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UFC Fight Night 234: Quick Picks and Prognostications

MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom breaks down the UFC’s top bouts. Today, we look at the main card for UFC Fight Night 234.

UFC Fight Night 234 (ESPN+) takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Last event’s results: 0-0

Overall picks for UFC main cards in 2024: 0-0

Welcome to MMA Junkie’s Quick Picks and Prognostications, where I’ll be giving brief fight-day breakdowns for UFC main cards.

With that in mind, I hope these write-ups don’t come off as curt or dismissive, as my goal here is to offer quick picks and analysis in a digestible format. All odds listed are provided by FanDuel.

If you’d like more detailed analysis from me, then feel free to check out my weekly show, The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.

So, without further ado…

Phil Hawes (+108) vs. Bruno Ferreira (-132)

Ricky Simon (-184) vs. Mario Bautista (+148)

Jim Miller (-134) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+110)

Serving as a solid offering at lightweight is a battle between southpaws, Jim Miller and Gabriel Benitez.

Although Benitez is one of my favorite fighters to come off “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America,” Miller is one of my favorite fighters of all time.

With that in mind, you’ll have to forgive me for the obvious bias in my words given that Miller is one of the few fighters who remain from my days of watching this sport strictly as ‘a fan.’

Miller is clearly in the winter of his career, but I still believe that he has enough in the proverbial tank to get the job done here.

Jim Miller tweet: https://x.com/DanTomMMA/status/1440970841718607874?s=20

Despite Miller having the spottier record against fellow UFC-level southpaws (standing at 5-7 opposite Benitez’s 2-0), the American comports himself well in closed-stance matchups.

Not only can Miller access leg kicks and left crosses down the centerline, but the 40-year-old also has a knack for catching kicks and countering with takedowns.

Couple that with the chaos that’s encouraged by the smaller octagon, and I’ll ride with Miller to score another club-and-sub in Round 1.

Magomed Ankalaev (-550) vs. Johnny Walker (+390)

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie