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UFC 288 Odds: Betting Picks, Previews, Predictions for Every Fight (May 6, Saturday)

UFC 288 Odds: Betting Picks, Previews, Predictions for Every Fight (May 6, Saturday) article feature image

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: Aljamain Sterling (left) and Henry Cejudo.

The UFC 288 odds board is headlined by a bantamweight title matchup between current champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-division titleholder Henry Cejudo.

I’ve made my UFC 288 picks and broken down all 12 fights below.

The preliminary card begins at 6:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT) on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass before simulcasting on ESPN at 7 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.

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

Click on a fight to skip ahead
1. Joseph Holmes vs. Claudio Ribeiro
6:30 p.m. ET
2. Phil Hawes vs. Ikram Aliskerov
7 p.m. ET
3. Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter
7:30 p.m. ET
4. Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba
8 p.m. ET
5. Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya
8:30 p.m. ET
6. Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Devin Clark
9 p.m. ET
7. Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola
9:30 p.m. ET
8. Kron Gracie vs. Charles Jourdain
10 p.m. ET
9. Movsar Evloev vs. Diego Lopes
10:30 p.m. ET
10. Jessica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan
11 p.m. ET
11. Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns
11:30 p.m. ET
12. Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo
11:59 p.m. ET

UFC 288 Projected Odds

Below, you can find my fair odds moneyline projection for each of Saturday’s 12 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 Friday and via DraftKings.

UFC 288 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 288 Odds

Odds below as of Saturday and via FanDuel.

Joseph Holmes vs. Claudio Ribeiro

189-pound Catchweight BoutOdds
Joseph Holmes Odds+140
Claudio Ribeiro Odds-165
Over/under rounds1.5 (+105 / -135)

Crowdsourced Projections: Claudio Ribeiro (60%)

Joseph Holmes was the only fighter to miss weight on Friday, coming in three pounds over the Middleweight limit.

I liked him both as a potential moneyline bet and live-betting opportunity before the weight miss, and I wouldn’t necessarily change that plan after the miss. His moneyline jumped from around +145 to +160 at some shops – but that roughly accounts for the adjustment I make to fighters when they do miss weight, so Holmes’ moneyline remains in range at +160 or better.

Despite the weight miss, Holmes should have a distinct cardio edge against Claudio Ribeiro, a Brazilian who lost a cardio battle in his UFC debut with the notoriously gassy Abdul Razzak Alhassan.

Holmes is hittable, and I expect Ribeiro to land clean and potentially hurt him in the first round. Still, if Holmes can survive the early onslaught, I expect him to take over down the stretch with superior stamina and a potential wrestling advantage.

I would keep any pre-fight bets on Holmes small; Ribeiro should win the opening round at a decent clip, but I would roll that small bet into a larger one in the live market, likely at better odds.

You could also talk me into betting Holmes to win in Round 2 (+950 at FanDuel) or Round 3 (+1400). He’s secured three of his eight finishes in Round 2, and this matchup generally aligns with that type of outcome.


  • Joseph Holmes (+160, 0.25u) at FanDuel
  • Joseph Holmes Live after Round 1

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Phil Hawes vs. Ikram Aliskerov

Middleweight BoutOdds
Phil Hawes Odds+160
Ikram Aliskerov Odds-190
Over/under rounds2.5 (+145 / -180)

Crowdsourced Projections: Ikram Aliskerov (62.7%)

I typically look to bet against Phil Hawes. Still, I can see the justification for betting on him as the pre-fight value side against Ikram Aliskerov, a Russian debutant who secured his contract on Contender Series last September.

Hawes is extremely powerful early – with a full gas tank – and hits as hard as anyone at middleweight. He has never been taken down in the UFC, and Aliskerov, whose only MMA loss is by KO to Khamzat Chimaev, is a decorated master of sport in combat sambo.

I expect Hawes to keep things close and competitive early – if not land a kill shot against a fighter who was finished by a brutal combination from Chimaev.

Still, I expect Aliserkov to take over with a cardio advantage the longer this fight goes. Hawes typically begins to fade after five to seven minutes, and he doesn’t necessarily carry his power deep into fights.

Look to live bet Aliskerov after a competitive first round and consider betting his props to win in Round 2 or 3 against a fighter who typically fades.

Considering I’m closer to a pre-fight moneyline bet on Hawes than Aliskerov, I’ll wait for the live angle.


  • Ikram Aliskerov Live after Round 1

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Braxton Smith vs. Parker Porter

Heavyweight BoutOdds
Braxton Smith Odds+148
Parker Porter Odds-176
Over/Under Rounds1.5 (+154 / -200)

Crowdsourced Projections: Parker Porter (65.5%)

Braxton Smith is one of the more unintentionally funny MMA fighters you will watch; his style is absolutely berzerk. He’s a short heavyweight who pushes forward, chucks bombs, and hopes he lands.

There is almost zero technique or plan to his game. So far, it has worked – Smith has recorded five consecutive first-round knockouts, all within the first 123 seconds of his fights – but against extremely low-level competition.

While Parker Porter is coming off of a knockout loss to Justin Tafa, he can typically absorb some damage before overwhelming opponents with pace and volume. Porter can outland his opponents by a significant clip at a distance or choose to grapple and use his weight to wear on his opposition.

Not only has Smith faced extremely low-level fighters – and he’s taking a huge step up here against someone who is 3-3 in the UFC – but it’s doubtful that his cardio will hold up once he’s eventually extended in a fight. And I suspect that Porter has a significant grappling advantage too.

I projected Porter as a -190 favorite in this bout, and I would bet his moneyline up to around -175. I also expect him to win almost any interaction of this fight that extends past three of four minutes. As a result, I will get Porter down to even money by betting him in a same game parlay (SGP) with Over 0.5 Rounds. Rope-a-dope may be his best strategy in this situation.

If the fight is still going after five minutes, add more to Porter live unless the moneyline has become unreasonable.

Saving 75 cents of juice on Porter’s moneyline – to give away the first 2.5 minutes of his win condition – is an easy trade since I expect Smith to win early minutes until he tires.


  • SGP (+100, 0.5u): Parker Porter & Over 0.5 Rounds
  • Parker Porter Live after Round 1

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Marina Rodriguez vs. Virna Jandiroba

Women’s Strawweight BoutOdds
Marina Rodriguez Odds-122
Virna Jandiroba Odds+104
Over/Under Rounds2.5 (-230 / +176)

Crowdsourced Projections: Marina Rodriguez (52.4%) 

Virna Jandiroba’s moneyline was as high as +175 a month ago – and would have been a value bet at that number – but the market has moved in close to a pick’em price for this matchup. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend a wager at current prices on either side of the moneyline.

Based on the stylistic matchup alone, I would have looked to bet on Jandiroba as an underdog with all of the grappling upside. She is a decent wrestler for a BJJ practitioner, and Rodriguez gives up takedowns in almost all of her fights. Additionally, Rodriguez isn’t great at getting off her back either, which could provide Jandiroba ample time to set up a submission or rack up control time toward securing a decision.

On the feet, Rodriguez has a severe striking advantage; still, Jandiroba is durable and manages distance well, and I could see her largely avoiding considerable damage until she finds an opening to get the fight to the mat.

Some books (BetMGM and WynnBet) still have +115 on Jandiroba, but that is as low as I would go for a straight bet.


  • Virna Jandiroba (+115, 0.5u) at WynnBet

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Khaos Williams vs. Rolando Bedoya

Welterweight BoutOdds
Khaos Williams Odds-375
Rolando Bedoya Odds+300
Over/Under Rounds1.5 (-110 / -116)

Crowdsourced Projections: Khaos Williams (75.6%)

Rolando Bedoya, a 14-1 debutant from Peru, enters as a relative unknown from a low-level regional scene. And he’s getting thrown right into the fire against Khaos Williams, one of the most powerful punchers in the welterweight division.

I have bet against Williams, but I have had to increase how I value him after watching extensive action. Williams is highly physical – and seems difficult to take down – but he is also very durable and has surprisingly decent cardio for someone who throws as hard as he does. Williams was particularly impressive in his loss against Randy Brown; he can swing fights with three damaging shots over 15 minutes and nearly stole that decision.

Bedoya likely has a speed advantage and may have some early success, but I expect Williams to land flush at some point, and I would lay juice to bet his KO/TKO prop up to -125 (projected -130).


  • Khaos Williams wins by KO/TKO (-120, 0.25u) at FanDuel

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Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Devin Clark

Light Heavyweight BoutOdds
Kennedy Nzechukwu Odds-174
Devin Clark Odds+144
Over/Under Rounds2.5 (-124 / -102)

Crowdsourced Projections: Kennedy Nzechukwu (62.1%)

Kennedy Nzechukwu is the much larger man, standing five inches taller with an eight-inch reach advantage, but Devin Clark will use that length against him by winning the clinch battle up against the cage or landing takedowns.

At range, Kennedy should land cleaner strikes and more volume, but Clark can dictate where this fight takes place – and potentially dominate minutes with his grappling.

Both fighters are durable, and neither hits particularly hard for the division, but UFC light heavyweight bouts on average end inside the distance more than 60% of the time. I don’t see any edge on this fight’s “over” or “goes the distance” prop, but that was my initial read.

Clark has one finish in the UFC (over William Knight at heavyweight), but he’s generally more of a point fighter who provides solid optics for judges (9-1 career in decisions). While Nzechukwu could potentially have offensive grappling success of his own against a smaller opponent, he does seem to struggle to get off of his back. And I suspect that Clark can rack up substantial control time if he grapples from the outset.

I projected Clark’s decision line at +277 and would poke that prop for small stakes.


  • Devin Clark wins by Decision (+290, 0.1u) at FanDuel

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Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola

Lightweight BoutOdds
Drew Dober Odds-225
Matt Frevola Odds+188
Over/Under Rounds1.5 (-134 / +104)

Crowdsourced Projections: Drew Dober (65.2%)

For additional information on Saturday’s featured prelim, check out the full Drew Dober vs. Matt Frevola fight preview from my colleague, Billy Ward.

I don’t project value on either side of this bout, but I do agree with Billy’s read, and I expect Dober to win by knockout.

Frevola has a wrestling advantage in most of his fights, but he prefers to brawl and may fall in love with his hands after scoring consecutive knockouts.

Failing to wrestle would be a lousy game plan against Dober, who is the superior technical striker, hits harder, and is the far more durable man in this matchup.

If Frevola fights an intelligent game plan and mixes in takedown attempts and clinch positions with his striking to keep Dober guessing, he could win this fight.

Still, it’s challenging to trust Frevola to fight optimally – and stay out of danger – over 15 minutes. Even if he takes down Dober, I doubt that he will be able to keep Dober on his back for the duration of the round or finish the fight with a submission. Frevola needs to execute a smart and steady game plan over three rounds rather than rushing forward and attempting to brawl with an opponent built to survive against precisely that style.

I would love to justify a wager on Dober by KO/TKO (projected +119) or inside the distance (-108). However, the odds are juiced beyond my projected lines.

Even Dober’s odds to win in Round 1 (+210 at FanDuel) are far too short for my liking. I would have expected something closer to +350.


  • Pass

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Kron Gracie vs. Charles Jourdain

Featherweight BoutOdds
Kron Gracie Odds+148
Charles Jourdain Odds-176
Over/Under Rounds1.5 (-128 / +102)

Crowdsourced Projections: Charles Jourdain (62.7%)

Kron Gracie, the grandson of Helio Gracie, will return to the octagon on Saturday after a lengthy layoff following his October 2019 Fight of the Night loss to Cub Swanson.

