Don’t worry about the preliminary bouts. The main card is where the action is for UFC 260 on Saturday at the Apex in Las Vegas.
Handicapper Lou Finocchiaro (@GambLou) offers four plays, all on the pay-per-view portion of the card, including the main event:
Francis Ngannou lost his first challenge against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in 2018, but Finocchiaro expects a new champion to be crowned Saturday.
“Ngannou has had the opportunity to improve exponentially since the first fight,” Finocchiaro said. “His speed, his IQ, his movement. It’s a mistake for Stipe to be taking him again.”
Finocchiaro said Ngannou is prepared and has addressed his two shortcomings in the first fight, his conditioning and his wrestling ability.
“Ngannou is eventually going to touch (Miocic) and take him out,” Finocchiaro said.
Finocchiaro said he expects Ngannou to win by knockout, which is available at +100, but the safer play is Ngannou just to win at -135.
Luque by decision +150
Vicente Luque shouldn’t have any problem with Tyron Woodley in their welterweight bout, Finocchiaro said.
Luque, 29, is “younger, taller, has a reach advantage and is more well-rounded,” Finocchiaro said.
Woodley, a former welterweight champion, has lost his past three fights — albeit against top competition — and is on the down side at age 38, Finocchiaro said.
The price is heavy on Luque at -265, so Finocchiaro is opting for Luque to win by decision at +150.
Finocchiaro said he usually gravitates toward wrestlers over strikers, and that’s pushing him toward underdog Gillian Robertson against Miranda Maverick in a women’s flyweight bout.
Maverick won her UFC debut, but she is primarily a striker and “her takedown defense was not challenged,” Finocchiaro said.
Robertson is two inches taller and two years older at 25 and has a grappling background, he said.
“She will get the younger woman to the floor and control her,” Finocchiaro said.
Khama Worthy has to keep his lightweight fight with Jamie Mullarkey on its feet, and Finocchiaro said he doesn’t think Worthy can do it.
Mullarkey is eight years younger at 26 and should be hungry after two straight defeats, Finocchiaro said.
“He can stand and bang, but he has a great grappling advantage,” Finocchiaro said.
He’s backing the underdog at +105.