UFC Fight Night Betting Odds, Projections & Picks: How to Find Betting Value on Wednesday’s 11 Fight Island Bouts
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: A general view of the Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island.
- Fight Island is buzzing again with 11 bouts on the slate for Wednesday's Fight Night card.
- According to Sean Zerillo's projections, the fight with the most potential betting value is Jimmie Rivera vs. Cody Stamann.
- See how he's betting that fight and his analysis for the rest of tonight's action below.
UFC Fight Island: Kattar vs. Ige begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET — 3 a.m. local time in Abu Dhabi — on ESPN and ESPN+ with six preliminary fights.
The main card starts at 10 p.m. ET — 6 a.m. local time — featuring five bouts, including a Featherweight main event between Calvin Kattar and Dan Ige.
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 of the distance.
As a result, after examining all of the betting options, your typical UFC card can offer a substantial amount of actionable value.
Check out the full betting projections for Wednesday’s UFC card, with analysis and picks for my Wednesday bets below.
UFC Fight Island: Kattar vs. Ige Moneyline Projections and Picks
Below, you can find my crowdsourced fair odds moneyline projection for each of Wednesday’s 11 bouts. In the next section, you’ll discover forecasts for those fights to finish inside of the distance, or for each fighter to win by decision, knockout, or submission.
Based upon the listed odds, relative to the crowd projection, there are eight potential moneyline plays for Wednesday – on six favorites and two underdogs.
However, two of those fighters, Abdul Razak Alhassan and Chris Fishgold, each came in overweight and were both fined 20% of their fight purses. Missing weight isn’t necessarily indicative of poor performance – fighters who missed weight are 43-43 since 2013 – but Alhassan is also a firm favorite and hasn’t fought since 2018, while Fishgold has been off for 13 months.
Fighters who return from a layoff more significant than one year win less than 40% of the time in the UFC – so I cannot endorse betting on either man, but I also don’t see enough line value to bet the other side.
Jack Shore is the most substantial favorite of the week, but at -700, he’s not even worth including in parlays. However, there is likely a profitable way to play him in the prop market, given his substantial win projection (96%).
Diana Belbita and Khamzat Chimaev are my two favorite undercard bets and parlay pieces for Wednesday.
Belbita was overwhelmed in her UFC debut against Molly McCann — who we will touch on momentarily — but she did land significant strikes at a relatively high volume (98 in total); especially compared to her opponent Liana Jojua, who only landed 1.53 significant strikes per minute in her own UFC debut. Belbita has a 3-inch height and 6-inch reach advantage on Jojua, and if she can keep the fight standing, she should be able to piece her up from range.
Chimaev is making his UFC debut on short notice, which is problematic for two reasons: UFC debutants only win 43% of the time against UFC veterans, and late replacements win just 37% of the time (94-158) on fewer than 10 days notice. He is a fast starter, however, winning all six of his professional fights before the end of the second round, and he has a severe grappling advantage against John Phillips — who looked like he had a challenging weight cut.
I’m going to play Belbita and Chimaev in the prop market, and I also paired the two together in a moneyline parlay.
Molly McCann (6.49 strikes landed per minute, 2.6 takedowns per 15 minutes) is likely going to provide too much pressure for Talia Santos to handle. McCann has won her past three fights, while Santos is searching for her first win inside of the octagon — she does have a six-inch reach advantage, but McCann will look to stay in the pocket and push inside of her range as often as possible.
I had initially planned to pick both Calvin Kattar and Jimmy Rivera, but after digger deeper into both of those fights, I opted for both underdogs, Dan Ige and Cody Stamann.
As for Stamann, the crowd projection makes him a slight favorite in this fight, even against a very tough opponent in Rivera who has only lost to top bantamweight competition — champion Petr Yan, No. 1-ranked Marlon Moraes and No. 2-ranked contender Aljamain Sterling — in three of his past four fights.
Stamann has been leveling up against increasingly better foes. Still, he has statistical advantages over Rivera in striking accuracy (+9%), defense (+4%), differential (+1.34 to +0.22), and volume (+0.41 strikes landed per minute) — and better grappling skills (3.34 takedowns per 15 minutes, 48% accuracy).
Rivera’s takedown defense (95%) is stable. He won the early part of his fight with Yan — perhaps he is being overlooked here is a small favorite — but Stamann has developed into an extremely effective point fighter, and he has the more versatile skillset in this fight, which could be enough to sway the judges if the bout goes to a decision.
Tim Elliott is the only remaining moneyline play that I made for Saturday. He has lost his past three fights and four of his past five, but recently received a contract extension and is headlining a co-main event on Fight Island — which speaks to how the UFC values his presence.
His opponent, Ryan Benoit, only has one fight since 2017, with a negative strike differential (+0.88 to -0.38), and a lesser grappling skillset (64% takedown defense) compared to the active Elliott (4.31 takedowns per 15 minutes, 55% accuracy) who offers multiple paths to victory.
- Molly McCann -140 (1 unit)
- Cody Stamann +114 (0.5 units)
- Tim Elliott -130 (1 unit)
- Dan Ige +250 (0.5 units)
- Parlay: Diana Belbita / Khamzat Chimaev (-101, 1 unit)
UFC Fight Island: Kattar vs. Ige Prop Projections and Picks
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 also enables us to determine fair odds for each fight to go the distance:
Based upon the current moneyline and winning method projections, up to nine winning method prop bets offer value for Wednesday.
Because I already played both Elliott and McCann on the moneyline, I’m not going to play them to win by the decision too. I think that both fighters offer a path to a finish (via submission for Elliott and KO/TKO for McCann), but both bets offer value nonetheless.
Additionally, I’m not going to play Fishgold to win by decision or Alhassan to win by KO/TKO at half his projected number, because, as I mentioned earlier, both fighters missed weight – and my level of concern only increases given their lack of octagon activity.
Alhassan has recorded all 10 of his knockout wins in the first round, so Alhassan Round 1 (+110) might be a more appealing bet than backing him to win by KO/TKO (-215), but I’m staying away entirely.
If Cody Stamann gets a win against Jimmy Rivera, it’s going to come on the scorecards — the crowd projection set those odds at -109, and Stamann is listed at +180 — I split a unit between Stamann’s moneyline, and his prop to win by decision.
Belbita also offers substantial value to win on the scorecards. At odds of +150 to win by decision, compared to a crowd projection of -166, that is arguably the best bet of the night.
The odds for Chimaev to win by submission align with the betting market, and Under 1.5 rounds has continued to tick down for the fight – but his odds to win in the first round (+130) have held steady in some spots. I’ll back the Swede to win early in his UFC debut.
Lastly, Jack Shore offers value to win by submission (-115) in the first fight of the night, relative to the crowd projection (-180). The prospect is 12-0 will hope to stay undefeated against Aaron Phillips – who returns to the UFC after a six-year absence, and Shore seems extremely likely to finish this fight, which is -250 to finish inside the distance, as a -715 (implied 87.7%) favorite.
- Jack Shore by Submission (-115, 0.5 units)
- Diana Belbita by Decision (+150, 0.5 units)
- Khamzat Chimaev Wins in Round 1 (+130, 0.5 units)
- Cody Stamann by Decision +180 (0.5 units)