Welcome to my betting breakdown for UFC Vegas 32: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw. The UFC will continue their string of Fight Night events on ESPN at the Apex facility in Las Vegas this weekend with an extremely fun and exciting card.
In the main event, we have Cory Sandhagen, who has quickly climbed into title contention in less than four years with the promotion due to his explosive striking style. Sandhagen is favored over former Bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw, who has not fought in two and a half years following a USADA suspension. This fight has massive stakes, as the winner is likely next in line for a title shot against Aljamain Sterling or Petr Yan, who are set to clash for gold later this year.
Also on this card are two great fights featuring bright prospects — one in the bantamweight division between Adrian Yanez and Randy Costa, and one a middleweight scrap between Punahele Soriano and Brendan Allen that is likely to end in a beautiful sequence of violence. Also on the main card is a clash between top women’s flyweight prospects Maycee Barber and Miranda Maverick. Our original co-main event between Aspen Ladd and Macy Chiasson was unfortunately canceled during fight week, but Kyler Phillips and Raulian Paiva are stepping into the co-main event spotlight.
This card has 11 total fights, and there are some solid betting spots on the card. I currently have a bet on four of the 11 scheduled fights for Saturday. You can find all my plays free in the FTN Bets Tracker.
I’ll be writing this best bets article weekly with extended breakdowns for up to three of my best bets and occasionally including some leans if I don’t have three plays. I will be in the FTNBets Discord for about two hours before the early prelims this weekend to answer any questions that readers have, we’d love to continue building the community through Discord.
Sijara Eubanks vs. Elise Reed Betting Odds
Odds: Eubanks (-360) vs. Reed (+310)
Eubanks enters her ninth UFC bout this weekend with a 4-4 record inside the promotion and a 6-6 overall professional record. Following her time on The Ultimate Fighter in 2017, Eubanks has been disappointing in terms of her results, to be candid. She was scheduled to fight for the title in TUF series finale but was hospitalized during a weight cut and never has reached that championship level again and is now 36 years old. However, I believe Eubanks is far more talented than what she’s shown in terms of her record. Skill-set wise, Eubanks has solid striking metrics, and is a strong wrestler with a nice top game. Eubanks has certainly struggled with her cardio in the past, but those issues seem to be resolved in her more recent fights.
Reed is making her UFC debut this weekend after just four professional fights and will be stepping in on relatively short notice against Eubanks due to her prior two opponents pulling out. When looking back at Reed’s regional tape it’s not hard to see why the UFC signed her, she has a fun striking style that is karate-based. However, she has some massive holes in her game on tape, most notably in the grappling department where she has been mounted and put in dominant positions across multiple regional-level bouts. She also used to fight at 105 pounds and is now moving all the way up to 125 for this fight.
I won’t bury the lede here: This is a massive mismatch. Eubanks has certainly let me down before, but surely it would be very difficult to mess this matchup up. One notable factor before we even talk about styles in this fight is size. Eubanks successfully made 125 pounds at weigh-ins Friday morning and is moving down from 135 to her original weight class from TUF. Reed on the other hand has never fought at 125 pounds before and even made her professional debut at 105. Eubanks is going to be the much larger woman Saturday. In terms of the styles here, Eubanks is reliable to shoot takedowns and she should find them easily in this spot. Although Reed is undefeated in her career, she gets into trouble nearly every fight and Eubanks is a strong grappler. I also think Eubanks has some solid finish equity in this spot, despite the fact that she has zero UFC finishes. I think her most likely path to a finish is submission, as Eubanks is a very credentialed BJJ player but has not shown that in the octagon and actually has zero submission wins in her career. However, she has a solid chance to change that this weekend.
Bets: Sijara Eubanks-290 1x until -310 (Placed July 19)
Sijara Eubanks/Elise Reed Under 2.5 Rounds +210 0.75x until +150 (Placed July 19)
Sijara Eubanks to Win by Submission +500 0.25x until +400 (Placed July 22)
Punahele Soriano vs. Brendan Allen Betting Odds
Odds: Soriano (-125) vs. Allen (+105)
Soriano is undefeated at 8-0 in his career and doesn’t turn 29 until this November. Of his eight wins, seven of them have come inside the first round, with the lone decision coming on Contender Series in 2019. Since then, Soriano is 2-0 in the UFC with two highlight-reel first-round knockouts. Soriano is a physical specimen whose muscles have muscles, and he hits extremely hard. In addition to hitting hard, Soriano does a nice job pressuring his opponents and backing them up against the cage before he swings as hard as possible. The potential flaws in Soriano’s game include cardio, which I’m very suspicious about moving forward. He carries so much muscle mass and puts every ounce of power he has into each strike attempt that it just seems obvious that he will struggle to go 15 minutes, but that may not matter at this level if he continues to knock everybody out in Round 1.
