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UFC Fight Night Betting Preview: Matheus Nicolau vs. Manel Kape

January 13, 2024

UFC returns for the new year with an electrifying fight card scheduled for Saturday, January 13, at 7:00 PM ET at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Fight Night 234 features a compelling flyweight co-main event, with a rematch between fifth-ranked Matheus Nicolau and sixth-ranked Manel Kape. Kape enters as a moderate favorite with a moneyline set at -280.

Matheus Nicolau Betting Preview

Nicolau recently had his six-fight win streak come to an end in his last fight. This was a first round knockout against Brandon Royval back at UFC on ESPN 44 in April of last year.

He has put together 19 wins so far in his career, which consist of five knockouts, five submissions, and nine decisions. Out of his 19 wins, only four of them have ended in the first round. As for his three losses, they have all come by knockout.

When landing strikes, he is successful 54 percent of the time. As for takedowns, he typically lands 45 percent of them. He also lands 3.66 significant strikes  and absorbs 3.14 in each minute of action, showing a slightly positive ratio.

Nicolau averages 1.48 takedowns and 0.89 submissions in every 15 minutes of fight time, which shows he is on the ground every once in a while. He also defends well, with a 67 percent defense against significant strikes and 93 percent takedown defense.

Manel Kape Betting Preview

Kape has won his last four fights, with his last defeat being a split decision against Nicolau back in 2021. In his most recent success, he defeated Felipe dos Santos at UFC 293 in September of last year by a unanimous decision.

He has landed 19 wins so far, compiling 11 knockouts, five submissions, and three decisions. He has earned nine first round finishes and has four out of his six losses coming by decision.

“Starboy” connects on 55 percent of his strikes and 38 percent of his takedowns. Looking at significant strikes, he lands 5.12 and takes on 4.52 each minute in the octagon. This is a slightly positive, yet aggressive ratio.

He does not spend a lot of time on the ground, as he averages 0.65 takedowns and 0.44 submissions in every 15 minutes of fighting. He also has a 60 percent defense against significant strikes and a 78 percent defense against takedowns.

Odds, Series Trends and Free Pick

MyBookie presents the odds for the upcoming showdown, identifying Manel Kape as a moderate contender (-280) with a chance to win. Compared to last time, Kape has a slight edge when it comes to striking that could help him here.

For optimal choices, bettors may want to explore prop bets closer to the fight and contemplate including Kape in a parlay with other card battles to enhance potential payouts.

Final Pick: Manel Kape in Parlay or Prop