Islam Makhachev has had a difficult time finding willing adversaries because he is universally viewed as a high-risk, low-reward opponent. So the surging lightweight was grateful to get a contract signed against fellow ranked prospect Thiago Moises in the main event of the UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises fight card on Saturday. Their showdown tops the main card from the Apex facility in Las Vegas, with a scheduled start time of 10 p.m. ET. Makhachev is ranked ninth and is having difficulty getting a bout against anyone ranked ahead of him, but he says in due time he will show he is the best lightweight in the world. Moises, ranked No. 14, hopes to stake a claim to the top 10 by pulling off the upset.
Makhachev is a -650 favorite (risk $650 to win $100), while Moises comes back at +475 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, former champion Meisha Tate (-135) returns to the cage to face Marion Reneau (+115) in a battle of veteran bantamweight contenders. Before locking in any UFC Fight Night picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions from SportsLine insider Ian Parker.
A former fighter who's been in the industry for 15 years, Parker has managed some of the world's best, including former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou and Gian Villante. Parker trained alongside UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra. Now, Parker breaks down fights and makes betting picks for the Voice of the UFC, Jon Anik.
Parker is coming off a mind-boggling 2020 season. On the Anik & Florian Podcast, Parker went an astounding 58-14, returning $9,465 to $100 bettors who followed him. He hit 11 of his 17 underdog picks and 19 of 30 main events. Overall, Parker nailed an astonishing 81 percent of his plays.
The revered MMA analyst continues to build on a massively profitable 2021 campaign for SportsLine members. He is coming off a 10-1 mark at UFC 264 that netted his followers a profit of nearly $900. His winners included a dominant performance for Dustin Poirier (-135) in his trilogy match against Conor McGregor (+115) in the main event. Anyone who has followed Parker is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises in sight, Parker has carefully studied the MMA odds and matchups from every angle and released his top selections. A successful parlay of these picks would result in a payout of about 6-1. You can only see these picks at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises preview
Parker knows Saturday's main event will play a major role in what is perhaps the promotion's most talent-rich division. There already has been plenty of movement at lightweight following the retirement of Nurmagomedov, who walked away from the sport at 29-0 following his victory over Justin Gaethje in October.
Charles Oliveira defeated Michael Chandler for the vacant title at UFC 262 in May, and Poirier confirmed his status as the top-ranked contender and next title-challenger with his second lopsided pummeling of McGregor in 2021 at UFC 264.
Even so, most MMA observers expect Makhachev (19-1) to enter the title picture sooner than later. The Dagestan native has long trained alongside and been compared to his countryman Nurmagomedov, who is fast developing a reputation as one of the sport's brightest coaches.
His prodigy, Makhachev, has a remarkably similar style that includes speed grappling with the intent of an onslaught of ground-and-pound once he gets his opponent to the mat. He is coming off a third-round submission of veteran contender Drew Dober in March and faces a similarly ambitious prospect in Moises.
Moises (15-4) is a well-rounded Brazilian who already has shared the Octagon with the likes of third-ranked Beneil Dariush, who he met in his UFC debut in November 2018. Moises lost a decision, but has since won four of five and is looking to build on a victory against resilient prospect Alexander Hernandez in February. You can only see who to back here.
UFC Fight Night: Makhachev vs. Moises predictions
We'll share one of Parker's UFC Fight Night picks here: He is backing rising prospect Daniel Rodriguez (-255) to defeat Preston Parsons (+215) in a welterweight battle that will be the featured bout on the preliminary card.
Rodriguez (14-2), 34, has gained attention for his power punching, fearlessness and straight-forward style. All of those traits were on display in his last outing, a shutout decision win over the iron-chinned veteran Mike Perry in April. Eleven of his 14 professional MMA victories have come inside the distance, but he could face a stylistic challenge against UFC debutant Parsons (9-2).
The 25-year-old Parsons is a ground-game savant who made a name for himself by stopping four consecutive opponents in the Combat Night promotion. UFC brass already had its eye on him as a prospect and offered him a short-notice debut when another fight for Rodriguez fell through.
"Look for Rodriguez to use his striking to keep Parsons at a distance and avoid going to the ground," Parker told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Moises vs. Makhachev picks
Parker also has strong picks for Makhachev vs. Moises and other fights on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing a fighter who is a better striker and also has a massive advantage on the ground. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Makhachev vs. Moises? And what other picks do you need to see for a parlay with a payout of nearly 6-1? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the ultimate insider who's up nearly $9,500 on MMA picks in the past year, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, card
Islam Makhachev (-650) vs. Thiago Moises (+475)
Meisha Tate (-135) vs. Marion Reneau (+115)
Mateusz Gamrot (-220) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+190)
Rodolfo Vieira (-215) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (+185)
Gabriel Benitez (-170) vs. Billy Quarantillo (+150)
Daniel Rodriguez (-255) vs. Preston Parsons (+215)
Amanda Lemos (-500) vs. Montserrat Ruiz (+400)
Khalid Taha (-165) vs. Sergey Morozov (+145)
Miles Johns (-180) vs. Anderson Dos Santos (+160)
Francisco Figueredo (-290) vs. Malcolm Gordon (+245)
Rodrigo Nascimento (-340) vs. Alan Baudot (+280)