UFC Fight Night 172 Betting Picks: Diana Belbita vs Liana Jojua

The 7th rule of fight betting is… Don’t bet on low level women’s MMA. At the same time, though, rules are meant to be broken.

I think the former Governator of California has 6 rules to success he likes to give people and one of those rules is to break the rules.

This fight here is one of those times I want to take advantage of the situation and break the rules if needed.

I haven’t picked for or against Diana Belbita before but I did take advantage of an overhyped Liana Jojua. She debuted against Sarah Moras, who has a crappy record in the UFC but has fought a lot of top competition.

Liana was the slight favorite and Sarah made her look like she had no business in the UFC.

Jojua’s level of competition before she made it to the UFC was pretty weak.

If Moras is a giant step up for you, you will probably lose.

  • The good news for Jojua is that she can’t look much worse in an MMA fight than she did against Sarah in 2019.
  • The bad news is she has a long way to go to put together a UFC caliber performance inside the Octagon.

Her opponent, Diana Belbita, is also coming off of her UFC debut. Diana also lost but her opponent, Molly McCann, is a higher ranked prospect than Moras. Belbita also looked much better as a debutant than Jojua.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this matchup. Let’s peek at those and make our pick to win on Wednesday night.

Diana Belbita (-165) vs Liana Jojua (+135)

Round Total

OVER 2.5
-200
UNDER 2.5
+170

That round total is interesting.

Both women have a ton of finishes on their records. I would say a big part of that is them being that much better than their opponents in smaller organizations.

They have 7 combined losses pre-UFC so that theory doesn’t hold up.

Jojua has the edge in experience.

She has half a foot of reach on Jojua . She is the crisper striker and will be the bigger woman.

Both girls are front foot fighters and it will be very interesting to see who wins that battle from the opening bell.

I have to side with the bigger girl here. I realize Jojua has a strong base and big legs but I still predict Belbita will mostly stay on her front foot.

How is Diana’s takedown defense?

Well, she fought a takedown specialist in her first fight against McCann and defended 9 of the Englishwoman’s 15 takedown attempts.

5 times is still a lot to be taken down but the fact that she was able to defend 60% of them tells me she should be at 80 to 90% against a weaker wrestler in Jojua.

There isn’t too much else to say here, guys.

One girl is more experienced. She’s also bigger and longer. She looked much better in her debut.

I am going with Belbita here all the way.

Her betting odds of (-165) should probably be around (-220) but the oddsmakers are aware that this is low level women’s MMA and the parody is simply greater.

Jojua could secure some takedowns and even roll for a kneebar or heel hook as she has in the past but I like Diana’s defense against McCann.

The round total is interesting.

Belbita’s last 3 victories and 2 losses all came by way of finish minus the McCann fight. The previous 6 of 7 fights for Liana were all finishes.

I realize this one will probably go to the judges scorecards but the under 2.5 at (+170) is pretty tempting. Let’s throw a half of a unit on the round total and 1 unit on Diana.

My Pick
Diana Belbita
-165
Over 2.5 Rounds
-200

In Conclusion

No time to waste!

As the fight world attempts to recover from what was a tremendous UFC 251 minus the main event but we saw that coming, the UFC is putting on another event this Wednesday night.

There isn’t a ton of value on this card. I really like Saturday’s lineup much better but there are some gems to be found.

Diana Belbita is one of those and Liana Jojua had such a bad showing in her debut, fading her isn’t the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

She is heavy on top, though, and will have the center of gravity advantage against the taller slimmer Belbita.

That’s about her only advantage, in my opinion.

Diana has several more and just looks like the better fighter to me.

Belbita looks like she can compete in the UFC and Jojua does not.

Get your picks in now and enjoy the show Saturday night!

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.