Gracie was a significant favorite in that bout (opened -265, closed -175) and has only previously closed as an underdog against Tatsyua Kawajiri (opened +170, closed +100) in his MMA career.

Kron is one of the most decorated jiu-jitsu practitioners to ever compete at the UFC level, but his presence also connects us to the history of the sport, as well as his uncle Royce Gracie, the champion of the UFC 1, UFC 2 and UFC 4 tournaments.

Charles Jourdain is an entertaining action fighter, but he’s also a very reckless striker who will expose his back or allow his opponents to catch a kick while trying to land a flashy technique.

Jiu-jitsu practitioners aren’t always great wrestlers, and Gracie (0.88 takedowns per 15 minutes, 25% accuracy) may not be able to land a power double-leg. Still, I expect him to find opportunities to put Jourdain in dangerous positions if he’s patient while letting him over-commit to his offense.

Unlike a fighter such as Ryan Hall – a jiu-jitsu specialist who seems extremely chinny – Gracie has shown elite toughness and durability. He’s tough to put away – or deter – and his submission game should remain a serious threat for the duration of the fight. Jourdain is also more of an attritional finisher than a one-punch knockout artist.

I like that we can bet Gracie to win by submission or inside the distance at some juicy odds. As a favorite against Swanson and Alex Caceres, those odds closed around -125 and -175, respectively.

I projected his submission line at +215 and his inside-the-distance prop (which would include an injury TKO) at +182, my preferred bet for the fight.


  • Kron Gracie wins Inside the Distance (+215, 0.25u) at DraftKings

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Movsar Evloev vs. Diego Lopes

Featherweight BoutOdds
Movsar Evloev Odds-900
Diego Lopes Odds+625
Over/Under Rounds2.5 (-115 / -115)

Crowdsourced Projections: Movsar Evloev (86.9%)

Movsar Evloev was initially supposed to face Bryce Mitchell but will draw a short-notice debutant in Diego Lopes, a Brazilian who lost a 2021 Contender Series bout to the exciting Joanderson Brito (2-1 in the promotion).

Evloev is undefeated (16-0), but the UFC has had difficulty promoting him because he is yet to secure a finish since coming over from M-1 Global in Russia. You rarely see a 90% implied favorite lined at a pick’em price to win inside the distance.

Still, Evloev beat an extremely durable Dan Ige from pillar to post in his last matchup; he would have finished a far less durable opponent. Evloev may have difficulty submitting Lopes, a jiu-jitsu whiz, even if he has extended top control, so a knockout may be the most optimal path to a performance bonus.

Evloev should be able to land takedowns – and dominate the fight from top position – but that might also play into Lopes’ strengths; he has an excellent offensive submission game off his back.

I’m still waiting on more books to open prop markets for this fight, but as of Friday, it seems like a clear pass spot from a betting perspective.


  • Pass

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Jessica Andrade vs. Yan Xiaonan

Women’s Strawweight BoutOdds
Jessica Andrade Odds-180
Yan Xiaonan Odds+152
Over/Under Rounds2.5 (-172 / +134)

Crowdsourced Projections: Jessica Andrade (55.8%)

Jessica Andrade is coming off of a poor, short-notice effort – up a weight class – against Erin Blanchfield, who might be a future champion at 125 pounds.

I backed Blanchfield in that spot but was surprised at how easily we cashed that ticket and how much success Blanchfield had in the striking.

Blanchfield and Andrade were even on distance strikes (50 apiece) over six minutes, and Blanchfield wobbled Andrade in at least one exchange.

While Andrade is moving down in weight, Yan Xianoan will have a one-inch reach advantage, potentially the speed advantage, and far superior technical boxing in this matchup.

