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UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs Royval Predictions, Picks and Betting Odds February 24

Brandon Moreno preps for UFC Fight Night

UFC Fight Night Betting Preview

UFC WagerTalk handicapper Andy Lang gives his UFC Fight Night predictions and picks for February 24th with Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval headlining the event in a flyweight fight. The main card starts up at 10:00pm ET from Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico.

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Brandon Moreno vs Brandon Royval: UFC Fight Night Main Event

Saturday, February 24UFC Fight Night Betting Notes (Courtesy of Caesars)
Moneyline:Brandon Moreno -265 vs Brandon Royval +215
Rounds:3.5 Rounds (Over -140 / Under +120)
Fight Time:Main Card Starts at 10:00pm ET / 7:00pm PT
Arena:Mexico City Arena, Mexico City, Mexico

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UFC Fight Night Predictions

Muhammad Naimov -305 v Erik Silva +245

I had high hopes for Erik Silva after his Contender Series win, but he was pretty bad in his UFC debut. Either I had a bad read on him or he had a bad weight cut, but TJ Brown made easy work of him and got the submission win, which was supposed to be Silva’s advantage.

Naimov got the crazy KO win against Mullarkey, but he followed it up with a nice win over Nathaniel Wood where he used his size to get takedowns and combined that with good striking on the feet.

It was a great performance, and if he repeats that he’ll walk through Silva. It’s a lot of juice so it’s a parlay piece, but it’s a pretty good parlay piece as I didn’t like anything from Silva in his last fight.

Felipe dos Santos -285 v Victor Altamirano +230

Felipe dos Santos took on Manel Kape on very short notice in his debut, and even though he lost he looked really good and even Kape complimented him after the fight.

Striking looked god, cardio was really good for short notice, and he looked like a UFC caliber fighter. I’m not all that high on Altamirano as he has two UFC wins, but against two of the worst fighters on the roster.

Tim Elliott dominated him on the ground, and he lost a close split decision to Carlos Hernandez, but I don’t like his skillset as he’s not great anywhere.

I stay away from fighters who make their UFC debut on short notice and look good as they tend to regress in the next fight so this is a pass for me.

Over 1.5 is a solid parlay piece as these guys go the distance quite often (dos Santos in 3 straight and Altamirano in 5 out of the last 6).

Denys Bondar -105 v Luis Rodriguez -115

Here’s my betting analysis for this fight. Don’t bet your hard-earned money on either one of them. They are both wild, unorthodox and completely unpredictable, and that’s why the odds are even.

They both swing wild, but I’m not sure either of these guys are UFC caliber. They don’t have solid ground game or jiu jitsu, they don’t set up power shots, they just swing away.

It should be a fun fight, but not bettable at all in my opinion. Ever so slight lean to Rodriguez as I think Bondar is bad and this could easily be his 3rd loss in a row in the UFC.

Fares Ziam -205 v Claudio Puelles +170

I wondered when we would see Puelles again after the embarassing loss to Dan Hooker, and here we are. Puelles pretty much only fights on the ground, and although he racked up five wins in a row in the UFC, Dan Hooker simply refused to go to the ground with him and used his striking to piece him up on the feet and Puelles was helpless.

Can Ziam do that? Absolutely I think he can. Ziam has had some clunkers of fights, but he’s won two in a row and he has looked much better and focused in those two fights.

He has long legs and arms that will help him keep the distance from Puelles, and he showed good take down defense and clinch work in his last fight against Jai Herbert.

It will be interesting to see how Puelles looks in this fight as the UFC won’t give him more fights if he does what he did against Dan Hooker.

I like Ziam in this fight, but I would be a bit cautious as I think we see some surprises from Puelles in his

Edgar Chairez -325 v Daniel Lacerda +260

I’ve done a writeup on this fight three times now, as the first fight got ruled a no contest and the second fight got cancelled, but the pick is still the same.

Chairez inside the distance when props come out. Lacerda is one of the worst fighters in the UFC rifht now and he’s 0-4 with all losses coming by finish.

Chairez finished him in their first fight, but Lacerda got bailed out when the ruled the ref stopped the fight too early, which was a terrible ruling.

Lacerda has bad offense and even worst defense, and Chairez is better everywhere and he’ll eventually get the finish. Wait til props come out and take Chairez inside the distance.

Mateusz Mendonca -142 v Jesus Aguilar +120

Mendonca lost his UFC debut to Javid Basharat (no shame in that), but the way he lost to Maness by getting ground and pounded in the first round was bad, and this is an important fight for him to win.

We really haven’t seen him on offense in the UFC, but before he got to UFC he had a lot of early finishes with striking, but it certainly hasn’t shown recently.

Another guy that is tough to read is Jesus Aguilar. He is 1-1 in the UFC as he’s lost to Tatsuro Taira, one of the best up and comers in UFC, and then he knocked out Shannon Ross, one of the worst UFC fighters with probably the weakest chin.

Aguilar showed god cardio late in his Contender Series fight, but early in the fight when his opponent had energy, Aguilar got taken down and dominated.

It’s not a great fight, but both guys are pretty equal so I’ll stay away from a side and just pick this fight over 2.5 rounds at +120.

We’re getting great odds because these guys have been involved in fast ending fights, but I believe those fights were opponent based and I don’t see these guys finishing each other.

Raoni Barcelos -175 v Christian Quinonez +145

Both guys are coming off a loss, but both guys are in different stages of their careers as Barcelos is 10 years older than Quinonez.

Quinonez likes to strike with his long legs and arms, but last fight he showed bad striking defense and impatience and it cost him as Kang caught him on the chin as Quinonez rushed forward and eventually got the early finish.

