After a heated UFC 264, the biggest MMA promotion returns with UFC Vegas 31. In contrast to last week’s fight, this one puts the fighters behind closed doors at the USF Apex on Saturday, July 17. The event highlights a clash between Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises. Initially, Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez were lined up to fight, but it fell apart and is now replaced by the two top lightweight division prospects. Moreover, four more Main Card fights aim to satisfy your MMA cravings, including a bout between Marion Reneau and the returning Meisha Tate following her retirement back in 2016.
NitroBetting covers another exciting UFC event this coming weekend. This time, we cover all five Main Card fights along with the UFC odds, key points for each match, and our very own expert betting predictions to make sure you lock in on the best picks. Don’t forget to check out the rest of MMA odds and lines at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.
UFC Vegas 31 Event Info
- When: Saturday, July 17, 2021, 10:00 PM ET (Main Card)
- Where: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, Nevada
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
UFC Vegas 31 Main Card Odds
|Islam Makhachev||-714||Thiago Moises||+463|
|Marion Reneau||+108||Miesha Tate||-137|
|Jeremy Stephens||+168||Mateusz Gamrot||*217|
|Rodolfo Vieira||-222||Dustin Stoltzfus||+172|
|Gabriel Benitez||-167||Billy Quarantillo||+131|
UFC Vegas 31 Main Card Preview
Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises
Makhachev is yet to reach the level of grit and strength his friend and teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov achieved, but he made it clear that he remains one of the best prospects in the UFC lightweight division. He steps into the octagon fight with an 8-1 record and his head held up high following a dominating performance against Drew Dober. Most fans anticipated his next fight to be against a top 10 fighter, but instead, he’s been matched with Thiago Moises.
As it stands, he is the heavily favored fighter of the two boasting impressive takedown attempts and a takedown defense at 69% and 93%, respectively. As long as he avoids going toe to toe with Moises, he stands a good chance of winning. Furthermore, this fight gives him a shot booking a fight against UFC Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira.
Some may see this fight as a mismatch, we see it as an opportunity for the underdog to rise to the occasion. Moises is a top 15 fighter at best, and his grappling skills need to be at their best if he wants to overcome the Russian fighter. He now holds a 4-1 record since joining the UFC and is now on a three-fight winning streak. However, if he wants to lock horns with one of the best wrestlers in the division, he needs to mix things up and set the tempo for himself.
Marion Reneau vs. Miesha Tate
Miesha Tate returns to the UFC after retiring in 2016. This is going to be tough for the 34-year-old as we all know how unforgiving the MMA can be after a lengthy retirement. Even so, we all would love to see her make an impact following losses to Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington some 5 years ago.
She still has some left in the tank and remains in top shape, putting her close to her athletic prime and in a good position for a comeback. With a clean slate, she can take advantage of a struggling Reneau with her impressive wrestling and underrated boxing game.
On the other hand, the ‘Belizean Bruiser’ continues her hunt for a win since her last one in February 2018 against Sara McCann. Since then, she lost four straight fights and is now allowed to bounce back. Reneau is known for her high level of athleticism, but she doesn’t dominate in one specific area. And at 44, her age might be slowing her down, which means she has to put experience into play here. If she can find Miesha Tate’s rusty spots, then she might be able to pull a fast one in the process.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Mateusz Gamrot
Another lightweight pairing comes our way in this Stephens vs. Gamrot match. It’s been over a year since ‘Lil Heathen’ last stepped into the octagon. His absence was caused by an injury in a tussle with Drakkar Klose during the weigh-in, canceling their fight. Stephens’s power punches remain a threat, but his recent form has been inadequate. His last recorded win happened in February 2018 against Josh Emmett.
Meanwhile, Mateusz Gamrot looks good since becoming part of the UFC in 2020. He was a few points short of a win against Guram Kutateladze, but the contest showed us that the Polis fighter has what it takes to make a name in MMA. He recovered well from this loss in his fight against Scott Holtzman where he secured a second-round TKO. Based on his current level of skill and the fact that Stephens’ spark slowly declines due to age, he stands a good chance at bringing this one home.
Rodolfo Vieira vs Dustin Stoltzfus
In a middleweight brawl, Rodolfo Vieira returns to the octagon and takes on Dustin Stoltzfus. This is an interesting fight as Vieira was on the receiving end of a huge upset. He suffered a submission loss to Anthony Rodriguez, which broke his confidence considering his imposing portfolio. This time around, he gets a shot at redeeming himself and back on track. But it’s not going to be an easy one considering that Vieira is in the way.
Essentially, the Brazilian Mixed Martial Artist is so bulked up that he needs to get the early win if he wants to come out victorious. Thankfully, the ‘Black Belt Hunter’ has the right tools for the match. His opponent seems to utilize grappling for the most part and struggled to get a hold of Kyle Daukaus in his UFC debut. This gives him a glimpse of what to expect in the fight and use the necessary skills and strategies to perform a submission.
Gabriel Benitez vs. Billy Quarantillo
Capping things off is a bantamweight clash between Gabriel Benitez and Billy Quarantillo. This one should complete the exciting lineup as both men are anticipated to produce the ‘Fight of the Night’. Benitez and Quarantillo are known to possess well-rounded techniques and versatile skills that can deliver an even match-up between the two. But Quarantillo’s toughness poses a big challenge for the Mexican fighter.
Benitez is the more experienced fighter of the two with 22 wins under his belt. He should be patient and wait for the right time to initiate attacks rather than play aggressively. In addition, he will be looking to maintain his form and build off his recent victory against Justin Janes as he takes on his first fight of the year.
Quarantillo likes to set the tone, so he stands a better chance at taking the decision victory. His three straight victories in his UFC tenure is something to look forward to, but he will be looking to redeem himself after his defeat against Gavin Tucker last December.
UFC Vegas 31 Expert Betting Predictions
As the fighters line up to enter the crowd-less UFC APEX arena, we look forward to plenty of action and countless betting opportunities coming our way. Ultimately, the headline fight between Makhachev and Moises will be a tough one to call but expect the Russian to go for a takedown and try to exploit his skills for that to happen. He can push for a ground and pound TKO if possible, but he should leave no space for the 26-year-old Brazilian as his opponent looks good on his feet and has enough striking abilities.
Be sure to check out for all the latest MMA betting odds and lines at out online Bitcoin sportsbook before the event kicks off this weekend. Check out our Bitcoin sports betting guides and news sections for more previews of some of the top games and events to watch and bet on.
*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice