UFC 287 Odds, Model Predictions & Picks: Betting Previews for All 13 Fights (Saturday, April 8)

UFC 287 Odds, Model Predictions & Picks: Betting Previews for All 13 Fights (Saturday, April 8) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC middleweight champion Alex Pereira of Brazil battles Israel Adesanya of Nigeria

On Saturday at UFC 287, the UFC returns to Miami, Florida, for a middleweight title showdown between champion Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya.

The preliminary card begins at 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass before simulcasting on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET. The five-fight main card will commence at 10 p.m. ET via ESPN+ pay-per-view.

After examining all betting options, a typical UFC card can offer substantial actionable value.

So, in addition to moneylines and over/unders, I'll break down how I plan to bet every fight on the card, including exact winning methods, winning round props, and whether or not the match will go to a decision or finish inside the distance.

(Note: Prior to the start of UFC 287, UFC officials announced the cancellation of the Karl Williams vs. Chase Sherman preliminary-card bout due to an undisclosed medical issue for Sherman.)

Fight times are approximate and subject to change. All times ET.

Click on a fight to skip ahead
1. Jacqueline Amorim vs. Sam Hughes
6:30 p.m. ET
2. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs. Steve Garcia
7 p.m. ET
3. Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Trey Ogden
7:30 p.m. ET
4. Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lupita Godinez
8 p.m. ET
5. Karl Williams vs. Chase Sherman
8 p.m. ET
6. Gerald Meerschaert vs. Joe Pyfer
8:30 p.m. ET
7. Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Luana Pinheiro
9 p.m. ET
8. Chris Curtis vs. Kelvin Gastelum
9:30 p.m. ET
9. Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez
10 p.m. ET
10. Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio
10:30 p.m. ET
11. Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez
11 p.m. ET
12. Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal
11:30 p.m. ET
13. Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya
11:59 p.m. ET

UFC 287 Projected Odds

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday's 13 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.

Odds as of Saturday and via DraftKings

UFC 287 Prop Projections

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

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UFC 287 Odds

Jacqueline Amorim vs. Sam Hughes

Women's Strawweight BoutOdds
Jacqueline Amorim Odds-265
Sam Hughes Odds+225
Over/under rounds2.5 (-115 / -115)

Crowdsourced Projections: Jacqueline Amorim (67%)

For whatever reason – variance or a lack of reliable predictive data – I have difficulty betting the first prelim on any UFC card, so I'm inclined to pass over a slight projection edge on Sam Hughes (projected +203) despite some value in the market.

Jacqueline Amorim is a decorated jiu-jitsu practitioner and a high-level MMA prospect who has finished her opponents in the first round. We don't know much about Amorim as a fighter; she has never had to strike for extended stretches or display her cardio over 15 minutes.

It's very likely – based on the pattern of other jiu-jitsu practitioners in the UFC – that Amorim will tire beyond the first round, leading to a potential opportunity to back Hughes (at a juicier price than her pre-fight moneyline) just before she can turn the tables.

Still, I wouldn't back Hughes pre-fight; I expect Amorim to put her in dangerous positions early. Wait to live bet Hughes after Round 1.

In the prop market, both Amorim via submission (projected +113, listed +150 at BetMGM) and Hughes via decision (projected +279, listed +375 at BetMGM) stand out as potential wagers. I'll consider playing one or the other in a round-robin; wait for a live entry on Hughes for now.


  • Sam Hughes Live after Round 1

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Shayilan Nuerdanbieke vs. Steve Garcia

Featherweight BoutOdds
Shayilan Nuerdanbieke Odds-190
Steve Garcia Odds+160
Over/under rounds2.5 (+120 / -150)

Crowdsourced Projections: Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (56.9%)

I projected Steve Garcia as a +132 underdog and would bet his moneyline down to around +140.

I view him as the superior striker in terms of finishing upside and overall volume, but he is also the more fragile fighter.

Garcia is highly reckless and tends to rush into the pocket with his chin unprotected. He will force high-variance exchanges in which one fighter gets clipped – something you want when backing an underdog – but he is also more than capable of winning an output-based decision.

