Welcome to my betting breakdown for UFC Vegas 40: Ladd vs Dumont. The UFC will continue their run of fight night events at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada this weekend. The ten-fight card is headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout where the winner could potentially stake their claim for the next shot at champion Amanda Nunes. Despite there being just ten fights available to wager on for this card, I’ve actually found a decent amount of spots that I feel comfortable attacking in the betting market.

You can find all my plays for free in the FTN Bets Tracker. I’ll be writing this column weekly with extended breakdowns for up to three of my best bets, and occasionally 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 might have. We'd love to continue building the community through Discord. 

If you’re interested in DFS and betting takes for every fight on this card, you can check out The Undisputed MMA Show with Jon Kelly and myself.

For this week’s version of the Best Bets article, I’m going to try and include all five of my bets but instead of the longer writeups, I’m going to keep things more brief for each fight. I’m going to try to make it a combination of the shorter analysis you can find in our  FTN Bets Tracker and the longer analysis you might hear on The Undisputed MMA Show


UFC Vegas 40

Danaa Batgerel vs. Brandon Davis betting odds

Odds: Batgerel -165 vs Brandon Davis +145 , DraftKings Sportsbook

Batgerel dropped his UFC debut in a close fight against Heili Alateng in August of 2019, but has since won consecutive bouts by first-round KO against Guido Cannetti and Kevin Natividad. Batgerel is a solid offensive striker who has clearly shown power in his hands, but I worry a bit about his defensive wrestling and didn’t like the visuals of him on his back against Alateng.

Davis was cut from the UFC in 2019 after losing four of his last five fights inside the promotion, but has since rallied to win four consecutive fights on the regional scene over the last 13 months. This is an example of a fighter who really got screwed over by matchmaking in my opinion, as he was forced to fight Giga Chikadze, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Randy Costa, and Enrique Barzola before being cut. Basically, he is a UFC-caliber fighter and belongs in the organization. He just isn’t a top-15 talent like many of the guys he was matched up against. Davis is mostly all-offense in terms of his gameplan, as he uses a diverse set of attacks in his striking game and has only been outstruck twice at distance in the UFC, both against elite kickboxers in Chikadze and Magomedsharipov. In terms of his grappling, we have seen Davis land multiple takedowns in fights before, but he doesn’t always prioritize that portion of his skillset. Defensive striking is what I worry about most with Davis, as he often eats unnecessary shots and enjoys himself in a firefight. 

This is a pretty close matchup. I favor Batgerel’s power on the feet, but actually think that Davis has the ability to outbox him and utilize weapons such as knees in the clinch to win standup exchanges. Additionally, Davis is the far more likely fighter to rack up top control time in this bout. He took down Chikadze three times and Batgerel failed the only test of his defensive wrestling we’ve seen, although it wasn’t very recent. It’s a coin-flippy fight and I don’t mind Batgerel being a small favorite, but the current line is too wide. 

Bet: Brandon Davis +152 1x until +150 (Placed 10/14, on FanDuel

Bruno Silva vs. Andrew Sanchez betting odds

Odds: Silva -155 vs. Sanchez +135, DraftKings Sportsbook

Silva was scheduled to come over from the M-1 Russian promotion to the UFC in 2018, but his debut for the MMA leader was delayed due to a positive USADA test. When you look at Silva both physically and in terms of his fighting style, it makes sense that he was somebody who got suspended for PED usage. He’s extremely strong and carries lots of knockout power (17 of his 20 career wins by KO). However, I have concerns about both his gas tank and - more importantly - his grappling ability. He was put on his back several times outside of the UFC, and even though he knocked out Wellignton Turman on the ground in his UFC debut, I did not see a level of takedown defense that will allow him to have success against mid-upper level middleweights. 

Sanchez has had an up and down run inside the UFC, going 5-4 in the promotion since coming off of The Ultimate Fighter in 2016. Stylistically, Sanchez was primarily a wrestler to begin his career. While he has had a good amount of success that way in the UFC, that style of fighting really wore on his stamina and led to him getting knocked out in the third round of consecutive fights in 2017. However, Sanchez’s striking has been rapidly improving and he isn’t quite as reliant on wrestling anymore. His durability and cardio are always going to be a bit of a question mark, but he’s a solid fighter. 

