UFC 288, ONE FN 10, RIZIN 42, and Canelo vs. Ryder are all live this weekend, lets get into the details with Rami’s Recommendations.
The first week of May means the first-ever edition of Rami’s Recommendations. This is a journey where I bring to you my own thoughts on the three fights of each event that is set to go down this weekend. Those 3 picks from each show will also come with the best odds for you to bet on and make yourself some money. Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road.
The first-ever event held in America for ONE Championship goes down on Friday and what better way to make it more memorable than by having two of the greatest prove once and for all who is the better fighter in the trilogy for the ONE Bantamweight championship between Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes. However, before we dive into the main event. Here are the two other fights I recommend for you for ONE Fight Night 10.
ONE Fight Night 10: Roberto Soldić vs. Zebaztian Kadestam:
The original debut for Roberto Soldić did not go the way he wanted it to. Soldić’s debut ended in the middle of the first round when Murad Ramazanov accidentally connected with a knee to the groin, rendering Soldić debut a no-contest.
His opponent this time around will be the Swedish Zebaztian Kadestam who started to turn some negatives into positives when he moved up to Middleweight. A 3-fight losing streak did halt Kadestam until he got two huge first-round finishes vs. Valmir da Silva and Iuri Lapicus in 2022 to keep the train moving.
Soldić, the former two-division king of Poland’s premiere MMA organization KSW last tasted defeat when he first lost his KSW Welterweight championship before winning it back from Dricus du Plessis in 2018 whereas Kadestam last tasted it when he lost by unanimous decision to Ramazanov in 2021.
The current betting odds have Soldić as the favorite at -500, his 7-fight win streak has brought in 6 of those wins by knockout. Kadestam is a big underdog at +375 heading into this big fight against Robocop. A decision is a rare territory for both men and it could be over before we know it. I see Soldić extending the streak to 8 with a finish before the third round.
ONE FN 10: Sage Northcutt vs. Ahmed Mujtaba
This will mark the first time in 4-years that Sage Northcutt is stepping back inside to fight since suffering a 29-second KO loss to Cosmo Alexandre in a Middleweight bout in 2019, the blow that Northcutt suffered would result in 8 facial fractures which required prompt surgical repair that took 9 hours.
Prior to the loss, Northcutt had fought for the UFC where he was on a 3-fight winning streak before his UFC contract was not opted for a renewal by UFC President Dana White.
The man that will welcome Northcutt back to ONE is none other than Ahmed Mujtaba, he has been part of ONE Championship since 2016 and holds a record of 10-2.
In 2018, a submission loss to Jiawen Ma didn’t cause any divots in Mujtaba’s career, instead, he decided on a two-year layoff before a move up to Welterweight where he got two first-round finishes over Rahul Raju and Abraão Amorim in 2021 and 2022.
Northcutt comes into this as the -165 favorite in his return to ONE inside their octagon. Mujtaba has been an underdog before and while it did not work out the first time, he has had a lot of time to prepare for a second chance as he comes into this with a +150 against Northcutt. I am going to be taking the underdog Mujtaba in this Welterweight bout, the Pakistani Wolverine in under 2.5 rounds.
MAIN EVENT: ONE FN 10: Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes
You can’t ask for a better main event to end the card than having two of the greatest collide one more time for the ONE World Flyweight Championship between Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes. It’s not a secret just how hard-working both warriors are when it comes to their skills in the octagon or ring. Both men have fought all over the world and get to do it one more time in the first show on American soil for ONE Championship.
Johnson’s trade from the UFC to ONE for Welterweight Ben Askren was a huge blessing in disguise for Mighty Mouse. He had already done everything he needed to do to prove he can be in the argument for the top three in regards to greatest of all time in the UFC and MMA in general.
He continued that when he arrived at ONE in 2019 following the trade where he entered the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix, he defeated Yuya Wakamatsu, Tatsumitsu Wada, and Danny Kingad to win the Grand Prix prior to losing for the first time ever by knockout to Moraes for the championship in the 5th round at ONE on TNT 1.
The last time Johnson had lost prior to Moraes was against Henry Cejudo in his last defense of the UFC Flyweight championship and fight in the UFC. Following the loss to Moraes, Johnson would go on to defeat Rodtang Jitmuangnon in custom rules bout at ONE X in 2022 before he redeemed his loss to Moraes in the 5th round at ONE Fight Night 1 in 2022.
Moraes has made his career in ONE since he began in 2013 when he lost a split decision to Yusup Saadulaev which only made Moraes even more dangerous. He began winning in 2014 and soon enough was crowned the inaugural ONE Flyweight champion when he defeated Geje Eustaquio in September of that same year. A loss to Kairat Akhmetov with the gold on the line pushed Moraes for the next two years where he won the interim title before defeating Akhmetov to unify the championships in 2017. He lost and reclaimed the gold off of Eustaquio before Johnson finally entered the picture where he evened the odds 1-1 going into this trilogy for the gold.
The former 3-time Flyweight champion does walk into this as the +130 underdog. It was a different story in the first fight when he walked in as the +540 underdog. The champion Johnson has had a rare instance of being the underdog and whenever he is, most of the time it goes in his favor when he was a +225 underdog against Joseph Benavidez and +119 in the rematch against Moraes. This is more than likely the final bout of the legendary Mighty Mouse’s career, I see him going out with a huge bang, it won’t go the distance even if it gets into the final round for the third time in a row. Johnson retains and retires successfully.
RIZIN is bringing in their third event of the 2023 year so far and the action isn’t slowing down anytime soon. From Flyweight to Lightweight to Bantamweight, these 3 recommended fights are sure to bring you interest and some hard-earned wins for your betting odds.
RIZIN 42: John Dodson vs. Tatsuki Saomoto
The former UFC Flyweight title contender has made the best of the last three years since joining RIZIN last year in the middle of his current run with Bare Knuckle FC where he is 2-0 with two-first round finishes. The debut of Dodson at RIZIN 40 resulted in a first-round TKO/KO finish vs. Hideo Tokoro in 2022 to make it a 2-fight winning streak since his last loss was suffered against Cody Gibson at XMMA 3: Vice City by unanimous decision.
Tatsuki Saomoto comes into this fight with a huge 14-fight winning streak on the line. His last loss was only his second in his pro career which ended with a unanimous decision in 2016 to Ze Wu. Saomoto’s record of 4-2 in his MMA career would begin to build all around the world in promotions such as BRAVE FIGHT, ZST, DEEP, and finally RIZIN where he has built a 4-fight winning streak to get to this point in his career at 18-2.
Dodson does come into this as the -190 favorite. His knockout power has made a big return as of late and he looks to continue that at RIZIN 42. Saomoto will come into this for the first time as an underdog at +150. His 14-fight winning streak will be put to the test and Dodson will look to give Saomoto a huge rude awakening by handing him a third loss in their pro career. I’ll be going with Saomoto for the win, he knows how to go into the deepest of waters and survive, he will take Dodson to the distance and take home a decision victory.
RIZIN 42: Roberto de Souza vs. Spike Carlyle
Spike Carlyle gets another shot at being on a RIZIN card after a successful outing against Koji Takeda by submission in 2022. He might have lost his most recent bout in Bellator to AJ McKee Jr. But the man who proclaims himself as the Alpha Ginger will look to show why RIZIN brings out a different side to him as he looks to make it 15-4 if he is successful a day before his 30th birthday.
The man facing Carlyle will be none other than the current RIZIN Lightweight Champion Roberto de Souza, he looks to get back into the win column after losing by a unanimous decision to McKee Jr at the end of the year RIZIN vs. Bellator card in a non-title bout. de Souza has made RIZIN his home since 2019 when he made his Lightweight debut knocking out Satoru Kitaoka at RIZIN 15 in the 2nd round. de Souza first won the title after submitting Tofiq Musayev at RIZIN 28 in 2021. He will not be defending his gold against Carlyle. However, if he were to be on the receiving end of another loss, RIZIN could book a rematch for a later card in the year.
Carlyle has lived by the motto of being an underdog and as he comes into this as a +250, he will look to earn a shot at the RIZIN Lightweight championship when his opponent de Souza who comes in as the favorite at a -350 looks to prevent that from happening. de Souza has gone the distance once, and Carlyle has won only once by decision. Both will look to snatch a submission, it won’t go the distance. de Souza in under 2.5 rounds.
MAIN EVENT: RIZIN 42: Kai Asakura vs. Yuki Motoya
A 2-year layoff for Kai Asakura has led him to the main event of RIZIN 42. The last time he fought was at RIZIN 33 where he made it to the finals of the Bantamweight Grand Prix before losing to Hiromasa Ougikubo by unanimous decision on December 31st, 2021. Prior to that loss and the layoff, Asakura is a former RIZIN Bantamweight champion who has capitalized on important wins in his career against Manel Kape and Kyoji Horiguchi.
The man that’ll look to continue his winning ways is Yuki Motoya, the Japanese Bantamweight contender who has worked hard since suffering a 2021 TKO loss to Kenta Takizawa will look to extend his new winning streak to 6 when he challenges the former Bantamweight champion of RIZIN. To talk a little about the current streak of wins Motoya has, it all started the night before Asakura’s loss to Ougikubo when Motoya won a unanimous decision vs. Yuto Hokamura. Since then it’s been nothing but winning for Motoya who has gone the distance to win and recently finished Rogério Bontorin at RIZIN 40 in the 2nd round with a brutal knee.