Quinonez has solid power, but he has holes that someone like Barcelos can take advantage of. Barcelos has lost 4 out of 5 fights, but they’ve been against opponents much better and more experienced than Quinonez.

I think Barcelos avoids the big shot and exploits the openings Quinonez leaves en route to a decision win.

Chris Duncan -135 v Manuel Torres +114

This should be a strikers delight as both guys love the throw down. Torres has won his last 8 fights by first round KO so he strikes with bad intentions and his knockout of Motta in his last fight was scary how much power he had.

Duncan is more methodical and likes to draw out the fights as both his UFC fights have gone to decision so while both guys love striking, they are different styles and you have to pick which one you believe in more here.

I’ll take Torres at plus money as I believe in his power, and it only takes one shot for him to put the lights out. I don’t see a lot of upside in Duncan and we watched him get rocked on Contender Series agaisnt Charlie Campbell.

Maybe Duncan can extend the fight and wear Torres down, but we haven’t seen anyone do that yet to Torres, and the plus money is a bonus.

Yazmin Jauregui -485 v Sam Hughes +370

Jauregui looked great in here first two UFC fights, but got knocked out 20 seconds into her last fight as a big favorite, but on paper she should have the huge advantage in power on the feet here.

In her loss to Gomes, Jauregui was sloppy with her striking defense and Gomes landed two quick shots and it was over.

Hughes doesn’t have that kind of power and Jauregui won’t make that mistake again. Hughes’s biggest strength is her cardio as she seemingly never gets tired, but Jauregui has shown good cardio so I don’t think Hughes will wear her out too much.

Maybe Hughes can get her on the ground and eat away some time, but even that is tough to see happening.

Hughes was very close to being finished against Amorim who is not good so I’m not sure she survives the full fight here as Jauaregui will be excited to avenge her loss.

Jauregui inside the distance is probably going to be a very popular play and I get nervous with inside the distance plays that everyone is going to be playing so I would just say Jauregui ML as a parlay piece is the way to bet this.

Raul Rosas Jr -275 v Ricky Turcios +225

Rosas is going to be a popular pick to put in parlays, and I just have some worries about Rosas.

He’s a great grappler and is always looking to get opponents to the ground where he can work submissions or ground and pound, but he’s young and two fights ago, an MMA veteran in Christian Rodriguez survived the early onslaught and gassed out Rosas giving Rosas his first loss.

The next fight for Rosas they gave him a complete can who he finished in the first rounds, but there’s something strange going on with him.

His interview in the ring after the win was strange, even his fighting style was cocky, and we have to remember that he’s only 19 and we’re going to see immaturity.

We haven’t seen Turcios in over a year, and he didn’t look great in his last fight as he won a close split decision to Natividad who has lost 3 straight fights.

Turcios is tough with good cardio, and he can hold his own on the ground and if Rosas screws around Turcios can make this fight really tough for him.

Turcios isn’t great, but he’s a big step up in competition from Rosas’s last opponent, and I would be terrified to put Rosas in a parlay. This is a dog or pass fight for me as I don’t trust Rosas.

Daniel Zellhuber -278 v Francisco Prado +225 

Prado is exciting as he’s young and swings really hard looking for the finish and it’s  worked for the most part for him as he’s 12-1 as a pro with all wins coming by finish. 

His loss is to Jamie Mullarkey, and that went the distance so seems to be early or nothing for Prado. Zellhuber is tall and rangy and uses his long legs to throw solid kicks, but he leaves his head open, and if Prado lands one early it could be lights out.

I like Zellhuber’s offense, but his defense is a huge concern and I won’t pay this price on him.

Prado actually showed good cardio in his loss to Mullarkey so I think Prado is worth a small play at this price.

Yair Rodriguez -175 v Brian Ortega +145

We haven’t seen Ortega since he injured his shoulder against Rodriguez a year and a half ago, and I think this is a tough spot for Ortega.

Rodriguez has fought twice since then, and even though he has a loss it was against Volkanovski in round 3 and I think he has gotten valuable experience. I’ve seen some opinions that this fight being at elevation is bad for Ortega as Rodriguez trains at elevation so cardio edge should go to Rodriguez.

Not a whole lot to take away from the first fight as the injury happened in the first round and the fight was close. I liked the striking of Rodriguez in that fight and I think it’s only gotten better.

Ortega’s big break is a concern, and with the elevation issue I’ll take Rodriguez to win this one. I don’t think I’ll bet this fight before, but I’ll be watching live and if Ortega looks rusty early I’ll try and grab a live bet on Rodriguez, even if it’s juicy.

UFC Fight Night Main Event: Brandon Moreno -265 v Brandon Royval +215

Both guys have lost to Alexandre Pantoja in their last fight, but Moreno took him to split decision and Royval got submitted.

Royval is explosive as he showed by knokcking out Matheus Nicolau and getting the submission against Matt Schnell, but it feels like he doesn’t quite have the weapons that Pantoja and Moreno have.

Moreno hasn’t been finished since he was 22 years old in 2016 and I really only see that as the path to victory for Royval.

Royval has great pace, but Moreno can keep up with him, and Royval can leave himself open on the feet and Moreno has the striking to take advantage.

In Royval’s last fight, Pantoja really had the advantage on the ground, and maybe Moreno sees that as a place to take advantage as he had some success against Pantoja.

There seem to be more paths to victory for Moreno, but man this -265 is such a steep price. I’m not sure there’s much I can do with confidence with this fight as the under is always in play with a Royval fight, and I don’t want to pay this price. The pick is Moreno, but I won’t be betting my own money on it.


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