UFC Vegas 76 may not be bringing the household names, but it’s certainly bringing one of the most impressive collections of MMA skill we’ve seen in a while.

We’ll be treated to some of the most elite striking in the UFC with the return of both Damir Ismagulov and Guram Kutateladze. We’ll also see some incredible grappling from Rinat Fakhretdinov who’s taking on the returning ‘Motown Phenom’, Kevin Lee. Not to mention, we’ll also see some of the most exciting, young names in UFC like the undefeated Michael Morales. We’ll also have Ismael Bonfim, Alexandr Romanov, Brunno Ferreira and the monstrous UFC debutant, Nursulton Ruziboev. BLÜ provides his best bets for all of these matchups (plus more) below along with the Bet99 Sportsbook Odds.

To follow BLÜ’s Best Betting System, simply put 1.00 Units on each of the bets below unless otherwise specified. When these bets are combined with the Sniper Pick and the parlays below, profits can be maximized and losses can be minimized. Nothing is ever a guarantee, but BLÜ’s goal is to bring consistent profit to the viewers over the long term and constantly refine his system.

Due to the unpredictable nature of betting sites like Bet99 and the sport of MMA, odds will likely change throughout the week and may be unavailable for some of these bets at the time this article is posted. This also means that BLÜ may opt to swap a couple of these bets out on Friday night for others in order to maximize profit. The results of BLÜ’s Best Bets will be covered on ‘BLÜ’s Best Bets’, live on BLÜ’s Twitter (BLBEARD2), the Area 51 Sports Network Twitter (Area51SportsNet) and on YouTube (BLU-FC) next Wednesday at 4:00 PM (PST).

BLU’s Prelim Picks (Prelims begin at 1:30 PM PST)

Guram Kutateladze vs. Elves Brener

BET99 Odds

Kutateladze:  -700    Brener:  +466

Over 2.5:  -118    Under 2.5:   -109

Brener showed a lot of great promise in his debut performance against Tukhugov, but Guram is on a completely different level. Guram has only had two fights in the UFC, both against current top 10 talents Gamrot and Ismagulov and ended up in split decisions with both of them. The only reason this man isn’t in the top 10 right now is because he’s had so many opponents fall out. I’m 99% sure he’ll grab the win, making him my sniper pick for the week. To lower his odds, we’ll take him to win by decision and balance it out with the Under 2.5 Round prop.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Guram Kutateladze by Decision (Odds Unavailable at time of post)

Under 2.5 Rounds at -109

Alexandr Romanov vs. Blagoy Ivanov

BET99 Odds

Romanov:  -134    Ivanov:  +110

Over 1.5:  -200    Under 1.5:   +157

Romanov has had some struggles in his last couple fights, mainly with his cardio. He fights with a heavy grappling pace. Since Tybura was able to withstand his onslaught, he ended up losing a tight decision. Ivanov is durable… but he certainly is not a grappler. With Romanov’s intense grappling and remarkable submission ability, he’s got the huge advantage in this matchup. I also have to mention the height, age and weight advantage that Romanov will likely hold on top of those skills. Ivanov tends to find himself in decisions, but with Romanov’s grappling, there’s a distinct chance we could see this end early.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Alexandr Romanov at -134

Under 1.5 Rounds at +157

Joanderson Brito vs. Westin Wilson

BET99 Odds

Brito:  -1400    Wilson:  +750

Over 1.5:  +185    Under 1.5:   -240

Brito is a human wrecking ball and Wilson has been finished multiple times in the 1st Round by people with suspect records. This is another massacre waiting to happen, so we’ve gotta look into some pretty specific prop bets to make any money here. I’ll be taking Brito in the 1st Round and Brito by Submission (Wilson has been submitted 6 times in his MMA career).

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Joanderson Brito in the 1st Round (Odds Unavailable at time of post)

Joanderson Brito by Submission (Odds Unavailable at time of post)

Ivana Petrović vs. Luana Carolina

BET99 Odds

Petrović :  -225    Carolina:  +180

Over 2.5:  -260    Under 2.5:   +190

Don’t let either of these women’s records fool you, this seems to be a pretty tight matchup. Petrović is 6-0, but hasn’t really faced a UFC-level opponent and won a split decision last year over someone who was 5-4. Meanwhile, Carolina is 8-4 and just grabbed a split decision loss against Joanne Wood who almost had a title shot a couple years ago. She’s also grabbed wins over ‘Loopy’ Godinez, Poliana Botelho and Priscila Cachoeira. I’m not saying Carolina should be the favourite, but I’m more than willing to put a little bit of cash on a more-experienced, durable underdog.

Carolina has been finished before while Petrović has grabbed many finishes, so we’ll balance out our pick with the Under 2.5 line.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Luana Carolina (The Underdog) at +180

Under 2.5 Rounds at +190

Yana Santos vs. Karol Rosa

BET99 Odds

Santos:  +140    Rosa:  -172

Over 2.5:  -325    Under 2.5:   +233

With both of these women having completely inconsistent results and performances, we have to the underdog in order to keep long-term profit. That aside, Rosa was dominated by Norma Dumont and Sara McMann and won a split over Lansberg for her last 3 fights. Comparatively, Santos beat top contender Ketlen Vieira, lost to Irene Aldana, and was then dominated by the long-reigning number 1 contender, Holly Holm. Santos’ clinchwork, grappling and elite experience should win her this matchup.

Again, even though the women don’t have many finishes, with these two being so inconsistent, why not take a chance on the Under 2.5 rounds?

