UFC Vegas 20: Complete Main-Card Predictions and Round, Method Picks

The heavyweights take center stage for the second Saturday in succession when Ciryl Gane and Jairzinho Rozenstruik meet in the headlining fight of UFC Vegas 20 (February 27). 

You can watch all the main-card matchups unfold from 8 p.m. ET, and we attempt predictions for every result with odds provided by William Hill USA. 

UFC Vegas 20 Predictions:

Russian Favorite Magomed Anaklaev Backs Up Odds vs. Nikita Krylov

Magomed Ankalaev (-360) vs. Nikita Krylov (+280)

Border rivals Russia and Ukraine resume their rivalry at UFC Vegas 20 when Magomed Ankalaev suits up as the joint-biggest favorite on the card for his light heavyweight war against Nikita Krylov.

A co-main event worth getting behind, the technically devastating Ankalaev (14-1) is a -360 moneyline leader with BetMGM USA as he seeks his fourth finish in as many fights. Two of those previous stoppages were complete KOs, including a conclusive hammering of Ion Cutelaba in their rematch back in October:

https://twitter.com/UFCEurope/status/1364592168074158088

It’s difficult to see where Krylov (26-7) plots a path to victory, but one thing that’s almost certain is “The Miner” doesn’t stand much of a chance if the fight stays upright. 

With 10 submission wins under his belt, the 28-year-old’s best opportunity is to get things to the floor and keep them there for as long as possible in the hopes Ankalaev doesn’t add to his tally of nine KO/TKO wins. It’s also relevant that the Dagestan native’s only career loss was a sub defeat to Paul Craig, though that triangle came in the very last second, with Ankalaev only just missing what looked like a certain win.

Krylov is no shrinking violet in this duel and boasts impressive wins over Johnny Walker and Ovince Saint-Preux in the past two years, but Ankalaev looks streets ahead on paper. Not only is the Russian a knockout artist, but his ground game is no joke either; he merely chooses to stand and exchange by preference, and for good reason.

That being said, Krylov has only been knocked out once in his career, and that was in his uFC debut back in 2013. The betting moneyline offers little value backing the favorite, but Ankalaev by decision at +275 is a different matter, and a plausible one at that given Krylov’s record.

Prediction: Ankalaev via decision (+275)

UFC Vegas 20 Picks:

Brazil’s Mayra Bueno Silva at Good Odds for Decision Win vs. Montana De La Rosa 

Mayra Bueno Silva (-135) vs. Montana De La Rosa (+115)

Mayra Bueno Silva is considered by many to be one worth watching in the UFC women’s flyweight division, and a win over Montana De La Rosa would ensure her stock continues to rise.

Silva (7-1) is the older of the pair by three years, but the Brazilian is nevertheless considered a rising star given this will be only her ninth pro fight (her fourth in the UFC). The 29-year-old is only a slim favorite to win here at -135 with William Hill USA, but all the more reason why the moneyline alone appears to offer good value.

De La Rosa (11-6) is 3-2 in the UFC but is yet to suffer a finish since joining its ranks in 2017. Two of Monty’s three victories with the UFC have come via submission, though those were both against lesser grappling opponents, and Silva is a fiendish talent on the floor:

https://twitter.com/MMAFighting/status/1307454309286719489

While the moneyline still yields decent returns for Silva, a decision win at +210 looks the way to go, especially if we look at De La Rosa’s most recent loss to Viviane Araujo in September 2020. There, the American went toe to toe against another great grappler from Brazil and managed to avoid the tap, with this fight probably going in a very similar direction.

Prediction: Silva via decision (+210)

UFC Vegas 20 Betting Guide:

Back Jimmie Rivera Decision vs. Pedro Munhoz at Double-Up Odds

Jimmie Rivera (-150) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+125)

Three weeks after the pair were initially scheduled to meet last month, Jimmie Rivera and Pedro Munhoz will finally get their rematch up and running at UFC Vegas 20.

The scorecards were close when Rivera beat Munhoz via split decision in their first meeting back in November 2015, and a similar result looks nailed on for the rematch five years on.

“El Terror” (23-4)—a slight frontrunner at -150 with bet365 NJ —has proved well capable of lasting over three rounds as a UFC bantamweight, collecting six of his seven wins with the promotion via decision. 

