UFC Vegas 88 Main Card Best Bets: Explosive Clashes and Betting Breakdowns


The UFC returns to Vegas this Saturday, and we could witness a brutal knockout as light heavyweight prospect Kennedy Nzechukwu faces an aging veteran in Ovince St. Preux on the main card.

Elsewhere, two bidding featherweight prospects, Christian Rodriguez and Issac Dulgarian, slug it out, and the closely lined odds show value for bettors on either side.

Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC Vegas 88 main card bouts.

Picks Summary 

  • St. Preux/Nzechukwu Under 1.5 Rounds (-145)
  • Issac Dulgarian ML (-175) 

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Ovince St. Preux

UFC Vegas 88 Light Heavyweight Main Card Bout

Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex

Kennedy Nzechukwu

Flying the flag for Nigeria, Kennedy Nzechukwu has been a wrecking ball since his UFC debut in 2019, boasting an 84% finish rate from the six contests he’s won to date.

Prior to his most recent loss against Dustin Jacoby, the Fortis MMA representative was riding a 3-fight win streak with two knockouts and one submission.

  • Nzechukwu Pro MMA Record: 12-4-0
  • Nzechukwu KOs: 8
  • Nzechukwu Submissions: 1

Ovince St. Preux

Ovince St. Preux is a UFC veteran who has fought against the best light heavyweight competitors, including Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill.

However, at the age of 40, father time has crept in. He’s averaging one fight per year, and his three most recent defeats were all via KO/TKO inside two rounds.

  • St. Preux Pro MMA Record: 26-17-0
  • St. Preux KOs: 11
  • St. Preux Submissions: 9

Nzechukwu vs. St. Preux: Fight Tape Analysis

Age, power, size and trajectory all side with Nzechukwu this weekend in Vegas. While St. Preux’s skill set once provided dangers for his opponents, he doesn’t use it anymore! It’s almost like he’s turning up for a paycheck and nothing else.

St. Preux’s most recent win came against a fellow 40-year-old-plus fighter, Mauricio Rua, and before this, he hadn’t obtained a notable win since 2020. Nzechukwu is no elite-level competitor by any means, but his power will be a problem for St. Preux, a fighter who barely throws strikes or attempts any significant offense these days.

UFC Vegas 88 Main Card Odds & Prediction

The UFC pricing with OddsTraders’ top sportsbooks believes Nzechukwu will dominate this contest, and he has an eye-watering -500 moneyline attached to his name.

Let’s stay clear of the juice and attack the total, which can be found for -145 on the Under. Without a finishing threat in front of him, Nzechukwu can be the aggressor without much kickback, and we also receive backup, which is a betting approach in case St. Preux remembers how to fight.

UFC Pick: St. Preux/Nzechukwu Under 1.5 Rounds  (-145) [1.45u returns 1u profit] at Bet365 

Christian Rodriguez vs. Issac Dulgarian

UFC Vegas 88 Featherweight Main Card Bout

Saturday, March 16, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET at UFC Apex

Christian Rodriguez

Following four fights and a 3-1 record as a UFC bantamweight, Roufus Sport prospect “Cee Rod” will make his featherweight debut this weekend and will be hoping to burn another undefeated record after stealing 0’s from Cameron Saaiman and Raul Rosas Jr. in his two most recent bouts.

  • Rodriguez Pro MMA Record: 10-1-0
  • Rodriguez KOs: 3
  • Rodriguez Submissions: 4

Issac Dulgarian

Issac Dulgarian is an untested prospect who earned his ticket to the UFC with a five-fight win streak and a 100% finish rate. In his promotional debut, he destroyed Francis Marshall within five minutes and now returns to the octagon with an unblemished record intact and a hunger to climb the 145-pound rankings.

  • Dulgarian Pro MMA Record: 6-0-0
  • Dulgarian KOs: 4
  • Dulgarian Submissions: 2

Rodriguez vs. Dulgarian: Fight Tape Analysis

Christian Rodriguez is a weight bully, plain and simple. Sure, he impressively defeated two unbeaten prospects in Saaiman and Rosas Jr. Still, he missed weight in both of those contests, and the UFC is thanking him for his services by gifting him another difficult night in the octagon.

Moving up to featherweight is clearly the right move for Cee Rod, but will he bother to make weight… Who knows? We know how serious weight advantages can be in MMA, and this weekend, a stocky and well-built Dulgarian will likely match or even exceed Rodriguez in this area, as we could finally see a fair contest he’s involved in.

To make matters worse for Cee Rod, Dulgarian is an absolute savage. With a combined amateur and professional record of 9-0, he’s never left the first round. He’s often seen dominating the opposition via offensive wrestling and brutal ground strikes, and if the TKO potential doesn’t surface, he’ll grab a neck and choke the life out of them.

So, can Cee Rod prevent the early onslaught? He’s yet to face an opponent with Dulgarian’s aggression, and when we consider the weight factor, I believe the underdog may have finally met his match.

UFC Vegas 88 Main Card Event Odds & Prediction

The UFC odds have placed Dulgarian as the betting favorite despite Rodriguez’s consistency and impressive wins thus far.

Cee Rod’s only career loss to date, Jonathan Pearce, was able to pressure with cage control and continuous takedowns. Dulgarian is entirely capable of this, especially as a featherweight and significantly scarier opponent than Pearce.

Early and often will be the motto for Dulgarian, as I envision instant takedown attempts, top control and brutality from the first bell. To add, even if Rodriguez can weather the early storm, as witnessed in the Pearce bout, he was too drained to deliver any noteworthy offense in the second and third rounds, and a similar situation could play out this weekend.

UFC Pick: Dulgarian ML (-175) [1.75u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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