UFC 302 Props: 7 Juicy Prop Picks for Makhachev vs Poirier, Strickland vs Costa & More (Saturday, June 1)

UFC 302 Props: 7 Juicy Prop Picks for Makhachev vs Poirier, Strickland vs Costa & More (Saturday, June 1) article feature image

Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images. Pictured: UFC middleweight Paulo Costa of Brazil

Check out our UFC picks with our favorite long-shot UFC 302 prop bets for Saturday, June 1.

The UFC lightweight title is on the line tonight at UFC 302, and we've got a variety of juicy prop bets for the event, which takes place at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

UFC 302 begins at 6:30 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) on ESPN+ before moving to ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET for additions prelims. The five-fight main card starts at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ pay-per-view (PPV cost: $79.99).

Each MMA Prop Squad installment features a handful of picks from our squad of prop-betting enthusiasts, who have tallied +27.8 units and a +7.2% ROI per bet during two years of action.

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 depending on the sportsbook.

UFC 302 odds for matchups as of Saturday and via Betfred. Make your UFC prop bets with our Betfred promo code!

UFC 302 Props – MMA Prop Squad

Dann Stupp: Joselyne Edwards in Round 3 (+2500)

Senior Editor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET

As I detailed in my Ailin Perez vs. Joselyne Edwards breakdown earlier this week, I'm leaning toward the underdog in this early women's bantamweight prelim. However, I found an alternate way to play Edwards (+160) over Perez (-205), and it also opens the door for an additional MMA Prop Squad play.

In my breakdown, I made a case for betting Edwards on the spread (-3.5), meaning she needs to win just one round from each judge to pull off a victory and cash a -160 ticket in this special market.

The main reason I like that play is that Perez has recently shown suspect cardio, and she's not likely to get any easier of an assignment when she faces Edwards, who has a height and reach advantage with more UFC experience at major events and on PPV cards.

In other words, I'm confident that – at the very least – Edwards will have the experience and cardio edge to win the last round.

And if I see that last round playing such a pivotal role in this fight, I might as well target it for a super-juicy long shot.

In this case, it's Edwards to win in Round 3. Betfred has fantastic odds for this bet at +2500 (Betfred often has great odds for UFC prop markets). But I'd play it at anything better than +2000, which is widely available.

It's a long shot, of course, but with a 25/1 payoff, it's worth a sprinkle on my UFC 302 betting card.

The Pick: Joselyne Edwards in Round 3 (+2500 at Betfred)

Clint MacLean: Grant Dawson in Round 3 (+900)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Die Hard MMA Podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:25 p.m. ET

Grant Dawson is back at UFC 302, and the UFC is doing its absolute best to get him back on track here.

Dawson (-556) takes on big underdog Joe Solecki (+400), who is a phenomenal grappler, but he's essentially a non-threat on the feet and is the worst of the two wrestlers in this fight.

Dawson will be able to strike comfortably and wrestle here against Solecki. Dawson is known for amping up the intensity deeper in the fight, and he breaks his opponents late with ground and pound and constant pressure. We've seen Solecki fade the deeper the fight goes, especially when his Brazilian jiu-jitsu-based attack is failing and his plan B isn't up to the level of his opponent.

Dawson is going to break Solecki here. It's just a matter of time and if he can find a finish against a fellow grappler or not. Dawson has several Round 3 finishes on his record already, and I feel like at any decent number, this prop is basically an auto bet especially when facing a gassy opponent.

The Pick: Grant Dawson in Round 3 (+900 at ESPN BET)

Tony Sartori: Alexandr Romanov by KO (+700)

Contributor at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 8:55 p.m. ET

Saturday's UFC 302 prelims feature a heavyweight bout between No. 7-ranked contender Jailton Almeida (-323) and No. 13 Alexandr Romanov (+250). Whenever you read the words "Romanov by KO," you probably immediately start to raise your eyebrows.

However, bear with me here, because I think there is some value in this number at +700. There is probably not a single heavyweight who has gone through a roller coaster of public perception more than Romanov since entering the UFC in 2020.

He started 5-0, and everyone was clamoring for him to be a title contender. Romanov then got his shot with two marquee fights against Marcin Tybura and Alexander Volkov, and he looked absolutely terrible in both losses.

People then started calling him an "overweight bust" in the division. Romanov then responded with a massive win over Blagoy Ivanov as he looked better than ever, both physically and performance-wise.

So, where does that leave us with him now? I think he is still absolutely a contender, and I have no idea what was going on with his personal life that made him look so out of shape and terrible against Tybura and Volkov.

He clearly was in a much better space for the Ivanov fight, and Romanov looked much better on the scales once again on Friday. He and Almeida are two grapplers, but Romanov could easily use his size to gain top position on Almeida and reign down ground and pound en route to a TKO victory.