Nuerdanbieke is the superior wrestler, and he will attempt to shoot takedowns and control Garcia on the mat. Garcia may give up his back and get controlled for extended stretches too. However, I expect him to eventually scramble back to his feet and land more damage when the pair is at striking range.

Shayilan prioritizes control over damage on the mat; so it's possible that he can lose close rounds in which he dominates on control time but fails to pull away on strikes, leaving an opening for Garcia to swing scorecard with enthusiasm once they re-engage in the striking.

With fights scored on damage nowadays, I'm more inclined to back fighters such as Garcia, who may permit takedowns but will work to return to their feet and out-volume their opponents.

Over 15 minutes, I expect Garcia to be the more enthusiastic fighter, something that often swings close decisions. His advantages in height (four inches taller) and reach (six inches) should prove dramatic at striking distance.

In addition to Garcia's moneyline, I see slight value on his KO/TKO prop (projected +416, listed +480 at BetRivers); however, that's nothing beyond a round-robin piece, and I would be more inclined to use his moneyline anyway.


  • Steve Garcia (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet

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Ignacio Bahamondes vs. Trey Ogden

160-pound Catchweight BoutOdds
Ignacio Bahamondes Odds-365
Trey Ogden Odds+300
Over/under rounds2.5 (+100 / -130)

Crowdsourced Projections: Ignacio Bahamondes (77.5%)

Trey Ogden was one of my favorite bets for the fight night card on March 25, but his bout with Manuel Torres fell through. Ogden moved from +165 against Torres to +300 after the re-booking against Ignacio Bahamondes, who is 2-1 in the UFC and making his return after a one-year layoff.

Bahamondes, who's just 25, has more upside than the 33-year-old Ogden. He's also the superior athlete – four inches taller with a three-inch reach advantage – and the superior technical and volume striker.

Ogden likely needs to wrestle – successfully – if he wants to win this bout as a significant underdog. However, Bahamondes has shown solid takedown defense, especially for a fighter in his archetype (tall distance striker).

He's also in the age range when he's likely to have improved significantly with an additional year of training under his belt.

Although I technically projected his moneyline around -344, I would include Bahamondes in a parlay up to -350.

I also see value in Bahamondes winning inside the distance (projected +115; listed +120 at DraftKings). I would save that prop for round-robin consideration.


  • Parlay (-163, Risk 0.5u) at BetMGM: Ignacio Bahamondes (-350) and Karl Williams (-400)

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Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lupita Godinez

Women's Strawweight BoutOdds
Cynthia Calvillo Odds+225
Lupita Godinez Odds-265
Over/under rounds2.5 (-305 / +240)

Crowdsourced Projections: Lupita Godinez (72.4%)

Cynthia Calvillo is the taller and longer fighter (a two-inch advantage in both height and reach), but she could face a significant speed discrepancy here to neutralize those advantages. She's dropping back down from flyweight to strawweight at age 35, with a 1-4-1 record in her past six fights.

Cailvillo used to be a serious player in the 115-pound division but struggled to make weight and was forced to move up, which did not go well. In theory, moving back down and getting to grapple smaller opponents should be to her advantage. However, you typically don't see older fighters at the smaller weight classes moving down in weight at this stage of their careers.

It seems like a choice made out of desperation since things were going so poorly at 125.

Lupita Godinez is the superior boxer, and her hand speed in the pocket should prove detrimental for Calvillo, who is an underwhelming technical and defensive striker.

Calvillo has the size advantage and potentially the wrestling advantage too, but Godinez should be quicker in the scrambles, and I don't expect Calvillo to be able to hold her down for long, if at all.

Calvillo's last win came more than three years ago against Jessica Eye, who missed weight and exited the UFC with three additional losses after that bout. She is older now than Eye was then.

Saturday's matchup between Calvillo and Godinez seems like a true crossroads fight. Godinez can take some of Calvillo's shine in what likely amounts to a "win or pink slip" opportunity for the UFC veteran.

I don't project an edge on this fight from any betting angle; however, I plan to use Godinez in DFS. Calvillo quit on the stool after two rounds against Andree Lee and seems relatively disinterested in fighting through adversity at this stage of her career.