Despite the winning streak, Motoya does come into this as the +160 underdog which isn’t new to him, just gives him another reason to go and show out in the ring. Asakura will come into this as the -200 favorite in their first bout in 2 years as he looks to get back into the winner’s circle after some time spent recovering from his injuries. I’ll have to go with the more active fighter for this one, Asakura should be able to pressure and put on an amazing performance over Motoya. I have it Asakura by unanimous decision.
Canelo vs. Ryder: Oleksandr Gvozdyk Vs Ricards Bolotniks
The former world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk comes into another heavy card with the goal of walking away with another win. Gvozdyk’s only loss came against Artur Beterbiev when he lost in the 10th round in 2019 with his Light Heavyweight championship on the line. A return earlier this year against Josue Obando resulted in a unanimous decision win at Boxfest Round 29. The former champ rarely goes the distance and will look to continue that trend this weekend.
Looking to get back into the title picture, Ricards Bolotniks has the gas tank to last the whole fight and he will do his best to continue that with his first fight in 2023 against Gvozdyk. His last loss suffered was vs. Joshua Buatsi for the WBA International Light Heavyweight championship. He did have a turnaround on April 1st of last year when he defeated Hrvoje Sep by a decision after 8 rounds of action. He will look to make it 2 in a row against the former champion Gvozdyk in their 10-round bout.
If Gvozdyk can pressure early, it will be a short night for his opponent Bolotniks who will look to tire out Gvozdyk in his second fight of the year. I have Gvozdyk winning it by TKO before the 7th round which Bet Online has listed as a +550. Make yourself some money this weekend by betting on Gvozdyk.
Canelo vs. Ryder: Julio Cesar Martinez Vs Ronald Batista
Julio Cesar Martinez has been on a monster run since he won the vacant WBC Flyweight championship in 2019 from Cristofer Rosales. As of last November, Martinez has been ranked as the best Flyweight boxer by ESPN. A 5th championship defense would only further the legacy of Martinez who has finished most of his bouts by KO. The only loss he has recently suffered was against Román González at Junior Bantamweight in 2022 by way of a unanimous decision. Other than that, Martinez has made sure no one comes between him and his gold at 112 lbs.
The opponent that’ll look to be crowned the new WBC Flyweight champion is the Panamanian Ronal Batista who has gone the distance but prefers a knockout victory to seal the deal. Batista has proven his chin isn’t weak and in a majority of the fights he has been knocked down in, he has bounced back and taken the win by either decision or a brutal finish. He is a former WBA Super Flyweight champion with nine knockouts and only one loss by way of finish for the Panamanian Flyweight contender.
Martinez has proven himself as a world-class boxer. Batista has a ton of heart going into this Flyweight championship bout, but I truly don’t believe it’ll be enough for the champion. Bet Online lists the champion Martinez as a +163 to win by TKO/KO in between the fourth and sixth rounds, he’ll have the power to retain his gold once again, bet on the champion this weekend.
MAIN EVENT: Canelo Alvarez vs. John Ryder
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez has only tasted defeat twice in his illustrious career. The first loss came to the legendary and undefeated Floyd Mayweather. The second loss was to Dimitry Bivol who Canelo attempted to defeat to be the new Light Heavyweight champion. Overall, Alvarez had had a starstruck career. From overcoming plenty of doubters to being recognized as one of the greatest Mexican boxing champions of all time. He will look to once again add another name to his 58-2-2 where 39 of those wins came by way of knockout. Alvarez hasn’t been a victim of a knockout loss and most likely will never be one with his superb defense and power that helps him in each of his bouts. In Canelo’s last 10 bouts, he has won 9 of them with 3 of those wins coming by way of KO.
John Ryder will look to do what only two other men have been able to accomplish. This will be the biggest fight of his career and entering enemy territory as this fight will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico, the first for Canelo since 2010 and the first time Ryder has fought there in his entire career. The 32-5 record of Ryder has brought in 18 knockouts and 13 times he’s gone the distance for a win. He has only been stopped once and will look to keep it that way when he looks to defeat Alvarez and be crowned the WBA (Super), WBC, IBF, WBO, and The Ring super-middleweight champion.
It’s no argument about who is going to walk out with the win in my eyes. Ryder has made it this far and proven himself. However, Alvarez is back home, he is looking to continue his winning ways and will do so against Ryder who I don’t see going the distance. This fight will end by way of TKO/KO with the win going to Alvarez.
UFC 288: Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola
In his last 3-fights, Drew Dober has been able to amp it up by a notch. He has finished the likes of Terrance McKinney, Rafael Alves, and recently Bobby Green which earned him bonuses for performance and fight of the night. Dober’s last time being the featured prelim, it did not go his way against Brad Riddell who had defeated him by unanimous decision. Since then it’s been nothing but chaos for Dober who will look to keep his ranking (#14) in the Lightweight division after UFC 288 this weekend.
