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UFC 255 Betting Odds, Picks & Model Projections: How to Bet All 12 Fights (Saturday, Nov. 21)


Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Valentina Shevchenko (right) and Katlyn Chookagian.

  • UFC 255 features 12 fights, including two title bouts for the men's and women's Flyweight titles.
  • Sean Zerillo breaks down everything you need to do for the undercard and main card, from betting odds and picks to model projections and analysis.

The UFC returns to APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday with a 12-fight card, beginning with seven preliminary bouts at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+. The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and concludes with two title fights for the men’s and women’s Flyweight titles.

In addition to moneylines and over/unders, there are numerous ways to bet on an MMA fight — including exact winning methods, winning round props and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.

As a result, after examining all of the betting options, your typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value.

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 12 bouts, and you’ll also discover forecasts for each of those fights to finish inside of the distance, or for all 24 fighters to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

Check out the full betting odds for Saturday’s UFC card, with analysis and picks for each fight below:

Odds as of Friday and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

UFC 255 Model Projections

Jump To: Main Card

UFC 255 Odds & Picks

Preliminary Card

  • ESPN2
  • 6:30 p.m. ET

Welterweight Fight: Louis Cosce vs. Sasha Palatnikov

Cosce odds -385
Palatnikov odds +285
Over/Under 1.5 rounds +130/-177

Crowdsource Projections: Cosce (84%)

Relative to the other bouts on this card, I am significantly less confident in this fight projection since I have the least amount of data on these two fighters.

Officially, both men are making their UFC debut, though Cosce, who has steadily taken money from -350 (implied odds of 77.8%) all the way down to -500 (implied 83.3%) over the past 10 days, scored a quick knockout on Contender Series to earn his contract in August:

“The Monster” has won all seven of his professional MMA bouts in the first round, including six finishes in the first 90 seconds.

Palatnikov should be severely outclassed on the feet — his best chance is likely to grapple and grind his opponent to deeper waters, where Cosce’s stamina following that early explosion remains a complete mystery.

Cosce is certainly a prospect that the UFC is looking to handle with care, and Palatnikov, who suffered a first-round knockout loss to recent UFC newcomer Mounir Lazzez last October, is likely underqualified for this level.

I projected Cosce’s odds to win inside the distance at -285 (implied odds of 74%), and I bet that prop to win a half unit at -200 (implied 66.7%).

I wouldn’t bet it past -223 (implied 69%, a 5% edge, and it’s reasonable to take a small stab (at plus money) on his Round 1 prop instead.

The Bet

  • Louis Cosce wins Inside the Distance (-200, 0.5u)
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Middleweight Fight: Kyle Daukaus vs. Dustin Stoltzfus

Daukaus odds -275
Stoltzfus odds +210
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -125/-106

Crowdsource Projections: Daukaus (70%)

Stoltzfus earned his contract with a contender series win in the final fight of Week 2 in August on the same card as Adrian Yanez, Cory McKenna, Impa Kasanganay and TJ Laramie — quite an impressive group.

He earned that win via injury (slam) but it adds to a litany of interesting finishes throughout his career (twister, guillotine, rear-naked, arm triangle) and I’m fairly confident that Stoltzfus has the grappling chops to neutralize Daukaus, who lost an exciting fight on short notice with Brendan Allen back in June.

Conversely, Daukaus should have overall the edge on the feet, and his ability to secure takedowns (3 of 5 vs. Allen) should neutralize Stoltzfus’ sharp leg kick attack.

The market sees this fight as a 50/50 bet to go to a decision, but I projected those odds at 60% and would play the distance prop to around -122 (implied 55%). Alternatively, you could simply play the Over 2.5 rounds.

Furthermore, both sides of the fight offer value to win by decision, projected at +134 for Daukaus and +497 for Stoltzfus.

