MMA

UFC on ESPN 36: Louis Smolka vs Davey Grant Picks, Predictions, Odds

Davey Grant vs Louis Smolka
May 14, 2022 11:15 pm EDT
The Line: Louis Smolka +244 / Davey Grant -289
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Davey Grant and Louis Smolka fight Saturday in UFC on ESPN 36 at the UFC Apex. Grant enters this fight with a 13-6 record and has won 62 percent of his fights by submission. Smolka enters this fight with a 17-8 record and has won 47 percent of his fights by knockout.

Grant has split his last eight fights and is coming off a November loss to Adrian Yanez. Grant is averaging 4.55 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. He is averaging 1.77 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 44 percent. Grant is coming off a split decision loss at UFC on ESPN+ 56 where he landed 98 total strikes and ate 100 total strikes. The bout earned fight of the night honors, the second straight-time Grant has earned such a bonus. However, Grant is still looking for his first win since UFC Fight Night 187 more than a year ago. Grant comes from a boxing and kickboxing background, and he’s quite proven on the canvas, where he has eight submission victories. He’s never been knocked out in his career. A purple belt in BJJ and solid takedown defense, Grant is 4-5 under the UFC banner. This will be Grant’s fifth career fight in Nevada.

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Smolka has split his last six fights and is coming off a December loss to Vince Morales. Smolka is averaging 4.54 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Smolka is averaging 1.81 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37 percent. Smolka is coming off a knockout loss at UFC on ESPN 31 where he ate 27 total strikes. It was the first knockout loss of Smolka’s career, so it will be interesting to see how he responds. Smolka looks to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 2017. Smolka is one of the more accurate strikers in his division and is also very creative when taking the fight to the canvas. A brown belt in Judo, Smolka has finished 15 of his 17 career wins and has lost four of his six career decisions. This will be Smolka’s seventh career fight in Nevada.

We should be promised an exciting fight here given that Grant is involved, and he’s been the bonus king over his last several bouts. As for a pick, Smolka is coming off his first career knockout loss, and I’m always hesitant to side with fighters coming off their first knockout because you never know how they’re going to react. Sometimes they’re timid, sometimes they’re just never the same. Grant is the longer fighter and throws from a lot of weird angles that can be tough to pick up. Dangerous fight for Smolka, even if there’s a path to victory if this fight goes to the ground. 

I’m still siding with Grant to win this fight inside distance to shave down the ML price.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Davey Grant Inside Distance

Randy Chambers

Randy has covered sports betting since 2014 and writes about everything from NFL to WNBA.

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