Matt Frevola gets his first fight of 2023 when he goes against Dober as Frevola will look to extend his winning streak to 3. The last 2 fights Frevola has been in have resulted in huge first-round finishes vs. Genaro Valdéz and Ottman Azaitar at UFC 270 and UFC 281. Prior to that, Frevola did not have the best 2021 as he lost both fights to Arman Tsarukyan and McKinney before his turnaround. The Steamrolla will look to become a ranked Lightweight this weekend against Dober in this huge featured prelim for UFC 288.
The favorite going into this is Dober at a -245 whereas Frevola enters this fight once again as the underdog at +175. It’s nothing new for Frevola as in most of his bouts he has come in as the underdog. Dober will look to put the lights out early. I’m going with Frevola in under three rounds, I believe he gets it done with a brutal finish incoming.
UFC 288: Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns
Gilbert Burns is ready to enter the octagon after he just defeated Jorge Masvidal at UFC 287 in Miami. Now with UFC 288 being held in Newark, New Jersey. Burns is confident in his skills to bring him another win in 2023 to escalate him back into the championship picture for the Welterweight division. This will mark the third fight in a year for Burns, he kicked off the year by submitting Neil Magny before defeating Masvidal at UFC 287. Prior to that, he lost a close decision fight against Khamzat Chimaev which was rewarded with a FOTN performance bonus. Burns is scary whether it’s on the stand-up or when he takes his opponents to the ground. The #5 ranked Brazilian’s only shot at the Welterweight title came against teammate Kamaru Usman whom he lost to at UFC 258 in 2021. He will look to make sure this 2-week notice bout does not go unnoticed as he aims for another shot at the gold.
Belal Muhammad has fought and clawed his way to the top. The nickname he goes by “Remember The Name” isn’t for nothing. He truly wants everyone to remember who he is whether it is what he says in the build-up to his fight or what he does in it to prove to the UFC and doubters that he has earned a shot at UFC gold. The #4 ranked Muhammad is also on an 8-fight winning streak. The last time he suffered a loss was in 2019 to Geoff Neal on the first-ever ESPN+ card which was headlined by Henry Cejudo who is now back and ready to bring back the gold for himself. Muhammad wants to be remembered as one of the greats and is going to have to be able to prove that when he goes up against his toughest challenge yet in the Brazilian Burns. Muhammad’s last 4 opponents (Demian Maia, Stephen Thompson, Vicente Luque, and Sean Brady) are either future Hall of Fame candidates or looking to become one. Muhammad will aim to do the same when he fights Burns this weekend at UFC 288 in a 5-round co-main event war to see who should fight the Welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
Heading into this fight, Muhammad is the underdog at +111 which in his last 4-fights listed as the underdog, he has walked away with the victory. Burns on the other hand is the favorite for the third fight in a row for his career in which he won all those fights dominantly. I’ll be going with the underdog Muhammad. It’s not that I doubt Burns’s ability to come into this on 2-weeks’ notice, I think it could play a factor if the fight does head into the championship rounds. Muhammad by decision.
UFC 288 MAIN EVENT: Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo
A month following the retirement of Henry Cejudo, Aljamain Sterling cemented himself as the next man in line to fight for the UFC Bantamweight championship when he submitted Cory Sandhagen in under two minutes at UFC 250. Sterling fought Petr Yan in 2021 and 2022, defeating him both times. The first fight awarded him the gold due to a result of an illegal knee, the second bout and first defense came by way of a split decision which cemented Sterling as the UFC Bantamweight champion. He finished his 2022 by defeating the former 2x UFC Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw before getting the call he was always waiting for.
1090 days, 1,569,140 minutes, and 26,152 hours. The amount of time Triple C has been away and in his first fight back gets to challenge for the championship he never lost. In the eyes of Cejudo he believes he has not lost a step since he defeated Dominick Cruz and announced his retirement at UFC 249. He targeted a lot of potential opponents before the UFC made this official, but the only fight he pushed for was to prove he can continue being great against a doubted underdog who has silenced naysayers to continue being king of the UFC’s 135-pound division.
This is Sterling’s first main event as the UFC Bantamweight champion. Sterling and Cejudo come into this not far off from being the favorite to win this at -115. Each man wants to rip the other’s head off, if this fight goes the distance I could see it going in Cejudo’s favor with his cardio. Sterling will have to keep the range to avoid the takedowns and being on his back. I am personally going with Sterling by submission, but if you don’t trust my pick then go with the second option, Cejudo by decision.
Thank you for reading! If you made it to the end, I hope you were entertained by the first-ever edition of Rami’s Recommendations. I don’t exactly know when I will bring another, I am leaning toward the weekend of UFC 289 and the many other events that’ll be held on those days. Have a good weekend with violent fights and bet safely. Until next time. – Rami Hanna Jr.