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Saturday evening, John Dodson and Merab Dvalishvili tangle in a bantamweight bout at UFC 252 at the UFC’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas. The early prelims kick off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+, followed by the main card set for 10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view.

Dodson (22-11) bounced back after a two-bout skid with a KO/TKO over Nathaniel Wood on Feb. 15, 2020, in Rio Rancho, N.M., on the Anderson-Blachowicz card. Dodson closed out the win just 16 seconds into the third round, rebounding after a pair of unanimous-decision setbacks to Petr Yan, now the class champ, and Jimmie Rivera. The losses aren’t as bad as they look, coming against top contenders. Six of Dodson’s past seven fights have ended up going the distance, and he hasn’t had a submission result since Dec. 15, 2007, a win over Zac White at Last Man Standing: The Prodigy.

Dvalishvili (11-4) is three inches taller than Dodson and has a two-inch reach advantage. He will look to be getting this fight to the octagon as soon as possible, as he has an 8.67 to 0.76 takedown average with 50.0 to 28.95 takedown-accuracy percentage. “The Machine” heads into this one on a four-bout winning streak, all unanimous decisions, and 10 of his past 13 professional bouts have been decided by the judges.

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Dodson vs. Dvalishvili betting odds
Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Friday at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Dvalishvili (-228) is a little too expensive straight-up on the 2-way moneyline, so get a little more creative. Target DVALISHVILI BY DECISION/TECHNICAL DECISION (-125), as he has won four in a row by unanimous decision, while Dodson has ended up seeing his fights go the distance in six of the past seven outings.

Must read: UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier odds, picks and best bets

Due to the high probability of the fight going the distance, you cannot bet Over 2.5 rounds (-358) or Yes (-304): Will the fight go the distance? as those props are just too expensive.

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