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Picks for UFC on ESPN 12

There are 10 fights on a card full of replacements and last-minute changes. Here’s where you should reap the rewards

The sponsor of tonight’s UFC on ESPN 12 card should be Frankenstein, as it’s been patched together by hook or by crook by the matchmakers. It’s also the last card before the promotion heads to Fight Island in the United Arab Emirates in two weeks for four shows, so let’s hope there’s a bit better luck abroad.

Three fights proposed for this card are cancelled. Three more have a replacement fighter getting in the ring. And if you take away the main event between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker, there’s not a lot of star power that will keep the fans engaged. We also might see some UFC fatigue even amongst the diehard fans tonight with so many cards since the Covid-19 restart.

But where there’s change there’s also opportunity, so here are four fights we think can provide some value to your wallet while watching ESPN+ this evening. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Sean Woodson by KO, submission, or DQ -159

When desperate matchmakers make desperate fights, you get a guy that’s lost his last four in the UFC going in at a catchweight. And that’s what Julian Erosa is doing tonight, who was stopped in two of his last three fights, all losses. Woodson broke his maiden against Kyle Bochniak in October in his first full-roster appearance. He only has three career stoppages, but he earns a fourth over an opponent that literally got his head kicked in six weeks ago.

Takashi Sato by KO, submission, or DQ -125

Jason Witt’s journey to tonight is a great story. He was on his couch four days ago when Sato’s scheduled opponent Ramiz Brahimaj had one of his cornermen test positive for Covid-19. He signed his deal, went to Las Vegas, and made weight at 170 that quickly. But the dream likely ends here, as the 17-5 career fighter moves up massively in opponent. Let’s hope he gets another shot after a full camp and time to prepare someday.

We’d be rooting for “The Vanilla Gorilla” as well if we weren’t betting against him.

Tanner Boser to win +105

Boser is 1-1 in the octagon, and has gone the distance in both fights. His opponent Philipe Lins saw all 15 minutes in his first UFC fight, a decision loss. This one seems destined for the cards, and in fact is -200 to do so. But we’ll take Boser to find the win at the end from the judges as he can move out of trouble and keep this fight on his feet. He’s got seven decision wins on his 17-6 career record, and there’s a bit of value here for him to pull the small upset. His busier strike rate of 4.17 per minute to Lins 2.73 won’t hurt.

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