UFC on ESPN 24 ‘Rodriquez vs. Waterson’: Preston’s Precise Picks+Best Bets

We pick up on the early prelims when Tafon Nchukwi (-146) steps in the octagon to fight Jun Yong Park (+124) at middleweight. Tafon Nchukwi is (5-0) in his MMA career. Jun Yong Park bolsters a (12-4) record in MMA.

Nchukwi is quickly rising the ranks under the UFC promotion. Winning on Dana White’s Contender Series by KO/TKO with a Head Kick catching the eye of other fighters in the UFC. Winning his first bout inside the UFC after the contender series Nchukwi is emboldened on his quest for dominance in the middleweight division.

Jun Yong Park is no slouch. Park met his match against Anthony Hernandez. Since then Park has rebounded quite well; winning his last two of three by judges scorecards. Park bolsters the better striking defense in this bout at 59%. This fight is as important to Park as it is for Nchukwi.

Nchukwi is explosive landing 7.59 strikes per minute with a 55% accuracy. Park lands 4.24 strikes per minute with a 47% accuracy. Park averages 3.4 takedowns per 15 minute fight. While Nchukwi hasn’t attempted any takedowns in the UFC he does bolster a 75% takedown defense. Nchukwi has a decent size advantage in this contest with a 2″ height advantage and 4″ reach advantage.

Preston’s First Best Bet: Tafon Nchukwi ML (-146)

The last single bet for the card in this write-up for you the valued reader is between Kyle Daukus (-132) vs. Phil Hawes (+112). Kyle Daukus is (10-1) in his Mixed Martial Arts career. Phil Hawes has (10-2) record.

Kyle Daukus has been impressive in the UFC. Going the distance in both of his UFC fights and winning one of the two on the judges scorecards. Over the course of his fights he has looked fantastic. Mixing up his strikes and being the more technical fighter.

Phil Hawes has been lights out in the UFC after winning on Dana White’s Contender Series back in September of 2020. This will be Phil Hawes biggest challenge in the UFC after winning both of his fights since then under the UFC promotion.

Both fighters can strike well but Daukus has the edge landing 3.69 strikes per minute with a 59% accuracy. What worries me is Phil Hawes only averaging 2.84 strikes per minute and absorbing 4.18 strikes per minute.

Phil Hawes is averaging 3.13 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 35% accuracy. However, Kyle Daukus likes to wrestle as well averaging 2.33 takedowns per 15 minutes with a 41% accuracy. Daukus is well trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has no issue fighting off of his back if the fight goes there. Daukus has a 3″ height advantage and and the reach is identical with Phil Hawes gaining the slight edge. I’m rolling with the more technical fighter in this bout.

Preston’s Final Best Bet: Kyle Daukus ML (-132)

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