  • Pass

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Karl Williams vs. Chase Sherman

Heavyweight BoutOdds
Karl Williams Odds-390
Chase Sherman Odds+320
Over/under rounds2.5 (-125 / -105)

Crowdsourced Projections: Karl Williams (80.9%)

(NOTE: This fight was canceled prior to the start of the event because of an undisclosed medical issue for Sherman.)

Along with Ignacio Bahamondes, Karl Williams is the other big favorite I see slight value in betting for Saturday. However, I'm not typically inclined to lay -400 on a heavyweight MMA bout.

Williams has shown a -400 skillset, with dominant grappling efforts on the Contender Series against standout college wrestler Jimmy Lawson and his UFC debut against Lukasz Brzeski. Williams prioritizes control over damage, and he prefers to blanket opponents rather than pursue a finish. Despite more than 10 minutes of control time in his past two fights, Williams attempted just 36 ground strikes (1.8 per minute) and landed only 24 (1.2 per minute).

Williams carries power at a distance, but Chase Sherman should be the more technical man in an extended striking battle.

However, Sherman has porous takedown defense (66% career) and worse defensive grappling, which is probably the reason why Williams was willing to take the fight on short notice after defeating Brzeski on the March 25 UFC card. Williams has the rare distinction of competing on back-to-back UFC cards.

If Sherman can extend the fight and last beyond the first round, he may have a chance to rally. Williams has shown the ability to grind against opponents for 15 minutes, but he also gets extremely winded at various points throughout his bouts, leading to potential opportunities for his opponents to close the show. Even though he doesn't relentlessly pursue finishes, Williams still tires himself out with poor fight IQ decisions (example: picking up and slamming an opponent at the end of a round he has already won). Williams is still young in his MMA career (nine pro fights), so perhaps he will lean to manage his gas tank better – or attempt to finish opponents more quickly.

You can use Williams as a parlay piece up to -420 (projected -422), but I would need at least -375 or better to consider playing him in a straight wager. And I don't see value concerning any props or totals for this fight.


  • Use Karl Williams as a parlay piece (to -420)

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Gerald Meerschaert vs. Joe Pyfer

Middleweight BoutOdds
Gerald Meerschaert Odds+155
Joe Pyfer Odds-180
Over/under rounds1.5 (+110 / -140)

Crowdsourced Projections: Joey Pyfer (66.9%)

This is the exact type of role where Gerald Meerschaert III ("GM3") typically thrives as an underdog gatekeeper trying to turn back a rising prospect.

He has defeated better opponents than Joe Pyfer – as a more significant underdog than he will be on Saturday – and GM3 is arguably the most formidable opponent that Pyfer has ever faced. And he also owns a two-inch reach advantage.

Still, Pyfer will likely hold a noticeable edge in striking speed. And Meerschaert tends to get wobbled early in each of his fights before eventually recovering, fighting through adversity, and putting his lesser opponents through hell.

Pyfer should ultimately win the striking and land more volume, but Meerschaert has some tools to trouble him on the feet.

Moreover, Meerschaert is reliable in wrestling in each of his fights. When his fights hit the ground, his opponents consistently underrate his ability to choke them out. He has the most submissions (nine) and second-most finishes (10) in UFC middleweight history.

The athleticism and speed differential should be noticeable early on. Still, as Meerschaert progresses into the fight, he may find a way – as he typically does – to frustrate and eventually damage his opponent.

I'll consider betting GM3 live after Round 1, especially if Pyfer goes for an early kill and blows his gas tank in the process.

Aside from betting on Pyfer to win via decision (projected +652, listed +700 at BetRivers) or Meerschaert to win via submission (projected +359, listed +360 at FanDuel), I don't see a way to bet on this fight from a pre-fight "value" perspective. And there's not enough meat on the bone for either prop – relative to my projected line – to pull the trigger.

Monitor the first round and Pyfer's cardio usage and consider a live entry on Meerschaert if Pyfer over-exerts himself early.

I'll also have a bunch of exposure to this fight in DFS since this is, by far, the likeliest fight to end inside the distance in the betting market (projected 82%).


  • Gerald Meerschaert Live after Round 1

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Michelle Waterson-Gomez vs. Luana Pinheiro

Women's Strawweight BoutOdds
Michelle Waterson-Gomez Odds+145
Luana Pinheiro Odds-170
Over/under rounds2.5 (-320 / +250)

Crowdsourced Projections: Luana Pinheiro (59.5%)

Similar to Gerald Meerschaert against Joe Pyfer, Michelle Waterson-Gomez is in the role of underdog gatekeeper against Luana Pinheiro, who is 3-0 under the UFC banner, including her win on the Contender Series.

Pinheiro is returning from a lengthy layoff after defeating Sam Hughes in November 2021. She has been training and looking for a fight the entire time. I expect to see a career-best version of Pinehiro in the octagon on Saturday. Conversely, Waterson-Gomez is on the back end of her career as a 37-year-old strawweight.

Pinheiro should be the faster and stronger fighter/ I expect her to win the wrestling exchanges and land the heavier damage. My primary concern with betting on Pinehrio is the gas tank. I would rate Pinehiro's stamina, based on previous fights, as below average for the division.

It's entirely possible that Pineheiro starts fast and wins the first seven to 10 minutes before Waterson works her way back into the fight. Waterson has faced a significantly higher level of competition throughout her career, and she's found her way through adversity and rallied from behind to win decisions against better opponents. Additionally, Waterson represents a significant step up in competition for Pinehiro relative to her strength of schedule.

This could be a levels fight for Waterson in which she puts a vet lesson on a rising talent who hasn't seen anyone at her level before. She has a unique style and is relatively difficult to prepare for – or pull away from on the scorecards – unless you carry a significant finishing upside.

I see slight value in betting the fight to reach a decision (projected -330, listed -300 at FanDuel). However, I'm never excited even to include those types of bets in parlays since they are legitimately the worst type of sweat you can have in sports betting. And given Waterson's age, there are additional durability/fragility concerns.

Unless you're willing to lay the juice on the distance prop – or the over – or include those bets as parlay pieces, I will pass on betting this bout.


  • Pass

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Chris Curtis vs. Kelvin Gastelum

Middleweight BoutOdds
Chris Curtis Odds+120
Kelvin Gastelum Odds-140
Over/under rounds2.5 (-220 / +180)

Crowdsourced Projections: Kelvin Gastelum (52.1%)

For additional information on Saturday's featured prelim, check out the Chris Curtis vs. Kelvin Gastelum breakdown from my colleague Billy Ward.

I mostly expect to see a boxing match between "The Action Man" Curtis, whom we love around these parts for obvious reasons, and former middleweight title challenger Kelvin Gastelum.

Neither fighter throws kicks at an exceptionally high clip. Still, I consider Curtis the more versatile boxer of the two, mixing strikes to the head and body with the ability to dictate whether he wants to outpace opponents or look to land big counters.

He's also more suited for the division. Both fighters have frames better suited for welterweight than middleweight. However, Curtis is the more prominent man (four-inch reach advantage) and in better shape.

While Gastelum possesses the grappling upside, I doubt he will be able to wrestle offensively all that successfully. Curtis has demonstrated nearly flawless takedown defense against UFC-caliber competition. And even if Gastelum does manage to get the fight to the ground, I expect Curtis to pop back up to his feet with relative ease.

Curtis initially became the favorite in this matchup, but the line flipped against him. I envision a reasonably even striking match in which Curtis can dictate the pace. He could attempt to output the durable Gastelum by landing more volume, which is likely the more optimal gameplan, or he could do what he has done in recent fights: utilize the high guard, play rope-a-dope with his opponent early, and then begin to fire huge counters to put them down.

Gastelum has proven himself one of the most durable fighters on the roster. And while Curtiss' power has translated to middleweight better than many suspected, I also worry that he may be falling in love with his power – and ignoring his ability to pace opponents when he needs to.

Still, I expect Curtis to work behind his jab and frustrate Gastelum by mixing combinations to the head and body.

I would play Curtis on the moneyline down to +120 (projected +109) or look to bet his decision prop at +240 or better (projected +220).

I also see a slight edge in the fight to reach a decision (projected -209, listed -186 at FanDuel). However, given the pace these fighters typically keep, I'm much more interested in taking a small stab on a plus-money decision prop on one side rather than laying juice.


