UFC & MMA Betting

UFC on ESPN 44 Predictions: Full Card Analysis, Odds, Best Picks



After one of the best PPV events we have ever seen last week, the Ultimate Fighting Championship returns with a new Fight Night that will take place in Kansas City. Like most events, this card is stacked with exceptional bouts that will provide entertainment to even the most pretentious MMA fan. Here are our UFC on ESPN 44 predictions.

UFC on ESPN 44 Prelim Predictions: Analysis, Odds, Best Picks

Aaron Phillips vs Gaston Bolanos

Aaron Phillips Preview

Aaron is a 33-year-old American fighter. He made his UFC debut with a 7-0 record in May 2014. Aaron prefers to fight on the stand. In fights against strikers, he tries to work as the first number and connects cannon strikes to knock out opponents. But, meeting wrestlers, Phillips, fearing to miss a takedown, switches to work as the 2nd number, becomes passive and allows himself to be taken down.

Gaston Bolanos Preview

Gaston is a 30-year-old fighter from Peru. He began his professional MMA career in 2017. Gaston is a kickboxer. This is a technical fighter with a cannon punch, who won all the victories by knockouts. But judging by Bolanos' performances in Bellator, he has issues with grappling and stamina.

Phillips vs Bolanos Prediction

Phillips hasn't competed for 2.5 years and is clearly coming out purely because of a check and contract obligations. Bolanos also does not have a high intensity of performance. Over the past 3 years, he had only 1 fight.

Given that both athletes love aggressive exchanges head-on, sooner or later one accurate blow right to the jaw will end this match. This is the first of our UFC Fight Night predictions.

Gillian Robertson vs Piera Rodriguez

Gillian Robertson Preview

Gillian is a 27-year-old athlete from Canada. In 2017, she took part in the 26th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where she performed successfully and received a contract with the UFC.

Robertson is most dangerous on the ground. The athlete has a good BJJ base, thanks to which she has a good sense of balance and has dangerous painful techniques in her arsenal. 8 out of 11 victories she got with the help of submissions.

Piera Rodriguez

Piera is a 30-year-old athlete from Venezuela. She started her professional career in 2017. Rodriguez prefers to work on the stand. She has good boxing, she hits very hard and causes serious damage to her opponents in every fight. I note that Piera works well in the clinch. She controls opponents well at the net, and inserts dangerous punches with elbows and knees. She won 5 of 10 victories by knockouts.

Robertson vs Rodriguez Prediction

We are surprised that Piera Rodriguez is a small underdog. The Canadian athlete is bad at takedowns and lacks the physical strength to impose control on Rodriguez in the clinch.

On the stance, Rodriguez is several levels better than Gillian. The Canadian simply will not keep up with Piera. In the clinch, the advantage will also be on the side of the athlete from Venezuela. Due to power control and dangerous elbows and knees, Rodriguez will not only score points but will also be able to inflict damage.

Lando Vannata vs Daniel Zellhuber

Lando Vannata Preview

Lando is a 31-year-old American fighter. He made his UFC debut in July 2016 against Tony Ferguson. Vannata is an eccentric boxer. He is not afraid to go into exchanges, throws unexpected spectacular blows from different angles. Lando always strives to finish his opponents. He won 9 out of 12 victories ahead of schedule.

Daniel Zellhuber Preview

Daniel is a 23-year-old fighter from Mexico. He started his professional career in 2016 and in 5 years has amassed an 11-0 record in the Latin American leagues.

Daniel prefers to fight on the stand. This is a fast and technical fighter with outstanding anthropometry. He skillfully uses the advantage in reach to control the distance, inflict damage on the opponent and avoid his retaliatory attacks. I will note the knockout power of Zellhuber. 7 out of 12 victories he won by knockouts.

Vannata vs Zellhuber Prediction

Daniel's debut was not impressive. He lost without a chance to the outspoken journeyman Ogden and I don't think he can handle Vannata. The fight will take place mainly in the stance, where the advantage will be on the side of Lando. Vannata is more creative in striking.

Brandon Royval vs Matheus Nicolau

Brandon Royval Preview

Brandon is a 30-year-old American fighter. He made his UFC debut in May 2020 against Tim Elliot, whom he defeated by choke in the 2nd round.

Royval is a BJJ black belt holder. He is constantly looking for an opportunity to perform a submission, the implementation of which is at his best. The fighter progresses in the stance. He aggressively goes to the opponent, breaks the pace, and is able to surprise with creative blows.

