The co-main event features the return of the former Strikeforce and UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, as she comes in as a slight favorite against the 43-year-old Marion Reneau. Tate has not fought professionally since taking back-to-back losses to Amanda Nunes and Raquel Pennington back in 2016.
Prior to her recent losing skid, Tate was a combined 11-4 between the UFC and Strikeforce and was on a four-fight winning streak before getting choked out by Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Tate will look to get back on the winning side and avoid her UFC record dropping to 5-5; as she steps foot in the octagon against one of the oldest fighters on the UFC roster, man or woman, Marion Reneau.
Who is the Biggest Favorite at UFC Vegas 31?
The biggest favorite on the card at UFC Vegas 31 is the main event headliner, Islam Makhachev, lined at -600. Makhachev is 8-1 in the UFC and is riding a 7 fight win streak into the first five-round UFC fight of his career. He takes on Thiago Moises, who’s lined at +450 on the comeback as the heavy underdog. Moises is 4-2 in the UFC and is coming off three straight victories. The 26-year-old Brazillian has been a reliable ‘go-to guy’ for the UFC, already having made three appearances since March of last year. He has his hand full against a fight in Makhachev that many have hailed as a future champion.
UFC Vegas 31 Predictions: Gut Call
Former KSW Lightweight champion Mateusz Gamrot will make his third UFC appearance at UFC Vegas 31 against ‘the Lil’ Heathen’ Jeremy Stephens. Gamrot comes in as the -210 betting favorite against the +175 Stephens. The 30-year-old from Poznan, Poland, was highly touted when he debuted at UFC Fight Island 6 in October of 2020. Gamrot lost his debut by decision to Guram Kutateladze, dropping the bout as a -315 favorite. The fight was highly competitive, with Kutateladze expressing in the post-fight interview that he felt he lost. Nevertheless, 14 of 17 media members scored the fight for Kutateladze.
As for Jeremy Stephens, the 35-year-old from San Diego is 0-4-1 in his last 5 UFC appearances and is moving up to compete at lightweight for the first time since he fought Yves Edwards in 2012. Stephens had back-to-back bouts canceled in late last year and early 2021. His most recent fight cancellation was due to his opponent Drakar Klose suffering an injury caused by a shove from Stephens during faceoffs. Stephens is a former main eventer who finds himself in the bad graces of the UFC. With another loss, the Lil’ Heathen could be on the outside looking in, making his bout with Mateusz Gamrot a ‘must-win.’
At first glance, this is a home run spot for Mateusz Gamrot, who is a highly-skilled wrestler with crisp and efficient striking. Jeremy Stephens would have to pull off the improbable, with this only clear path to victory being a hail-mary power strike. The gut call is Mateusz Gamrot.
UFC Vegas 31 Odds
|UFC on ESPN 26||Saturday, July 17th||Odds via 5Dimes|
|Lightweight||Islam Makhachev -600||Thiago Moises +450|
|Women’s Bantamweight||Marion Reneau +120||Miesha Tate -140|
|Lightweight||Mateusz Gamrot -210||Jeremy Stephens +175|
|Middleweight||Rodolfo Vieira -220||Dustin Stoltzfus +180|
|Men’s Featherweight||Billy Quarantillo +135||Gabriel Benitez -155|
|Welterweight||Daniel Rodriguez -320||Preston Parsons +260|
|Strawweight||Amanda Lemos -550||Montserrat Ruiz +425|
|Men’s Bantamweight||Khalid Taha -145||Sergey Morozov +125|
|Men’s Bantamweight||Anderson dos Santos +150||Miles Johns -170|
|Men’s Flyweight||Francisco Figueiredo -310||Malcolm Gordon +255|
|Heavyweight||Rodrigo Nascimento -350||Alan Baudot +290|
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