UFC Fight Night 43 Predictions
Once again we have two events on Saturday starting with UFC Fight Night 43 in Auckland, New Zealand. If you plan on watching the fights you’ll have to either wake up very early or stay up late Friday night, as the prelims get underway at 2:30am ET.
UFC Fight Night 43 Best Bets
- Bet Soa Palelei +133 vs. Jared Rosholt (SportBet)
Soa Palelei (21-3) has won 11 fights in a row, all of which have been by TKO/KO. His last loss was against Daniel Cormier in 2010. He is a black belt in BJJ and has a strong wrestling background. He likes to take his opponents down to work his ground and pound.
Jared Rosholt (10-1) is 2-0 in the UFC and he hasn’t been taken down yet. Rosholt is one of the best heavyweight wrestlers, but he hasn’t been tested against a fighter as big and strong as Palelei. Rosholt has been KO’ed once and I expect that to happen here.
- Bet Robert Whittaker by Decision +135 vs. Mike Rhodes (5Dimes)
Mike Rhodes (6-2) looked terrible in his promotional debut loss. He looked timid and I don’t expect that to change in this fight, as he will be fighting the overly aggressive Robert Whittaker (11-4) who is badly in need of a win after losing his last two fights.
Whittaker has the edge in striking and as long as he’s weary of the counterattack he’ll be fine. Rhodes is the better wrestler, but he’ll have trouble taking down Whittaker (89% TD Defense). Whittaker may win by a late TKO/KO, but a decision win is much more likely.
- Bet Charles Oliveira vs. Hatsu Hioki Over 2.5 Rounds –225 (BetDSI)
I wish the odds were better, but this is my best bet on the fight card. Hatsu Hioki (27-7-2) is 3-3 in the UFC since 2011 and all of his fights have ended by decision. Hioki has never been stopped in his long career and I don’t expect that to change on Saturday.
Charles Oliveira (17-4-0-1) is 5-4-0-1 in the UFC since 2010 with all of his wins coming by submission. Oliveira should win, but if he’s unable to lock in an early submission this fight will likely end up being a grappling battle with neither fighter ending the fight early.
- Bet Gian Villante vs. Sean O’Connell Under 1.5 Rounds +130 (BetOnline)
Gian Villante (11-5) has the tools to be a LHW contender, but he hasn’t proven that in the UFC where he is now 1-2. This is a fight he has to win. Sean O’Connell (15-5) was KO’ed by Jimmo in R1 in his UFC debut and I expect Villante to be able to do the exact same.
- Bet Villante / Magny / Whittaker Parlay +147 (SportBet)
I’ve explained why I’m on Villante and Whittaker already. Neil Magny (10-3) is 2-0 this year and will fight Rodrigo Lima (8-1-1) who is making his UFC debut. Magny will have to watch out for submissions, but he’ll be able to keep his distance and win with his boxing.