  • Chris Curtis wins by decision (+240, 0.2u at FanDuel)

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Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez

137-pound Catchweight BoutOdds
Raul Rosas Jr. Odds-240
Christian Rodriguez Odds+200
Over/under rounds2.5 (-110 / -120)

Crowdsourced Projections: Raul Rosas Jr. (63.3%)

For additional information on Saturday's main-card opener, check out the Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Christian Rodriguez breakdown from my colleague Billy Ward.

We see the fight playing out in a relatively similar manner but have different approaches as to how to bet on the matchup.

I fully expect Rosas Jr. to get takedowns early in the fight. As Billy mentioned, Christian Rodriguez (who missed weight at Friday's weigh-ins) typically gives up his back as he tries to stand – a tailor-made tendency for Rojas, who is excellent at taking the back and locking in a body triangle.

However, while Rosas may be a teenage prodigy, Rodriguez is regarded by his gym – and legendary trainer and kickboxer Duke Roufus – as a prodigy in his own right. Rodriguez started training with Roufus at age 14, developed a wrestling base in high school, and has shown dynamic striking technique at the UFC level.

He had a barnburner of a fight with Jonathan Pearce, in which he was put through the grinder and still managed to put his opponent in significant danger in the third round. And he'll face a similar pace here against Rosas. Still, I expect Rodriguez to be able to escape those back takes and avoid the body lock at a higher rate than the market is giving him credit for.

Rodriguez has a clear striking advantage, but I expect him to be more competitive in wrestling and grappling than Rosas is in striking, which would prove the difference in the fight.

Unfortunately, Rodriguez did miss weight on Friday – after I placed my bet. Otherwise, I would have looked to bet him in the live market too. However, I can't justify a live bet on a fighter who missed weight. Rodriguez could match Rosas in the cardio department, but that is less likely after the weight miss.

Still, Rodriguez has a clear edge in one of the three facets of MMA (striking, wrestling, grappling) – in addition to a four-inch reach advantage. If Rosas struggles to take Rodriguez down – at any point in the fight – he could be in grave danger.

Moreover, Rosas doesn't land much damage in control positions on the ground. Instead, he prefers to hunt for submissions. If Rodriguez can survive those attempts, return to his feet, and land one or two significant strikes before the end of each round, he could take a close decision in which he gives up eight to 10 minutes of control time.

I projected Rodriguez as a +172 underdog and would bet his moneyline down to +185. If he can escape the back takes from Rosas, or avoid them altogether, Rodriguez might look like a clear favorite.


  • Christian Rodriguez (+210, 0.5u) at Caesars

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Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Welterweight BoutOdds
Kevin Holland Odds-240
Santiago Ponzinibbio Odds+200
Over/under rounds2.5 (+110 / -140)

Crowdsourced Projections: Kevin Holland (70.4%)

Kevin Holland is a relatively easy fighter to bet on as an underdog – but nearly impossible to trust as a favorite. He is unreliable to follow a gameplan that will maximize his win condition. Holland instead prefers to put on a show – and that's amplified on a PPV card in front of the fans.

Holland had opportunities to get top time in his last matchup against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, but he chose to let up the kickboxer to appease the crowd.

It's easy to forget, but he even proclaimed that he was "retiring" from MMA before the Thompson fight – on the heels of his quick loss to Khamzat Chimaev. Holland is an odd duck.

However, he is a tremendous athlete with the freakiest length for the welterweight division. Holland had a size advantage over most of his opponents at middleweight, but at 170 pounds, the differential is even more pronounced. Holland is three inches taller with an eight-inch reach advantage over Ponzinibbio.

"The Argentine Dagger" was most recently outclassed by Alex Morono for two rounds before landing a third-round kill shot to turn the tables. Ponzinibbio was hurt multiple times in that fight by an opponent with relatively limited power for the division, and he also sustained a ton of damage in recent wars with Michel Pereira, Geoff Neal and Miguel Baeza – after his knockout loss against Li Jingliang.

Holland's power has translated exceptionally well since moving down from 185, wobbling or knocking down three of his four welterweight opponents. He is also one of the most accurate distance strikers in UFC history – and given the reach advantage, he should be able to connect on Ponzinibbio with regularity.

