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UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill Odds & Picks for EVERY FIGHT!

After a few underwhelming Fight Nights, it’s time for UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill. The card is stacked from top to bottom, with former champions in both the prelim and main cards. Some of the biggest names in the sport are out to show why they’re so beloved, while prospects and lesser-knowns look to sear their names in the minds of fans everywhere. Let’s dive into the odds and picks for UFC 300: Pereira-Hill as we get action on EVERY FIGHT! If you’re hungry for more action, check out the rest of our UFC articles or our betting model’s top picks!

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill Odds & Picks: Bets for EVERY FIGHT!

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Early Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Deiveson Figueiredo-Cody Garbrandt Pick

FigueiredoGarbrandt UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Bantamweight
Figueiredo: -330 | Garbrandt: +230
Figueiredo -3.5: -170 | Garbrandt +3.5: +130
Over 1.5: -190 | Under 1.5: +145

FigueiredoGarbrandt Preview & Pick

In perhaps the greatest opening fight in UFC history, Deiveson Figueiredo (22-3-1) makes his second appearance at Bantamweight against the former champ, Cody Garbrandt (14-5). Both fighters have dynamite in their hands, and I expect this one to end in fireworks.

There are essentially only two endings to a Cody Garbrandt fight: he either gets chinned brutally or blows his opponent up. Against a fighter Like Figueiredo, I don’t anticipate this changing. Figgy is powerful and can put his opponents out when given the opportunity.

Recently, Figgy has fought champions and more reserved, grappling-heavy fighters, so the openings for a knockout haven’t quite been there. Against Garbrandt, they will be. Garbrandt absorbs 3.91 significant strikes per minute, greater than the 3.06 significant strikes he lands. Figgy also takes more damage than he doles out, absorbing 3.46 significant strikes per minute against the 3.08 he lands.

While the pace of this fight won’t be quite as high as some other slugfests, both Figgy and Garbrandt don’t need many shots to put their opponents out. Of Garbrandt’s six KO victories, four took less than 20 significant strikes, with another taking 21 strikes to finish the job.

Figgy isn’t quite as quick to knock his opponents out, but only one of his four knockout victories took more than 30 strikes, and it only took 31. Figgy has a more multifaceted game, as he has a guillotine from hell, which could threaten the knockout line. Nonetheless, Garbrandt has solid takedown defense stuffing 80% of his opponent’s takedown attempts.

In Garbrandt’s 15 UFC fights, 11 ended by KO. For his part, five of Figgy’s fifteen UFC bouts ended by KO. In sum, 16 of their combined 30 fights ended in a knockout for a rate of 53%. With the implied probability of a KO sitting at around 47%, there is a slight edge here that I anticipate being wider given the style of fight likely to come.

Best UFC Figueiredo-Garbrandt Bet & Pick: Exact Method of Victory KO/TKO/DQ +110 at DraftKings

Early Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Bobby Green-Jim Miller Pick

Green-Miller UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Lightweight
Green: -195 | Miller: +145
Green -3.5: +110 | Miller +3.5: -145
Over 2.5: -130 | Under 2.5: +100

Green-Miller Preview & Pick

Jim Miller (37-17) makes it a trifecta for the UFC hundred cards by taking on Bobby Green (31-15-1) in the night’s second fight. Green is coming in on something of a skid, while Miller comes in on a bit of a run. I expect these trends to continue with Miller securing a submission victory.

Green has had several fun fights, but he can be his own worst enemy. He famously ragged on Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev for employing a grappling-oriented style because he saw it (and still sees it) as a lesser form of fighting. In reality, he’s telling on himself, showing that he would rather keep the fight on the feet, where he has more of an advantage.

Miller would be wise to take advantage of Green’s aversion to the ground, and I expect he will. Green tends to lose control of his game plan and emotions when frustrated, and on a stage where he likely wants to show his striking prowess, getting stuck in a gritty, grappling match will likely be enough to send him over the edge.

Green does respectably enough in grappling exchanges, stuffing his opponent’s takedowns 74% of the time. However, Green’s striking advantage over Miller will almost certainly force Miller to spam takedown attempts to get the fight where he can do his most damage.

