MMA Prop Squad for UFC 280: Our 7 Favorite Bets – With Odds From +470 to +3700

MMA Prop Squad for UFC 280: Our 7 Favorite Bets – With Odds From +470 to +3700 article feature image

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight Mateusz Gamrot

  • Our MMA Prop Squad is back with seven bets for Saturday's UFC 280 fight card.
  • All of the bets have odds of at least +460 – and go all the way to +3700.
  • Check out our picks for round props, method props, inside-the-distance plays and more.

Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of prop bets with oversized odds for UFC 280.

In this weekly feature, Action Network's MMA team welcomes in a revolving cast of outside contributors and fellow combat-sports analysts. Each #MMAPropSquad installment will feature a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts. To date, our prop picks have produced a 22.2% ROI.

This week marks the return of contributors Dan Tom, Clint MacLean, Manpreet Jhass and Ben Fowlkes, who join the regulars of Billy Ward, Sean Zerillo, Tony Sartori and Dann Stupp.

Check out their picks for Saturday's event, which streams on ESPN+ (10 a.m. ET) and ESPN+ pay-per-view (2 p.m. ET) from Abu Dhabi, below.

As with all betting, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types.

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Manpreet Jhass: Mateusz Gamrot via KO (+460)

Contributor at The Action Network and MMA content creator

The UFC 280 main card is packed with absolute fire throughout, but the fight that may steal the spotlight is the lightweight barnburner between Mateusz Gamrot (21-1) and Beneil Dariush (21-4-1).

Gamrot is coming off his first UFC main event, where he was victorious in an ultra-competitive bout with Arman Tsarukyan. It was a back-and-forth grapplers' delight with Gamrot just inching out that win.

At his best, Gamrot showcases disciplined striking with solid power and an understanding of range. He attacks the single-leg takedown with high efficiency, and when the fight hits the mat, he has a very active game whether he is on top or on bottom. He seeks the finish more often than not with seven knockout victories and five submissions through 22 total fights.

Dariush has finally hit his stride in the UFC, stringing together seven straight victories for the second time in his career. He has dispatched of ranked lightweights such as Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, Diego Ferreira and Tony Ferguson during this run.

It was the Brazilian jiu-jitsu that Dariush was known for when he first entered the UFC scene. Since then, he has developed his striking significantly. So much so that when he competed against Edson Barboza in 2017, he was the one getting the better of the striking exchanges.

Dariush's style is to cause chaos, which may make him a little reckless at times. Given that Gamrot is the more technical fighter of the two, I think that will allow him to counter Dariush effectively. One of those exchanges could be a fight-ender, as well, considering how hard Gamrot hits and how shaky Dariush's durability has been during this run.

I think this is a fight that will produce a finish, the most likely being a knockout from Gamrot. Given the price tag, I think we are getting a steal here!

The Pick: Mateusz Gamrot by KO, TKO or DQ (+460 at BetRivers)

Tony Sartori: Charles Oliveira via KO (+575)

Contributor at The Action Network

To cap off one of the most stacked cards of the year, we have a thrilling main event with the vacant lightweight belt on the line as Charles Oliveira (33-8) is set to scrap with Islam Makhachev (22-1). Oliveira was the champion at 155 pounds before getting stripped of the belt for missing weight in his recent bout against Justin Gaethje, a fight he won via submission.

In fact, Oliveira has won 11 straight fights with 10 of those being inside the distance (seven submissions, three knockouts). One of the most prolific fighters in the history of the sport, Oliveira is now tied for fifth for most career UFC wins (21) and first in finishes (19).

A narrative has begun to spin in the media this week about Oliveira being the GOAT of the lightweight division instead of Khabib Nurmagomedov (who will be in Makhachev's corner this weekend), and I believe this narrative to be true. Some people will look at Nurmagomedov's zero in the loss column and immediately claim that It makes his legacy greater than Oliveira's, but the Brazilian has basically had two different UFC careers – his career before the Paul Felder fight (10-8 record) and his career after (11-0).

It is the latter that cements his legacy, finishing everyone in his path, including the best of the best with Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Gaethje. On the other side, we have an elite fighter in Makhachev who has probably not earned this fight yet, if It was not for the fact that Oliveira has beaten everyone else. Makhachev has never fought or beaten anyone inside the top 10 of the lightweight division, let alone produced a resume close to Oliveira's.

Makhachev is capable of getting caught, evidenced by his first-round knockout loss to Adriano Martins back in 2015.

He and Oliveira are brilliant mixed martial artists who can both grapple and stand and bang, though we should expect Oliveira to prefer to box against a physically imposing wrestler like Makhachev.

Some of the value on this line is stemming from the fact that this fight is in Abu Dhabi, which people mistakingly assume gives Makhachev an advantage. Yes, people are going to cheer for Makhachev and boo Oliveira – but that benefits the reigning champion.

The last thing Oliveira needs is another chip on his shoulder, which has been there since this meteoric rise has begun. He is the better fighter between these two in the first place, and now you add in the fact that he feels like an underdog needing to prove everyone wrong? Good luck.

The champion has a name, and that is Charles Oliveira.

The Pick: Charles Oliveira by KO, TKO or DQ (+575 at BetRivers)

Dann Stupp: Gadzhi Omargadzhiev via Submission (+800)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

One of my favorite bets for UFC 280 is a moneyline play on Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, who's currently a +142 underdog to fellow welterweight Abubakar Nurmagomedov.

But the reason I like that bet – Omargadzhiev's size advantage in his new weight class, as well too much value being put on Nurmagomedov's name – is a reason I'm also taking a flier on Omargadzhiev to win via submission.

That prop pays a healthy +800, and I think there's value down to about +600 to +650.

I feel these two fighters are actually fairly matched on the feet, though Nurmagomedov seemed to show some real striking improvements in his recent win over an outmatched Jared Gooden. But that could actually be a point in our favor for this fight.

If Nurmagomedov (16-3-1) is having his way standing up, Omargadzhiev (13-1) may actually be the one to force the action to the mat. This Nurmagomedov isn't quite the dominant wrestler that his last name would suggest, and Omargadzhiev has proven quite comfortable – and adept – at fighting on the canvas.

Is Omargadzhiev likely to win? Is he likely to win by submission? Probably not. But because of the plus-money odds, Omargadzhiev doesn't need to win more than half of the time for these to be long-term profitable bets.

For Omargadzhiev's moneyline (+142) price to have value, he needs to win just about 42% of the time. And for that long-shot prop bet of Omargadzhiev via submission (+800), we just need to be right about 12% of the time.

Oddsmakers clearly expect this fight to go the distance (it's lined up to -200), and as we hit the later rounds, I think Omargadzhiev finds his opening to tap out a tiring foe. With good takedowns and a stifling top game, Omargadzhiev can get a tap, as he's done in two of his past five victories.

The Pick: Gadzhi Omargadzhiev By Submission (+800 at Caesars)

Billy Ward: Sean Brady via KO (+850)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Sean Brady (15-0) is taking on Belal Muhammad (21-3) in the featured prelim bout of UFC 280.

Both men are known for their grappling, with Muhammad (21-3) the stronger wrestler but the Renzo Gracie Philly product Brady (15-0) having excellent submission skills.

I actually think Muhammad at plus-money is the sharper moneyline side of this fight. However, the odds on Brady to win by knockout are simply too good to pass up.

We occasionally see fights between two grapplers turn into striking affairs, with neither fighter willing to challenge their opponent’s strengths. That could be the case here, and Muhammad needs to be cautious in grappling exchanges so as not to expose himself to Brady’s submissions.

If I’m Brady, I’m also unwilling to give up dominant position to go for a submission. That raises the likelihood of a TKO finish even if it does hit the ground.

If it doesn’t, Brady certainly has the heavier hands here. He hasn’t shown it in the UFC, but he has a few one-punch knockouts in his regional career. It’s easy to throw heavy shots when you aren’t scared of a takedown from the other side.

