UFC Vegas 4 Betting Picks: Luis Pena vs Khama Worthy

We are back, guys, with another week of UFC betting action.

It has been a very tough month of June for us. I don’t want to make any excuses but when I fail, the first thing I want to know is why. Gotta stop the bleeding, right?

Part of what I was doing was just picking the wrong fighter. That’s not a good start but it happens and over time, it will happen less.

If you’ve been following the betting lines in mixed martial arts over the past month or so, you know they are being juiced probably 50% more than normal.

Pro bettors who would typically be making their money in other sports can’t do that at the moment so they are trying their hand at MMA.

I believe Curtis Blaydes, who dominated last week’s main event, was an affordable favorite once upon a time opening at less than a 2 to 1. It didn’t take long, though, until he was all the way up at 4 to 1 and seemingly unplayable.

I really hope this trend doesn’t continue at the rate it is once other sports start up. Either way, though, we have to make the adjustment right now.

7 out of the 11 scheduled fights for Saturday night have betting odds on the favorite of (-220) or more. Then, there is a couple of pick’em fights.

Please Note:
We are seeing UFC debut after UFC debut. It’s getting harder and harder to tell who is short notice and what does that even mean at this point? Are any fighters getting a full 8-12 week fight camp? Every state has different laws and different levels of infection/death rates.

There are simply quite a few more variables to take into account for each fight and on top of that, 80% of the value on the betting lines has been juiced out. Tough times but we can work around it.

This weekend’s card, in particular, is the most rag-tag job I have seen the matchmakers do in quite a while. There are 6 Octagon debutants who will be fighting, hopefully, on Saturday night.

It is important to note this: 32 of 39 fighters who have taken a fight on less than a week’s notice recently have lost.

We also know that in a matchup with a 10-year age gap, the younger fighter wins 2 out of 3 times.

I will work on getting more of these golden stats. Of course, we need more than just a stat to make a solid decision on a play, but it sure helps.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for us today. Let’s preview and pick the matchup of Khama “Deathstar” Worthy and Luis “Violent Bob Ross” Pena.

Luis Pena (-280) vs Khama Worthy (+240)

Round Total

OVER 2.5

Luis Pena is an interesting character.

I always love to see the long lanky guys succeed because as one of them myself, I understand how hard it can be to beat up people who are stronger than you with similar skills.

Sure, I can tap a bunch of 200-pound brutes who lift weights and drink beer for fun. When they know what they’re doing, though, that’s when the playing field quickly flattens out.

The UFC must really love Luis Pena. He has had nothing but favorable matchups in his short UFC career.

  • He won his fight on The Ultimate Fighter Finale then lost to a fellow contestant and season winner, Mike Trizano, in his next battle.
  • Next was Steven Pederson who is a tough guy from a good camp at Fortis MMA but isn’t quite a UFC caliber fighter. Luis could only eke out a decision win here and I think his employers wanted a finish.
  • Okay, next up is Matt Wiman, a guy who was once a solid fighter but was coming off of a 5-year hiatus from combat. Pena looked good and got the ground and pound TKO.
  • Enter Matt Frevola, a fighter who Pena was again supposed to beat. I picked and bet on him and Luis had the fight won if he would have just thrown more volume in the third.
  • Then, the UFC cuts him a break again and gives him a step down with a fight against a UFC debutant, Steve Garcia. Pena looked good but if he is as good as they want him to be, he would have put some of these fighters away and probably not lost to Frevola.

The guy is 6’3 and fights at 155 pounds. He is a beanpole but has good wrestling and uses his length very well in the striking and grappling exchanges.

His opponent, Khama Worthy, is making his second appearance inside the Octagon. He was something like a 10 to 1 underdog in his debut against Devonte Smith but The Deathstar slept the giant favorite with a counter left hook.

Worthy has got some power. He is 100% the most dangerous fighter Luis has been in the Octagon with since he got his start on The Ultimate Fighter reality show.

Neither of the two men who beat Pena in the UFC has an Octagon finish on their record. Worthy, though, packs some heat! He has won 6 straight fights and 3 have been TKO’s.

Khama also has 5 TKO losses that occurred either early in the first or second rounds.

No bueno, but one of those losses was to recent UFC debut winner, Billy Quarantillo, and Worthy’s first TKO loss was to UFC star and commentator, Paul Felder. Khama is a Pittsburgh guy and Paul is from Philly.

Powerful punching isn’t exactly Luis Pena’s strength, though. He has good wrestling but good enough to take down the better athlete and stronger guy who has a better center of gravity?

The cage is small and whoever fights on the front foot will probably win.

I do believe Luis wins probably 6 out of 10 times these two men fight but that isn’t what the betting odds are telling us.

Worthy is the best striker and has more power than Luis is used to. Pena has looked kinda good against quite low-level competition. If he was running through those guys, I can understand the wide betting line but (-280) denotes nearly a 75% chance of winning.

I don’t know about that.

The big money seems to be mostly coming in on the favorites and that’s okay. Maybe we lost some value but we are gaining it in certain places as well. This fight is a good example. Khama is a live dog.

I don’t think anyone can dispute that. He has the punching power to change the fight and Luis has yet to face an opponent like Worthy inside the Octagon.

As long as Khama doesn’t get slept early, he’s pretty good, and against a fighter with minimal power in his hands, I think Worthy can stay dangerous for long enough.

It’s hard to predict if this one will go the distance. Luis Pena’s only two professional losses came by way of split decision but Worthy… Two of his previous 15 fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards.

I give Khama a 40% chance to win this one but his betting odds of (+240) only denote a 29% chance at victory. We have a big edge here but don’t go crazy. No more than 1 unit on Khama Worthy.

My Pick

In Conclusion

People are sleeping on Khama Worthy.

If he’s fighting a heavy hitter, I totally get it but Luis is not a powerful puncher at all. He does have some sneaky knees in the clinch due to the immense height advantage he has on most of the division.

Luis is used to having a good deal of reach on his opponents as well. Even though Pena has 4 inches in height, he will only have one in the reach department. Overhand right, anyone? I hope so.

Luis is my dude but he has yet to prove to us that he should be a ranked fighter.

Taking some big shots from Khama and still coming forward will turn some heads but Violent Bob Ross will be behooved to take this fight to the mat early and as often as needed, if he can.

Worthy isn’t a reliable guy but he isn’t the favorite so he doesn’t have to be. If he had no power and minimal takedown defense like a lot of Luis’s opponents then go ahead and bet the favorite but Worthy presents a different set of challenges for the up-and-coming fighter.

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.