I think the wrong fighter is favored in this matchup. While Sanchez has clear flaws that have been exposed before, he is the far more complete combatant. Silva has a chance to win by knockout early because he hits extremely hard, but I favor the technical boxing of Sanchez as this fight goes on, and I also think he will have a lot of success mixing in takedown attempts. Silva just isn’t somebody that I can trust to win fights against top-20 opponents who are going to grapple him. 

Bet: Andrew Sanchez +135 2x until +135, 1x until +120, 1x until +105. (Placed 10/7 on PointsBet

Jim Miller vs. Erick Gonzalez betting odds

Odds: Miler -255 vs. Gonzalez +205 , DraftKings Sportsbook

This is a simple bet that doesn’t require much more than a few sentences of explanation. Jim Miller is the far better fighter in this matchup, but he’s 38 years old and has had serious troubles in matchups that leave the early rounds. Gonzalez doesn’t appear to be a UFC-level fighter in my eyes, but he does have solid durability and cardio so if this fight gets extended I can see it playing out closely. However, I’m not sure that the fight will actually go that long. Nine of Miller’s UFC-record 21 victories have come via first-round submission, and he’s going to be able to take down Gonzalez early. I think Miller landing an early takedown, advancing position, and getting a submission in this matchup is close to a 30% outcome. 

FanDuel is hanging a Miller by Submission in Round One line at +750, which is wild. I bet it at +700 for a half unit and then added a quarter unit this morning at +750. 

Bet: Jim Miller by Submission in Round 1 +717 0.75x until +550, 1x until +400. (Placed 10/14 on FanDuel


Andrei Arlovski vs. Carlos Felipe betting odds

Odds:  Arlovski -115 vs. Felipe -105, DraftKings Sportsbook

This is another prop play that I think boils down to two factors: basic math and fighter styles. Both Arlovski and Felipe are non-traditional heavyweights in terms of their style, as they both are more volume-based strikers and have the cardio to go a full 15 minutes. While I’m picking Arlovski to win just based on him having slightly better striking metrics (despite facing a much stronger strength of schedule), the best look for this fight is the totals market. 

If you take all four of Felipe’s UFC fights and then a sample of Arlovski fights over the last five years, these guys are going the distance in 83% of their appearances. When digging deeper, Arlovski has really only been getting finished by elite finishers at heavyweight (Miocic, Overeem, Ngannou etc.) and Felipe has six career knockouts, but only two of them have come against fighters with winning records. Even if we pull that 83% number back a good amount due to variance with large men throwing punches with small gloves on, I can’t get anywhere close to this Goes The Distance Line. There’s an absolute goldmine of value in this market. 

Bet: Andrei Arlovski/Carlos Felipe Fight Goes The Distance - YES -152 1.5x until -167, 1x until  -185. (Placed 10/13 on FanDuel

Aspen Ladd vs. Norma Dumont betting odds

Odds: Ladd -140 vs. Dumont +120, DraftKings Sportsbook

Ladd will be making her second main event appearance this weekend after starting her UFC career 4-1. Her sole loss was at the hands of former champion Germaine de Randamie by first-round knockout. Ladd is an interesting fighter to study. I’m not sure if she has any well-above-average skills but she fights in a relatively thin weight class where she is able to utilize her physicality and strength to get fights to the ground. That’s where her best skill lies: ground and pound. 

Dumont debuted in the UFC back in February of 2020 and got knocked out by Megan Anderson in the first round, but has rallied back for consecutive victories over Ashlee Evans-Smith and Felicia Spencer. Her most impressive fight thus far was the Evans-Smith win, where she landed both a knockdown and multiple takedowns. Stylistically, the jury is still out on what Dumont is going to be over the long-term, but she has a decent distance striking game and has shown the ability to land takedowns offensively. 

This is a spot where I’m not sure what to expect in terms of how the fight will play out, but I am confident that no matter where the fight goes, there will be opportunities for either woman to finish the fight. On the feet, I favor Dumont to win at distance. Although she doesn’t have any knockouts in her career, Ladd is extremely hittable on the feet and doesn’t possess the technical defense to survive being stuck in a ranged kickboxing match for a full 25 minutes. On the flip side, Ladd is a legitimate weapon and threat to finish fights when they hit the ground. I’m saying Ladd by KO - likely coming on the ground - is the most likely outcome of this fight and an angle that I’m looking to grab exposure to. 

Bet: Ladd/Dumont Under 4.5 Rounds +105 1x until -105. Aspen Ladd by KO +400 0.25x until +300 (Placed 10/13 on FoxBet)