Miller is a good grappler over his long UFC career. He averages 1.58 takedowns per 15 minutes of fight time at a respectable 44% success rate. When he gets his opponents to the ground, he aggressively employs submission attempts to finish the fight early. He has 12 submission victories, good for 26% of his 42 UFC fights and 46% of his 26 victories.

The implied probability he wins by submission sits just under 15%. This is far too low, especially because I don’t see a path to victory for Miller outside of the submission.

Best UFC Green-Miller Bet & Pick: Miller by Submission +600 at DraftKings

Early Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Jessica Andrade-Marina Rodriguez Pick

Andrade-Rodriguez UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Women’s Strawweight
Andrade: -145 | Rodriguez: +110
Andrade -3.5: +120 | Rodriguez +3.5: -165
Over 2.5: -140 | Under 2.5: +110

Andrade-Rodriguez Preview & Pick

In the penultimate fight of the early prelims, former champion Jessica Andrade (25-12) faces off against Marina Rodriguez (17-3-2). I like riding with Andrade on the moneyline, as I expect her pressure on the feet and grappling will prove too much for Rodriguez to handle.

Coming off a three-fight skid, Andrade made a statement in her bounce-back knockout of Mackenzie Dern, dropping her four times before finishing the job with a brutal punch, adding another feather to her cap that demonstrates just how dangerous she can be. Nine of her 16 wins have come by way of finish. Rodriguez has shown flashes of knockout power, but she only finished two of her seven UFC victories, with the rest coming by decision.

It seems that only Andrade can turn this fight around even if she finds herself losing. This is in part from her grappling advantage. She averages 2.45 takedowns per 15 minutes compared to Rodriguez’s 0.25. If she finds herself losing exchanges on the feet, she can look to take the fight to the ground to find a submission or to inflict some damage. Andrade shouldn’t face too much resistance in this regard, as Rodriguez only defends the takedown 66% of the time.

This assumes that Andrade struggles on the feet. However, I expect her to pressure Rodriguez heavily. Andrade lands 6.67 significant strikes per minute at a 50% rate, compared to Rodriguez’s 4.77. While Rodriguez does a better job of mitigating damage than Andrade, absorbing only 2.89 significant strikes per minute compared to 5.36, Andrade’s power should help make up for the defensive gaps. Overall, this should be an interesting fight, but I like Andrade down to the -175 range, given her grappling and power advantage.

Best UFC Andrade-Rodriguez Bet & Pick: Andrade ML -145 at DraftKings

Early Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Jalin Turner-Renato Moicano Pick

TurnerMoicano UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Lightweight
Turner: -250 | Moicano: +180
Turner -3.5: -185 | Moicano +3.5: +140
Over 1.5: +100 | Under 1.5: -130

TurnerMoicano Preview & Pick

The final fight of the early prelims comes between Jalin Turner (14-7) and Renato Moicano (18-5-1). Both fighters can finish fights quickly, and while they both account for their fair share of first-round finishes, the odds for the under 1.5 give a bit too much credence to their finishing ability.

Betting the over in a fight that features Jalin Turner can always make you feel like a fool. His power is nothing to mess around with, and he can end the fight instantly. Nonetheless, the numbers are what they are.

In his UFC bouts after the contender series, Turner went past the halfway point of the second round five times out of 11 (45%). Only three of these went to decision, so it’s only a matter of time before he finishes the fight at some point, but he still can be drawn into the second round before ending it.

For his part, nine of Moicano’s 15 UFC bouts ended in the second half of the fight (60%). In total, 14 of their combined 26 fights went past the halfway mark of the bout (54%). The implied probability of the over sits at around 50%, which provides us with a bit of an edge.

The edge on the raw numbers doesn’t account for Moicano’s likely game plan in this one. Moicano attains 1.8 takedowns per 15, which would serve him well against Turner’s power. Turner defends the takedown solidly, at a rate of around 75%, but Moicano has a black belt in both Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. Even if he doesn’t land a clean double-leg takedown, he can still get a body lock or engage in the clinch to avoid Turner’s knockout power.

It’s certainly possible Moicano finishes Turner early with a submission if the fight finds its way to the ground, but the more present danger seems to be Turner’s power, as the books list him at -135 to win by KO/TKO. Moicano’s experience can help to neutralize a bit of this danger.

Overall, I don’t expect this fight to go to the cards, but I think there’s a strong chance it gets past the halfway mark. Turner can always make me look like a fool in this prediction if he lands a clean shot, but that just goes to the unpredictability of the sport.

Best UFC Turner-Moicano Bet & Pick: Over 1.5 +100 at DraftKings

Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Sodiq Yusuff-Diego Lopes Pick

Yusuff-Lopes UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Featherweight
Yusuff: +115 | Lopes: -145
Yusuff +3.5: -120 | Lopes -3.5: -110
Over 2.5: +140 | Under 2.5: -180

Yusuff-Lopes Preview & Pick

After a strong early prelim card, the prelims begin with a fight between two solid up-and-comers. Sodiq Yusuff (13-3) will look to bounce back from a disappointing loss with a matchup against highly a touted prospect, Diego Lopes (23-6).

Lopes’ Jiu Jitsu is nothing to mess around with, but he has too many questions on the feet for me to ride with him in this one, particularly as Yusuff is not an aggressive grappler.

With all the hype in the world, Lopes started his run in the Octagon with two disappointing losses, the first against Joanderson Brito on the Contender Series, and the second against Movsar Evloev in his UFC debut. He can be forgiven for losing both fights, as his opponents are both very strong fighters, but his next two performances did little to answer the question marks about his game.

It may seem perplexing that a young fighter could get two first-round finishes and we’re still questioning his talent, but how he got these wins concerns me. Both wins came from his opponents diving in on a double-leg. The first, by Gavin Tucker, was particularly ill-advised, as he essentially dove straight into a triangle choke/armbar and was finished promptly after. The next fight saw Pat Sabatini shoot a double leg, and in the scramble to the feet, he took a shot to the head because his hands were down, and the fight ended promptly after.

Let's dive into UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill to break down the odds and make our picks for EVERY FIGHT, including...

OddsShopper’s betting model reveals a pricing disparity in the odds for Saturday’s Yusuff-Lopes bout: SuperBook has the under 2.5 at odds of just -145, below the true odds of -154 and far below the odds at Pinnacle, a sharp book, making a wager on the under a +EV Bet. For the rest of our model’s projections — for more than just the UFC — subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for $49.95!

Granted, a win is a win, but these wins came more from Lopes’ opponents’ mistakes rather than his own ability. The fact still remains that Lopes hasn’t taken his opponents down in four bouts and has yet to win definitively in an exchange on the feet. He was also controlled for over seven minutes on the ground in his two losses.

The biggest problem is that I don’t see a path to victory for Lopes if his opponents don’t dive in on a takedown to allow him to pull guard and work his jiu-jitsu. His striking numbers are beyond atrocious. He only lands 2.47 significant strikes per minute compared to the 4.91 significant strikes per minute that he absorbs.

Yusuff will have every opportunity to piece him up on the feet. He lands 5.72 significant strikes per minute while only absorbing 4.33. Importantly, he only lands 0.28 takedowns per 15 minutes. Yusuff would be best served by not attempting a single takedown in this one. Without giving Lopes the opportunity to pull guard, he will force Lopes to prove himself on the feet or gain a takedown himself. These are both things I don’t believe he’s capable of doing at the moment.

If this one doesn’t find its way to the ground, it could get ugly quicky, to the point where I think a doctor’s stoppage is in play. I don’t wish anything negative to come to Lopes, as it’s always nice to have a solid prospect in the mix, but I’m highly skeptical of his striking coming into this one.

Best UFC Yusuff-Lopes Bet & Pick: Yusuff ML +115 at DraftKings

Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Holly Holm-Kayla Harrison Pick

HolmHarrison UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight
Holm: +340 | Harrison: -440
Holm +3.5: +140 | Harrison -3.5: -185
Over 2.5: -145 | Under 2.5: +114

HolmHarrison Preview & Pick

The preacher’s daughter, Holly Holm (15-6) looks to spoil Kayla Harrison’s (16-1) UFC debut. Even at her age, there are very few people Holm should be a +340 underdog to, and this is especially true for a person making their debut on the biggest stage the UFC has to offer. I’m riding with Holm to shock the world and take home a great victory.

