UFC Fight Night 171 Betting Pick: Chase Sherman vs. Ike Villanueva

The UFC is set to hold its second event in less than a week as UFC Fight Night 171 Smith vs. Teixeira comes to you live from Jacksonville, Florida, today at 3:00 PM PST. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between former title contenders Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith. In this article, we are going to breakdown an undercard fight between heavyweights Chase Sherman and Ike Villanueva.

Betting Odds

  • Chase Sherman -162
  • Ike Villanueva +130

Chase Sherman makes his return to the Octagon tonight and is a small betting favorite over UFC newcomer Ike Villanueva. Sherman went just 2-5 in seven fights for the UFC and was cut from the organization in September of 2018 after a three-fight losing streak. Sherman was able to rebound on the regional circuit, going 3-0 with three knockouts for the Island Fights promotion, and earned his spot back in the UFC.

For Villanueva, the veteran slugger finally got the call from the big show and will be making his UFC debut tonight at the ripe old age of thirty-six years old. While his career record has been mostly inconsistent results against below-average competition, Villanueva has strung together four straight wins fighting under the Fury FC banner and will make his long-awaited Octagon debut tonight at UFC Fight Night 171.

Chase Sherman (14-6)

While Chase Sherman’s run in the UFC didn’t end well, when you look back at his time with the organization, it wasn’t all that bad. He lost to guys like Augusto Sakai, Shamil Abdurakhimov, and Walt Harris, and all three of those guys are still fighting in the UFC and are ranked in the top-15 in the heavyweight division.

So, while he showed that he wasn’t able to beat top tier UFC level fighters, he did win two fights in the UFC, including a Fight of The Night performance win over Rashad Coulter. Since getting cut by the UFC, Sherman has dropped down to the regional scene, fighting for Island Fights, and has been dominant against the lower level of competition, winning all three of his fights by knockout in the first round.

Sherman is a big man at six foot four, and two hundred and fifty pounds, and is known for his big-time punching power. Of his fourteen career wins, thirteen of them have come by way of knockout, with ten of those knockouts coming in the first round. This guy has heavy hands, and if he connects, you are going to sleep.

Ike Villanueva (16-9)

The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and Ike Villanueva has been the squeaky wheel in the ear of UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard. Villanueva has been lobbying Maynard for a shot in the UFC now for several years, and after reeling off four consecutive wins, a couple of which came against UFC level competition, he finally gets his shot to prove himself on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, the UFC.

Villanueva is a standup brawler that loves to stand and bang and has thirteen career knockouts. He has been fighting professionally on and off since 2008 and has been waiting for a call from the UFC for over a decade. Despite getting the call on late notice, Villanueva was quick to accept and is certain to be giving it his all tonight in Jacksonville in a fight that he has waited his entire life for.

Who Do I Like?

This is a great fight to kick off the card tonight as these guys both love to stand and trade punches, and it is almost certainly going to end in a knockout finish. The hard part about handicapping this match is that both guys have fought such inconsistent competition in their careers, making it hard to tell just how good each guy is.

Chase Sherman has shown that he can compete with UFC level guys, but mostly loses to the guys that he should, and beats the guys that he should. For Villanueva, he has beaten a couple of guys that have UFC experience, but nobody worth writing home about.

Sherman has been a monster on the regional scene, but that doesn’t tell us much, as the match making at that level of the sport is generally quite poor.

So, without records that can be trusted, I will have to use the eye test on this fight. And to me, I see Sherman winning the fight. He is going to be the much bigger man, and he won’t have those pre-fight UFC debut jitters that Villanueva is going to have. Both guys can get a little bit wild on their feet at times, but the power here is undeniable. This fight is going to end early, and one of them is going to go to sleep.

The Bet

There are a couple of bets that I see as showing value in this one. I love the under 1.5 rounds as this fight has first-round knockout written all over it. We can actually pick up some nice dog money on the under 1.5 rounds at +115, and I will be making a play on that number for sure.

The other bet I am going to make is backing Sherman by knockout. This line has been all over the place, and most books actually opened with Villanueva as the betting favorite, but the early action has moved the number towards the UFC veteran, Chase Sherman.

The betting line on Sherman by KO or TKO pays us +130. And when you look at his career record, where he wins basically all of his fights by knockout, you may as well take the knockout line at the much better price than the money line. If Sherman wins, it is going to be by KO, so that is the sharper line to take, that gives us a much bigger payout.

If I had to zero in on an exact prediction of this fight, I think Villanueva comes out hard and fast with some big sloppy bombs trying to put on a show in his first big-time fight. Maybe he connects on a couple of them, maybe he doesn’t.

But soon, he will have that big adrenalin dump that comes with making your UFC debut and will gas out quickly. This is where Sherman will take advantage of his bigger body and longer reach and will connect with that big right hand of his and end this fight early. Sherman by first-round knockout!

The Bet
Under 1.5 Rounds
+115
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL