UFC 267 Odds, Model Projections & Predictions: Betting Preview for Every Fight Island Bout (October 30)

UFC 267 Odds, Model Projections & Predictions: Betting Preview for Every Fight Island Bout (October 30) article feature image
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Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: A general view of the UFC Legacy Championship Belt.

  • Up early to get in your UFC 267 bets? You've come to the right place.
  • Sean Zerillo has betting projections and analysis for every bout on Saturday's Fight Island card.
  • You can find his breakdown and picks for the prelims and main card below.

On Saturday, the UFC returns to the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi with a loaded 14-fight card for UFC 267, highlighted by an interim Bantamweight title bout between Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen and a Light Heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira.

The prelims will begin on ESPN+ at 10:30 a.m. ET. The six-fight main card will commence at 2:00 p.m. ET, also on ESPN+. It is the first numbered, non-PPV UFC event since UFC 138.

If you are new to this piece, or this sport, note that 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.

UFC 267 Moneyline Projections

Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 15 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside the distance or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.

UFC 267 Prop Projections

Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute UFC odds here.

In addition to creating a crowdsourced projection for moneyline plays, I also collect data on each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission — which enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance or for each fighter win inside of the distance.


UFC 267 Odds & Picks

[Click to Skip to Main Card]

Prelims

  • ESPN+
  • 10:30 a.m. ET

Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Allan Nascimento

Nascimento has fought for three minutes in the past three years — not a ton of recent footage on him, and difficult to gauge his level. Projected value on Ulanbekov by decision (projected -111) with his blanketing style, but he has some cardio concerns late in the fight. Additional value on the fight to go the distance (projected -178), but I’m more inclined to take a small stab on the Ulanbekov decision prop at plus money.


Yaozong Hu vs. Andre Petroski

Hu is intriguing after coming down from Heavyweight. Petroski is a late replacement for Alen Amedovski. Cardio looked improved in his last fight, but he is generally a one-round or bust power grappler. I would always look to play Petroski’s Round 1 prop or inside the distance prop (projected -108). Likely prefer the fight ends ITD prop (projected -270) here — Petroski early, or Hu late.


Makwan Amirkhani vs. Lerone Murphy

Murphy is a late replacement for Tristan Connelly. Amirkhani is always dangerous for the first half of his fights, as he looks to take down and submit his opponents with a front choke. He can also win enough minutes in the first half of the fight to secure a decision with dominant positioning.

Murphy is hyper-talented, but he has shown some grappling deficiencies and could get exposed in his toughest test to date. I projected value on the Amirkhani moneyline (to +205) in addition to his submission prop (projected +536), odds to win inside the distance (projected +420), and his odds to win in Round 1.  You could also hedge out with Murphy live after Round 1.


Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Shamil Gamzatov

Gamzatov is undefeated and coming off a nearly two-year layoff, but he wasn’t particularly impressive in his debut win against Klidson Abreu. “Lord” Michal is young, aggressive, and making improvements. I projected him as the slight favorite in this matchup, would bet his ML to +100, and took a poke at his odds to win inside the distance (projected +325) and Round 1 prop.


Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Benoit Saint-Denis

Zaleski is a potent striker and a difficult debut for the undefeated Saint-Denis, who forces action from go.

Zaleski is the far more experienced man (11 UFC fights compared to 14 career fights for his opponent) and he has faced a far higher level of competition. I also thought he won his last bout against Muslim Salikhov — as did 82% of fans and 14-of-16 media members — and I was on Salikhov.

I show value on the Zaleski ML to -250; you can play him straight or use him as a parlay piece.


Albert Duraev vs. Roman Kopylov

Duraev is making his official debut after an impressive win on Dana White’s Contender Series. Kopylov is returning from a long layoff after an unimpressive debut loss against Karl Roberson — following a promising run on the regional scene.

I show value on the Fight Ends ITD prop (projected -238) — Duraev can take him down and smash, but he’s also reacted poorly to strikes in the past, and Kopylov is likely getting underrated (off the layoff) following a career-worst performance.


Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Ricardo Ramos

If you haven’t noticed by now, there are a lot of Russian fighters on this card, most of whom possess a similar fighting style.