I ended up splitting a full unit on four underdog decision props (one-quarter unit on each) on this card, and Stoltzfus is my first target in a likely grind, but I wouldn’t fault you for taking the other side.

The Bet

  • Dustin Stoltzfus wins by Decision (+550, 0.25u)
  • Daukaus / Stoltzfus goes the Distance (+100, 1u)
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Welterweight Fight: Alan Jouban vs. Jared Gooden

Jouban odds -130
Gooden odds +105
Over/Under 2.5 rounds +100/-134

Crowdsource Projections: Jouban (61%)

There are a few spot stats relevant to this fight that are worth pointing out.

This is the first fight for Jouban in 19 months, and at age 38, his level could drop off severely at any moment.

He is 12 years older than Gooden, and when there is that significant of an age gap in a UFC fight, the younger fighter has won 68% of the time (57-27) at average odds of -159 (implied 61.3%), outperforming expectations.

Furthemore, UFC fighters who return after a one-year layoff win less than 40% of the time.

Unlike Cosce or Stoltzfus in the earlier bouts, who each come in from Contender Series and are staying in the same hotel, fighting in the same 25-foot-cage at APEX, and performing without an audience, this is all new to Jared Gooden. He is a true debutant.

Historically, UFC debutants win at roughly a 43% clip against UFC veterans,

I feel that Jouban’s skillset is generally underrated, as a highly active (4.85 significant strikes landed per minute) and efficient striker (+1.51 differential per minute, 50% accuracy, 61% defense), with serious power, but there are questions about his chin and defensive grappling, and Gooden is a potent finisher.

However, Gooden is also extremely hittable, has suffered a knockout loss much more recently than Jouban and hasn’t shown the ability to sustain late in fights, so I’m going to shy away from the distance prop here, despite slight projected value at +120 (implied 45%) relative to my projection (50%).

I projected Jouban’s win percentage at 61%, (implied -157) so I’ll take a small stab on the veteran’s moneyline up to -150.

The Bet

  • Alan Jouban (-147, 0.5u)
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Welterweight Fight: Daniel Rodriguez vs. Nicolas Dalby

Rodriguez odds -360
Dalby odds +270
Over/Under 1.5 rounds +135/-182

Crowdsource Projections: Rodriguez (84%)

Rodriguez is 3-0 inside the octagon in 2020 after making his debut with a submission win against Tim Means back in February. Now 12-1 for his career, the 33-year-old is stepping in on late notice for this bout with Nicolas Dalby, who is 1-1 in his second stint in the UFC. Rodriguez was preparing to face Bryan Barberena last weekend.

Rodriguez keeps a ludicrous pace, averaging 8.46 significant strikes landed per minute (48% accuracy, +1.32 differential, 55% defense) and Dalby tends to get clipped early in fights, but he has never been finished.

Rodriguez never relents, and has ridiculous stamina — landing 85 significant strikes in the third round against Gabe Green alone (185 overall) — but he also has a solid chin and has never been stopped. It’s hard to find an area where Dalby has the advantage in this fight, though Rodriguez tends to get reckless with his striking, which led to a near loss against Dwight Grant:

Despite the fact that neither man has ever been finished, or likely because of it, I show value on this fight to end inside the distance, and for Rodriguez to be the cause.

Furthermore, I see an edge on D-Rod’s moneyline, which I projected at -526 (84%).

Rodriguez is the first leg of my moneyline parlay for UFC 255, and I’m also playing him to win inside the distance up to -177 (implied 61%) relative to my projection at -194 (implied 66%).

