UFC Vegas 46 will be the first UFC event to go down in 2022. The event will take place on Saturday, January 15 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The prelims will begin at 4 p.m. EST, while the main card is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. EST.
While a lot of fans are looking forward to the main event featherweight bout between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze, there are other intriguing bouts scheduled as well. One example is the co-main event, which will be a welterweight collision between former SBC Welterweight Champion Michel Pereira and multi-time Chinese kickboxing gold medalist Muslim Salikhov.
With both men looking to improve their status in the UFC’s welterweight rankings, this fight could end up being one of the more explosive ones on the card.
Here’s a betting preview of the Pereira vs Salikhov UFC Vegas 46 bout, with odds courtesy of BetOnline.
UFC Vegas 46: Michael Pereira vs Muslim Salikhov Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, January 7
- Record: Michael Pereira (26-11-0) vs Muslim Salikhov (18-2-0)
- Moneyline: Pereira (-123) vs Salikhov (+103)
- Total: 2.5 Rounds — Over (-175), Under (+145)
- Likely Method of Victory: N/A
Check BetOnline.ag next week for updated odds and prop bets.
Pereira Enters Vegas as Betting Favorite
At -123 odds, Pereira will enter UFC Vegas 46 as the slight -123 favorite over Salikhov, according to BetOnline. After losing back-to-back bouts (one via disqualification), the 28-year-old Brazilian has found himself on a three-fight winning streak. He didn't exactly beat the “who’s who” over his streak, however, his most recent victory came via unanimous decision over Niko Price at UFC 264 back in July.
Considering how Salikhov’s only two losses have been via submission, it’ll be interesting to see if that's the route that Pereira goes with at UFC Vegas 46. After all, he’s 7-1 in fights that are decided by submission. It also helps that he averages 2.01 submissions per 15 minutes and has a 100% takedown defense just in case his opponent tries to go to the mat first. If Pereira can figure out a way to get Salikhov in a venerable position to tap or pass out, he could see his welterweight stock rise quite a bit when all is said and done.
UFC Vegas 46: Salikhov Looking to Extend Streak
Meanwhile, Salikhov will be the +103 underdog in the UFC Vegas 46 co-main event. While the 37-year-old is a bit older than most of his peers, he’s been one of the hottest fighters in the division since joining UFC.
After suffering a submission loss to Alex Garcia in his debut just over four years ago, Salikhov has won his last five fights in his row. His last victory was a unanimous decision win over Francisco Trinaldo back in June 2021. Overall, he’s won three of his last five fights via decision and the other two by knockout.
While 12 of Salikhov’s 18 professional MMA victories have come via KO/TKO, Pereira has only been knocked out once and has pretty decent strike defense (58%). In other words, perhaps dragging the fight out would work better for the Russian. Salikhov is a perfect 4-0 when his fights are decided by decision.
Even though it’s not the biggest sample size, it’s a better ratio than Pereira, who is 9-8 whenever his fights go the distance. Considering how BetOnline is taking the over on total rounds, it seems like that’s a distinct possibility.
At the end of the day, Salikhov is the UFC’s No. 15 welterweight ahead of UFC Vegas 46. If he can figure out a way to outlast and outclass Pereira, people may start seeing him as a legitimate threat.