Tukhugov is a split-decision machine, but I expect his style to get the nod from the local judges in Abu Dhabi, considering the logistics of this card as a whole. I show value on Tukhugov’s decision prop (projected +124), and the fight Goes the Distance Prop (projected -244). Still, I don’t have much interest in playing this fight.

Amanda Ribas vs. Virna Jandiroba

Ribas is the far cleaner striker in this matchup. However, I have some concerns regarding her durability and may prefer Jandiroba’s wrestling to Ribas’s judo.

Still, I expect this to be a stalemate on the mate, and striking-driven affair, where Ribas (+2.47 to -0.27 strike differential) wins the vast majority of exchanges and minutes. I show value on Ribas’s decision prop (projected +105) and the fight to go the distance (projected -260).


Main Card

  • ESPN+
  • 2 p.m. ET

Light Heavyweight fight: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Volkan Oezdemir

Odds
Ankalaev odds -320
Oezdemir odds +250
Over/Under 2.5 rounds +115 / -145

Crowdsourced Projections: Ankalaev (75.3%)

Jiri Prochazka — the No. 2 Light Heavyweight contender — is serving as the backup for the main event, and I would expect him to get the next title shot in the 205-pound division.

Both Magomed Ankalaev (No. 7) and Volkan Oezdemir (No. 8) are likely two wins away from a title shot — needing to beat the man in front of them, followed by one of Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, or Aleksandar Rakic in order to fight for UFC gold.

Oezdemir is coming off of a knockout loss to Prochazka (last July), but “No Time” has faced stiff competition in the UFC (including Rakic, Smith, Daniel Cormier, Ovince St. Preux, and Dominick Reyes) and posted solid metrics (+0.80 strike differential; 80% takedown defense) across those matchups.

The Swiss kickboxer pushes at a good pace (5.03 strikes landed per minute) and carries solid power — but his cardio can level off later in fights.

Ankalaev doesn’t have many (if any) weaknesses. And a large percentage of the MMA community considers him the uncrowned Light Heavyweight champion.

Magomed Ankalaev landing one of the best front kicks you will ever see. #UFCVegas8 pic.twitter.com/3QlQfgxBGP

— BirksMMA (@BirksMMA) August 29, 2020

The Dagestani is an incredibly efficient striker (+1.63 strike differential) and is both more accurate (+8%) and defensively responsible (+10%) compared to Oezdemir. The one concern is volume — Ankalaev lands just 3.4 strikes per minute. He is very calculated and picks his spots, but he tends to land clean once he lets his hands go.

Still, if this is a 15-minute kickboxing match, Oezdemir could edge by on the scorecards.

However, in this matchup, Ankalaev has the grappling upside (1.18 takedowns per 15 minutes, 33% accuracy, 85% takedown defense). Even if he can’t take Oezdemir down, Ankalaev should be able to control the fight in the clinch, push Oezdemir up against the cage, and tire him out.

I would use Ankalaev as a parlay piece up to -300 (projected -305). I paired him with Alexander Volkov.

I also show value on his submission prop (projected +1227, listed +2000 at FanDuel) given his grappling upside – even though he doesn’t have a submission on his record. Some books have this prop at +1000 — others (like FanDuel and PointsBet) are double that number. It’s a worthy dart throw.

Bets: 

  • Magomed Ankalaev wins by Submission (+2000, 0.1 unit)
  • Use Ankalaev as a Parlay Piece (to -300)


Welterweight Fight: Li Jingliang vs. Khamzat Chimaev

Odds
Jingliang odds +435
Chimaev odds -600
Over/Under 1.5 rounds -130 / +100

Crowdsourced Projections: Chimaev (81.3%)

Khamzat Chimaev — arguably the UFC’s top prospect — makes his return to the octagon on Saturday after a 13-month layoff, following a battle with COVID-19 where he prematurely announced his retirement in March. He’ll hope to enter the Welterweight rankings with a win over No. 11 ranked Li Jingliang.

On paper, this is both a step up in competition for Chimaev, but a solid stylistic matchup against Li, an above-average striker (+0.87 strike differential) with subpar takedown defense (59%) despite his sambo background.