The Bet

  • Daniel Rodriguez wins Inside the Distance (-150, 0.5u)
  • Parlay (+100): Joaquin Buckley/Daniel Rodriguez/Valentina Shevchenko
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Women’s Flyweight Fight: Antonia Shevchenko vs. Ariane Lipski

Shevchenko odds -167
Lipski odds +135
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -315/+221

Crowdsource Projections: A. Shevenchenko (56%)

I think people are discrediting the improvements that Ariane Lipski might be making at age 26, and her rising confidence after consecutive wins, including her first finish with the promotion:

After being thrown in the fire last year with decision losses to Joanne Calderwood and Molly McCann, where she was outpaced by a combined 193-121 with less than 30% significant strike accuracy, Lipski was far more efficient in her decision win against Isabela de Padua (49% accuracy, 8:48 of control time) before securing the quick performance bonus against Luana Carolina.

Both Lipski and Shevchenko have shown subpar takedown defense in the UFC (37% and 50% respectively) and Shevchenko was thoroughly dominated on the mat by Katlyn Chookagian back in May, losing more than two rounds of control time (10:36).

Lipski is the better offensive wrestler, and she is the one who is far more likely to be making improvements than the 36-year-old. We’ve only seen her fight for 90 seconds in the past year.

When there is at least a 10-year age gap between UFC fighters, the younger fighter has prevailed 65% of the time (140-74), including a 46% win rate for underdogs.

Shevchenko has never been finished, however, and this fight likely goes to a decision at a high clip (projected 80%).

I would play the fight to go the distance to win a half unit up to -300 (implied 75%) and I have a small play on Lipski by decision at +250 (implied 28.6%) a narrower edge relative to my projection at +216 (implied 31.6%).

I’d take a look at Lipski’s moneyline if it goes to +145.

The Bet

  • Ariane Lipski wins by Decision (+250, 0.25u)
  • Lipski / Shevchenko goes the Distance (-260, 0.5u)
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Middleweight Fight: Joaquin Buckley vs. Jordan Wright

Buckley odds -278
Wright odds +215
Over/Under 1.5 rounds +325/-500

Crowdsource Projections: Buckley (76%)

My colleague Reed Wallach made a strong case for Wright as a value play, and while we rarely disagree completely on a fight, I do have to offer a very strong rebuttal here.

Buckley is the most obvious post-hype fade spot play that you can imagine. If you’ve seen the highlight once, you’ve seen it a million times, because who the hell actually attempts and lands some real-life ninja shit in a cage fight:

Take a step back, however, and realize that Buckley was a pressure fighter going against an extremely mobile athlete in that spot, and he still won the first round on all three cards prior to the second-round KO. He found his range early, and continuously landed big shots on a pretty durable fighter.

I didn’t show projected value on Buckley that night, but I still offered a strong case for and bet him as a +205 underdog.

Buckley absolutely took the battle to Kevin Holland as a short-notice replacement in his UFC debut. Despite being four inches shorter than Holland, and giving up five inches of reach, Buckley put in work on the larger man’s body, landing 31 of 58 significant strikes with a barrage of hooks. Buckley only landed six of 59 head strikes, however, leading to an overall 33% significant strike accuracy.

He was able to mix it up more aggressively against a similarly sized fighter in Impa (65% head, 17% body, 17% legs), and though Wright is the taller (+3 inches) and longer (+1 inch) fighter and a naturally larger man, I’m here to remind you that his undefeated record is fraudulent, and he previously lost to a smaller fighter.

Wright was clipped, turtled and stopped quite quickly in his contender series debut, but the loss was later overturned since Anthony Hernandez indulged in some THC products:

Buckley has about five times the power as “Fluffy” Hernandez. And if Wright immediately just covers up after one shot to the head, Buckley will put him down with body shots. I’ve seen it in my head over and over again this week.

Wright’s win in his official UFC debut against Ike Villanueva left me unimpressed. Sure, he secured the clinch and opened up a nasty cut pretty quickly, but he never actually hurt Villanueva, and Buckley will just fire his body hooks and circle out if it comes to that.

He has taken a significant step down in competition in each of his UFC fights, while this is an equally significant step up in class for Wright. So long as Buckley can avoid becoming, ironically, the victim of a spinning kick from the Beverly Hills Ninja, I see him securing a quick stoppage.

