Tuesday, July 23, 2024

UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira predictions, odds, props: MMA expert releases surprising fight card picks

Alex Perez says he’s at his best in the Octagon when he clears his mind. The veteran flyweight contender plans to have a memorable time on Saturday when he squares off against rising prospect Tatsuro Taira in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira. The main UFC fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. The No. 5-ranked Perez, a one-time title-challenger, told the media this week he’s at his best when he unburdens his mind and lets instinct take over. He plans to bring that approach against the undefeated and No. 13-ranked Taira, who could emerge as a potential title-contender if he notches his first victory over a ranked opponent.

Taira is a -180 favorite (risk $180 to win $100), while Perez comes back at +150 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira odds. The co-main event features a matchup of middleweight prospects as Ikram Aliskerov (-900) meets Antonio Trocoli (+600). Before locking in your picks for UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Daniel Vithlani.  

From breaking down film and following fighters and their camps closely, to tracking sharp action and betting market signals, Vithlani covers the breadth of the MMA betting landscape top to bottom. He also trains amateur boxers and speaks regularly with MMA fighters to understand the sport’s nuances. 

Vithlani made his SportsLine debut in January 2023 and swept the main card for UFC 283 with a 5-0 record and has been a consistent winner ever since. Over the past 12 UFC pay-per-view events, Vithlani has gone 8-4 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 predicting 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 Poirier (+190) against Saint Denis (-230) and Michael Page (+110) against Kevin Holland (-130). Anyone who has followed him has seen massive returns. 

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

UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira preview

It’s rare that a fighter with losses in three of his last four outings could still maintain a top-five ranking in the UFC, but such is the state of the depth-lacking flyweight division. The 125-pound division has been under consideration for elimination by the UFC brass several times but survived the most recent audit because of an uptick of fighters with star potential. 

In fairness, Perez (25-8) is 7-4 in 11 UFC appearances since his 2017 debut, and three of the four losses have come to former champions or title contenders. Even so, a three-fight losing streak over a four-year span would usually be enough to at least send a prominent contender to the bottom of the top-15 rankings. 

Perez’s misfortune started with a title-fight loss to Deiveson Figueiredo, who has since moved up to bantamweight. Perez then lost fights to current champion Alexandre Pantoja and Muahmmad Mokaev, who is now ranked No. 6 in the division. 

Because of the pedigree of his opponents and lack of competition, the 32-year-old Californian was still considered a viable flyweight contender. He finally backed up that assertion with a second-round knockout of No. 8-ranked Matheus Nicolau in April, earning a performance bonus in the process.

Now, Perez serves as the litmus test for a surging prospect in a division in desperate need of new blood at the top. Taira (15-0) is a former champion in the Shooto promotion who has impressed by winning his first five UFC outings, with three stoppages on his ledger. 

The 24-year-old Japanese fighter showed a strong stand-up game with a second-round knockout of fellow prospect Carlos Hernandez last September. He has four knockouts and seven submissions among his 15 professional wins, and an impressive performance Saturday could see him vault into the top-five rankings. You can only see who to back at UFC Fight Night here.

UFC Fight Night predictions 

We’ll share one of Vithlani’s UFC Fight Night picks here: He is going with Miles Johns (-125) to get his hand raised against Douglas Silva de Andrade (+105) in a showdown of bantamweight veterans on the main card.

De Andrade (29-5-1) is a versatile 10-year UFC veteran who has consistently faced upper-tier competition ever since his UFC debut, with mixed results. The 38-year-old Brazilian slugger has won three of his past four outings and is coming off a win over journeyman Cody Stamann last May.

Johns (14-2-1) is a former Legacy Fighting Alliance champion who has yet to find consistent success against UFC competition but has still mustered a record of 4-2-1 in seven appearances for the promotion. The 30-year-old Kansas native is looking to build off a decision victory against Cody Gibson in March.

“De Andrade is now 38 years old and, although he remains dangerous, I’m not sure he can defend takedowns from Johns for three rounds,” Vithlani told SportsLine. See who else to back here

How to make UFC Fight Night picks 

Vithlani also has strong picks for Perez vs. Taira and other bouts on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “has the superior talent and all-round skillset” to emerge with a dominant victory. Those picks and Vithlani’s analysis are only available at SportsLine

Who wins UFC Fight Night: Perez vs. Taira, 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 UFC main-card picks, and find out. 

UFC Fight Night odds, fight card

See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets here.
Tatsuro Taira (-180) vs. Alex Perez (+150)
Ikram Aliskerov (-900) vs. Antonio Trocoli (+600)
Timothy Cumaba (-195) vs. Lucas Almeida (+165)
Douglas Silva de Andrade (+105) vs. Miles Johns (-125)
Assu Almabayev (-550) vs. Jose Johnson (+410)
Brady Hiestand (+150) vs. Garrett Armfield (-175)
Tagir Ulanbekov (-245) vs. Joshua Van (+185)
Nate Maness (-450) vs. Jimmy Flick (+370)
Adam Fugitt (+105) vs. Josh Quinlan (-125)
Carli Judice (+200) vs. Gabriella Fernandes (-240)
Jeka Saragih (-355) vs. Westin Wilson (+280)
Josefine Knutsson (-245) vs. Julia Polastri (+200)

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