“Borz” has impressed in his short UFC tenure, with dominant finishes on the ground against John Phillips and Rhys McKee, before scoring a vicious standing knockout against Gerald Meerschaert:

ONE PUNCH GOODNIGHT FROM CHIMAEV 😤pic.twitter.com/5aeIfCd6FP

— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 20, 2020

Chimaev could compete at Middleweight but serves as a weight bully at 170, and he will be the larger man in the cage on Saturday (2-inches taller, with a four-inch reach advantage).

There are still a lot of questions for Chimaev to answer with regards to his striking technique and durability because he hasn’t faced true resistance to this point in his career.

Moreover, some fighters who have returned after severe cases of COVID have looked like shells of their former selves (Geoff Neal comes to mind), and Chimaev’s symptoms were severe enough that he thought he was done fighting.

Now add a bizarre and challenging weight cut for Chimaev onto the COVID situation, and you have a potential recipe for disaster, where he either gasses out quickly or looks like a shell of his former self from the jump.

That’s not enough of an angle to bet into the underdog on a whim, but it’s probably enough to keep me off of the Chimaev side of things. Otherwise, I show little value on Chimaev’s odds to win inside the distance (projected -186) or by submission (projected +252).

Instead, I prefer the fight to end inside the distance (projected -336) up to -300. Li should eventually take advantage of a compromised Chimaev. Otherwise, he’ll get a whole serving of smesh on the mat.

Bets: 

  • Chimaev/Li, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-260, 0.25u)

Heavyweight fight: Alexander Volkov vs. Marcin Tybura

Odds
Volkov odds -310
Tybura odds +245
Over/Under 2.5 rounds +115 / -145

Crowdsourced Projections: Volkov (76.2%)

Alexander Volkov has completely filled out and turned into one of the most physically imposing heavyweights on the UFC roster, and he makes the most of his height (+4 inches) and reach (+2) advantages in every fight.

“Drago” is an incredibly efficient striker (+1.96 strike differential; and +7% accuracy vs. Tybura) who should appreciate moving back to the larger, 30-foot-octagon, as opposed to the 25-foot cage at the APEX, which was used in three of his past four fights.

Tybura enters this bout on a five-fight winning streak, but he’ll have to close the distance against the larger man in the big cage. His two most recent wins also came in a small cage, but this run hasn’t been particularly impressive; he’s going to need multiple takedowns and/or excessive control time (via the clinch) in order to win this fight.

Volkov has made steady improvements to his defensive grappling, and though he was taken down 14 times (a Heavyweight record) by Curtis Blaydes, he showed an excellent getup game and won the final two rounds of the bout.

His takedown defense (54%) undersells his ability to stuff shots, but Volkov is also an adept scrambler for such a big man and he starts throwing hands the moment that he gets back to his feet.

Perhaps Tybura secures one or two takedowns early in this fight, but I doubt that he can keep Volkov on his back for long, and the Pole should get chewed up with straight punches at range.

Volkov may not fit into the top three of the Heavyweight division. Still, this is a big step up in competition for Tybura against a solid top-five talent.

I project slight value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected -159), but not enough edge to make a bet. I prefer to use Volkov as a parlay piece (up to -310), and I paired him with Magomed Ankalaev.

Bets: 

  • Use Volkov as a Parlay Piece (to -310)

Check out our free UFC odds page, which automatically surfaces the best moneyline and round total odds for every fight.


Lightweight fight: Islam Makhachev vs. Dan Hooker

Odds
Makhachev odds -550
Hooker odds +400
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -175 / +145

Crowdsourced Projections: Makhachev (75.3%)

Fan-favorite Dan Hooker, who defeated Nasrat Haqparast one month ago in Las Vegas, is taking this featured matchup with the feared Islam Makhachev on short notice, in a battle between the No. 5- and No. 6-ranked welterweight contenders.

I make Makhachev a healthy favorite (75%), and I expect him to win this fight more than three out of four times, but I still show betting value on Hooker, who offers more finishing upside in this fight.

Makhachev’s striking metrics are a product of his dominant ground control game (3.31 takedowns per 15 minutes, 65% accuracy), where he smothers opponents, breaks them, and sometimes finishes them late.

His distance striking is competitive, but his offensive success is mostly a product of his opponents looking to defend takedowns, while Makhachev appropriately takes advantage upstairs. He’s also extraordinarily sound defensively (70% striking defense). He does well to keep himself out of danger in the pocket before shooting for a leg or clinching for a body lock setup.

