Our Top Betting Pick for UFC Vegas 72
The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the Apex for UFC Vegas 72 this weekend, and it’s a battle between bantamweight sluggers headlining the event.
Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC Vegas 72 main event clash between Yadong Song and Ricky Simon, including updated UFC odds and our free expert first-look betting picks, predictions, and analysis.
UFC Vegas 72 Information
- When: Saturday, April 29, 2023 – 09:05 PM EDT
- Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada
- Schedule Bouts: 12
- Main Event: Yadong Song vs. Ricky Simon [UFC Bantamweight Main Event Bout]
- Moneyline Probability: Simon – 53.5% (-115) Song – 51.2% (-105)
- Totals Probability: Over 4.5 – 50% (+100) Under 4.5 – 56.5% (-130)
UFC Vegas 72 Song vs. Simon: Tale of the Tape
- Age: 25
- Height: 5’8”
- Reach: 67.0”
- Nationality: China
- Affiliation: Team Alpha Male
- Current Streak: 1 loss
- Pro MMA Record: 19-7-1
- UFC Record: 8-2 [4 KO/TKOs, 1 submission, 3 decisions]
- Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): +165 (lost), -280 (won), -150 (won)
- Age: 30
- Height: 5’6”
- Reach: 70.0”
- Nationality: USA
- Affiliation: American Top Team Portland
- Current Streak: 5 wins
- Pro MMA Record: 20-3-0
- UFC Record: 8-2 [1 KO/TKO, 3 submissions, 4 decisions]
- Moneyline Betting History (Last 3): +145 (won), -300 (won), -245 (won)
With highly skilled prospects such as Yadong Song on the roster, the future of the UFC bantamweight division is in good hands. Despite being just 25 years old, this heavy-hitting, 135 lb Chinese standout has already breached the top 10 rankings. Based on his current trajectory, he looks primed to earn a title opportunity during his career.
Joining the UFC aged just 20, we must commend Song for how his story has played out thus far. Ten fights deep into his UFC bantamweight career, he’s already disposed of eight opponents, and his lone losses have been against an elite level of opposition.
This weekend, Song makes his second appearance in a main event slot after losing to Cory Sandhagen via a fourth-round doctor’s stoppage last time out. But have no doubts about it; he’ll be a capable underdog on Saturday, and I urge those fading him to be wise with their units staked.
Yadong Song Combat Sports Accomplishments
- UFC Fight of the Night (One time)
- UFC Performance of the Night (Four times)
- 2011 Hebei Provincial Sanda Championship (1st Place, 60 kg)
Best Moneyline Odds: Song (+100) at BetOnline
After five years competing as a UFC bantamweight, Ricky Simon has earned his place as a top-10 fighter. Simon owns an 8-2 record under the UFC banner, like his weekend opponent. More impressively, he’s riding a 5-fight win streak – including three stoppages – over notable names such as Merab Dvalishvili, Jack Shore, and Raphael Assuncao.
Simon had the potential to become a collegiate wrestler but instead opted for a career in mixed martial arts. This, however, hasn’t deterred him from the grassroots wrestling background he owns, as countless victories on his pro-MMA record have been accomplished through the grappling, top pressure, and cardio advantages he’s noticeably garnered from this discipline.
Ricky Simon Combat Sports Accomplishments
- UFC Fight of the Night (Two times)
- UFC Performance of the Night (One time)
- LFA Bantamweight Champion (One time, one defense)
Best Moneyline Odds: Simon (-115) at BetOnline
Main Event Fight Statistics
- Simon’s significant strikes defense is 64%
- Song absorbs 3.93 strikes per minute
- Simon has a takedown average of 6.55 per 15 minutes
- Simon has landed 52% of his takedowns attempted in the UFC
Skillset Analysis: Styles Make Fights
Yadong Song owns a fighting style that perfectly caters to the current scoring criteria. By the book, judges should be looking for damage as the top-scoring attribute, and behind heavy hands with a high striking output, Song has either delivered substantial damage or stopped his opponents via KO/TKO during his tenure thus far.
However, Simon owns a level of wrestling that Song hasn’t faced in the octagon to date. His hands are commendable, but we must face facts; Simon will recognize the simplest path to victory will be his offensive wrestling.
It’s a challenging fight to predict – as the current odds suggest – but the wrestling advantage for Simon could be the deciding factor. Team Alpha Male has been the idealistic gym for Song to fine-tune his grappling defenses, and he’s shown promise in previous bouts (71% takedown defense). Still, he hasn’t faced the relentless grappling style of a fighter like Simon, which leads me to believe the value is with the slight betting favorite.
Ricky Simon Moneyline: The UFC Vegas 72 Best Bet Formula
The available odds at the top US sportsbooks favor Simon, but public money is coming on the opposite side. From opening odds of -140, Simon can now be found at -115; whether or not we’ll beat the CLV (Closing Line Value) by taking the current price is yet to be seen, but I can assure you it won’t drift back to -140 as this coin flip bout will provide scratching heads all week.
In a 50/50 bout, it’s always wise to take the fighter owning a solid wrestling base. The five-round factor will play a huge part, and I’m not sure Song’s damaging strikes will be as significant if Simon can make this a fight of grappling endurance.
UFC Pick: Ricky Simon ML (-115) BetOnline [1.15u to win 1u]
UFC Vegas 72 Main Card & Odds
- Yadong Song vs. Ricky Simon [UFC bantamweight main event bout]
- Caio Borralho vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk [UFC middleweight co-main event]
- Cody Brundage vs. Rodolfo Vieira [UFC middleweight bout]
- Julian Erosa vs. Fernando Padilla [UFC featherweight bout]
- Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima [UFC heavyweight bout]
UFC Vegas 72 Preliminary Card & Odds
- Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier [UFC heavyweight bout]
- Natan Levy vs. Pete Rodriguez [UFC welterweight bout]
- Cody Durden vs. Charles Johnson [UFC flyweight bout]
- Josh Quinlan vs. Trey Waters [UFC welterweight bout]
- Stephanie Egger vs. Irina Alekseeva [UFC women’s featherweight bout]
- Brian Kelleher vs. Journey Newson [UFC bantamweight bout]
- Hailey Cowan vs. Jamey-Lyn Horth [UFC women’s bantamweight bout]
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.