The Pick: Sean Brady by KO, TKO or DQ (+850 at BetRivers)

Ben Fowlkes: Petr Yan via Round 3 KO (+1100)

Contributor at The Action Network and cohost of the Co-Main Event Podcast

It's not easy for me to admit this, seeing as how Sean O'Malley (15-1) is one of the few big-name fighters to hail from my beloved home state of Montana (406 stand up), but I think Petr Yan (16-3) probably beats him here.

What I don't think Yan will do is manage to put him away all that quickly. It's not so much that Yan is a slow starter, exactly.

It's just that he tends to get stronger and more dangerous as the fight goes on, and he's usually not the kind of guy who seems to be in a great hurry early on in a fight.

I also think that, whatever else we may say about O'Malley, he's not reckless. He's not the type to go charging in after an opponent, leaving himself open due to pure aggression.

Yan will probably get to O'Malley eventually, but I don't think it'll be until the last round here. Then, when it does happen, I think it'll make me a little bit sad.

But you know what will help lift my spirits back up? Cashing this 11-1 bet.

The Pick: Petr Yan By TKO/KO In Round 3 (+1100 at Caesars)

Clint MacLean: Makhmud Muradov in Round 3 (+1800)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

UFC 280 is absolutely stacked, and there are lots of opportunities to make cash on this card. Naturally I am taking the path of most resistance and picking something extremely juicy that lots of bettors are not going to be a fan of.

Ciao Borralho has been nothing but impressive so far in his UFC tenure, but let’s not forget that he has only two wins in the UFC. I am just as high on Borralho as anybody else, but he is a young and untested prospect and sometimes we see these fighters make mistakes.

In his UFC debut, Borralho (12-1) was able to grind on Gadzhi Omargadzhiev, who was clearly not on his level and is now dropping a weight class for his next fight. In Borralho's most recent fight, against Armen Petrosyan, he was bothered by his opponent's aggressive striking and was visibly gassed and shooting desperately for takedowns in the third round just to survive to a decision win.

His next opponent, Makhmud Muradov (25-7), is coming off an ugly defeat and lost the respect of the MMA betting community when he got submitted by Gerald Meerschaert. But that was a classic "GM3" fight; Meerschaert took shots from Muradov that I am not confident many mortals should have been able to survive. And then he turned the fight into a brawl, where he can thrive.

Muradov tends to out-last his foes and piece them apart with superior striking and range control, but once he was gassed, he was easy pickings. Borralho has a low output karate striking style that should allow Muradov to strike well enough at range. While Borralho has a huge grappling advantage, Muradov has an 80% takedown defense rating that should help him keep the fight where he wants it.

If we get into the third round of this fight, I believe the striking and power of Muradov might be too much for a hype train Contender Series prospect deep in the fight. And let's not forget that Muradov has five third-round finishes on his record.

It's kinda of his thing. At this number, how can I say no?

The Pick: Makhmud Muradov Wins in Round 3 (+1800 at SuperBook Sports)

Dan Tom: T.J. Dillashaw in Round 4 (+3100), Round 5 (+3700)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast

UFC 280 is full of matchups that you may want action on – but not necessarily a ton of exposure to (which is why I love to target round props).

Even though the bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling (21-3) and T.J. Dillashaw (18-4) is favored to go to a decision, I can't ignore the decent potential for a late finish from the former champion.

Not only does Dillashaw already own multiple stoppage wins in rounds Rounds 4 and 5, but the former NCAA qualifier also has a penchant for finishing fights strong regardless of whether he's winning or losing.

Sterling may have looked a lot better in his last outing, but the Serra-Longo product still ended up visibly tiring after round three, surrendering the subsequent frames. Add in Dillashaw's stellar takedown defense and scrambling ability, and I wouldn't be shocked to see Sterling being broken down by leg kicks come the later rounds.

For that reason, I ended up splitting my MMA Prop Squad bet on Dillashaw in Round 4 and Dillashaw in Round 5 (in addition to my moneyline play to cover a decision) for an added potential payout.

The Pick: T.J. Dillashaw to Win in Round 4 (+3100 at FanDuel) | Dillashaw to Win in Round 5 (+3700 at FanDuel)

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