Andrade’s game is predicated on power and physicality. She hits hard, makes her opponents back up, and continues to press forward. She isn’t afraid to take damage or get into a firefight, but her opponents are typically gunshy once they feel her power.

However, Andrade likely needs to deploy a grappling gameplan to justify her favoritism and win this fight, given the technical striking discrepancy and Yan’s competitiveness or potential advantage at a distance.

Yan trains with Team Alpha Male – and has improved her takedown defense, defensive grappling, and sprawl-and-brawl style following her positional TKO loss to Carla Esparza.

She continues to have close fights with high-level opponents, and I’m happy to back her at a nice plus-money price in what I expect to be a close and competitive featured bout.

I projected Yan as a +126 underdog; bet her moneyline down to +140. I also see slight value both on her decision prop (projected +223) and her KO/TKO prop (projected +805), and I might consider tossing the latter in a round-robin since Andrade can get reckless on the feet.


  • Yan Xiaonan (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet
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Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns

Welterweight BoutOdds
Belal Muhammad Odds+124
Gilbert Burns Odds-146
Over/under rounds4.5 (-148 / +116)

Crowdsourced Projections: Gilbert Burns (56.4%)

For additional information on Saturday’s co-main event, check out the full Belal Muhammad vs. Gilbert Burns preview from my colleague, Dan Tom.

Burns early, Muhammad late is my TL;DR handicap for the fight.

In a three-round bout, I would be all over Burns at this price point, but Muhammad’s one clear advantage in this matchup is cardio.

I expect Muhammad to push a pace early, look to make Burns muscle techniques and tire himself out, and then potentially take over on minute-winning down the stretch, if not find a late finish.

Burns can land takedowns early and hunt for submission or land overhand bombs on Muhammad early in the fight and wobble him. Still, Muhammad has shown decent durability and solid defensive jiu-jitsu throughout his career. He was wobbled by both Leon Edwards and Vicente Luque in recent fights (and has been knocked out by Luque in the past), but Muhammad is also highly resilient and might make for an ideal live bet here after Round 2 or Round 3.

I don’t see value on either side of the moneyline, and I expect this fight to reach a decision about as often as the odds suggest.

I would search for a live bet on Muhammad in the middle rounds and look for him to rally against a fading Burns.


  • Belal Muhammad Live after Rounds 2 and 3

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Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo

Bantamweight BoutOdds
Aljamain Sterling Odds-102
Henry Cejudo Odds-116
Over/under rounds4.5 (-164 / +128)

Crowdsourced Projections: Aljamain Sterling (52%) 

Check out my Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo breakdown for Saturday’s full main event preview of the headlining bantamweight title bout at UFC 288

I projected Sterling as a slight favorite (52%) in this fight, and I would bet his moneyline down to +100.

I have a slight lean to the under. I set the bout to end inside the distance 50% of the time; I would need +110 or better to bet the bout to end by finish.

I see more ways for Sterling to win dominantly; the physical factors (seven-inch reach advantage) and age differential only amplify that potential.


Pick: Aljamain Sterling ML (+102)

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UFC 288 Bets

Moneyline Bets

  • Joseph Holmes (+160, 0.25u) at FanDuel
  • Virna Jandiroba (+115, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Yan Xiaonan (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet
  • Aljamain Sterling (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars


  • SGP (+100, 0.5u): Parker Porter & Over 0.5 Rounds

Prop Bets

  • Khaos Williams wins by KO/TKO (-120, 0.25u) at FanDuel
  • Devin Clark wins by Decision (+290, 0.1u) at FanDuel
  • Kron Gracie wins Inside the Distance (+215, 0.25u) at DraftKings


  • None

Live Bets

  • Joseph Holmes Live after Round 1
  • Ikram Aliskerov Live after Round 1
  • Parker Porter Live after Round 1
  • Belal Muhammad Live after Rounds 2 and 3

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