-185) via knockout

Ngannou vs Velasquez Fight Center

Paul Felder vs James Vick

Felder (-105) enters the Octagon for the first time since July 2018, after losing a close split decision to Mike Perry at UFC 226. “The Irish Dragon” fought two full rounds in that bout with a broken forearm after throwing a spinning back fist that clanked off Perry’s forehead and still made it a competitive bout.

The Pennsylvania native has good knockout power, with 10 of his 15 professional wins coming in that manner, including each of his last three victories prior to the Perry loss. He has good head movement too, making his opponents miss 51 percent of their strike attempts, while landing 3.52 significant strikes per minute.

Vick (-125) is also returning the cage following a loss as he was knocked out by Justin Gaethje in August of last year, for his second career defeat, both by T/KO. He suffered the same fate against Beneil Dariush at UFC 199 in 2016. Prior to this most recent loss, he had won four consecutive fights, finishing three of them, two by knockout and the other by submission.

“The Texecutioner” has a well-rounded skill set that has seen him finish eight of his 13 professional victories, five by submission and three by knockout. He is a very active aggressive type of fighter, averaging 4.16 significant strikes while making his opponents miss 62 percent of their attacks.

This has all the makings of a fight of the night contender with two heavy-handed strikers who have really good boxing skills, offensively and defensively. Vick will be the much taller fighter in this scrap, but Felder may have the weight advantage come fight night. I think Vick has a little better movement and that really could be the difference maker if he can avoid the power from Felder.

Prediction: James Vick (-125) via submission

Felder vs Vick Fight Center

Cortney Casey vs Cynthia Calvillo

Casey (+260) is looking to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since she did so in 2016. “Cast Iron” has gone to the judges’ scorecards in each of her last five fights, getting her hand raised in just two of those, and she has been in a split decision in her last three, losing two.

The 31-year-old is tall for the strawweight division, standing five-foot-seven, and she throws long punches to keep her opponents at bay. Casey has no problem getting in standup wars as she lands 4.8 significant strikes per minute, but she absorbs 4.63 significant strikes per minute as well. Her strikes are long and deliberate but can often be a little slow.

Calvillo (-340) returned from her nine-month suspension for violating the USADA program after testing positive for marijuana metabolites with a fantastic first-round submission win over Poliana Botelho in November. Prior to that win, the California native suffered her first professional loss, falling via unanimous decision to Carla Esparza at UFC 219.

Calvillo has finished five of her seven professional victories, two by knockout and three by submission, with each of her submissions coming in the UFC and all by rear-naked choke. The 31-year-old averages 2.02 takedowns per 15 minutes and hits 53 percent of her attempts. In the striking department, she makes her opponents miss 66 percent of their strikes against.

Casey is going to want to use her long range to keep Calvillo off of her but the California native is a pit bull who will keep coming forward. A big concern for Casey is that she has been taken down at least once in each of her last six fights and only defends 24 percent of takedown attempts and she has one submission loss on her record.

Prediction: Cynthia Calvillo (-340) via submission

Casey vs Calvillo Fight Center

Alex Caceres vs Kron Gracie

Caceres (+235) is looking for consecutive wins for the first time since 2016 as he’s coming off a narrow split-decision win over Martin Bravo in July of last year. “Bruce Leeroy” is a flashy striker who likes to bounce around and load up on his strikes. Prior to his most recent win, he had dropped three of four fights, losing two by split decision and one by submission.

The 30-year-old will paw at his opponents with his right hand trying to get them to engage while looking to load up on his left hand that he fires down the pipe. He averages 3.86 significant strikes per minute, while absorbing just 2.78 significant strikes per minute. He has finished eight of his 14 professional wins, three by knockout and five by submission.

Gracie (-305) is making his Octagon debut and does so with a lot of hype, being the son of MMA legend Rickson Gracie. Kron hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since December 2016 under the RIZIN flag, when he submitted Tatsuya Kawajiri. In fact, the Brazil native has won all four of his professional fights by submission.

The standup game isn’t overly impressive as he throws one punch at a time, electing to engage in a Muay Thai clinch where he can work strong uppercuts or search for a takedown. But what he lacks in striking skills he makes up for in submission skills as mentioned above with a perfect 4-0 record, each bout ending in a submission and three in the first round.