That is exactly how Almeida just lost to Curtis Blaydes, and we saw Romanov do this to Jared Vanderaa. I think we are back to the Romanov who was a big prospect when he was 5-0 in the UFC, and I don't think this number would be 7/1 in those circumstances, so that is where I think the most value for this fight lies.

The Pick: Alexandr Romanov by KO/TKO (+700 at BetRivers)

Billy Ward: Paulo Costa in Rounds 1-3 (+430)

Staff Writer at The Action Network

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET

When I’m looking at the board for Prop Squad picks, they generally fall into one of two categories. The first is “while this probably won’t happen, it’s way more likely than the market suggests.” The other type is when I don’t really expect a fighter to win – but if they’re going to, it’s almost certainly a specific way.

This week is an example of category B. In a UFC 302 main-card bout, Paulo Costa (+200) will take on Sean Strickland (-250) in a fight that’s inexplicably five rounds. Strickland is a defensively sound, stick-and-move striker who could fight for five rounds on his way to go fight five rounds.

Paulo Costa looks like a professional bodybuilder and typically empties the tank in the first 10 or so minutes trying to take his opponent’s head off.

Which he’s certainly capable of doing here. Strickland has been known to get in firefights even when he shouldn’t, with knockout losses to Alex Pereira and fellow UFC 302 fighter Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos. Zaleski caught Strickland with a spinning hook kick eerily similar to the one Costa landed on Robert Whittaker – before Whittaker won the next two rounds.

All of which means Costa’s best chance here is an early finish while Strickland should take over late.

I’ll be looking for any opportunity to jump in on Strickland live, ideally after a strong first round or two from Costa gets the moneyline close to even. That way, we’re covered in any scenario other than a late rally from “Borrachinha.”

The Pick: Paulo Costa in Rounds 1, 2, or 3 (+430 at FanDuel)

Bryan Fonseca: Paulo Costa in Rounds 1-2 (+600)

Contributor at The Action Network and combat sports host and on-air talent

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:25 p.m. ET

In all likelihood, Paulo Costa won't win this fight, but I do think we're overrating Sean Strickland a little bit.

He's a deserved favorite, but -265 against someone with Costa's power while having been knocked out twice (both in Round 1) in the UFC seems a bit steep. Though, it's justifiable.

Costa, like Strickland, lost his last bout in a compeitive manner, though Strickland was obviously in a closer bout.

But I thought Costa accounted pretty well for himself and was competitive against Robert Whittaker and handled (an aging) Luke Rockhold effectively in his last two.

But really, we know where this fight is going to be. It'll take place in the center of the octagon until someone is physically knocked back into the cage itself. It's going to be a stand-and-bang fight, and in a stand-and-bang fight, Strickland has less of an advantage over Costa than he does against, say, Abusupiyan Magomedov.

If Strickland could slow down Costa with strikes to the body – front kicks especially – then sure, he could finish Costa late after wearing him down. But I think Costa will give his best shot early, as is generally the case, so I think he's worth an early sprinkle to stop Strickland in Rounds 1 or 2 because that's where they'll get a stand and bang fight, which against Costa, is playing with fire, and Strickland's ass has gotten burned before.

The Pick: Paulo Costa in Rounds 1-2 (+600 at DraftKings)

Dan Tom: Islam Makhachev in Round 2 (+400), Round 3 (+700)

Contributor at The Action Network and host of the Protect Ya' Neck podcast

Fighter walkouts: Approx. 11:55 p.m. ET

For this week's MMA Prop Squad submission, I decided to target some potential "hot rounds" in UFC 302's main event title fight between Islam Makhachev (-560) and Dustin Poirier (+420).

Whenever I refer to the term "hot rounds," I'm typically referring to rounds in which there's serious potential for a particular party to finish.

In this case, I opted to zero in on Makhachev's winning conditions in an attempt to get a better price given the traditional inflation that comes along with the sitting champion's money line.

Aside from the fact that Makhachev is already somewhat prohibitively favored to finish Poirier this Saturday (with "inside the distance" lines going off in the neighborhood of 3-1 odds), getting specific in prop markets can get tricky when having to choose between knockout and submission props.

Instead, I'll be looking to target rounds 2 and 3 given the stylistic matchup at hand.

Basically, both fighters are ideally good enough to survive the first round, but I ultimately believe that their stylistic volatility should produce a finish considering that each man has the other's proverbial kryptonite in their back pocket.

And since I'm officially siding with Makhachev to win by submission in round 3, I'll gladly split a unit on the Russian champ to finish Poirier in the very rounds that account for half of his losses.

The Picks: Islam Makhachev in Round 2 (+400 at Betway) | Round 3 (+700 at FanDuel)

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