Allen is 4-1 in the UFC and rebounded beautifully off his first loss int he promotion last November with a first-round submission win over Karl Roberson a few months back. Allen is extremely tall for the middleweight division and despite being just 25 years old has fought an extremely impressive strength of schedule between the UFC and his LFA career prior to getting signed. His four career losses have come to Trevin Giles at age 20, Eryk Anders and Anthony Hernandez a year later, and then Sean Strickland in 2020. All four of those fighters are UFC-level combatants, with Anders and Strickland both being headliners of UFC cards. Stylistically, Allen is an extremely crafty grappler with nine of his 16 professional wins coming by submission. At the beginning of his career, Allen would sacrifice a lot of dominant positions on the ground and sell out for submissions but seems to be improving his fight IQ each time out. The biggest knock on Allen is his standup, which is slowly improving in terms of his offense, but still lacking in terms of striking defense. Allen has a poor 39% striking defense, which essentially means he eats punches with his face far too often.
This is an extremely fun matchup. In terms of the fighting futures for both these two men, I see Allen having a legitimate top-10 future in this weight class if he can shore up a few holes, as his offensive game has proven to be lethal over a large sample. I’m less bullish on Puna in the long term until he proves he can win fights in ways other than first-round knockouts. However, this matchup appears to be a good one for Soriano, as he hits like a truck early in fights and Allen is very hittable. I think there’s a very good chance Soriano hits him on the chin hard in the first-round multiple times. If Allen can survive, I favor his experience and ground game to propel him over a tired Soriano. In either of those iterations, the fight likely ends by finish. Both of these men are finishers, and their styles are beautiful opposites that will allow for lots of offense in this fight and hopefully not much defense. This will be a violent fight.
Bet: Punahele Soriano/Brendan Allen Under 2.5 Rounds -175 2x until -175, 1.5x until -195, 1x until -220 (Placed July 22)
Cory Sandhagen vs. T.J. Dillashaw Betting Odds
Odds: Sandhagen (-200) vs. Dillashaw (+170)
(This breakdown comes from my UFC Vegas 32- Sandhagen vs Dillashaw Betting Odds, Picks, and Preview article, but now includes my bet on the fight and an additional blurb toward the end.)
This fight was originally scheduled for May 28 before Dillashaw was forced to withdraw a week prior to the event due to a cut suffered in training. However, the backstory between these two men goes back years, all the way to when Dillashaw was a dominant champion at 135 pounds and Sandhagen wasn’t even in the UFC, as these two were training partners at Elevation Fight Team in Denver and reportedly have had very competitive sparring matches. Another narrative-based wrinkle in this fight is the fact that Dillashaw hasn’t fought since early 2019, when he fell short of becoming a double champion against Henry Cejudo. Dillashaw was suspended by USADA following that loss and has been suspended for over two years. On that January night in 2019 Sandhagen picked up his third UFC victory and has gone 4-1 since Dillashaw last fought, including back-to-back knockout wins over Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar after being submitted by current champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250. Stylistically, Sandhagen is one of the most diverse strikers in the UFC and has a multitude of weapons that he pairs with incredible output (6.85 Strikes Landed per Minute) which leads to a very difficult puzzle to solve at 5-foot-11. Dillashaw has a unique fighting styles that sets the tone for many upcoming fighters in the lower weight classes, as he’s in a constant state of lateral movement and frequently attacks in small blitzes. Dillashaw is also a competent wrestler, landing 1.68 takedowns per 15 minutes over his 16-fight UFC sample.
This is such a fascinating matchup because of the history between these two men. While everybody has a take on the former training sessions that went down in Denver, the only people that truly know what happened during sparring are Sandhagen and Dillashaw. In terms of how the fight breaks down, lining Sandhagen as a solid favorite in this spot makes sense just due to his recent body of work and the fact that we haven’t seen Dillashaw in nearly 30 months and he’s now 35 years old and has relied on quickness and speed so much throughout his career. Sandhagen will enjoy a significant 5-inch height advantage and 3-inch reach advantage in this fight, which he has typically used to control range very successfully in past fights. It’s important to acknowledge the potential wrestling upside of Dillashaw in this spot as he’s had wrestling success in the past and if there’s one glaring weakness in the game of Sandhagen it’s his poor 30% takedown defense. However, Sandhagen is an above-average scrambler should this fight hit the ground, and I don't see Dillashaw being able to stay on top for long periods of time. So while Dillashaw could see some wrestling success, he would likely need to shoot takedowns in massive volume after coming off a long layoff and never having employed a super wrestling-heavy gameplan. If Dillashaw approaches this fight with an optimal gameplan and hasn’t missed a step since 2019 this fight can be very competitive. However, that’s a lot to ask of somebody coming off such a long layoff, especially due to PEDs. I’ll take the fresher, rangier, more active fighter in Sandhagen to get a win in this spot and add a massive name to his resume.
In terms of the betting odds, I wasn’t planning on originally having a bet on this fight, but FanDuel is posting a prop that makes very little sense. I’ve seen the odds on Fight Doesn’t Go The Distance get as high as -300 on some books, and the “Fight Doesn’t Start Round 4” market is a derivative of that. This should be upwards of -150.
Bet: Cory Sandhagen/T.J. Dillashaw Fight Does NOT Start Round 4 -116 1x until -125 (Placed July 22)
Special for this week: I will be doing a FREE breakdown of UFC Vegas 32 from a DFS perspective in the MMA DFS Discord channel through FTNDaily.