UFC 249 Betting Picks: Niko Price vs Vicente Luque II

Who is ready for the UFC to return in just over a week?! I am ecstatic, personally.

This card is made for the fans!

Finding betting value has been a challenge due to all of the fun and interesting matchups.

You have two former world champions, Fabricio Werdum and Dominick Cruz making their return to the Octagon after 2 and 3 plus years off, respectively.

Neither man really has anything left to prove but are making their returns next Saturday night regardless. Their individual betting lines are 5 bills apart, though.

Dominick is a 2 to 1 underdog to dethrone the king of cringe and UFC Bantamweight Champion, Henry Cejudo while Werdum is more than a 3 to 1 favorite to dispatch the aging Aleksei Oleinik.

I am very confident in Werdum and Dom could be a live dog. His style is hard to beat and he has some of the best takedown defense in the history of the UFC.

There are a total of 6 fighters on this card who are current or former UFC World Champions.

They could have had plenty more but smartly broke them up over the next few weeks to even out the talent and name value on the other fight cards.

Today, I want to talk about one of the more interesting but overlooked matchups on the card, Vicente Luque vs Nike Price.

Vicente Luque (-260) vs Nike Price (+220)


This fight will headline the early prelims broadcast on UFC Fight Pass. It’s actually a rematch. These two men first threw bones at each other back in October of 2017.

Nike Price was undefeated at the time and things were off to a pretty good start as he established the jab with an extra inch of reach on his side.

He has even more length in the legs but wasn’t able to capitalize as Vicente Luque landed 19/21 on the quad and then the calf of Price, slowing him down by the second round dramatically.

Luque began to land more overhand rights and left hooks in the second round. He dropped Price with a minute to go and while the smart play would have been to continue punching for the KO/TKO, Vicente jumped and I mean jumped onto a D’arce choke.

It was locked in from the get and after a quick roll, Price tapped out. Since then, Vicente Luque won five straight contests including 4 TKO finishes before he dropped a decision to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

His last two fights went to decision. This is primarily due to Vicente’s ability to take a punch and more so Mike Perry’s.

What a great fight that was and the minimally moving Luque had nothing for the fancy footwork of Thompson.

Following the fight with Luque, Nike Price won his next fight by rear-naked choke. After that, he fought rising star, Randy Brown.

How do you like that? Hammers from the bottom!

Then it was round 1 TKO loss then round 1 TKO win.

Geoff Neal was next and I took the incredibly risky over 1.5 rounds and even used it on a parlay. Neal has smashed nearly everyone and Price was no different.

Luckily it took awhile. What felt like 25 minutes was only about 7:38, only 8 more seconds than we needed. Neal and his other TKO loss to Alhassan can be attributed to their extraordinary punching power.

Even though Luque has a lot of TKO finishes, it’s not because of crazy power.

Niko does know that his patience strategy didn’t work against Luque. The former just got picked apart and eventually, put away.

I like what I have seen from Nike lately, though, especially in his last fight with James Vick.

That sound, though… Ooeee.

These two are complete savages but I just don’t see Price winning this fight. Luque has only been finished once in his career and that was by third-round arm triangle in 2013.

Couple that with the fact that Nike Price has never made it out of the second round in his 10 fight UFC career, and this one is probably going to end inside the distance.

The over/under is at 1.5 rounds and nearly even money. I like this bet because of Luque’s durability and patience.

It’s just hard to tell Price to be patient when he is going to have to go directly at Luque, probably in a wild manner, if he wants to win.

  • Fight doesn’t go to a decision: -375! Too much!
  • Luque wins by decision: +465. There’s some value there.
  • Luque wins by TKO: +160. I think that’s our play.
  • Over 1.5 Rounds: -105. This is a good one too.

This is a big fight for both men, a much bigger fight than when they traded blows earlier in their careers.

The first round of the first fight was slow.

I’m expecting the same. Hopefully, Luque’s coach told him after the fact that he should not have gone for the D’arce choke even though he got the finish.

Remember when Frank Mir tore Minotauro’s shoulder off? Well, the Brazilian had him hurt badly when he dropped to his butt for the guillotine finish. Frank countered BEAUTIFULLY and seconds later, POP!!!

Let’s try our hand at two picks for this fight.

My Picks

In Conclusion

At the time of this writing, it is Thursday, April 30. That means we are now single digit midgets.

It’s an old military term denoting you have less than 10 days to go before you are sent home from wherever you are. May 9th will be a good day!

We will be picking every fight on the card. I know you have missed the action just as much as I have.

We are currently sitting around a 25% return on investment or ROI. There are roughly 5 months of data there and we have been picking fights nearly every week and at least 5 per show.

Let’s continue to build on our success with UFC 249.

  • Luque to TKO/KO Price at (+160) is a good bet, not great. I like the value so don’t go crazy with it.
  • The over 1.5 rounds wager is about the same to me. I feel like the value is there. I would put it at (-140) so there is an edge.

Get your bets in now, guys, before those lines move even more.

This will be one of if not the most bet on UFC event in history!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.