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UFC on ESPN 37 Picks, Best Bets and Predictions: Kattar vs. Emmett, Prelims, Main Card – June 18, 2022

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

Watching trained mixed martial artists pulverize each other may not constitute wholesome family fun this Father’s Day weekend. 

If you trade fishing reels for highlight-reel knockouts, you should gift yourself some serious profits from our predictions — no offspring required! 

Ricardo Ramos vs. Danny Chavez AND Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Natalia Silva Pick: Both Go the Distance  | +149 at DraftKings

Prelims Start time: 4 p.m. ET

Ricardo Ramos has only been finished twice going into his 10th UFC fight. Promising prospect Said Nurmagomedov (no relation to Khabib) landed a beautiful spinning back kick and one of the featherweight division’s hardest hitters Lerone Murphy forced a stoppage in the first round. He’s young, hasn’t taken much cumulative damage and fights a conservative style. 

Danny Chavez is relatively new to the UFC and hasn’t finished anyone noteworthy in his 15-fight career. Only one person submitted him over six years ago. 

Natalia Silva makes her UFC debut Saturday. She doesn’t enter the Octagon with any experience in a sizeable organization. She hasn’t even fought in over two years. Jasmine Jasudavicius opposes her fresh off “Dana White’s Contender Series.” Jasudavicious joins the newcomer pool, having only participated in two UFC fights. Her pre-UFC record implies aggression decreases as WMMA levels advance. Find comfort in the women’s flyweight division’s historical 59.3 % decision rate here.

Donald Cerrone vs. Joe Lauzon Pick: Cerrone by any means except submission |  -120 at DraftKings

Start time: 9:40 p.m. ET

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone has scored the most knockdowns in UFC history, thanks to a diverse array of attacks that combines deadly kickboxing combinations with a crisp jab and a strong Muy Thai background. The stars align for another rival to see stars on Saturday.

Detractors shoot down “Cowboy” as the primary example of someone with all the physical skills to win UFC gold, but none of the intangibles. Cerrone’s hyperactive record reveals that 14 of his 16 losses occurred against former UFC/WEC champions or title challengers. His five-fight skid follows that gold-paved path.

Joe Lauzon holds numerous respectable UFC honors, including top-10 placement in submission victories and total finishes, but he has never competed for gold. Cerrone’s distinction of never being submitted in the UFC (and only once in his 54-fight career) impedes Lauzon’s submission ability. Cerrone’s versatile ground game feels the effects as well.

Additionally, this matchup lacks the marketability and contendership implications that generate the marquee fights where Cerrone’s performance suffers, partially due to the extreme anxiety he admits to facing before the Octagon closes. Cerrone revealed he plans to retire when he reaches 50 combined UFC/WEC fights — Saturday marks fight 48.

The scenario frees Cerrone to string naturally flowing offense without overthinking. Nobody accuses Donald Cerrone of contracting the ring rust that potentially plagues Lauzon. Cerrone has competed eight times since 2019, whereas Lauzon has only competed once in the same span (and not in over two years).

Calvin Kattar vs. Josh Emmett Pick: Fight Goes the Distance | –135 at DraftKings

Start time: 10:00 p.m. ET

The main event highlights two exciting, slugfest-seeking featherweights who like to lace their opponents with high volumes of leather. 

A decision appears to be a fashionable prop in good taste. Nobody has finished Calvin Kattar during his 10 UFC fights. Moreover, he’s only been finished once in a 28-fight career. Withstanding a record 445 significant strikes at the precise hands of former featherweight champion Max Halloway on national television last year testifies to Kattar’s toughness and chin strength. Kattar flashes occasional stopping power, but not against top competition. All four main event bouts in his career have gone the distance. He’s a slick boxer who stings opponents looking to close the distance with leg kicks.

Josh Emmett matches Kattar’s 90 % success rate for avoiding knockout blows. Conversely, he’s only found two finish victories. He camouflages seemingly scary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu credentials. They haven’t translated to a submission victory inside the Octagon. A surefire firefight between two strikers fades BJJ into the background.

The overall KO/TKO rate for UFC featherweight contests is 26.37 %

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