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Yana Santos (The Underdog) at +140

Under 2.5 Rounds at +233

Kevin Lee vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov

BET99 Odds

Lee:  +162    Fakhretdinov:  -200

Over 2.5:  -160    Under 2.5:   +125

Kevin Lee used to use his power and his wrestling to win; sadly, Rinat isn’t someone you can do that to. Rinat is 21-2 and has absolutely dominated his UFC opponents with grappling, cardio and quick strikes. Lee has been submitted 3 times in his last 8 fights and will more than likely get manhandled by the strong grappler in Rinat. Not to mention, Lee’s cardio has been a question for a while; unless he gets a knockout, he’ll lose this fight. It’s because of Lee’s knockout power and Rinat’s ground game that I’ll balance out the pick with the Under 2.5 betting line.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Rinat Fakhretdinov at -200

Under 2.5 Rounds at +125

Main Card (4:00 PM PST)

Nursulton Ruziboev vs. Brunno Ferreira

BET99 Odds

Ruziboev:  +171    Ferreira:  -217

Over 1.5:  +150    Under 1.5:   -193

The only reason Ferreira is the favourite here is because no casual MMA fan and, most likely, seasoned UFC fans, have ever seen Ruziboev because he’s not on UFC Fight Pass. A quick YouTube search later and every UFC middleweight should be terrified. He’s one of the tallest, largest fighters I’ve ever seen, he’s quick, creative and dangerous everywhere. I don’t know how he’ll handle the power of Ferreira, but, this is someone we could be seeing around for quite a while.

With both men earning a wild number of 1st Round finishes, I’ll actually be taking the Under 1.5. This isn’t a fight you’ll want to miss.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Nursulton Ruziboev (The Underdog) at +171

Under 1.5 Rounds at -193

Benoit Saint-Denis vs. Ismael Bonfim

BET99 Odds

Saint-Denis:  +250    Bonfim:  -334

Over 1.5:  -193    Under 1.5:   +150

Once again, we’ve got another pretty clear winner in this matchup. Both of the Bonfim brothers have proven themselves to be truly elite and dangerous, potential future title contenders. The big moment for Bonfim, of course, was his flying knee KO over another elite contender in Terrance McKinney. Saint-Denis has shown minimal striking defence in his UFC tenure so far, so we could easily see another KO for Bonfim. That said, Benoit is one of the toughest, most durable men I’ve ever seen in the cage, so we’ll balance it out with the Over 2.5.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Ismael Bonfim by Finish at -134

Over 2.5 Rounds (Odds Unavailable at time of post)

Ariane Lipski vs. Melissa Gatto

BET99 Odds

Lipski:  +183    Gatto:  -234

Over 2.5:  -143    Under 2.5:   +112

Although I’m not overly impressed by either fighter, there’s definitely a clear pick to be made in this matchup. Lipski has struggled with consistency in her UFC career and has struggled with strikers in the past. Meanwhile, Gatto is much larger than her and has grabbed a KO in the UFC. Gatto should be able to either grab a KO or simply control Lipski, being the more physical, larger woman.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Melissa Gatto by Decision at +220

Under 2.5 Rounds at +112

Max Griffin vs. Michael Morales

BET99 Odds

Griffin:  +200    Morales:  -250

Over 2.5:  -134    Under 2.5:   +105

Still undefeated and very young, Morales has been taking it slow in the UFC, taking matchups that he should able to win convincingly. Although Griffin may be his toughest test, except for possibly his fight against Fugitt, he still should be able to win this fairly easily. He’s much younger, much larger and has a more dangerous, well-rounded skillset. Since he’s such a large favourite, we’ll lower the odds with Morales by Finish. But, just in case Griffin is as durable as he normally is… or if Griffin shocks the world, we’ll back that up with the Over 2.5.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Michael Morales by Finish at +120

Over 2.5 Rounds at -134

Co-Main Event

Damir Ismagulov vs. Grant Dawson

BET99 Odds

Ismagulov:  -113    Dawson:  -109

Over 2.5:  -225    Under 2.5:   +175

This betting line still surprises me; in fact, it’s even more surprising to me that the numbers haven’t swelled towards Ismagulov as the week has gone on. Ismagulov has proven to be one of the most precise strikers in the division, easily worthy of a top 10 ranking. On the other side, Dawson has been beating the older UFC veterans in close battles outside the top 20. I would be shocked if Dawson was able to somehow win this fight given Damir’s striking and takedown defence. Also, I feel the need to point out that Dawson has had issues with striking defence in the past, so a KO for Damir is more than plausible.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Damir Ismagulov at -113

Under 2.5 Rounds at +175

Main Event

Sean Strickland vs. Abus Magomedov

BET99 Odds

Strickland:  -150    Magomedov:  +122

Over 3.5:  -137    Under 3.5:   +108

On paper, this is actually a pretty strange and fairly one-sided matchup. Strickland has been consistently able to do well against top 10 opponents, including a split decision loss to the number 2 contender in Jared Cannonier. As for Magomedov, he’s only had 1 UFC fight and it lasted 30 seconds against someone who doesn’t belong in the UFC. Outside that, he fought in the PFL and was knocked out there twice. On paper, that makes Strickland a pretty obvious pick. In reality, it may not turn out that way and Abus could grab a highlight KO off of him like Alex Pereira, but we’ll see. Just in case that happens, we’ll take the Under 3.5 at plus money, but we still have to take Strickland given all those factors on paper.

BLÜ’s Best Bets

Sean Strickland at -150

Under 3.5 Rounds at +108

Parlay Opportunities

The Triple Play

Joanderson Brito + Guram Kutateladze + Ismael Bonfim (1.00 Units at -169)

The Grand Slam

Joanderson Brito + Ismael Bonfim + Damir Ismagulov + Michael Morales (0.50 Units at +268)

The Sniper Pick

Guram Kutateladze at -700 for 7.00 Units