Grant Emrick Previews UFC Fight Night

Our BCDC Analyst is on fire! Go check out his picks this weekend which he previews some great fights for this weekend’s card. Grant is over 5u in his last few weeks and predicting straight picks at unbelievable rate right now at 67%. Enjoy his picks!

UFC Fight Night: Font vs. Vera

April 30, 2022

Emrick’s UFC Fighter Pick Record (74-36)

 Photo via ESPN

Prelim Predictions:

FLY: Tatsuro Taira (10-0) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-1)

  • Pick: Tatsuro Taira

WFLY: Gina Mazany (7-5) vs. Shanna Young (8-5)

  • Pick: Gina Mazany

LW: Natan Levy (6-1) vs. Mike Breeden (10-4)

  • Pick: Natan Levy

WW: Gabe Green (10-3) vs. Yohan Lainesse (8-0)

  • Pick: Yohan Lainesse

FLY: Daniel Lacerda (11-2) vs. Francisco Figueiredo (12-4-1, 1 NC)

  • Pick: Daniel Lacerda

HW: #3 BCDC Alexandr Romanov (15-0) vs. Chase Sherman (15-9)

  • Pick: Alexandr Romanov

Getty Images

Main Card Predictions:

MW: Krzysztof Jotko (23-5) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (34-14)

  • Pick: Gerald Meerschaert (+145)
  • Reasoning: Like many of the fighters on this card, Meerschaert is a certified threat on the ground. He has the record for most submissions at the welterweight level with 8, and is tied for 2nd to Anderson Silva with 9 finishes in the division. While Meerschaert is a submission expert, his ability to be controlled and eat more strikes than he gives in some of his victories does worry me. Jotko uses a more surgical approach to point-fight his way to a victory, which could prove to be tricky for Meerschaert. Jotko also has an 83% takedown defense rate, which spells major trouble if Meerschaert can’t get it going on the feet. To clarify, this is my least confident pick going into the main card, and that’s because Meerschaert has yet to win a fight by decision. I wasn’t overly impressed by Jotko’s performance with a watered-down Misha Cirkunov, which is why – by the slightest of margins – I’m siding with the underdog to prove he’s a legitimate threat to the middle-tier of the division.

FW: Darren Elkins (27-10) vs. Tristan Connelly (14-7)

  • Pick: Darren Elkins (-170)
  • Reasoning: Elkins’ experience and control time is crucial in making him the favorite in this fight. Darren Elkins doesn’t necessarily have the best striking work by any means, but he has the tools to replicate Pat Sabatini’s performance against Connelly. Sabatini was able to control Connelly for nearly 10 minutes of fight time, and I believe Elkins and his control-heavy style will lead to multiple takedowns and ground attacks. Connelly was able to beat Michel Pereira at the welterweight level, but he enters this fight seeking to redeem himself as a featherweight following his loss to Sabatini. The only way I see Connelly winning is by keeping this a standup battle, which I find highly unlikely against Elkins. I believe Elkins’ 12 years in the UFC has prepared him for a newer fighter to the promotion like Connelly, and I see him taking the fight to the mat for a UD victory.

LW: Jared Gordon (18-4) vs. BCDC #8 Grant Dawson (17-1-1)

  • Pick: Grant Dawson (-170)
  • Reasoning: Although I give Gordon a slight edge on the feet, Dawson’s control game is too strong and will most likely lead into a UD victory. He’s controlled his opponents for over 15 minutes in his past two fights, maintaining his unbeaten run through his 6 fights with the UFC. Gordon’s ground game isn’t bad, but he does give up takedowns at a 50% clip. I believe Dawson will continue to pressure, gaining points via control and ground strikes, while also proving he has a better gas tank than his fight with Ricky Glenn showed. Go with a decision or submission, with a good lean towards Grant Dawson to get the job done. 

FW: Andre Fili (21-8, 1 NC) vs. Joanderson Brito (12-3-1)

  • Pick: Andre Fili (-240)
  • Reasoning: Brito’s takedowns defense limitations and Fili’s experience in the UFC is the story of this fight. Although a potential prospect long-term, Brito didn’t show too much promise in his previous fight, as he was controlled for over 5 minutes after failing to defend the 2 takedown attempts against him. While Fili has had issues with defending takedowns against Bryce Mitchell, Brito is certainly not on the level of Fili’s recent losses to ranked featherweights in Mitchell and Sodiq Yusuff. After Brito’s debut loss to Bill Algeo, I don’t have much faith he can bounce back with a tougher and more experienced opponent in Andre Fili.

HW: Andrei Arlovski (33-20, 2 NC) vs. Jake Collier (13-6)

  • Pick: Andrei Arlovski (-160)
  • Reasoning: Arlovski is on a roll right now, sitting on a 3 fight win streak and produces more efficient stats than Collier in terms of striking, defense, takedowns, and takedown defense. Arlovski also has a October 2021 win over a common opponent in Carlos Felipe, who Collier lost to in June 2021. Both fighters have also competed against Tom Aspinall, with Arlovski being the only heavyweight thus far to make it into the second round against the top contender. Although Collier has a win against Chase Sherman in his last fight, in 10 UFC fights Collier has yet to secure 2 victories in a row. Expect a technical Arlovski – who hasn’t finished an opponent since 2015 – to earn a UD victory on Saturday.  

BW: #5 Rob Font (19-5) vs. #8 Marlon “Chito” Vera (18-7-1)

  • Pick: Marlon “Chito” Vera (+110)
  • Reasoning: As a slow starter in recent fights, a main event plays heavily to Vera’s favor when he tends to push the pace later in the fight. Using a common opponent in Jose Aldo, Vera had a better performance than Font in terms of limiting his opponent’s control time. I also don’t like the fact that Font missed weight, hinting that he might not be in the right mindset for his fight against Vera. If Vera plays a better defensive match and applies a similar strategy as Aldo did against Font, Vera should be able to secure rounds 3-5 for a UD victory. 

What Emrick’s Betting (+5.02u):

  • Parlays:
    • Tatsuro Taira ML, Grant Dawson ML
      • 0.454u to win 0.578u
    • Tatusro Taira ML, Gina Mazany ML, Grant Dawson ML
      • 0.5u to win 1.387u
  • Straight Bets:
    • Marlon “Chito” Vera ML
      • 0.5u to win .575u
    • Gerald Meerschaert ML
      • 0.6u to win 0.84u
    • Andre Fili ML
      • 2u to win 0.769u
    • Andrei Arlovski ML
      • 1u to win 0.69u
  • Boxing:
    • Katie Taylor ML
      • 1u to win 1.15u
  • Boxing:
    • Katie Taylor ML
      • 1u to win 1.15u
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