Fighters can typically defeat Holland by mixing in takedowns, but his takedown defense has also translated better to the lighter-weight division, and Ponzinibbio isn't much of a wrestler. Holland is the superior grappler, and a club and sub – where he wobbles Ponzinibbio and snatches a neck for a choke – seems as live as a knockout.

Aside from his antics and showmanship, one concern I have on the Holland side is his hand. He broke multiple bones in his hands during the matchup with Thompson in December, and it seems like it hasn't had that much time to heal. Holland was winning the fight until Thompson broke his hand with a kick, and I'm worried that Holland could re-break the bones on Saturday.

As a result, while I see value in Holland's odds to win inside the distance (projected +118; listed +130 at FanDuel), I would rather bet the fight to end inside the distance (projected -163, listed -132 at FanDuel) at a more significant edge – and with the bonus of finish equity on both sides since Ponzniibbio is reliable to press on the gas when he falls behind.

Lastly, I see value in Holland to win by submission (projected +610, listed +800 at BetRivers). I'll consider including the submission prop, or Holland's inside-the-distance prop, to juice up a round-robin.


  • Fight ends Inside the Distance (-132, 0.5u) at FanDuel

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Rob Font vs. Adrian Yanez

Bantamweight BoutOdds
Rob Font Odds+155
Adrian Yanez Odds-180
Over/under rounds2.5 (-120 / -110)

Crowdsourced Projections: Adrian Yanez (58.5%)

The featured bout on Saturday's PPV is my favorite fight on the card. I prefer the bantamweight division (135 pounds) to any other weight class, and Adrian Yanez is arguably my favorite fighter on the UFC roster. He is ready to go to war with every opponent – and put on a show for the fans – but he also seems like one of the most down-to-earth and respectful fighters on the roster outside of the octagon.

Yanez has vaulted his way up the bantamweight rankings with five consecutive performance bonuses after earning his contract with a knockout on the Contender Series. Yanez has finished five of his past six opponents – and put on a Fight of the Night with Davey Grant in the other bout – and will look to ascend toward title contention with a win over Rob Font.

Font is returning from a one-year layoff after main-event losses against Jose Aldo and Marlon "Chito" Vera, whom he out-landed 420-245 over 25 minutes. But he lost seven of the eight rounds unanimously since he was wobbled or knocked down on multiple occasions.

Font typically controls the action and the output against all of his opponents (+2.43 significant strike differential), but he doesn't carry a ton of power, and he isn't exceptionally durable, so that volume ultimately matters less than it would for other fighters.

Font should have a ton of success landing his jab in this fight. He has one of the best jabs in MMA, and he has a slight reach advantage over Yanez, who has struggled defensively with straight punches against the likes of Randy Costa.

Font also mixes his attacks well, and he'll probably look to level change at some point in the fight. Many suspect Font has the grappling upside, but I'm not certain. While Yanez has turned into one of the slickest boxers in the UFC, he comes from a jiu-jitsu base, and I suspect that his overall grappling game is underrated since we haven't seen him have to grapple in a professional MMA fight in several years.

It's possible that Font could outland Yanez on volume and then mix in takedowns with top time to secure a comfortable decision. Skill for skill, he is the best fighter whom Yanez has ever faced, and this is arguably a step down in competition relative to his recent opponents, as Yanez takes a step up in class.

Yanez also tends to start slowly in his fights as he looks to make reads on his opponent in a similar manner as Petr Yan or Marlon Vera. That type of patient approach can prove extremely detrimental in a three-round fight. And as a result, I expect Font to win the first round at a high clip as Yanez settles in.

I projected Font closer to +140 in this matchup and view him as the value side on the moneyline (down to +150). However, I prefer his decision prop (projected +244, listed +285 at BetRivers) since I view Font as more of a point-fighter than a finisher. And I expect him to be favored in the live markets if this fight reaches a decision.

Unless Yanez can finish Font or wobble him multiple times, he should face an output discrepancy in this matchup, and it could be difficult for him to win the final two rounds – against such a decorated fighter – if he is already trailing following a slow start.


