Edmend Shahbazyan favored in UFC fight Saturday

Battle of Youth vs. Experience: Can Edmend Shahbazyan Stay Perfect in UFC Fight Night Saturday?

Well, this should be interesting.

Saturday’s UFC main event features two fighters who are almost polar opposites as far as their career status is concerned.

Middleweight Derek Brunson is a grizzled veteran with 27 fights and a career that has encountered both ups and downs. According to a CBS Sports preview, Brunson lost four out of six fights from 2016 – 2018, but has rebounded with two wins in 2019.

His opponent, Edmend Shahbazyan, is a 22-year-old fast-rising star with only three UFC fights and a perfect 11-0 record in MMA matches.

Brunson is ranked No. 8 in the middleweight division. Shahbazyan is ranked 9th. On Saturday, they’ll meet in the octagon at the UFC’s Apex Facility in Las Vegas. It’s a classic clash of young versus old and youth versus experience.

It should be plenty interesting. In this week’s installment of Penn SportsbooksPick Play, we’ll take a look at the UFC betting odds and the available wagers at PA betting apps to get you ready for UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan.

There are 11 total fights on Saturday’s UFC Card

The UFC returns to America Saturday after hosting a number of events at “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. There are 11 total bouts on Saturday’s card, headlined by Brunson vs. Shahbazyan.

And Shahbazyan might have less experience, but he’s entering the main event as a heavy favorite. BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook have Shahbazyan as -333 on the moneyline. Brunson is +250. The fights’s over/under is set at 1.5 rounds, which suggests oddsmakers expect a quick one.

There are also 14 other bets available on the fight, including the method of victory, whether or not the fight will go the distance, and the exact winning round.

Calderwood favored in women’s flyweight match

In the co-main event, flyweight Joanne Calderwood takes on Jennifer Maia. Calderwood is -162 at BetRivers/PlaySugarhouse and DraftKings. Maia is +130. The fight’s over/under is set at 2.5 rounds.

The rest of Saturday’s fights and their moneyline odds at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are as follows:

  • Chris Gutierrez (-365) vs. Cody Durden (+265)
  • Jamall Emmers (+135) vs. Timur Valiev (-167)
  • Eric Spicely (+165) vs. Markus Perez (-210)
  • Ray Borg (-250) vs. Nate Maness (+195)
  • Ed Herman (+145) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (-180)
  • Frankie Saenz (+200) vs. Jonathan Martinez (-250)
  • Kevin Holland (-225) vs. Trevin Giles (+175)
  • Lando Vannata (-148) vs. Bobby Green  (+120)
  • Vincente Luque (-190) vs. Randy Brown (+150)

Daily fantasy contests offer big UFC payouts

DraftKings and FanDuel are also hosting a number of daily fantasy contests for Saturday’s UFC event.

The featured contest at DraftKings is a $15 entry Throwdown Special with a $400k prize pool and a first-place prize of $100,000. For smaller budgets, the $3 entry Haymaker has a prize pool of $40k and a top payout of $4,000.

Over at FanDuel, the UFC Octagon has an $8.88 entry fee with a total prize pool of $100k and a first-place payout of $20k. The $3 entry UFC Kimura has a total prize pool of $10k.

Both sites have contests available at all price points to help get you into the action.

Preliminary fights begin at 6 p.m. Saturday

Saturday’s UFC card will be broadcast on ESPN+, with the preliminaries starting at 6 p.m. and the main card beginning at about 9 p.m. 

The main event features a pair of polar opposites. One is a grizzled veteran. The other is a young prospect with far fewer fights, but much more promise.

Late Saturday night, they’ll meet in the octagon.

And it should be interesting.