Best UFC Vegas 61 Bets: Dern vs. Xiaonan

  • Date & Location: Saturday, October 1 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Time:  Prelims (TBA), Main Card (TBA)
  • How to Watch: ESPN+

The UFC will be off for the weekend of September 24. However, the promotion’s break between fight cards will be a short one. The UFC returns to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, October 1 for the UFC Vegas 61 fight card. In the main event, two top-ranked women’s strawweight competitors face off as the No. 5 ranked
Mackenzie Dern meets the No. 6 ranked Yan Xiaonan. Here is some background on the event’s headliners before we discuss, in detail, the UFC Vegas 61 betting breakdown.

The 29-year-old Dern began her MMA career in 2016 after a very successful grappling career that saw her take home a litany of world titles. Dern joined the UFC in 2018. Dern’s career record is 12-2 with seven submission wins and five victories by decision. She is coming off an April split-decision victory over Tecia Torres.

Xiaonan turned 33 in June. She began her pro MMA career in 2008 in her native China. Xiaonan was 9-1 (one no contest) when she first stepped into the UFC octagon. Xiaonan was unbeaten in her first six fights with the UFC. She enters UFC Vegas 61 on a two-fight losing skid. Former strawweight champion Carla Esparza knocked her out in 2021 and Marina Rodriguez beat her by decision in March. She is 15-3 (one no contest) over her career.

Before we look at the bout between McKenzie Dern and Yan Xiaonan on the UFC Vegas 61 card, which streams on ESPN+, check out the best UFC betting sites and where you can find the best odds on all the UFC fights.

UFC Vegas 61 Picks: Mackenzie Dern vs. Yan Xiaonan

To Win UFC Vegas 61 Main EventBetOnlineBovadaBetUSGTBets
Xiaonan Yan+185+175+175+180
Mackenzie Dern-215-225-220-220

Mackenzie Dern vs. Yan Xiaonan breakdown and analysis

Mackenzie Dern has become a very well-rounded fighter. Where she was once strictly a grappler, she has learned to trust — and be effective — with her hands. However, she misses a lot of her strikes. Dern landed at 29 percent in her loss to Rodriguez and 32 percent against Torres. Dern is excellent on the mat. as one would expect because of her grappling background.

Xiaonan has impressive striking stats. She averages 5.66 significant strikes per minute and connects at a rate of 42 percent. Her defense is 62 percent and she gets hit, on average, 3.77 times per minute. Her striking differential if plus 1.89 is impressive. Xiaonan’s hands are fast and her counters are effective, but the one thing that hurts her is she tends to focus on counters and not leading the dance. her high output and fast hands might be more effective if she pushes rather than reacts.

Pick: Mackenzie Dern to defeat Yan Xiaonan.

Mackenzie Dern TO BEAT YAN XIAONAN
★★★★★
-215
Bet now

Best UFC Vegas 61 Bets

This fight comes down to how Dern approaches it. If she has fallen in love with her striking, Dern could be in big trouble. While Xiaonan does not have a UFC knockout, she does have seven career KO stoppages and with her power and speed, she’s always a threat to score her eighth stoppage. If Dern uses her striking to set up a takedown and focus on her ground game she should be able to get a submission win.

Xiaonan is a live underdog and she presents a solid value bet at UFC Vegas 61. However, with the importance of this fight, I believe the best UFC Vegas 61 bet to make is the one where Dern wins via submission in the second round or later.

Prediction: Mackenzie Dern to beat Yan Xiaonan via submission.

Mackenzie Dern TO BEAT YAN XIAONAN
★★★★★
-225
Bet now

What’s at stake

Dern could earn a title shot off a win in this matchup. However, that is not a lock for her. At the very least, a win on October 1, should get Dern a title eliminator. As for Xiaonan, a win over Dern will give her some good momentum, but those two straight losses before UFC Vegas 61 will hold her back. She might get a title eliminator, but a title shot would be an enormous surprise.

Best UFC Vegas 61 Bet: Mackenzie Dern to defeat Yan Xiaonan.

Mackenzie Dern TO BEAT YAN XIAONAN
★★★★★
-220
Bet now

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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