  • Rob Font wins by decision (+285, 0.2u) at BetRivers

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Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal

Welterweight BoutOdds
Gilbert Burns Odds-435
Jorge Masvidal Odds+350
Over/under rounds2.5 (+105 / -135)

Crowdsourced Projections: Gilbert Burns (79.8%)

For additional information on Saturday's co-main event, Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal breakdown from my colleague Dan Tom.

If you gave me the Jorge Masvidal of five years ago – instead of the 38-year-old version who was viciously knocked out by Kamaru Usman and subsequently wobbled by Colby Covington – I would easily bet him at this number.

Masvidal has always had excellent takedown defense and underrated submission defense. Still, his athleticism has faded, and I expect Gilbert Burns to corner him, press him against the cage, and look to switch levels between takedown attempts and clinch strikes.

Burns can employ a similar gameplan as Usman did – in his first title bout with Masdivdal – or as he did himself against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, when he stayed chest to chest with the kickboxer against the cage and restricted his movement.

While Masvidal may be in the final days of his career, Burns appears to be streaking toward another title shot, especially if he can dominantly finish Masvidal.

Burns doesn't have the best cardio and isn't exceptionally durable, either. As a result, if Masvidal can survive the takedown attempts, keep the fight standing, and extend the bout, he'll likely have a puncher's chance later on in the fight. Despite their relative physique, Masvidal has the cardio advantage.

However, I am concerned about his durability. Burns hits hard – especially for a former lightweight – and Masvidal's chin finally appears to have cracked (Colby Covington nearly stopped him with an accumulation of strikes).

Masvidal could also win a split decision – in Miami – if Burns can't do enough with his takedowns.

Ultimately, I expect this fight to reach a decision slightly more often than the odds suggest. I think there's a decent chance that it is a complete snoozer of a co-main event, with Burns mostly taking away space from Masvidal while looking to consolidate the position.

I would play the over 2.5 rounds at any plus money price and sprinkle Burns to win by decision (projected +150).


  • Over 2.5 Rounds (+114, 0.25u) at FanDuel
  • Gilbert Burns wins by decision (+170, 0.1u) at BetRivers

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Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya

Middleweight BoutOdds
Alex Pereira Odds+120
Israel Adesanya Odds-140
Over/under roundsTBA

Crowdsourced Projections: Israel Adesanya (51.8%)

Check out my Alex Pereira vs. Israel Adesanya 2 full breakdown for Saturday's main event and the headlining middleweight title bout at UFC 287.

In short, compared to the first MMA fight last November – their third matchup in combat sports –  I am higher on both Pereira (projected 48.2%, +107 implied) and the fight to end inside the distance (projected -146, 41% implied). I set those odds at +190 and -126 for their title bout at UFC 281.

However, the odds for both have also moved since the first bout. We bet the inside-the-distance prop at -105 for the first fight (closed -130)/ I can't recommend a wager at current prices.

recommend a wager on Pereira, either on the moneyline (to +115) or his KO/TKO prop (projected +177, listed +210 at FanDuel). Alternatively, bet Pereira to win inside the distance (projected +160, listed +190 at DraftKings). I'll use the winning method props to close out a round-robin for the card.


  • Alex Pereira (+120, 0.5u) at DraftKings

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Moneyline Bets

  • Steve Garcia (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Christian Rodriguez (+210, 0.5u) at Caesars
  • Alex Pereira (+120, 0.5u) at DraftKings


  • Parlay (-163, Risk 0.5u) at BetMGM: Ignacio Bahamondes (-350) and Karl Williams (-400)

Prop Bets

  • Chris Curtis wins by decision (+240, 0.2u at FanDuel)
  • Kevin Holland vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio ends inside the distance (-132, 0.5u) at FanDuel
  • Rob Font wins by decision (+285, 0.2u) at BetRivers
  • Gilbert Burns wins by decision (+170, 0.1u) at BetRivers


  • Gilbert Burns vs. Jorge Masvidal, over 2.5 Rounds (+114, 0.25u) at FanDuel

Live Bets

  • Sam Hughes Live after Round 1
  • Gerald Meerschaert Live after Round 1
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