HomeMMABest Bets for UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs. Royval 2

    Best Bets for UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs. Royval 2

    VSiN analyst Lou Finocchiaro offers his best bets for UFC Fight Night: Moreno vs. Royval 2 in Mexico City.

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    UFC Best Bets

    This week, the UFC travels to Mexico City, Mexico for its Fight Night production, where the main event features a rematch of flyweight athletes: Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval. This card offers 13 bouts, 11 featuring Mexican fighters in favorable matchups. No athletes on this fight card weigh more than lightweight (155 pounds), and all but one matchup is lined at 2.5 total rounds, which creates some interesting options for our UFC best bets.

    Mexico City, with its altitude, the larger 30’ octagon and smaller statured athletes, may make for a plethora of decisions.

     

    Last week, Robert Whittaker shrugged off a vicious head kick late in round one to win a decision over Paulo Costa in the co-main event. Whittaker’s win pushed my results this year to 2-3 + .85u

    Let’s enhance that bottom line with this week’s release.

    Brandon Moreno -250 vs. Brandon Royval +200

    Flyweight (125 pounds) main event

    Royval, who trains at elevation in Colorado, arrives at this main event fresh off a five-round unanimous decision loss to current champion Alexandre Pantoja last December.

    Royval, a southpaw, will have height and reach advantages over Moreno, the division’s former champion. Royval has conquered all the division’s contenders, save for the two elite talents in current champion Pantoja and Moreno, who lost his title to Pantoja a few months ago.

    To break through and earn a third crack at Pantoja will not be easy, understanding that the Mexican fight crowd, a voracious one at that, will be wholeheartedly supporting Moreno, Mexico’s first-ever UFC champion.

    Royval’s strengths are his unusually lengthy frame, his ability to move in an unorthodox, unpredictable fashion, and his determination to finally break through and defeat one of the two most dominant flyweights in the division’s history.

    It was in November of 2020 when these two first tussled, and Royval, a black belt in BJJ, had to take a difficult loss because he injured his shoulder and could not continue. Royval has improved drastically since their first bout, and he has worked diligently to earn this opportunity, realizing a 3-2 record since that defeat, with both losses coming at the hands of Pantoja.

    In Moreno, we have the former champion and the pride of Mexico. Moreno is also a black belt in BJJ but also a deft boxer with the standard Mexican granite chin.

    Moreno’s coming off a dynamically close split decision loss to Pantoja this past July, and it seems clear that the victor here will get another crack at the current champion.

    While Moreno’s giving up height and length to Royval, he owns a wealth of championship five-round main event experience. He’s also a year younger than his foe, and he’ll have hordes of feverous fans fueling his fury.

    Where Royval is unpredictable and flamboyant with his strikes, flying knees and kicks, Moreno is systematic in his approach to working the body, then taking the head. This will be a terrific clash of styles.

    Both men are competent on the feet, but it is Moreno who possesses the more complete wrestling/grappling attack, and I do believe we will see him exercise that ability in this bout. Crowding the longer, taller Royval, together with forcing him backwards and into defending takedowns, will go a long way in usurping the energy from the Coloradan.

    If there is a chink in Moreno’s armor, it may be that he has been in numerous wars since these two last fought. Royval’s overall improvement, coupled with his ability to compete at elevation, will be telling in his chances to get his hand raised in this bout.

    In a fight that I believe goes to decision, this week’s release:

    UFC Best Bet: Fight starts round 4 -175
    Round props selection at DraftKings

    Total in this fight: 3.5 Rds Over -140

    Manuel Torres -185 vs. Chris Duncan +155

    Lightweight (155 pounds)

    This is the only bout on this slate lined at 1.5 Rds with the Under is priced -200. From the total, we may imply that this fight will be a banger, and from my handicap, that inference would be completely correct.

    In this one, the 11-1 Duncan ships in from Scotland, although he has been training in Florida’s ATT for weeks, a gym with at least five top-fifteen-ranked lightweights in the world for him to take rounds against.

    Duncan is tough, durable and possesses wrestling acumen, though he prefers to situate himself in the center of the cage, stand wide and zing hooks, crosses, and kicks at opponents with the singular goal of cracking them unconscious.

    Duncan’s defensive abilities are my biggest issue with his fighting, as he takes 3.8 significant strikes per minute, which is something extremely dangerous against this opponent.

    Torres, 14-2, is the local. He is conditioned to training at Mexico City’s extreme elevation. While he is more than willing to trade hooks, his strikes tend to be straighter, supplemented with damaging elbows and knees right up the middle.

    Torres has not seen the second round of a mixed martial arts fight since 2018, as he is a pure, cold-hearted finisher, yet his ability to compete in a long, tough, grueling battle is a justifiable concern.

    Once the fight begins, it is my judgment that it is in Duncan’s best interest to wrestle the Mexican up in this fight to sap him of his energy, then take advantage of him in the later rounds.

    Torres will attack Duncan from the opening bell, but he must control his distance and make certain in his zeal to destroy that he does not rush into a Duncan takedown, for Torres has little to no ability to wrestle in any capacity.

    In a fight where I expect both athletes to ‘put it on’ their opponent, Duncan’s durability and perseverance force me to believe that this total offers value to the Over.

    Torres opened -155 in this bout. He dipped to -120 when I released him on my Monday ‘Sneak-Teep’ Podcast, and his price has now escalated to the current -175.

    My handicap of this bout is that it goes over 1.5 Rds. while my conservative nature says to use the prop, “Fight starts round 2.” However, that prop has not been put up on the DraftKings menu yet, so I will hold off as my deadline calls.

    UFC Best Bet: Lean Over 1.5 but will wager “Fight starts round 2.”
    I expect that price to have a plus sign next to it once released….

    My ‘Bout Business Podcast drops midday Friday and is accessible at GambLou.com.

    Thank you for reading, and enjoy the hostilities!

    Lou Finocchiaro
    Lou Finocchiaro
    Lou Finocchiaro is a professional handicapper who adheres to following a strict business approach to investing in the NFL, UFC, NHL Playoffs and the College World Series. He has been a contributor to VSiN since its inception in 2017 and is featured regularly on VSiN’s ‘First Strike’ production.

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