Wright doesn’t have the movement or the defense to be able to dictate against Buckley. He’s going to get angled off, backed up against the cage and clobbered in short order.

If the UFC wants to continue to hype up Buckley, they gave him the perfect matchup to secure another highlight and another performance bonus.

I’m including Buckley as a parlay piece, but I also see value on his odds to win inside the distance (projected -202) which you can play to -162.

Furthermore, I’m playing Buckley’s Round 1 prop down to +150.

The Bet

  • Joaquin Buckley (-208, 1u)
  • Joaquin Buckley wins Inside the Distance (-175, 0.5u)
  • Joaquin Buckley wins in Round 1 (+150, 0.5u)
  • Parlay (+100): Joaquin Buckley / Daniel Rodriguez / Valentina Shevchenko
Bet UFC 255 at DraftKings and get a 200% profit boost.

Flyweight Fight: Brandon Moreno vs. Brandon Royval

Moreno odds -190
Royval odds +150
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -134/+100

Crowdsource Projections: Moreno (65%)

The preliminary feature, which will likely determine No. 1 Flyweight contender status, is also highly likely to be the fight of the night. Royval’s style is absolutely chaotic, and also fantastic to watch.

You’ll either love him or hate him, but if you’ve watched either of his UFC bouts, this tweet really hits hard:

I was against Royval in his bout against Kai Kara-France (and paid for it), but Moreno presents another significant jump in competition, and the Mexican contender is too well-rounded to find a true edge for Royval in this fight.

Royval’s advantage is in the chaos and unpredictably that he creates – spinning attacks, flying knees, submission attempts from every angle in his rubber guard. He’s uncomfortable to watch, and I can’t imagine how overwhelmed some of his opponents must feel.

But he gives little attention to striking defense and leaves himself vulnerable constantly:

Who the hell throws a spinning elbow when they’re already jelly-legged?

While this scrap should be highly entertaining, Royval has gassed out in the past when he has been unable to secure an early finish. He is 1-4 on the scorecards and has never been finished himself, including in a 25-minute battle with Casey Kenney in LFA.

Similarly, Moreno has never been finished, and despite the opportunities that might present themselves for both men, I think this fight goes to the judges at a decent rate (projected 64%), which obviously plays to Moreno’s hand.

Though the moneyline projection looks spot-on for this fight, I bet Moreno to win by decision at +140 (implied 41.7%) relative to my projection at -111 (implied 52.6%). You can play that to +110.

I also made a smaller play on the fight to go the distance at -120 (implied 54.5%), which I would play to -144 (implied 59%).

The Bet

  • Brandon Moreno wins by Decision (+140, 1u)
  • Moreno / Royval goes the Distance (-120, 0.5u)
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Main Card 

  • 10 p.m. ET

Light Heavyweight Fight: Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig

Rua odds +140
Craig odds -177
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -134/+100

Crowdsource Projections: Craig (62%)

This rematch is the lone fight on Saturday that I think is devoid of value.

“Shogun” closed as a -265 favorite in the first fight (opened -215) one year ago, where he was nearly stopped in Round 1, but rallied to secure a split draw.

14 of the 16 media members, and 70% of fans scored the bout 29-28 for Rua.

Rua hasn’t lost by submission since 2013, and he shrugged off most of Craig’s attempts in that fight, before taking over against a man who has one round of gas.

Shogun didn’t look great in a split decision win in his trilogy fight against “Little Nog” (50% of fans had the bout 29-28 for Nogueira) while Craig secured a win over a likely washed Gadzhimurad Antigulov in July.

Given the line adjustment since their last bout, I would say that you have to side with Rua or pass on this fight — but I have no interest in betting this one and don’t project value on any wager.

