UFC SACRAMENTO PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS 7/13: Grocke’s updated odds & predictions for every fight

Michael Grocke MMATorch fight handicapper

Oct 6, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Aspen Ladd (red gloves) celebrates beating Tonya Evinger (blue gloves) during UFC 229 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Updated odds and predictions for Ladd vs. de Randamie.

The UFC makes its way to the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California for UFC Fight Night 155 on Saturday night. The main event takes place in the women’s bantamweight division where Aspen Ladd will bring her undefeated record to the cage and take on Germaine de Randamie.

Germaine de Randamie enters Saturday night’s main even fight against Aspen Ladd riding a four-fight win streak. Her last loss occurred at UFC Fight Night 31 back in November of 2013 where she got stopped by Amanda Nunes. The former UFC featherweight champion’s most recent victory came at UFC Fight Night 139 where she beat Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision. This will be the thirty-five-year-old’s twelfth professional fight. Five of her eight wins went the distance.

Aspen Ladd has yet to taste defeat in her MMA career. Her most recent win occurred two months ago at UFC Fight Night 152 where she earned a hard-fought unanimous decision over Sijara Eubanks. At only twenty-four years old, the California native will make the walk for the ninth time on Saturday. Six of her eight victories ended inside the distance.   

The co-main takes place in the men’s bantamweight division where UFC hall of famer Urijah Faber takes on Ricky Simon. Urijah Faber last fought at UFC on FOX 22 where he defeated Brad Pickett via unanimous decision. It was after that fight Faber announced his retirement. Two and a half years later Faber returns and makes the walk for the forty-fifth time. The “California Kid” boasts twenty-six finishes to go along with seven wins via decision in his thirty-four career victories.

Ricky Simon has won his last eight fights in a row. He is 3-0 in the UFC, beating Merab Dvalishvili, Montel Jackson and most recently Rani Yahya. At only twenty-six years old, Simon will make the walk for the seventeenth time when he steps into the octagon opposite Faber on Saturday night. Eight of his fifteen career wins went the distance.

The third fight on the main card takes place in the featherweight division where Josh Emmett takes on Mirsad Bektic. Josh Emmett is 3-1 over his previous four. After losing to Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 28, Emmett bounced back in his most recent fight with a third round KO of Michael Johnson at UFC on ESPN 2. Half of the thirty-four-year-old’s fourteen career wins ended inside the distance. This will be Emmett’s seventeenth professional fight.

After suffering the first loss of his career at the hands of Darren Elkins at UFC 209, Mirsad Bektic has won his last two fights. His most recent victory was at UFC 225 where he beat Ricardo Lamas by split decision. Nine of his thirteen career wins ended inside the distance. The twenty-nine-year-old will make the walk for the fifteenth time on Saturday night.

Also, on the main card Karl Roberson will look to get back in the win column when he steps into the octagon opposite late replacement Wellington Turman and in the middleweight division Marvin Vettori takes on Cezar Ferreira.

The prelims will stream on ESPN+ beginning at 4:00 PM (CST) with the main card starting at 7:00 PM (CST) also on ESPN+.

Note: The predictions in this column do not necessarily mean that I will be betting them. I have changed my mind in the past and gone the other way after conducting more research. For all my official bets follow me on Twitter @MichaelGrocke.

Main Card

Germaine de Randamie (8-3) vs. Aspen Ladd (8-0) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Ladd -140; de Randamie +110

Pick: de Randamie by decision.

This is a big step-up in competition for Ladd. I expect GDR to keep the fight standing because Ladd on the ground is dangerous. She has the ability to hold her opponents down and her ground and pound is vicious. Look for GDR to have success countering Ladd on the feet and I think the longer the fight goes, the more it favors GDR. The odds have closed considerably in this one so I will wait it out until closer to the fight and hope for Ladd money to come back in.   

Urijah Faber (34-10) vs. Ricky Simon (15-1) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Simon -360; Faber +280

Pick: Simon by decision.

Simon is great everywhere and should be able to handle Faber regardless of where the fight goes. Faber’s only path to victory is to get Simon on the ground, hope for him to make a mistake and get a submission. If the fight stays standing look for Simon to win a one-sided decision. 

Josh Emmett (14-2) vs. Mirsad Bektic (13-1) – Featherweight 145 lbs.

Current Odds: Bektic -155; Emmett +125

Pick: Emmett by (T)KO.

Emmett struggles with pressure fighters which plays right into Bektic’s style. He likes to walk forward, get inside and throw hands. That said, I favor Emmett’s striking and his power. Emmett’s chin is a concern, but I think he’ll be able to use Bektic’s aggressiveness to his advantage with his counter-striking.

Karl Roberson (7-2) vs. Wellington Turman (15-2) – Middleweight 185 lbs.

Current Odds: Roberson -225; Turman +185

Pick: Roberson by (T)KO.

Turman must get this fight to the ground where Roberson struggles mightily. If he has success taking Roberson down and holding him there, I can see Turman possibly grinding out a decision. The problem is Turman prefers to stand and strike which plays right into Roberson’s strength. I find it close to impossible to back Roberson at this price regardless of his opponent.    

Marvin Vettori (12-4-1) vs. Cezar Ferreira (13-7) – Middleweight 185 lbs.

Current Odds: Vettori -160; Ferreira +130

Pick: Vettori by decision

I like Vettori’s striking and Ferreira’s chin is a big question mark. Ferreira will likely try to get the fight to the ground knowing his chin is suspect.


Mike Rodriguez (10-3) vs. John Allan (13-5) – Light Heavyweight 205 lbs.

Current Odds: Rodriguez -470; Allan +340

Pick: Rodriguez by (T)KO.

Andre Fili (19-6) vs. Sheymon Moraes (11-3) – Featherweight 145 lbs.

Current Odds: Fili -140; Moraes +110

Pick: Moraes by decision, but with little confidence.

Julianna Pena (8-3) vs. Nicco Montano (4-2) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Pena -225; Montano +185

Pick: Pena by decision.

Pena’s two years away from the cage forces me to pass on betting her, but I do expect her to look good and win the fight.

Darren Elkins (24-7) vs. Ryan Hall (7-1) – Featherweight 145 lbs.

Current Odds: Hall -125; Elkins -105

Pick: Hall by submission.

Elkins has the clear advantage on the feet so I expect him to avoid the ground at all costs. The problem is I don’t see him being able to go three rounds while avoiding Hall’s takedown attempts. Elkins is no slouch on the ground but he’s nowhere near the level of Hall.

Pingyuan Liu (13-5) vs. Jonathan Martinez (10-2) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Pingyuan -165; Martinez +135

Pick: Martinez by decision.

Livinha Souza (13-1) vs. Brianna Van Buren (8-2) – Strawweight 115 lbs.

Current Odds: Souza -120; Van Buren -110

Pick: Souza by decision.

Benito Lopez (9-1) vs. Vince Morales (9-3) – Bantamweight 135 lbs.

Current Odds: Lopez -115; Morales -115

Pick: Lopez by decision.

The odds on this one has been all over the place. I like Morales counter-striking and he has cardio for days. Lopez is a very dangerous fighter, but he is very hittable. Flip a coin on this one folks.

Enjoy the fights!

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