UFC Vegas 91 First Look: Nicolau vs. Perez Betting Picks, Odds and Predictions

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UFC Pick: Nicolau ML (-180) [1.80u to win 1u] at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Hopefully, the epic octagon festivities of UFC 300 have settled down in your mind because we’re back to the Apex in Nevada as top contending women’s flyweight competitors will go to war in the evening’s main event, and I’m here to cover all your betting needs.

Read on for our complete betting guide with an early preview of the UFC Vegas 91 main event clash between Matheus Nicolau and Alex Perez, including updated UFC odds at the top sportsbooks and our free expert UFC first look betting picks, predictions and analysis.

If you want extra picks for the Mayes-Machado or the Pearce-Onama bouts, don’t forget to check out our YouTube video.

UFC Vegas 91 Information

  • When: Saturday, April 27, 2024 – 04:00 PM ET  
  • Where: UFC Apex, Las Vegas
  • Scheduled Bouts: 13
  • Main Event: Matheus Nicolau vs. Alex Perez

UFC Vegas 91 Main Event: Nicolau vs. Perez

Matheus Nicolau    

A knee to the face and follow-up punches saw Matheus Nicolau’s impressive 6-fight win streak come to an end last time out, and the Brazilian must be kicking himself as Brandon Royval then went on to challenge for the flyweight championship.

However, although a title opportunity may have eluded him, we cannot neglect his UFC tenure to date. With experience dating back to 2015, Nicolau was temporarily released by the promotion in 2019. Still, his regional scene dominance saw him instantly return to the UFC, and he now boasts a 4-1 record from his five most recent UFC bouts.

Nicolau Best ML Odds: -180 at Bovada

Alex Perez     

Alex Perez enters UFC Vegas 91 as a short-notice replacement for Manel Kape. Unfortunately for him, the main theme around his octagon return on Saturday is focused on a three-fight losing streak, although many critics aren’t factoring in the level of competition he’s faced.

Between Deiveson Figueiredo, Alexandre Pantoja, and Muhammad Mokaev, Perez’s losing skid is filled with the current and former 125-pound champion and an undefeated, top-ranked prospect. 

Perez Best ML Odds: +165 at BetOnline

UFC Vegas 91: Tale of the Tape

UFC Vegas 91 Skillset Analysis: Styles Make Fights  

Perez recently expressed his expectations of a striking fight with Nicolau, but I’m starting to believe this could be wishful thinking rather than a reality. Given Nicolau’s undefeated record when going to the judge’s scorecards, I expect Perez will understand his greatest chance of success is to win this bout inside the distance, and a knockout is the simplest route to this victory.   

Nicolau’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will unquestionably give Perez a reason to avoid grappling situations. While he’s displayed defensively sound wrestling scrambles against the likes of Mokaev, he’s also been susceptible to giving up his back, something that will be a huge concern against the smooth BJJ transitions of his weekend opponent.

Perez isn’t perfect in striking exchanges, but Nicolau’s willingness to fight on the backfoot should suit the underdog in his pressure-style kickboxing. Both men move well; a striking exchange could present a 50/50 bout. However, the counter striking of Nicolau is excellent, and Perez’s chin has been tested on multiple occasions. 

The UFC Vegas 91 Best Bet Formula

The available UFC odds have placed Nicolau as the betting favorite, which doesn’t come as a surprise. Besides Perez's obvious three-fight losing streak, skill-for-skill, including outside factors such as cardio and current trajectory, the Brazilian has a more probable path to victory.

Nicolau has never lost a decision. His BJJ skills are elite, and he also possesses punching power that can end a fight. When combining these factors with excellent cardio, a basic and somewhat predictable style of Perez won’t likely be enough to walk out of the Apex victorious.   

UFC Pick: Nicolau ML (-180) [1.80u to win 1u] at Bovada

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*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.