Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Rebecki prediction, pick, start time, odds for UFC on ESPN 56

Diego Ferreira and Mateusz Rebecki meet Saturday on the main card of UFC on ESPN 56 from Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Check out this quick breakdown of the matchup from MMA Junkie analyst Dan Tom.  

Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Rebecki UFC on ESPN 56 preview

Ferreira (18-5 MMA, 9-5 UFC) and Rebecki (19-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) compete in the lone lightweight bout on the main card. … Ferreira will look to remain in the win column following a knockout win of Michael Johnson last year, which snapped a three-fight kid. … Rebecki only has one loss on his professional record, which came in just his fourth pro fight. He has since won 16 straight, including stoppages in his Dana White Contender Series appearance, and his first two UFC bouts (Loik Radzhabov and Roosevelt Roberts).

Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Rebecki expert pick, prediction

In what is easily the best offering on the main card, Diego Ferreira will welcome Mateusz Rebecki to the next level of the UFC lightweight ladder.

A tried-and-true member of lightweight’s upper echelons, Ferreira has either competed with or beaten some of the best his division has to offer.

Despite stepping onto the scene as a brawling Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Ferreira has sharpened his striking skills while cross-training between his personal fight team and Fortis MMA.

Although Ferreira showed excellent in-fight adjustments in his last outing opposite southpaw Michael Johnson, the 39-year-old veteran still shows some susceptibility to southpaw counters and bodywork.

Considering that Rebecki brings plenty of both with his pressuring style, I suspect the Polish ADCC champion could be a uniquely tricky matchup for Ferreira when factoring in the wrestling and grappling-savvy of “Rebeasti.”

I’m tempted to pick Ferreira to pull off the upset at his current betting odds, but I’ll instead semi-reluctantly side with Rebecki and his southpaw pressure to produce a finish toward the end of round 2.

Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Rebecki odds

The oddsmakers and the public heavily favor the Polish fighter this weekend, listing Rebecki at -500 and Ferreira as a sizable underdog at +360 via FanDuel. Ferreira has been an underdog in three of his last four, but no higher than +200. Rebecki enters as a favorite yet again, a familiar position. From his Dana White’s Contender Series bout to his first three UFC bouts, he has been listed anywhere from a slight -155 favorite to a massive -800 favorite.

Diego Ferreira vs. Mateusz Rebecki start time, how to watch

As the third bout on the main card, Ferreira and Rebecki are expected to make their walk to the octagon around 8:20 p.m. ET (5:20 p.m. PT). The fight broadcasts live on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 56.

For more detailed analysis from Dan Tom, check out his weekly show, “The Protect Ya’ Neck Podcast.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie