UFC Mexico City predictions: Brandon Moreno, Yair Rodriguez victorious

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UFC Mexico City should be a wild card, as the promotion returns for the first time in more than four years.

Mexican fighter Brandon Moreno headlines the card opposite Brandon Royval in a bantamweight championship title eliminator. This should be a fascinating fight.

Brian “T-City” Ortega is in the co-main event UFC Mexico City in his return from a 19-month layoff against another hometown hero in Yair Rodriguez.

Rodriguez headlined the last Mexico City card against Jeremy Stephens, but that went awry due to an eye poke that canceled the bout 15 seconds in.

Fans in Mexico City began throwing things in the cage, feeling ripped off.

Four years later, we are back, hoping for a better payoff in this year’s main event.

UFC 298 had some unfortunate results for us, although we were a few seconds away from a Paulo Costa knockout win.

But the bell saved Robert Whittaker, so we move forward with only a correctly predicted new featherweight champion, Ilia Topuria.

Last week, we went 1-3 with -1.9 units lost. On the year, we’re at 7.46 units of profit and 6-6 record.

Total return on investment still comes in at a healthy 62.17 percent, despite some poor luck last week.

UFC Mexico City predictions

Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval

Royval steps in on short notice to fight Moreno, and the line is a bit wide here, as Moreno is a -305 favorite against Royval at +235.

Normally, I’d be all over Royval at that price but in the lead up to this fight, Moreno was supposed to fight Amir Albazi.

Albazi had to pull out, and Royval had already agreed to be the backup for a “free vacation.” The UFC would pay his travel expenses and hotel if Albazi did end up fighting.

So, in theory, Royval has been training and wasn’t expecting to fight this weekend.

The angle I’m taking for this five-round fight is pretty simple. Moreno is the rightful favorite in this fight, thanks to Royval literally never being willing to defend takedowns.

Royval accepts the bottom position at an insane rate, this might work in his jiu-jitsu classes, but it is a great way to lose minutes and fights.

It’s worth noting that 50.4 percent of bantamweight fights go to decision, and the +114 on fight goes to decision gives you a decent four percent edge.

But I think Moreno takes a decision here and +180 is very enticing to hit on BetMGM.

PICK: Moreno by decision (+180, BetMGM)

Brandon Royval does not stop takedowns. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Brian Ortega vs. Yair Rodriguez

Is Ortega serious about MMA these days?

It is a fair question and extremely important when betting on this fight.

Coming off a 19-month layoff is insane, but there’s still tons of love for Ortega from sportsbooks, considering he is just +124 against -148 for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is by far the better striker, has good cardio and is no slouch on the ground either. There’s value here in the more creative striker in Rodriguez

Even if Ortega is able to hang on their feet, it’s hard to imagine he does enough damage actually to pull off a victory, whether it’s by decision or not.

Back Rodriguez here on the moneyline and maybe even a poke at goes to decision +164.

PICK: Rodriguez moneyline -148 | goes to decision +164 (FanDuel)

Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Ricky Turcios

At 19 years young, Raul Rosas Jr. stormed the UFC world with some extremely impressive grappling.

He dominates the lower-level competition, but as the prospect moves forward in his fighting career he will need to hone in his skills in order to compete at the top levels.

Raul Rosas Jr. is a submission specialist. Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ricky Turcios steps in as a +185 underdog, while Rosas is just -225. Turcios has never been submitted, but the guy is a magnet for being taken down.

Defending takedowns at a 45 percent rate is putrid.

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Rosas, by submission, comes in at +245 on BetRivers and, frankly, that’s a bad line. Other pro-oddsmakers have it at +150, so hammer this line.

Rosas is the real deal on the ground, and eventually, Turcios is going to fall apart if he’s rolling around long enough with Rosas.

PICK: Rosas by submission (+245, BetRivers)

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