The Bet

  • Pass
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Women’s Flyweight fight: Katlyn Chookagian vs. Cynthia Calvillo

Chookagian odds +195
Calvillo odds -250
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -400/+275

Crowdsource Projections: Calvillo (65%)

Calvillo (5’4″, 64″ reach) proved her mettle over five rounds in her return to Flyweight against Jessica Eye (5’6″, 66-inch reach), who owns a win over and is likely a tougher overall test than Chookagian.

The cut to 125 helped to preserve and manage Calvillo’s gas tank better than in her previous fights, and she’s going to be a difficult out in this division moving forward, particularly in 15-minute contests.

“Blonde Fighter” (5’9″, 68″ reach) will have an even more pronounced size advantage against Calvillo, but her takedown defense (48%), will be tested early and often, and Calvillo (46% takedown accuracy, 1.97 landed per 15 minutes) should be able to win this matchup with control time unless Chookagian can consistently scramble back to her feet.

I show value on this fight to go the distance (projected 87%) but I would only play the distance prop to win a half unit up to -334 (implied 77%), and I have a small play on Chookagian by decision at +275 (implied 26.6%), a narrower edge relative to my projection at +232 (implied 30%).

The Bet

  • Katlyn Chookagian wins by Decision (+275, 0.25u)
  • Calvillo/Chookagian goes the Distance (-300, 0.5u)
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Welterweight Fight: Mike Perry vs. Tim Means

Perry odds -143
Means odds +115
Over/Under 2.5 rounds +130/-177

Crowdsource Projections: Perry (56%)

It’s embarrassing that the UFC is giving Perry a feature spot on the main card of a PPV amidst domestic violence allegations and following his assault of an elderly man over the summer.

And Perry has treated this opportunity like a joke, badly missing weight for this bout — after which he dabbed, because of course he did — while flaunting a diet consisting of burgers, pizza and brownies just two weeks out from the fight.

Perry only shed 1.5 pounds in the next seven hours after sending the above tweet, and he’ll forfeit 30% of his purse as a result.

Perry has the power to put Means away at any point, but given his lack of respect for this bout in addition to Means’ size advantage (three inches taller, four inches of reach), experience and output (+1.39 to -0.05 significant strike differential), it’s easy to see Means staying on the outside and forcing an out-of-shape opponent to chase him for 15 minutes.

I think Perry’s grappling is underrated — he actually engaged with and controlled Mickey Gall on the mat for more than a round (5:44) — but Means is still the more well-rounded competitor.

He was hurt by both Daniel Rodriguez and Niko Price within the past two years, however, showing a potentially declining chin in the latter stages of his career (44 professional fights).

I show projected value on Means to win by decision (projected +267), and I would look to play that prop down to +312.

The Bet

  • Means to win by Decision (+400, 0.25u)
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Women’s Flyweight Fight: Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia

Shevchenko odds -1250
Maia odds +700
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -148/+110

Crowdsource Projections: V. Shevchenko (94%)

Shevchenko could close as the most significant favorite in UFC history against Maia, as she needs to fight someone in order to defend her Flyweight belt, but there is nobody in the Flyweight division who can offer her much of a challenge.

In her past three fights, Shevchenko closed at -1250 against Chookagian, -1400 against Liz Carmouche and -1696 against Jessica Eye.

She has run through other top strikers at 125, including Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Holly Holm and Chookagian, and submitted a high-end grappler in Julianna Pena.

Her only losses in the past 10 years have both come against Amanda Nunes at Bantamweight, and Shevchenko was favored in both of those bouts, each a decision loss.

Unless Shevchenko injures herself, I don’t see Maia finding a path to victory. It’s more about how much respect Shevchenko gives her, and whether she decides to pursue a performance bonus quickly.

Four of her eight UFC fights that didn’t involve Nunez have gone the distance, and Maia hasn’t been finished since early in her career (2012), but Shevchenko represents a different level of striking than anything she has encountered, and I do think that Valentina closes the show.

I projected Shevchenko to win inside the distance at odds of -316 (implied 76%), and I would bet that prop to -245 (implied 71%).