Caceres will have the clear advantage in the striking with his flashy style and constant bouncing around, but he only defends 59 percent of takedown attempts and it only takes one against Gracie that could lead to a submission. However, if Gracie can’t figure out a way to bring it to the floor, he could be in for a rough night.

Prediction: Kron Gracie (-305) via submission

Caceres vs Gracie Fight Center

Vicente Luque vs Bryan Barberena

Luque (-450) is looking to put together four straight wins for the second time in his UFC career. All of the wins by the “The Silent Assassin” during his current stretch have been finishes, two by knockout and one by submission. Luque lost via unanimous decision to Leon Edwards in March 2017, which ended another four-fight winning streak. Once again, all of those bouts were finishes.

Overall the Brazil native has finished 13 of his 14 professional wins, seven by T/KO and six by submission. Luque switches stances fluently and is light on his feet, constantly closing the distance looking to land his heavy strikes to finish the fight or bring the scrap to the mat where he can work toward a submission.

Barberena (+325) is aiming to put an end to his win-one, lose-one streak over his last five fights, and pick up back-to-back wins for the first time since 2016. “Bam Bam” is coming off an explosive first-round knockout over Jake Ellenberger in August of last year. The 29-year-old has finished 12 of his 14 professional wins, 10 of them by knockout.

Barberena averages 4.98 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.71 significant strikes per minute. Although the California native likes to get in a phone booth and chuck knuckles, he has never been knocked out, with four of his pro losses coming by decision, and a loss by submission in his third pro fight.

An interesting fight between a man who has vicious knockout power and a man who has never been knocked out. Both fighters are relaxed and confident in their standup, willing to get in exchanges as they believe in the power they possess. Luque has a little more versatility with his ground game if he feels any threat in the striking, which I think will be the difference maker.

Prediction: Vicente Luque (-450) via submission

Luque vs Barberena Fight Center

Andre Fili vs Myles Jury

Fili (+120) is looking to get back into the win column following his split-decision loss to Michael Johnson in August of last year. Prior to that defeat, “Touchy” had won back-to-back fights, both by decision, including a close split decision triumph over Dennis Bermudez. Each of the 28-year-old’s last five fights have gone the distance with his hand being raised three times over that span.

The Washington native has good movement but elects to stay on the outside of his opponent’s range and swings hooks rather than straight punches. However, if he lands, he can do damage as eight of his 18 professional wins have come by knockout, but he hasn’t earned one since 2015.

Jury (-150) is looking to bounce back from his first-round knockout to Chad Mendes in Mendes’ return in July of last year. “Fury” had two consecutive wins before that, including a dominant first-round knockout victory over Mike de la Torre at UFC 2010 in April 2017. That T/KO triumph was the eighth out of his 17 professional wins and the first since the finished Takanori Gomi in 2014.

The Michigan native is a well-rounded fighter averaging 2.61 significant strikes per minute while also making his opponents miss 71 percent of their strikes. He also has a good wrestling pedigree and averages 2.5 takedowns per 15 minutes, hitting 55 percent of his attempts.

These are two very similar fighters who are very active and well-rounded. Fili bounces around a lot more throwing looping punches, while Jury is more composed and throws more kicks. Both have a good ground game as well. Fili does have the advantage in takedown defense stuffing 69 percent of attempts while Jury defends 50 percent. That being said, Fury has better striking defense, making his opponents miss 71 percent of their attempts, while Touchy makes his opponents miss 53 percent of the time.

Prediction: Myles Jury (-150) via decision

Fili vs Jury Fight Center

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night Phoenix: Ngannou vs Velasquez:

UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs Velasquez

Odds as of February 17 at Bovada

  • Francis Ngannou +150
  • Cain Velasquez -185
  • Paul Felder -105
  • James Vick -125
  • Cortney Casey +260
  • Cynthia Calvillo -340
  • Alex Caceres +235
  • Kron Gracie -305
  • Vincente Luque -450
  • Bryan Barberena +325
  • Andre Fili +120
  • Myles Jury -150
  • Jimmie Rivera -150
  • Aljamain Sterling +120
  • Benito Lopez +155
  • Manny Bermudez -190
  • Ashlee Evans-Smith +150
  • Andrea Lee -185
  • Scott Holtzman -190
  • Nik Lentz +155
  • Renan Barao +145
  • Luke Sanders -175
  • Jessica Penne -145
  • Jodie Esquibel +115
  • Aleksandra Albu -125
  • Emily Whitmire -105