It was the end of an era last year when it was announced that ESPN would be taking over the broadcast of UFC events from Fox. The fights will go on, though, and we have a big one set to go at the Talking Stick Resort in Arizona this Sunday, with the UFC on ESPN 1 set to air on the sports network. The main card features 6 fights, with the first one set to start at 9 PM EST.
Let’s take a closer look at those bouts alongside the latest UFC Betting Odds.
Ngannou vs Velasquez Odds & Picks for UFC on ESPN 1 Main Card
Andre Fili (+130) vs Myles Jury (-150)
This Featherweight fight should be a fun way to kick things off, as it features a pair of fighters who entered the UFC as hot prospects.
Neither of them has really seen their careers pan out the way they had hoped, but both still tend to put on a bit of a show when they get into the Octagon. You can bet that Fili is going to come out swinging, which could lead to Jury deciding to go toe to toe. I see this one going the distance, with Jury edging it.
Vicente Luque (-420) vs Bryan Barberena (+320)
If you are looking for an upset, this might be the fight to look at. Luque saw his career get off to a solid start with a great showing on “The Ultimate Fighter,” but that momentum has not really carried over into his UFC appearances.
Barberena is about as tough as they come and is therefore not going to be easy to put away. Luque tends to win and gets in trouble as fights go on, which is why Barberena is my pick in this one.
Alex Caceres (+260) vs Kron Gracie (-320)
If there was a poster boy for inconsistency in the UFC, it would almost certainly be Caceres. He has had 19 prior bouts under the UFC banner and consistently sits around the .500 mark.
Gracie brings a great family tradition to the UFC, but this will be his first appearance under that banner. That is not to suggest that Gracie is a green fighter, though, as he has had some big wins in the Rizin Fighting Federation. I am on Gracie to take this one.
Cortney Casey (+255) vs Cynthia Calvillo (-315)
Cynthia Calvillo comes into this one with a 7-1 professional mark, which includes winning 4 of the 5 fights that she has had under the UFC banner. Casey has had her ups and downs thus far, with her grappling skills definitely her best style of fighting.
The bad news is that Calvillo is just incredibly strong on the mat, which definitely shifts things in her favor here. I like Calvillo to win by submission in round 2.
James Vick (-120) vs Paul Felder (+100)
These are a pair of Lightweight fighters that you need to feel a little bit sorry for. Vick has had to battle injury all through his career, while Felder saw his career put on hold somewhat in 2018 when he had a pair of fights canceled late for various reasons.
Felder proved his worth by being very entertaining in the commentary box, but he will be looking to get back on track in the Octagon with this one. This should be a fun fight, with Vick just edging it.
Francis Ngannou (+140) vs Cain Velasquez (-165)
One of the most intriguing aspects of this fight is the re-emergence of Cain Velasquez as a headliner. He was one of the best in the UFC at the height of his career, but injuries have limited him to just 2 fights since 2013.
Ngannou was a rising star in the UFC before getting his clock cleaned in consecutive fights against Miocic and Lewis. The big man looked good when he beat Curtis Blaydes last November, and I think this is one he will end before Velasquez gets a chance to shake off the rust.