UFC 289 Props: 2 Main-Event Bets Among MMA Prop Squad Picks (Saturday, June 10)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes of Brazil
- Two prop bets for the main event are among our favorite UFC 289 picks on Saturday night.
- The MMA Prop Squad has targeted a variety of bouts from the PPV event.
- Check out the prop picks, all of which have long odds, and the squad's analysis below.
Welcome to the latest edition of MMA Prop Squad, in which we offer an array of UFC 289 prop bets with oversized odds for Saturday's event.
Each Prop Squad installment features a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +22.5 units and a +12.5% ROI to date.
This week marks the return of squad members Tony Sartori, Clint MacLean, Dann Stupp, Dan Tom and Bryan Fonseca.
Check out their picks for Saturday's UFC 289 event in Vancouver, which kicks off at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+) before moving to ESPN (8 p.m. ET) and then ESPN+ PPV for the main card (10 p.m. ET).
As with all betting endeavors, always wager within your means. That guidance is especially important when dealing with prop bets. Although the props often offer tantalizing odds, they also cash far less frequently than standard bet types. And be sure to shop around for the best price since prop odds can vary substantially from sportsbook to sportsbook.
Tony Sartori: Diana Belbita by Stoppage (+500)
Contributor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 6:55 p.m. ET
To kick off UFC 289, we have a strawweight bout between Diana Belbita and Maria Oliveira.
After dropping two straight fights at flyweight, Belbita moved down a weight class and has seen mixed results. In her first fight at 115 pounds, she beat Hannah Goldy via unanimous decision. Dominating that scrap, Belbita's striking prowess was demonstrated as she landed 117 of 211 significant strikes at 55% accuracy while recording a knockdown in the process.
She had difficulty replicating that accuracy in the following unanimous decision loss to Gloria de Paula. However, Belbita still showcased the ability to throw in volume and work at a high rate, something that could give Oliveira trouble.
Oliveira has not shown much of anything since joining the UFC, going 1-3 with her lone win coming via a controversial split decision over the aforementioned de Paula. It was truly a fight that could have gone either way, but I scored it for de Paula, and seven of the 13 media scores did the same.
Preferring to stand and strike, Oliveira throws in high volume but also absorbs a ton of strikes. In her four fights in the UFC, she has absorbed 5.35 significant strikes per minute.
Surrendering herself to plenty of damage, it is not shocking that three of her six career losses have come inside the distance. Despite surviving to the final bell in her latest loss to Vanessa Demopoulos, she suffered a knockdown.
Meanwhile, Belbita is a striking machine, landing 6.43 significant strikes per minute since joining the UFC. Ten of her 14 career wins have come inside the distance, and in a fight that should see plenty of striking, another knockout victory for Belbita would not be shocking.
Since she is also a very capable fighter on the mat, we will just take her inside-the-distance prop at +500 (FanDuel).
Clint MacLean: Blake Bilder by Round 2 Submission (+850), by Round 3 Submission (+1300)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 7:55 p.m. ET
This fight is a crossroads for these two fighters.
At 145 pounds, Kyle Nelson seems to have a strength advantage over most opponents, but his cardio leaves something to be desired. Blake Bilder is essentially the polar opposite.
Sometimes Bilder gives away Round 1 but cranks the pace and intensity up throughout the fight and is capable of finishing late. He is the better striker and the better grappler, and he also has the better gas tank.
I believe Bilder will get through the opening round and then cook "The Monster" for a late finish. We are going to split our bet with half on Bilder to win via Round 2 submission (+850) and other on a Round 3 submission (+1300).
You can play the R2/R3 submission combo on FanDuel at +450, but if you split the bet and it lands in Round 3, the payout is slightly better in the later frame, and I think I prefer to go that route.
The Picks: Blake Bilder via Round 2 submission (+850 at BetRivers) | Bilder via Round 3 submission (+1300 at BetRivers)
Dann Stupp: Jasmine Jasudavicius by Decision (+350)
Senior Editor at The Action Network
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET
My colleague Sean Zerillo laid out a pretty convincing case for betting Jasmine Jasudavicius (+250) as the underdog to Miranda Maverick, and I'm going to build off his rationale for my Prop Squad pick this week.
First things first: Maverick is an immensely talented and well-rounded MMA fighter. And if this were a straight prediction on who's going to win the fight, I'd definitely lean Maverick.
But value is the name of the game, and the current +250 moneyline odds suggest Jasudavicius wins this fight just 28.6% of the time. I think her win probability is closer to 40% (+150), so I think we're getting a heck of a deal with +250 odds.
But if Jasudavicius does pull off the upset – likely by using her reach and size, and by exploiting Maverick's sometimes-shaky takedown defense – I think it comes by decision almost every time. (Plus, with a partisan Canadian crowd on her side, Jasudavicius is likely to be the benefactor of any wonky scorecards from the judges.)
So, in addition to a small play on Jasudavicius's moneyline, I'm going to take a Prop Squad flier on her to win via decision (+350).
Again, it's simply about the numbers. Will Jasudavicius win this fight via decision most of the time? Nope. Maverick probably wins this more often than not. But the +350 odds suggest Jasudavicius wins this fight via decision just 22.2% of the time. I'd put it at closer to 35% (+185), so +350 is hard to ignore.
It's not the sexiest pick with the juiciest odds, but again, I think there's some value to extract.
The Pick: Jasmine Jasudavicius via decision (+350 at bet365)
Dan Tom: Irene Aldana by Finish (+450)
Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET
This week I decided to go contrarian and take a shot on the tempting plus-money odds that this sport often affords female title challengers.
Although UFC 289's main event between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana doesn't exactly offer the "Ronda Rousey odds" I'm alluding to, there are tangible pathways for the underdog challenger to cash some nice numbers if you're feeling daring.
Champ Nunes is obviously the justified favorite and safe pick, so I don't blame anyone looking to take fliers on the sitting champ to win by TKO or submission. That said, if Nunes isn't able to finish, I suspect there's a good chance she could find herself in a dogfight.
Even the staunchest Aldana supporters aren't confident she'll be able to do it by decision, so why not take a gander at Aldana to win inside the distance in the neighborhood of +450?
You don't have to follow me off this cliff, but a small sprinkle could serve as either a fun flier on the fight or a potential hedge on your Nunes plays.
The Pick: Irene Aldana to win by KO, TKO, DQ or submission (+450 at Betway)
Bryan Fonseca: Amanda Nunes by Submission (+500)
Contributor at The Action Network and combat sports host and on-air talent
Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET
In for Julianna Pena is Irene Aldana, a sizable underdog in the UFC 289 main event – and for good reason, though Amanda Nunes isn't unbeatable, as we saw just prior to the end of 2021.
But I don't think we're getting another upset here.
Nunes by submission at +500 is a good long shot to take for a few reasons. Aldana earned eight of her 14 wins by knockout, so you could see Nunes – the more advanced jit-jitsu practitioner – trying to ground and pound her way to a finish here. Or she could take Aldana's back and tap her with a rear-naked choke after a slew of offense.
Despite the attention on her power, Nunes has recently won by submission. Aldana hasn't tapped in her career, but this is Nunes, and this is the Prop Squad, so who cares? We're taking the shot at +500 that Nunes grounds or drops Aldana, and takes her back to choke her out as did against Miesha Tate. Or she could take her arm like she did against Megan Anderson.
The Pick: Amanda Nunes via submission (+510 at BetRivers)