MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 43

MMA Best Bets: UFC Vegas 43

This article is part of our MMA Best Bets series.

The UFC remains at the Apex for UFC Vegas 43 on Saturday, November 20 before taking next weekend off. In the main event, top-10 bantamweights collide as Ketlen Vieira headlines her first UFC card opposite Miesha Tate.

In this series of articles, I'll share my favorite play, an underdog pick, a prop, and a two-fighter parlay I like. All lines are taken from DraftKings online sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article.

Sean Brady (14-0) vs. Michael Chiesa (17-5)
Weight Class: Welterweight

In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 43, Sean Brady gets the toughest test of his career as he takes on Michael Chiesa, but I'm backing Brady to remain undefeated.

On the feet, Brady is a way better striker, as Chiesa's striking is still not at a high level, and he doesn't throw enough volume to win fights. He lands just 1.87 significant strikes per minute but only absorbs 1.72. Brady, meanwhile, is much more active, as he lands 4.72 and absorbs 3.60. He also has the power to get knockdowns, as we have seen in the UFC.

If the fight remains on the feet, it is Brady's fight to lose. However, I do expect it to have a ton of grappling, but even then, I favor Brady. For being known as a grappler, Chiesa makes a lot of mistakes on the ground, as he has been submitted several times. Brady is patient on the ground and could very well get ahold of a choke. Or, he just stuffs the takedowns, as he does have 100 percent takedown defense.

No matter where this fight takes place, I like Brady to get the better of Chiesa and get the win.

The Play: Sean Brady (-165)

Miesha Tate (19-7) vs. Ketlen Vieira (11-2)
Weight Class: Women's Bantamweight

I can't believe the odds on this one, as when the fight was made, I lined Miesha Tate around a -160 favorite. To get her at plus-money makes this an automatic play.

Although Tate did just end her lengthy retirement back in July, she has all the tools to defeat Vieira. The Brazilian has been a disappointment so far in the UFC, and she is someone I have faded in all three of her last fights and have gone 2-1, despite her being above a -200 favorite in all three. 

Vieira's cardio is her downfall, as she often loses the third round, and tends to get dominated in that frame. She now has to go five rounds against Tate, who has proven to have solid cardio. I think Vieira will have success early on with her grappling, but as the fight goes on, Tate will start to take over and possibly even get the finish. If she doesn't, I expect her to win the third, fourth and fifth, with the potential for some 10-8's.

The Play: Miesha Tate (+100)

Terrance McKinney (11-3) vs. Fares Ziam (12-3)
Weight Class: Lightweight

Terrance McKinney had one of the best UFC debuts ever, as he scored a seven-second KO over Matt Frevola. He now gets to fight another striker in Fares Ziam, who has been rocked a couple of times in the UFC.

McKinney has already fought four times in 2021 and has only competed for 112 seconds, as all four wins have come by first-round KO. In the fight against Ziam, I do expect McKinney to find the openings. He also could wrestle in this fight, as that has been a weak point for him that McKinney could exploit.

However, I expect McKinney to find the KO shot sometime in the first or second round and continue his winning ways.

The Play: Terrance McKinney by KO/TKO (+150)

Adrian Yanez (14-3) vs. Davey Grant (11-5) & 
Talia Santos (18-1) vs. Joanne Wood (15-6)
Weight Class: Bantamweight and Women's Flyweight

For my parlay, I'm backing Adrian Yanez and Taila Santos to continue their winning streak on Saturday.

Yanez is 3-0 in the UFC with three KO wins and now gets to fight Davey Grant, who is super durable. He has never been knocked out in his career, but Yanez is special and has phenomenal boxing. Even if Yanez can't get the stoppage win, I do expect him to outstrike Grant for three rounds and win a clear-cut decision.

On my other leg, I like Talia Santos to be able to control Joanne Wood on the ground to win a decision. Santos is a great wrestler, and when she gets on top of her opponent, it is hard for them to get out. In Wood's career, she has struggled against top-heavy wrestlers, which is what Santos is. This should be a clear win for Santos, who I expect to dominant for all three rounds.

The Play: Yanez and Santos parlay (-152)

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Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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