UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Timur Valiev vs Martin Day

The UFC has packed up Fight Island and moved the show back to their home of Las Vegas. For how long, though? I am hearing that it will be Summertime before they get back out to Fight Island.

For betting purposes, this means a lot of frustration. It sure seems like many of the fights that are getting pulled from the card for various reasons are the ones with the most betting value. This happens in Vegas almost every week there is a show.

Whether there is something fishy going on or not, it is far above any of our pay grades so we have to focus on the opportunities we do have.

One of those is potentially with Timur Valiev here against Hawaii’s Martin Day. Yes, the betting line is wide but I think we can target a method of victory prop or two that have some solid value.

The only reason Timur Valiev isn’t a much larger favorite is that he was put away in his first fight with the company against Trevin Jones. Valiev almost had Jones out of there himself in the first but the referee let the fight continue.

Timur is a very very good prospect for the UFC and they have held off on giving him a step up in competition just yet. He was thiiiiis close to having one fight and one first round finish inside the Octagon.

Where would his betting odds be if this was the case?

Heck, where are they now? BetOnline has provided the lines for us today and as always. If I find a better line somewhere else, I will make a note of it.

Timur Valiev (-400) vs Martin Day (+300)

If you think this betting line is expensive right now, then imagine if Timur would have got the 1st round win in his debut. They probably would have upped his level of competition anyway but I like him a lot here over Martin Day.

The Hawaiin, Day, has yet to have his hand raised inside of the Octagon and is only 8-5 as a professional now. He lost his debut with the promotion to Pingyuan Liu who has since lost two straight fights.

After that, he was looking good against Davey Grant before he got clipped and put away in the third round. Then, the scrappy Brazilian Anderson dos Santos took him down and submitted him inside of the first round.

Is Timur the submission ace that Anderson is?

Probably not but maybe he just prefers to strike. This preference, though, should be swerved by his coaches in this fight. He works under Mark Henry, Frankie Edgar’s longtime head coach out of New Jersey.

Edgar is, of course, fighting in the main event on Saturday against Cory Sandhagen and the betting odds mirror this fight! How crazy is that? The books are trying to bait people to bet on Frankie Edgar. I’m not biting but it is tempting…

Can Timur Valiev win a striking battle with Martin Day this Saturday in Las Vegas? Sure. I would favor him probably 67/33 but he has the ability to get this fight to the mat and either cruise to a decision win or send Martin Day off to free agency in style.

The Hawaiin Taekwondo fighter lost on his Dana White Contender Series fight back in 2017 but after rattling off a couple of wins, the company gave him another shot in 2018. That was the fight against Liu.

Then, he has three fights cancelled and doesn’t compete again until July of last year and then again in November. He is tailor made for Timur to take down and either submit or beat up. I think that is what we will see here.

Since the moneyline is too high, what do the method of victory props look like?

Here is one I really like.

Timur Valiev wins inside the distance for (+100). The even betting odds obviously have an implied probability of 50% and I think Valiev gets Day out of there about 67% of the time. That gives us a massive edge on the sportsbooks and our first play.

I would play two units on this even money Valiev inside the distance line and then put half a unit on him to win by submission. That betting line has incredible value at (+500)!

But, of course. Valiev is a striker but so is Day and so was Trevin Jones. Valiev has an excellent head coach who game plans as well as anyone. I expect a grappling heavy game plan from Timur.

Will Day accept the loss and just hold on? I doubt it. He has a warrior spirit and he is also fighting for his job after losing his first three inside the Octagon. He knows Valiev is a very talented guy who is dangerous everywhere but he is also aware that his only chance is to allow himself to be quite vulnerable.

That is where he makes a mistake, likely giving up his back trying to stand up from the bottom and Valiev slides around the back and finishes the lion kill.

My Pick
Valiev Inside the Distance
Valiev by Submission

In Conclusion

This is going to be a fun fight because you have one of the best fighters in the division fighting a solid striker who is as game as they come.

I’m not saying the fight will last very long, though, and as evidenced by our bets today, I don’t want this thing going the full 15 minutes. We have 2.5 units invested in Timur getting the stoppage.

If he gets the TKO instead, we are still up 1.5 units but if he is able to pull off the submission, we are up 4.5 on just one fight. Martin Day has been put away in 3 of his 5 losses.

That is a good stat for us but do you know what is even better than that? Timur Valiev is by far his toughest and most dangerous opponent to date.

I think we have a good angle here with Timur and if you’re questioning the submission prop because only 2 of his 16 wins have come by way of tapout, I understand why. This is exactly what got him into trouble, though, and lost him his debut against Jones. This attitude of I am going to out strike everyone even if I don’t have to.

His last sub came against Naldo Silva, a very good black belt and a former training partner of mine at Syndicate MMA in Las Vegas. BJJ is his specialty and Timur tapped him out so I know the Russian has the ability to make Martin cry uncle.

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.

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