Hooker has been in wars with the best Lightweights in the world and nearly came out on top against Dustin Poirier as a +185 underdog (35% implied) after winning the first two rounds of their 25-minute scrap.

So,  why is he a +450 (18% implied) underdog now, against a lower-ranked fighter?

Many consider Makhachev the future 155-pound champion — if not already the uncrowned champion. Plenty of sharp bettors would favor him in a title fight against Poirier or Charles Oliveira, today.

Hooker’s takedown defense (52%) is historically poor — he hasn’t necessarily faced many elite-level grapplers — but he’s never been submitted in the UFC.

He can counter Makhachev’s takedown attempts with a guillotine or some big knees down the middle:

Makhachev often looks dominant in victory, even when he doesn’t finish. He controls the majority of minutes in his fights and completely drains the clock.

Still, he’s been chin-checked multiple times with clean punches — including his only career loss — and Hooker will do everything that he can to make this fight competitive.

Hooker is very active on the bottom and will work to get back to his feet. While a takedown may not be the end of the round, the striking exchanges may still be relatively limited.

If he can use his size (2-inch height and 5-inch reach advantage) to keep the fight standing or chip away at Makhachev from a distance, he’s going to look like a massive value play.

If Hooker wins this fight one out of every four times, you would need at least +355 (22% implied) to play him at an edge of three percentage points, and +450 (18% implied) is bordering on disrespectful.

Additionally, I project value on Hooker to win by KO/TKO (projected +635) or inside the distance (projected +576), and I sprinkled the latter.

Bets: 

  • Dan Hooker (+450, 0.25u)
  • Dan Hooker wins Inside the Distance (+750, 0.1u)


Bantamweight fight: Petr Yan vs. Cory Sandhagen

Odds
Yan odds -225
Sandhagen odds +185
Over/Under 4.5 rounds -150 / +120

Crowdsourced Projections: Yan (65.0%)

In some alternate universe, Sandhagen and Yan are fighting for undisputed gold with Yan as the reigning champion.

In our universe, Yan enters after a loss via disqualification (from an illegal knee) against Aljamain Sterling. He relinquished his title after gaining momentum towards a finish in the latter stages of that fight.

Sandhagen is 2-2 in his past four bouts, bookended by a submission loss to Sterling and a controversial split-decision loss against T.J. Dillashaw in July. The majority of media members and 59% of fans scored the bout for Sandhagen.

Sandhagen is a massive Bantamweight, and he’ll be the larger man in the cage against Yan (4-inch height and 3-inch reach advantage).

Yan is the more efficient striker (+2.44 to +2.27 strike differential, +5% accuracy, +3% defense), as one of the best technical boxers in the UFC. He’s also a severely underrated grappler — he has shown the ability to grind on opponents (2.14 takedowns per 15 minutes, 66% accuracy) and stuff incoming shots (90% takedown defense).

The one concern with Yan (similar to Ankalaev) is volume. Both favorites are extremely patient but menacing strikers who seemingly like to put a hurt on their opponents.

Sandhagen has very explosive range attacks, and he’s a master at setting traps and maximizing his length, but he also fights at a high volume. He can definitely win minutes in a standup battle against Yan who is prone to segments of inactivity throughout his fights.

Yan also doesn’t have big power in single punches, but he’s so methodical and precise that he tends to finish opponents by accumulating damage in the second half of his fights.

That seems unlikely to happen with Sandhagen, who takes an equal amount of delight in butchering his opponents.

Still, I worry about Cory’s grappling and the fact that Yan could completely manhandle him — or take his back and submit him — based upon what we have seen from Sandhagen in the grappling realm to date.

Sandhagen denied 17-of-19 takedown attempts from T.J. Dillashaw, but he did spend 8:22 (more than 30% of their fight) in control positions against a smaller man and Yan can do the same to him here.

If this fight is a 25-minute striking battle, Sandhagen is certainly a live underdog on pure output. He’s never been outpaced in any fight that went beyond 90 seconds.

I do expect a violent fight between two durable strikers, but I also show value on this fight to go the distance (projected -140), and I would consider that prop up to -125.

Additionally, Sandhagen by decision (projected +420) could be worth a stab at +425 or better.

