UFC Fight Night predictions, odds: Punahele Soriano among best bets to consider on this loaded fight card

Once one of the top fighters in the sport, former two-time UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw makes his return on Saturday after being sidelined for more than two years after a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drug EPO. Dillashaw will immediately return to deep water at 135 pounds when he faces rising star Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas.

Sandhagen is a -195 favorite to spoil Dillashaw’s return, with oddsmakers making the most likely outcome a Sandhagen stoppage victory (-120). The odds also favor a short fight, with the fight going under 2.5 rounds sitting at -137.

There’s plenty more action to be had at the sportsbooks for this stacked UFC Fight Night card, with competitive fights up and down the card.

William Hill Sportsbook has you covered with every angle of UFC Fight Night to get in on the action. We’re going to give you a few options to consider with this card from our favorite moneyline play, prop play and parlay play. Let’s take a closer look at those picks now.

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Best moneyline pick

Darrick Minner -160 vs. Darren Elkins

Elkins is the classic “tough out,” with the ability to ugly up a fight against nearly anyone and drag them into an uncomfortable fight. He’s coming off a win that snapped a four-fight losing skid. That skid came against some tough competition, including featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski on Volkanovski’s way to winning the title, and only one of those losses came by stoppage. That said, Elkins does appear to be on the downside of his career after hanging on and becoming more of a contender than he seemed capable of when he entered the Octagon for the first time in 2010.

Minner is an odd duck in MMA, with 22 wins by submission, one by knockout and three by decision. His submission rate would generally indicate someone with a near-bulletproof ground game, yet Minner has been submitted eight times in his 11 career losses. Still, at this point in their careers, Minner has the stronger ability to control a fight through his grappling attack, especially against someone like Elkins, who can fight in a method where he does just enough to lose. Minner feels like the right play here up to about the -180 to -185 range.

Best prop pick

Punahele Soriano via KO, TKO, DQ or submission +163

Soriano is an absolute bomber on the feet, with seven of his eight wins in his perfect MMA career coming by knockout in the first round. His lone decision win came in his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, but he went on to score two first-round knockouts in his first two official UFC fights. He’s a dangerous fighter with heavy strikes and the ability to end a fight at any time.

Brendan Allen is a more than competent fighter, which is why the fight is a pick’em at -110 for both men. That said, Allen has leaky striking defense and his wrestling and ground game likely won’t be effective against Soriano, which means a fight on the feet could well be coming. Allen does not want to be in a striking battle with Soriano and for good reason. Unless Allen can somehow force Soriano to the cage and put him on his back, this feels like a very likely big win for Soriano and another impressive knockout on his resume.

Best parlay pick

Punahele Soriano -110, Jordan Williams -180, Julio Arce -200 (+345)

We already covered why we like Soriano in his fight with Allen, but getting him at -110 on the moneyline should be attractive as a base part of a parlay. The next step is adding Jordan Williams at -180 against Mickey Gall. Gall has had a rocky road in the UFC since making his name by beating both CM Punk and Sage Northcutt. Losing to Diego Sanchez by TKO in 2019 was a big black mark on his record and losing a decision to Mike Perry while Perry was being cornered by his girlfriend wasn’t much better. Williams is a strong finisher and he has never been in a position where he has been submitted as a professional. All but one of Gall’s wins is by submission and he doesn’t present the danger of Williams on the feet.

Rounding out the parlay is Julio Arce at -200 against Andre Ewell. Ewell has one of the red flags we usually key in on, with a 4-3 UFC record, but three of his four wins have come by split decision. That stat is slightly misleading as the vast majority of media who scored his split decision wins over Irwin Rivera and Renan Barao scored the fight for Ewell. Still, there’s something to be said for lacking the ability to put a clean stamp on a fight, and nearly everyone who scored his split decision win over Jonathan Martinez saw the fight for Martinez. Arce has two UFC split decisions of his own, both losses, which can be a similar sort of red flag, but he also has better wins and better finishing ability compared to Ewell, who has never won a fight in the UFC via any method other than submission.

We do recommend staying away from the main and co-main events for parlays with extended layoffs for TJ Dillashaw and Aspen Ladd providing odd unknowns to their respective fights. Both are great fighters when they’re performing at their peaks — with Ladd being the much safer bet of the two as Dillashaw is an outright underdog — but rust could play a big role in things. There’s simply too much volatility to connect other bets to fights involving either fighter.

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