MMA Prop Squad for UFC 283: Back ‘The Bear Jew’ With This +1100 Prop
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC light heavyweight Paul Craig of Scotland
- With a 14.5% ROI to date, the MMA Prop Squad is back with an array of prop bets for UFC 283 on Saturday.
- Our six prop bets have odds ranging from +490 to +1100 and include matchups from throughout the 15-bout card.
- Check out all of the picks, including the start time for each fight, below.
Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC 283 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday’s event.
In this weekly feature, Action Network’s MMA team welcomes in a revolving cast of outside contributors and fellow combat-sports analysts. Each Prop Squad installment will feature a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have posted a 14.5% ROI to date.
This week marks the return of Dan Tom, Tony Sartori, Billy Ward, Bryan Fonseca, Clint MacLean and Dann Stupp.
Check out their picks for Saturday’s event, which streams on ESPN+ PPV (10 p.m. ET) from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, below. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. ET with the early preliminary card on ESPN+ and then more prelims on ABC and ESPN (8 p.m. ET).
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.
Tony Sartori: Gabriel Bonfim via Round 1 Submission (+490)
Contributor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: 7:40 p.m. ET
Closing out the early prelims are welterweights Gabriel Bonfim and Mounir Lazzez. Bonfim displayed his incredible grappling with a rare Von Flue choke in the first round against Trey Waters at a Contender Series event.
While that was Bonfim’s first takedown attempt of the fight, we should expect him to stick with a grappling game plan once again given his submission success and the fact that Lazzez boasts a four-inch reach advantage. Nine of the submission specialist’s 13 professional victories have come via submission.
Of those nine submission victories, six were in the first round. We are getting an inflated number on this prop because Lazzez boasts a respectable 71% takedown defense in the UFC and has never been submitted professionally.
With that said, Lazzez displayed his weakness in the grappling department in his lone UFC loss, which came to Warlley Alves. Although Alves finished him with a body kick, he landed his lone takedown attempt and accumulated 1:36 of control time across the 2:35 that the fight lasted.
Lazzez nearly gave up his back early on the ground in the grappling exchange with Alves, and if Lazzez comes even close to a predicament like that again against the terrific submission abilities of Bonfim, then it could be a short night for the underdog. With the added juice of Bonfim fighting in front of his home country, look for him to secure back-to-back first-round submission victories.
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Dan Tom: Gregory Rodrigues in Round 2 (+600)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya’ Neck podcast
Fighter walkouts: 9 p.m. ET
This weekend’s UFC offering is full of matchups that you may want action on – but not necessarily a ton of exposure to (which is why round props are always a solid option).
This week, I decided to target a prelim bout between Gregory Rodrigues and Brunno Ferreira.
Rodrigues, a fighter whom many have been high on, finds himself as a 3-1 favorite heading into his fight with Ferreira. Should that price tag be too chalky for your liking, then I suggest considering a look at Rodrigues in Round 2 (+600).
Ferreira may be undefeated on paper, but he’s taking this fight on roughly a week’s notice due to an injury withdrawal from Brad Tavares. Ferreira has also been fighting since only 2019 and has been out of the first round only twice in his short career.
Despite being a judo and jiu-jitsu black belt, Ferreira appears to prefer striking from a bouncy, stance-switching style that requires a lot of energy, making a method of victory for Rodrigues (who also grapples opportunistically) somewhat unclear.
What is clear, however, is that Rodrigues will be the more skilled and experienced fighter who was actually preparing for the night. About half of Rodrigues’ finishes come in the second frame (5 of 11), so I’ll take a flier on “Robocop” to survive the early storm and clean up whatever’s left in Round 2.
Billy Ward: Paul Craig by KO (+1100)
Staff Writer at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: 10 p.m. ET
The obvious prop in Paul Craig fights is generally Craig to win by submission. He has arguably the division’s best submission skills, and he relentlessly hunts grappling exchanges. While he’s not a great wrestler, he’s willing to pull guard, “play possum” after getting hit, or sacrifice a dominant position in order to get the fight off the feet.
Once it gets to the canvas, though, it’s Craig’s world. He’s finished former and current title challengers Magomed Ankalaev and Jamahal Hill on the ground, as well as former champion Mauricio Rua. All of which is why we generally look for his submission prop.
However, Craig has underrated ground and pound. He finished Rua with strikes (though since Shogun tapped to strikes, it was graded a submission), and his fight with soon-to-be-champion Hill went down as a TKO officially.
His UFC 283 opponent, Johnny Walker, has been submitted just once as a professional fighter, way back in 2014, but he has been knocked out four times. Walker is also the type of fighter – like Hill – who might just be crazy enough to let his arm get broken before he taps.
He’s also aggressive and borderline reckless, and he is far more likely than most opponents to follow Craig to the ground. That’s the perfect recipe for a finish from Craig. I’ll be hedging this prop with Craig’s moneyline at +160 or so, but his submission or inside-the-distance props make sense too.
