A contrast in combat styles will be on display Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan in a matchup of women's strawweight contenders when Mackenzie Dern takes on Xiaonan Yan. Their matchup anchors the main UFC fight card (7 p.m. ET) from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. A title shot could be in store for the winner of what should be an intriguing matchup. The No. 5-ranked Dern is widely considered one of the best grapplers in the women's game, while Yan is heralded as one of the top strikers in the strawweight division.
Dern is the -210 favorite (risk $210 to win $100), while Yan is offered at +180 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Veteran welterweight sluggers take the stage as Randy Brown (-280) meets Francisco Trinaldo (+240) in the co-main event. Before making any UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan picks, make sure you see the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Kyle Marley.
Marley won the first-ever "ToutMaster" UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every professional MMA card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past three-plus years, $100 bettors who have followed Marley's picks are up more than $13,000. The accomplished MMA analyst kicked off the 2022 UFC season in January by advising SportsLine members to support Calvin Kattar (+200) against Giga Chikadze (-240) in the featherweight main event. Kattar's lopsided decision victory gave Marley's followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan in sight, Marley has studied the card from top to bottom and revealed his top MMA picks. Marley's UFC Fight Night picks are only available at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Yan preview
Both Dern and Yan are considered among the most promising prospects in what might be the most talent-rich division in the women's ranks of the UFC. Current champion Carla Esparza is set to defend her title against former champion Zhang Weili in November at UFC 281, and the winner of Saturday's main event could be in line to challenge the winner of that title fight.
This is because the other ranked contenders at strawweight have failed in recent title bids, and either Dern or Yan would be considered an infusion of fresh talent in the title picture.
Dern (12-2) is an accomplished grappler whose UFC debut was anticipated ever since she entered professional mixed martial arts with the Legacy Fighting Alliance six years ago. The Phoenix native has gone 7-2 in the UFC with four submissions. Last October, he lost a tight decision to No.3-ranked Marina Rodriguez in her main event debut but rebounded with a decision over Tecia Torres in April.
Yan (15-3-1) is an explosive and active striker who was surging toward a title bid before she suffered setbacks against world-class competition. In May of last year she was stopped by Esparza, who won the title in her next fight. The Chinese fighter dropped a disputed split decision to Rodriguez in March. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.
UFC Fight Night predictions
We'll share one of Marley's UFC Fight Night predictions here: He is siding with John Castaneda (-185) to get past Daniel Santos (+165) in a pairing of bantamweight prospects on the main card.
Castaneda (19-5) spent more than four years with the Combate promotion, where he posted a 9-2 record before the UFC came calling with a contract offer. The 30-year-old Dallas native is 2-1 with the UFC and his last outing resulted in a submission in February over veteran Miles Johns, who has since left the promotion.
Santos (8-2) is a versatile Brazilian who seems to prefer the stand-up game over grappling, though the 27-year-old fighter has shown proficiency in both. In April, Santos lost his UFC debut by decision to veteran Julio Arce.
"I give Castaneda the edge everywhere and it would be smart of him to mix in takedowns. He can win by any method, but I will take him to win a decision," Marley told SportsLine. See who else to pick here.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Marley also has strong picks for Dern vs. Yan and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He's also backing a fighter who will "clearly win on the feet" to emerge with a dominant victory. Those UFC Fight Night picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Dern vs. Yan? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night, all from the incomparable expert who's up more than $13,000 on MMA in the past three years, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
Mackenzie Dern (-210) vs. Xiaonan Yan (+180)
Randy Brown (-280) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+240)
Raoni Barcelos (-215) vs. Trevin Jones (+185)
John Castaneda (-185) vs. Daniel Santos (+165)
Krzysztof Jotko (-120) vs. Brendan Allen (+100)
Sodiq Yusuff (-1,000) vs. Don Shainis (+650)
Ilir Latifi (-170) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (+150)
Randy Costa (-300) vs. Guido Cannetti (+250)
Chelsea Chandler (-110) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (-110)
Joaquim Silva (-145) vs. Jesse Ronson (+125)
Maxim Grishin (-160) vs. Philipe Lins (+140)
Mike Davis (-165) vs. Viacheslav Borshchev (+145)
Tabatha Ricci (-215) vs. Jessica Penne (+185)