Matheus Nicolau Preview

Matheus is a 30-year-old fighter from Brazil. In 2015, he took part in the 4th Brazilian season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he performed successfully and signed a contract with the UFC.

Matheus is a black belt in BJJ and is the most dangerous on the ground. Nicolau regularly tries to crush the opponent with control on the ground, after which he tries to get into a comfortable position for submission.

The Brazilian has a mediocre stance. He's mobile enough, but he can't take advantage of that to improve his defense.

Royval vs Nicolau Prediction

The matchmakers, when setting the odds, were apparently impressed by Matheus Nicolau's record and the fact that Royval broke his wrist in December 2022. But when comparing the styles and manner of performance of these fighters, I cannot but note the fact that Royval will be the most uncomfortable opponent for Matheus. Unlike the last opponents of the Brazilian, Royval knows how to fight. This is one of our main UFC on ESPN 44 predictions. 

UFC on ESPN 44 Predictions: Main Card Analysis

Pedro Munhoz vs Chris Gutierrez

Pedro Munhoz Preview

Pedro Munoz is ninth in the division rankings. The Young Punisher has 20 wins (four by knockout) and seven losses. The 36-year-old Latino has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a brown belt in judo. Munoz suffered two defeats in a row, losing to his compatriot José Aldo (unanimous decision) and Dominic Cruz from the USA.

Chris Gutierrez Preview

Cris Gutierrez is ranked 13th in the division. The 31-year-old Boston native has 19 wins (nine by knockout) and four losses. El Guapo won four fights in a row. Moreover, the last two ahead of schedule in the first half of the battle. In March 2022, he defeated Danaa Batgerel (TKO) from Mongolia, and a few months later, American Frankie Edgar (KO).

Munhoz vs Gutierrez Prediction

Analysts of bookmakers consider Gutierrez the undisputed favorite of the upcoming meeting. You can agree with them. It seems that Munoz, on a subconscious level, has already decided to end his professional career. But the American, on the contrary, is still trying to get to the top of the MMA Olympus. Everything goes to the fact that Gutierrez will achieve victory.

Tanner Boser vs Ion Cutelaba

Tanner Boser Preview

Tanner Boser before moving to the UFC competed in ACB, KOTC, M-1 Global, and Unified MMA. In total, he has 20 wins (11 by knockout) and nine losses at the professional level. The Bulldozer holds a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and a black belt in Shito-Ryu karate. The 31-year-old Canadian has one win in his last two bouts. In June 2021, he defeated the American Ovince Saint Proux by knockout but lost to Rodrigo Nascimento of Brazil a year later.

Ion Cutelaba Preview

Ion Cutelaba is the European champion in combat sambo. The 29-year-old native of Chisinau can be safely called a UFC veteran. He has been playing in the Dana White League since 2016. In the last three fights, Cutelaba was defeated, losing to American Ryan Spann (submission), Johnny Walker (submission) from Brazil and Kennedy Nzechukwu from the USA. The Hulk has 16 wins (12 by KO) and nine losses.

Boser vs Cutelaba Prediction

Analysts of bookmakers found it difficult to name a clear favorite of the upcoming fight. The odds for the outcome are almost the same. Boser has advantage over his opponent in size. However, Cutelaba may have a chance of success if he can take his opponent to the ground. But Tanner is unlikely to allow this. One of our more riskier UFC on ESPN 44 predictions is for Boser to win this bout.

Edson Barboza vs Billy Quarantillo

Edson Barboza Preview

Edson Barboza is ranked 14th in the division. The 37-year-old Latin American has been defeated in his last two bouts, losing to Georgian Giga Chikadze (TKO) and American Bryce Mitchell (unanimous decision). He holds a black belt in Taekwondo and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The 37-year-old Brazilian has 22 wins (12 by KO) and 11 losses.

Billy Quarantillo Preview

Billy Quarantillo is a former King of the Cage Lightweight Champion. He came to the Dana White organization relatively recently. In his debut fight, the 34-year-old New York native defeated his compatriot Jacob Kilburn (submission) in December 2019. The American also won in his last fight. Quarantillo defeated Alexander Hernandez (TKO) of the United States in December 2022. He has 18 wins (nine by knockout) and five losses.

Barboza vs Quarantillo Prediction

Analysts of bookmakers consider Quarantillo the clear favorite of the upcoming fight. We agree with them. The age-old Barboza simply can't handle the pressure. After all, the third defeat in a row, most likely, will put an end to his career. We complete our UFC on ESPN 44 full card predictions with a win for Quarantillo.