Bryan Fonseca: Jessica Andrade by Round 2 KO (+700)
Contributor at The Action Network and combat sports host and on-air talent
Fighter walkouts: 10:30 p.m. ET
Sportsbooks’ moneylines are going to dis the hell out of Lauren Murphy, and rightfully so. Jessica Andrade is expected to run through her in her home country of Brazil, her first fight in the motherland since KO slamming Rose Namajunas in May 2019, becoming UFC strawweight champion in the process.
The fight is at flyweight. Both are in pursuit of rematches with division champion Valentina Shevchenko, who knocked out each in separate bouts in 2021 with elbows.
The books are leaning very slightly toward an Andrade decision, where she’s +140 on FanDuel, in favor of a KO (+170) or submission (+550).
I’m rolling with the KO in Round 2 (+700) over Round 1 (+430) because as strong as Andrade is, Murphy should escape the first frame. She’s been stopped only once, to Shevchenko, and her other four losses are all on points. Additionally, Murphy has consistently been a flyweight for more than five years.
Andrade debuted as a bantamweight but was a strawweight fixture from 2016-2020 before making the move. And the power has translated, as she KOd Katlyn Chookagian and Cynthia Calvillo at 125 pounds, each fight ending seconds before the completion of Round 1.
Murphy’s only MMA stoppage loss was in a bout that extended to Round 4, so keep that in mind.
Ultimately, I think Murphy actually has a decent showing in Round 1, utilizing her career 71% takedown defense to thwart the shorter Andrade’s attempts to ground the bout. (Andrade averages 2.85 takedowns per 15 minutes and has a takedown accuracy of 55%.)
But it’s only a matter of time before Andrade lands heavy strikes, and I think Murphy gets clipped in Round 2 in a way that abruptly ends the fight. Andrade will be busy; she lands 6.16 strikes per minute, and four of her last five wins have been by KO/TKO.
Clint MacLean: Brandon Moreno by KO (+750)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast
Fighter walkouts: 11:30 p.m. ET
The first fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno went to a majority draw, but there’s an argument to be made that Figueiredo only lost it due to a third-round point deduction.
The second fight was a decisive victory for Moreno, who won with a third-round submission. And finally, Figueiredo won the most recent bout via decision. However, when looking at the numbers, Moreno outstruck Figueiredo by a wide margin, and the media scores were very split. Both men were hurt in that bout, and Figueiredo was on shaky legs multiple times. But Moreno simply did not follow up when he had the champ hurt.
Saturday’s bout is for all the marbles. It’s the fourth and likely final fight between these two men.
Figueiredo is now 35, and his extremely tough cut to 125 pounds is well-documented. Moreno is in his fighting prime, and at just 29, he has shown improvements and adjustments in each fight while Figueiredo has mostly stuck to what he does.
I will take a shot on the younger fighter. I will take a shot on the fighter with fewer miles on him. I will take the fighter who has the cardio and pace edge. I will take the fighter who holds the only finish between these two men.
Moreno was well on his way to knocking out Figueiredo the last time these two fought, and with his spectacular body shot KO victory over Kai Kara-France, we have seen that he is again making improvements and adding more wrinkles to his game.
I think Moreno makes a statement on Saturday, and I believe that this time he leaves no doubt about who the undisputed champion of the UFC’s flyweight division is.
The Pick: Brandon Moreno by KO, TKO or DQ (+750 at BetRivers)
Dann Stupp: Glover Teixeira via KO (+700)
Senior Editor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: 11:59 p.m. ET
Although this pick was made mostly with my head – but at least a little bit with my heart since I’ve got a soft spot for the fellow old guys – I do think we’re getting a great price on this Glover Teixeira prop bet.
In the UFC 283 headliner for the vacant light-heavyweight title, 43-year-old Teixeira has a chance to win the belt – for a second time in his 40s. But he faces a dangerous test in fast-rising contender Jamahal Hill, a man 12 years his junior.
Although the prefight narrative has largely been “Teixeira’s grappling vs. Hill’s striking,” I think bettors and a few oddsmakers are overlooking Teixeira’s own KO probability in this fight.
And sure, Teixeira’s clearest path to victory is likely via takedowns and with his black belt-level jiu-jitsu. But let’s not forget that the Brazilian vet also has 18 knockouts in 33 career wins. Even when he’s not standing and trading shots (which, let’s be honest, probably isn’t a wise game plan against Hill), Teixeira often uses BJJ – and even the simple threat of it – to set up strikes while standing, in the clinch and on the mat.
Is it really that hard to imagine Teixeira using those meathooks to connect on fight-ending punches from the clinch? Or finishing off Hill with strikes on the mat if he gets him grounded and can’t find a choke? Or simply connecting on an opportunistic overhand right at some point during the scheduled 25 minutes?
Teixeira (+116) is a small underdog in a fight that I believe should be closer to a pick’em. So, I’ve also got a bet on his moneyline. And though Teixeira via submission (+250) is the obvious angle, FanDuel is simply offering too good of a price on Teixeira via KO (+700) to ignore.
While most books are offering his prop in the +500 to +600 range, I’ll take FanDuel’s +700 offering. At those odds, Teixeira is expected to win via KO just 12.5% of the time, which is too low for a man whose fists are always a threat.