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Rivera is 2-3 in his last five bouts, but that run is forgivable considering those losses came to Marlon Moraes (the only knockout loss of his career), Aljamain Sterling and current bantamweight champion Petr Yan. The results look even more gracious considering he took both Yan and Sterling to decisions, something few of their other opponents can claim.

The 31-year-old made his featherweight debut as a late replacement against another big talent in Cody Stamann last July, which again underlined Rivera’s durability over 15 minutes:

Munhoz (18-5-1NC)—the +125 underdog—has been through a sea of change since his first clash with Rivera as well, going 7-3 and notching a KO win over Cody Garbrandt, only to lose his last two fights against Sterling and Frankie Edgar (both by decision). “The Young Punisher” is much more accustomed to early finishes (but has never been finished himself), recording each of his five career losses by decision.

It was a thunderous head kick from Moraes that resulted in Rivera’s only stoppage loss. Not only does Munhoz not pack the same power, but his opponent isn’t liable to stand and swap blows in the same manner as Garbrandt, with Rivera a lot more calculated in his approach.

With a full training camp behind him, Rivera should be back to old habits and looks a smart pick close to evens (-105) to see out the result over a full three rounds.

Prediction: Rivera via decision (-105)

UFC Vegas 20 Odds:

Angela Hill to Repeat Decision Win Over Ashley Yoder in Rematch

Angela Hill (-360) vs. Ashley Yoder (+280)

One of two rematches occurring on the main card of UFC Vegas 20 sees Angela Hill and Ashley Yoder square off for the second time, four years on from their first encounter.

Yoder (8-6) made just her second UFC appearance in a unanimous-decision defeat to Hill (12-9) back in July 2017, with this fight making its way into the melee on short notice this time around.

Hill remains the favorite with William Hill and is the joint-shortest bet on the card at -360, while New Jersey customers can rally behind Yoder as a +280 dog.

It’s the case now as it was back then that Hill is the far busier striker of the two, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Yoder will be expected to grapple, take matters to the fence and ground her opponent where possible. 

The difference now is that Hill has commented on the improvements she’s sought in her grappling, particularly after back-to-back split decision losses against Michelle Waterson and Claudia Gadelha. Both of those decisions were narrow, and “Overkill” carries a chip on her shoulder into this bout after feeling she deserved the win over Waterson:

https://twitter.com/MMALatestNws/status/1305542023613747207

Despite the fact Hill looks a worthy favorite here, there isn’t a lot of appeal in her moneyline odds, and even -175 for the 36-year-old to win via decision aren’t much more engaging. Yoder has proved impossible to finish in the UFC and seen the full 15 minutes in each of her eight bouts with the promotion (3-5), with this matchup likely to be no different.

Prediction: Hill via decision (-175)

UFC Vegas 20 Picks, Odds:

Kevin Croom On Big Upset Alert Facing Fellow Veteran Alex Caceres

Alex Caceres (-210) vs. Kevin Croom (+175)

Two of the best nicknames in attendance will collide at UFC Vegas 20, with Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres out to show why he’s the moneyline favorite over Kevin “The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly” Croom.

Those monikers paint the picture of this being a straight-up fisticuffs, but both fighters are more favorable towards the ground game if they’re going for the finish. Caceres (17-12-1NC), who’s approaching the 10th anniversary of his UFC debut, has six submission wins from 30 professional fights, while Croom (21-12-1NC) has 10 sub victories to his name.

Though it got overturned to a no-contest following his positive test for marijuana, Croom—a +175 underdog with Pointsbet NJ on Saturday—submitted Roosevelt Roberts in only 31 second in his UFC debut last September. The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly immediately targeted a fight with Caceres after that finish, which was at the time the fastest finish for a lightweight debutant:

With that victory overturned, both Croom and Caceres—the -210 favorite—are still riding three-win streaks into this matchup, which almost guarantees excitement if nothing else. Two of Bruce Leeroy’s last three losses have come via submission, though they came against two extremely good BJJ practitioners in Kron Gracie and Jason Knight.

For all his strong points, Caceres too often leaves himself open to damage, and Croom has proved himself willing to be wild in his offense. The pair are near-identical in size and reach, but Croom—who has six KO/TKO wins compared to Caceres’ three—looks a more rounded (and possibly more hungry) quantity entering this clash.

A Croom upset at +175 offers good payouts on its own, but his slick transitions could wreak havoc against Caceres—who has suffered seven submission defeats—and looks the best bet at +400 returns.

Prediction: Croom via submission (+400) in Rd 2 (+800)

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