Furthermore, I used Valentina to complete my moneyline parlay to bump the odds to even money – though that bet is for degenerates only.

The Bet

  • Valentina Shevchenko wins Inside the Distance (-200, 0.5u)
  • Parlay (+100): Joaquin Buckley/Daniel Rodriguez/Valentina Shevchenko
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Flyweight Fight: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Alex Perez

Figueiredo odds -315
Perez odds +245
Over/Under 1.5 rounds -182/+138

Crowdsource Projections: Figueiredo (77%)

Figueiredo finally secured Flyweight gold with his second win over Joseph Benavidez in July, and his finishing ability is proving to be an outlier in the 125-pound division.

Unfortunately, his style is fundamentally flawed if he isn’t able to secure a finish, as Figueiredo rarely wins minutes — he tries to line his opponents up and knock them down. He also doesn’t check leg kicks with regularity, which is one of Perez’s better weapons, so I do expect the underdog to look very competitive at the start of this fight.

Perez is the more technical boxer and he was an All-American wrestler, but even though Deiveson was taken down a combined 10 times by Jarred Brooks and Jussier Formiga, I think his grappling has come a long way, and his scrambles are incredibly fast.

Even though he hurt Benavidez in his last fight, which led to the choke, Deiveson is still the first man to ever force “Joe Jitsu” to tap. Every time Figueiredo fights, I get the feeling that I am witnessing something special.

Unfortunately, he just doesn’t let his hands go, as Perez lands an additional 1.86 significant strikes per minute, with a far superior differential (+1.58 to -0.01).

There is certainly a path to victory for the underdog, but Perez was knocked out by Benavidez, and Figueiredo looks like you’ll have to run him over with a truck to knock him out at 125.

Spending 25 minutes inside of a cage with “Daico,” there’s no question that Perez will get clipped at some point.

I thought Deiveson would put his original opponent, Cody Garbrandt, down with relative ease, but I do think Perez has more of a chin on him.

That said, it still might not matter, and I projected Deiveson to win inside the distance 71% of the time (implied odds of -245). You can bet that prop to win a half unit up to -212 (implied 68%), a three percent edge.

The Brazilian’s moneyline was bet up from a soft opener at -210 up to -300, but has seen some resistance trending towards Perez roughly 24 hours before the fight.

The Bet

  • Deiveson Figueiredo wins Inside the Distance (-210, 0.5u)
Bet UFC 255 at DraftKings and get a 200% profit boost.

Zerillo’s UFC 255 Bets

Distance & Decision Props

  • Dustin Stoltzfus wins by Decision (+550, 0.25 units)
  • Daukaus / Stoltzfus goes the Distance (+100, 1u)
  • Ariane Lipski wins by Decision (+250, 0.25u)
  • Lipski / Shevchenko goes the Distance (-260, 0.5u)
  • Brandon Moreno wins by Decision (+140, 1u)
  • Moreno / Royval goes the Distance (-120, 0.5u)
  • Katlyn Chookagian wins by Decision (+275, 0.25u)
  • Calvillo / Chookagian goes the Distance (-300, 0.5u)
  • Tim Means wins by Decision (+400, 0.25u)

Inside the Distance Props

  • Louis Cosce wins Inside the Distance (-200, 0.5u)
  • Daniel Rodriguez wins Inside the Distance (-150, 0.5u)
  • Joaquin Buckley wins Inside the Distance (-175, 0.5u)
  • Joaquin Buckley wins in Round 1 (+150, 0.5u)
  • Valentina Shevchenko wins Inside the Distance (-200, 0.5u)
  • Deiveson Figueiredo wins Inside the Distance (-210, 0.5u)


  • Alan Jouban (-147, 0.5u)
  • Joaquin Buckley (-208, 1u)
  • Parlay (+100): Joaquin Buckley / Daniel Rodriguez / Valentina Shevchenko
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