Bets: 

  • Sandhagen/Yan, Fight Goes the Distance (-125, 0.5u)

Light Heavyweight fight: Jan Blachowicz vs. Glover Teixeira

Odds
Blachowicz odds -310
Teixeira odds +245
Over/Under 2.5 rounds -130 / +100

Crowdsourced Projections: Blachowicz (67.4%)

Father time comes for us all — except maybe Glover Teixeira. The recently turned 42-year-old is back in a title fight for the first time since 2014 when he lost to Jon Jones by decision at UFC 172.

The Brazilian will make his 20th walk to the Octagon on Saturday and will hope to extend his five-fight winning streak — which includes finishes over Karl Roberson, Ion Cutelaba, Anthony Smith, and Thiago Santos — and put a cap on his career with a world title.

There have been numerous hairy moments along the recent winning streak. Teixeira has been rocked multiple times on the feet, but has always managed to survive, and utilize his grappling chops to turn the outcomes of those matchups.

The importance of a grappling edge against Blachowicz cannot be overstated: if Glover can grapple Jan, offensively, he’s going to look like the right side at a juicy underdog price.

Blachowicz has decent takedown defense (65%) and very solid jiu-jitsu, but he’s not particularly adept off of his back, and Teixeira (2.04 takedowns per 15 minutes, 40% accuracy, 1.0 submissions per 15 minutes) has a vicious top game.

Blachowicz is known for his “polish power” and he’s a slightly more efficient striker, but the striking metrics between these two fighters are relatively comparable.

And while I question the validity of Jan’s recent knockouts and wins — all against former middleweights, or declining chins — I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends Glover on the first exchange of the fight; that chin is a ticking time bomb.

Such is the adventurous nature of backing a 42-year-old Light Heavyweight in a cage fight. If Teixeira can dirty this fight up, though, and extend the matchup into the championship rounds, he’s certainly capable of pulling off the upset.

Jan has been the underrated fighter all along his UFC run, closing as an underdog in eight of his past nine bouts. Still, he’s now looking a tad overrated coming in as a -300 (75% implied) favorite, against a legend who has recently put away multiple top-tier opponents.

I would bet Teixeira’s moneyline down to +225, and I also show value on his submission prop (projected +666).

Additionally, I project the fight to end inside the distance (projected -275) more often than the odds suggest (listed -220).

However, I have a difficult read with the total. I could see either man grinding out a decision, Blachowicz landing an early kill shot, or Glover finding a finish on the mat.

I’m hesitant to pull the trigger, despite the projected edge. I’ll update this post if I do, but Glover (down to +225) is the bet for now.

Bets: 

  • Glover Teixeira (+240, 0.5u)


Zerillo’s UFC 267 Betting Card

Distance or Decision Props and Totals

  • Tagir Ulanbekov wins by Decision (+100, 0.25 units)
  • Zubaira Tukhugov wins by Decision (+140, 0.25u)
  • Amanda Ribas wins by Decision (+125, 0.25u)
  • Sandhagen/Yan, Fight Goes the Distance (-125, 0.5u)

Inside the Distance Props

  • Yaozong/Petroski, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-190, 0.25u)
  • Makwan Amirkhani wins Inside the Distance (+425, 0.1u)
  • Makwan Amirkhani wins by Submission (+900, 0.1u)
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk wins Inside the Distance (+375, 0.1u)
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk wins in Round 1 (+900, 0.1u)
  • Kopylov/Duraev, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-200, 0.25u)
  • Magomed Ankalaev wins by Submission (+2000, 0.1u)
  • Chimaev/Li, Fight Ends Inside the Distance (-260, 0.25u)
  • Dan Hooker wins Inside the Distance (+750, 0.1u)

Moneylines

  • Makwan Amirkhani (+250, 0.5u)
  • Eliezu Zaleski dos Santos (-230, 0.25u)
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk (+105, 0.5u)
  • Dan Hooker (+450, 0.25u)
  • Glover Teixeira (+240, 0.5u)

Parlays

  • Parlay (-119, Risk 0.75u): Ankalaev (-280) & Volkov (-280)

Live Betting Notes

  • Lerone Murphy live after Round 1

Don’t forget to follow my picks in the Action Network App.

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