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UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez odds, predictions: MMA expert reveals surprising fight card picks, bets

A pair of flyweight fighters will try to get back into the win column when Brazilian Matheus Nicolau battles American Alex Perez on the main card of UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez on Saturday. The main UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez fight card begins at 7 p.m. ET at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Nicolau enters the Octagon for the first time in over a year after being knocked out by Brandon Royval. Perez, meanwhile, is back in action after just over a month after losing via unanimous decision to Muhammad Mokaev on March 2. Perez has lost three bouts in a row, dating back to 2020.

Nicolau is a -185 favorite (risk $185 to win $100), while Perez comes back at +155 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez odds. Also on the main card is a light heavyweight matchup between Ryan Spann (-195) and Bogdan Guskov (+165). Before locking in any UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine analyst Daniel Vithlani

Vithlani is a highly analytical UFC bettor who has been a consistent winner for SportsLine members since making his debut in January 2023 with a 5-0 record for UFC 283. In the last eight UFC pay-per-view events, Vithlani has gone 6-2 on main-event picks and his main-card selections in that span have netted his followers a profit of more than $1,500.

His highlights include calling an upset for Sean O’Malley (+210) against Aljamain Sterling (-250) at UFC 292 as part of a 4-1 main card and his UFC 299 winners included underdog selections on Dustin Poirier (+190) against Benoit Saint Denis (-230) and Michael Page (+110) against Kevin Holland (-130). Anyone who has followed him is way up. Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

Now, with UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez on deck, Vithlani has studied the card from top to bottom and released his top picks. You can only see those picks at SportsLine

UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez preview

Nicolau, 31, has had a lot of success since turning pro in 2010, at the age of 17. He posted a record of 10-1-1 competing in regional competitions in Brazil, before trying out for The Ultimate Fighter. In March 2015, he was selected as one of the fighters for The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, and reached all the way to the semifinals where he lost by unanimous decision to Dileno Lopes. He debuted in UFC on Nov. 7, 2015, where he defeated Bruno Rodrigues by submission in the third round.

After a brief absence from UFC following a knock-out loss to Dustin Ortiz in 2018, but returned in January 2021. He has won four of five bouts since then. In 23 professional matches, Nicolau has gone 19-3-1, with five wins by knockout, five by submission and nine by decision. All three of his losses have been by knockout. He is currently the fifth-ranked fighter in the UFC flyweight rankings.

Perez, 32, began his professional fighting career in 2011 in the bantamweight division at TPF 9, earning a knockout win over Jesus Castro in the first round. He ended up compiling a 17-4 record, before joining Dana White’s Contender Series 5 in August 2017. He then defeated Kevin Gray by technical submission in a return to the flyweight division. On Dec. 9, 2017, he won another match by submission, defeating Carls John de Tomas in a bantamweight bout.

Since then, he has gone 5-4 and has compiled a 24-8 overall record. He has won five matches by knockout, seven by submission and 12 by decision. Despite losing his last three matches, two by submission and one by unanimous decision, he finds himself ranked No. 8 in the UFC flyweight rankings. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night right here

UFC Fight Night predictions 

We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night selections here: He is backing Karine Silva (-145) to defeat Ariane Lipski (+125) in a battle of women’s flyweights on the main card.

Silva, 30, has been on a bit of a roll, winning eight consecutive matches, including six of the last seven by submission. She began her career in June 2013, before eventually finding her way to Dana White’s Contender Series 45. There, she defeated Qihui Yan by submission in impressive fashion at 1:44 of the second round. In her last fight at UFC 292, she defeated Maryna Moroz at 4:59 of the first round by submission.

Lipski, 30, is nicknamed “The Queen of Violence” and is coming off an impressive second-round win by submission over Casey O’Neill in December. She has won her last three bouts to get back on track after going 1-3 from November 2020 until August 2022. In 25 career matches, she has posted a 17-8 mark with six wins by knockout, four by submission and seven by decision. She is currently No. 12 in the UFC women’s flyweight rankings.

Vithlani sees a rough and tumble matchup between the two fighters, but sees Silva prevailing. “Lipski will certainly be Silva’s toughest test yet. Lipski has good UFC experience, and a strong grappling game herself. Lipski has improved greatly after a rough start to her UFC career, and is now on an impressive three-fight win streak. On the feet, I give the edge to Lipski. However, I feel Silva will eventually end up in top position where she thrives. If Lipski is on her back for long durations in this fight, she will be in trouble,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who else to back here

How to make UFC Fight Night picks  

Vithlani has strong picks for Nicolau vs. Perez and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “will inflict damage with ground and pound” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those UFC picks and analysis are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Nicolau vs. Perez, and how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the MMA expert who profited more than $1,500 on his UFC main-card picks in 2023, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night odds, fight card

See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here.

Matheus Nicolau (-185) vs. Alex Perez (+155)
Bogdan Guskov (+165) vs. Ryan Spann (-195)
Gabriel Benitez (+170) vs. Hayisaer Maheshate (-205)
Ivana Petrovic (-500) vs. Na Liang (+390)
Marnic Mann (+260) vs. Ketlen Souza (-325)
Don’Tale Mayes (+100) vs. Caio Machado (-125)
Austin Hubbard (+140) vs. Michal Figlak (-165)
Rani Yahya (+390) vs. Victory Henry (-500)
Tim Means (+250) vs. Uros Medic (-310)
Jonathan Pearce (-180) vs. David Onama (+150)
Austen Lane (+200) vs. Jhonata Diniz (-245)
Karine Silva (-145) vs. Ariane Lipski (+125)

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