UFC Vegas 78 Picks, Odds and Preview


We’ve got expert UFC Vegas 78 picks for this weekend’s MMA fight card in Las Vegas. The main card has some great fights, including the main event between Vicente Luque and Rafael dos Anjos.

Cub Swanson is in action in the co-main event against Hakeem Dawodu.

UFC Vegas 78 Preview

When: Saturday, August 11th 2023

Where: UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada

Time: 4:00 PM ET (Prelims) / 7:00 PM ET (Main Card)

Watch: ESPN or ESPN+ (USA) / TSN (Canada)

There are only four ranked fighters, but there’s plenty of talent. The ranked UFC fighters on the card are Luque (#10 WW), dos Anjos (#9 LW), Khalil Rountree Jr. (#13 LHW) and Chris Daukaus (#14 WW).

The UFC Vegas 78 weigh-ins are complete. Tafon Nchukwi (189.5 pounds) and Josh Fremd (189 pounds) both missed weight and neither were close. There has been no confirmation yet if either fight will happen. It could end up impacting two of my UFC Vegas 78 picks, but let’s hope the fights will take place.

The UFC needs to start punishing fighters for not making weight more severely. Stephen Thompson recently declined to fight Michel Pereira, as Pereira missed weight, but Thompson wasn’t paid his purse. It puts fighters in a tough situation, as they either fight someone who missed weight or forgo getting paid.

Expert UFC Vegas 78 Picks

You’ll need to open a Sports Hub account with your email to access all UFC Vegas 78 picks. My plays will be available on my profile page (SWJ Sports) and you can also check out our other MMA experts.

Last week, Ben Burns and Kyle Parker went 1-0 (+$100) at UFC Nashville. I ended up going 4-1 (+$237), as Kennedy Nzechukwu lost, but it was a good night and I’ll look to keep the momentum going.

Let’s jump into my UFC Vegas 78 picks for Saturday.

Vicente Luque vs. Rafael dos Anjos Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Luque (-110) vs. dos Anjos (-120)

Luque (21-9-1) is on a two-fight losing streak, with losses against Belal Muhammad (Decision) and Geoff Neal (R3 KO). Dos Anjos (32-14) went 2-1 last year and is coming off a win against Bryan Barberena (R2 Submission). Luque will want to keep this fight standing to utilize his 5” reach advantage (75” vs. 70”).

RDA averages 2.05 takedowns per 15 minutes and Luque has 61% takedown defense. RDA will want to take this fight to the mat and dominate control time. Luque averages 5.49 SLpM and 5.51 SApM, while RDA averages 3.56 SLpM and 3.21 SApM. RDA has much better striking defense (61% vs. 52%).

Luque is a finisher and five of his last six fights have ended by stoppage. RDA has gone the distance in four of his last six fights, but his last two fights ended by stoppage. Cardio won’t be a problem for RDA.


Cub Swanson vs. Hakeem Dawodu Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Swanson (+170) vs. Dawodu (-215)

Swanson (28-13) doesn’t have much left in the tank. He’s 3-6 in his last nine fights and has been KOed in two of his last three. Swanson’s last four fights have ended in the first or second round. Dawodu (13-3-1) has lost two of his last three fights as well, including last time out against Julian Erosa (Decision).

Dawodu hasn’t looked impressive, but Swanson is a shell of his former self. Dawodu will have a 3” reach advantage (73” vs. 70”), plus he averages more strikes (5.33 SLpM vs. 4.68 SLpM) and eats less shots in the cage (3.15 SApM vs. 3.73 SApM). Swanson is capable of landing a takedown or two, though.

Dawodu had six TKO/KO wins when he joined the UFC, but has only one in the UFC. His last five fights have all gone the distance. Will Dawodu be able to knockout the 39-year-old veteran? He needs to learn to be more aggressive. Sign-up to Sports Hub to access all of my UFC Vegas 78 picks.

Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Chris Daukaus Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Rountree Jr. (-170) vs. Daukaus (+140)

Rountree Jr. (11-5-0-1) seems to have figured things out at LHW. He’s on a three-fight win streak and two of those wins were by TKO. He’s coming off a split decision win against Dustin Jacoby. Daukaus (12-6) is making the move to LHW after getting knocked out in his last three fights at heavyweight.

Both guys have a 76” reach. Rountree Jr. is a low volume striker (3.67 SLpM) and he eats a lot of strikes (4.19 SApM), but he has immense power. He has won seven fights by TKO/KO. Daukaus averages 6.41 SLpM and 4.48 SApM. He has 11 TKO/KO wins, but he has also been knocked out five times.

Both guys have KO power, but Rountree Jr. should have the speed and athletic advantage.

Best Bet: Khalil Rountree Jr. by Stoppage (-140)

AJ Dobson vs. Tafon Nchukwi Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Dobson (+115) vs. Nchukwi (-145)

Dobson (6-2-1) is a popular underdog for UFC Vegas 78 picks. He’s 0-2 in the UFC, but his losses were both by decision against Jacob Malkoun and Armen Petrosyan. Nchukwi (6-3) is 2-3 in the UFC and he has been knocked out in his last two fights against Azamat Murzakanov and Carlos Ulberg.

Nchukwi has power (4 TKO/KO wins) and he’s a volume striker (6.05 SLpM) with decent striking defense (55%). Dobson averages 4.34 SLpM, 6.0 SApM and 1.75 takedowns per 15 minutes (75% TD accuracy).

Dobson will want to utilize his wrestling and avoid power punches. Nchukwi can win this fight if he’s able to keep it standing and get into a brawl, but he needs to show more initiative in the cage.


Josh Fremd vs. Jamie Pickett Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Fremd (-360) vs. Pickett (+270)

Fremd (10-4) is a huge favorite against Pickett (13-9). Pickett has been stopped in his last three fights in the UFC. He has lost by stoppage six times in nine losses. Fremd was tapped by Tresean Gore last year, but bounced back with a submission win against Sedriques Dumas back in March.

Pickett will have a 4” reach advantage (80” vs. 76”). Both fighters are capable of landing takedowns and Fremd has good submissions (4 Submission wins). Pickett has been tapped four times. Fremd is only 29 years old and he has to win. Pickett isn’t a tough opponent and he’s in terrible form.

Best Bet: Josh Fremd by Stoppage (-135)

Juliana Miller vs. Luana Santos Prediction

  • Fight Odds: Miller (+120) vs. Santos (-150)

In the opening MMA fight at UFC Vegas 78, Miller (3-2) will fight Santos (5-1). Miller won her UFC debut against Brogan Walker (R3 TKO), but she lost last time out against Veronica Hardy (Decision). Santos is making her UFC debut. She has three submission wins and she’s on a two-fight win streak.

Miller is averaging 2.90 SLpM and 3.18 SApM. She only has 26% striking defense. She’s averaging 2.07 takedowns per 15 minutes (57% accuracy). Will we see an improved Miller in the cage? It’s tough to say. Santos has a grappling edge, but Miller is tough and has shown the ability to win with her hands.

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UFC Vegas 78 Picks – Best Parlay Bet

I’m backing two fighters on the prelims. They’re both big favorites and didn’t make the cut for my straight UFC Vegas 78 picks, but I expect both of these fighters to dominate tomorrow in Vegas.

McGhee by Stoppage + Buday ML (+123 Odds)

Marcus McGhee (7-1) won his UFC debut against Journey Newson (R2 Submission). His opponent will be J.P. Buys (9-5) who is 0-3 in the UFC and has been knocked out twice already. Martin Buday (12-1) is fighting Josh Parisian (15-6) who is 2-3 in the UFC. Buday is 3-0 in the UFC with all wins by decision.

UFC Vegas 78 Odds

Here are the UFC Vegas 78 odds for every fight on the card:

  • Vicente Luque (-110) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (-120)
  • Cub Swanson (+170) vs. Hakeem Dawodu (-215)
  • Khalil Rountree Jr. (-170) vs. Chris Daukaus (+140)
  • Polyana Viana (+165) vs. Iasmin Lucindo (-205)
  • AJ Dobson (+115) vs. Tafon Nchukwi (-145)
  • Josh Fremd (-360) vs. Jamie Pickett (+270)
  • J.P. Buys (+280) vs. Marcus McGhee (-370)
  • Terrance McKinney (-260) vs. Mike Breeden (+210)
  • Francis Marshall (-170) vs. Isaac Dulgarian (+140)
  • Josh Parisian (+165) vs. Martin Buday (-205)
  • Jaqualine Amorim (-255) vs. Montserrat Ruiz (+205)
  • Da’Mon Blackshear (-275) vs. Jose Johnson (+200)
  • Juliana Miller (+120) vs. Luana Santos (-150)

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