Explosive bantamweight contenders will headline the UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw card on Saturday as second-ranked Cory Sandhagen takes on former two-time champion T.J. Dillashaw. The main UFC fight card is set for 7 p.m. ET from the Apex facility in Las Vegas and features a matchup involving a potential future champion in Sandhagen and one of the division's most accomplished fighters in Dillashaw. Sandhagen could be in line for a title shot should he secure his third consecutive victory, while Dillashaw can jump directly back into title contention with a victory in his first fight since serving a two-year suspension.
Sandhagen is a -185 favorite (risk $185 to win $100), while Dillashaw is a +165 underdog in the latest UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw odds from William Hill Sportsbook. In the co-main event, women's bantamweight contenders take the spotlight as third-ranked Aspen Ladd (-185) takes on No. 9-rated Macy Chiasson (+165). Before making any picks of your own for UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw, 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.
The revered MMA analyst continues to build on a massively profitable 2021 campaign for SportsLine members. He managed a 10-1 mark at UFC 264 that netted his followers a profit of nearly $900 and recorded another winning record at UFC Fight Night last week that included calling victories for Islam Makhachev (-650) over Thiago Moises (+475) in the lightweight main event and Meisha Tate (-135) over Marion Reneau (+115) in the bantamweight co-main event.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw 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 better than 10-1. You can only see these picks at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw preview
Parker knows the main event represents a potential turning point in the careers of both fighters and perhaps a title-elimination contest. The top-loaded division has some uncertainty at the moment, as current title-holder Aljamain Sterling is likely headed to a rematch with Petr Yan after their UFC 259 battle in March ended in Yan's controversial disqualification and handed the belt to Sterling.
In the meantime, Sandhagen and Dillishaw can make strong cases for the next opportunity with a standout performance on Saturday, while third-ranked Rob Font also likely will remain in the picture.
Sandhagen (14-2), 29, is widely viewed as the most well-rounded prospect in the top-heavy division and has long been hailed as a future title contender. At 5-11, he's tall for the division and his length and striking have given fits to his opponents.
The Colorado native has won seven of his eight fights under the UFC banner but has somewhat limited experience against top-flight competition. His only matchup against anyone currently in the top five resulted in a first-round submission loss to Sterling last June.
It stands to reason that Dilliashaw represents the most decorated opponent Sandhagen has faced. The 35-year-old won his first UFC title in 2014 with a historic upset of Renan Barao, and he won it for a second time with a knockout of Cody Garbrandt in November 2017.
Dillashaw (16-4) defended his title with another knockout of Garbrandt before losing by stoppage against Henry Cejudo in an attempt to win the flyweight title and become a two-division champion. His positive drug test stemmed from that bout, and his career and reputation took huge blows amid his subsequent suspension. You can only see who to back here.
UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw predictions
We'll share one of Parker's UFC Fight Night selections here: He is supporting Punahele Soriano (-105) to outlast Brendan Allen (-115) in a battle of middleweight prospects.
Soriano (8-0) has shown power and athleticism while winning his first two UFC bouts by knockout following another victory on "Dana White's Contender Series." The 28-year-old Hawaiian stopped fellow prospect Dusko Todorovic in January.
Allen (16-4) is a grappling specialist who has won four of his five fights with the promotion. His resume includes a submission win against Kevin Holland, who is now ranked No. 14 at middleweight.
"If Soriano can fend off the takedowns of Allen and make this a stand-up fight, he should win," Parker told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Sandhagen picks
Parker has strong picks for Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw and other fights on the UFC fight card. He's also backing one fighter to "land a high volume of strikes" and pull off a major upset. Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night odds, card
Cory Sandhagen (-185) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (+165)
Aspen Ladd (-185) vs. Macy Chiasson (+165)
Kyler Phillips (-260) vs. Raulian Paiva (+220)
Darrick Minner (-160) vs. Darren Elkins (+140)
Miranda Maverick (-135) vs. Maycee Barber (+115)
Jordan Williams (-175) vs. Mickey Gall (+155)
Brendan Allen (-115) vs. Punahele Soriano (-105)
Ian Heinisch (-150) vs. Nassourdine Imavov (+130)
Adrian Yanez (-210) vs. Randy Costa (+180)
Julio Arce (-200) vs. Andre Ewell (+175)
Sijara Eubanks (-320) vs. Elise Reed (+260)