Holm enters this fight as a massive underdog to an Olympic champion in Judo. Where have we seen this before? Harrison’s striking may well be better than Ronda Rousey’s, but where she will really shine is in the clinch and grappling exchanges. These are areas Holm historically defends well in, and I expect this fight to be no different. She defends the takedown at a 78% clip, and in watching her fights, she has good instincts and balance for a striker by nature.

On the feet, I anticipate Holm to have a decided advantage. Even though her best days are likely well behind her, her elite boxing will likely be too much to overcome for a fighter that didn’t train in striking for much of her development.

Admittedly, there isn’t much data to go off of here. Harrison has no data in the UFC, and the data she has in the PFL has question marks attached to it. Put simply, it’s hard to determine how her performance will translate in the UFC given the lower caliber of fighters in the PFL.

Holm has fought a murderer’s row of the best women fighters in her weight class, and I expect that experience to help carry the day. Further, Harrison has to cut nearly 40 pounds to make weight. It may help, as she’ll be bigger than Holm, but it’s a cut she’s not used to making and could drain her energy more than anticipated.

Ultimately, the lack of data may make this fight worth sitting out as well, but making the jump to the UFC is historically a difficult transition, particularly in the marquee MMA event of the next half-decade.

Best UFC Holm-Harrison Bet & Pick: Holm ML +340 at DraftKings

Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Calvin Kattar-Aljamain Sterling Pick

KattarSterling UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Featherweight
Kattar: +140 | Sterling: -185
Kattar +3.5: -170 | Sterling -3.5: +130
Over 2.5: -200 | Under 2.5: +154

KattarSterling Preview & Pick

In yet another prelim bout featuring a former champion, Aljamain Sterling (23-4) makes the jump to featherweight to take on Calvin Kattar (23-7). Though he is coming off a loss to Sean O’Malley, I expect Sterling to come back in a big way with a dominant performance against Kattar.

Let’s get the concern about the weight class out of the way first. Yes, Aljo is jumping up a class, which could impact his wrestling, on which he leans heavily. No, this won’t be a big factor. Aljo is massive both for the Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions. He stated his walk-around weight (his normal weight before the cut) is anywhere between 170 to 175 pounds. This is 35-40 pounds higher than his previous class, and 25-30 pounds clear of the featherweight limit.

Generally, fighters cut anywhere from 15-20 pounds depending on the weight class, so Aljo is even a bit bigger than anticipated. Obviously, the ten extra pounds help against smaller fighters, but Aljo will in no way be a small featherweight.

Stylistically speaking, many anticipate the fight to be a stylistic clash, with Kattar having the advantage on the feet and Aljo having an advantage on the ground. However, I don’t know how justified this assumption is, as Aljo’s striking is a bit underrated and Kattar’s is a bit overrated in my view.

Let’s start with the raw numbers. Aljo lands 4.73 significant strikes per minute at 52% accuracy while only absorbing 2.41 significant strikes per minute, defending successfully 58% of the time. These aren’t the numbers that a one-dimensional wrestler usually displays. While he may not be the caliber of striker Sean O’Malley is, he can still win fights on the feet.

To break it down even further, in his recent fights, he outstruck Henry Cejudo (103/174 to 82/152), T.J. Dillashaw (17/30 to 8/26), and Pedro Munhoz (172/338 to 102/257), excluding ground strikes. Even in his two fights with Petr Yan, he was only outstruck either marginally or by efficiency (79/207 to 64/106 and 42/84 to 46/80).

Those datapoints came against some of the best strikers in the UFC, who can both cause extensive damage and avoid taking damage back. Kattar certainly can do the former, but the latter is where he struggles. Kattar lands 5.12 significant strikes per minute but he absorbs 7.10 per minute. A large part of this comes from his inefficient striking. Kattar only lands a paltry 39% of his significant strikes, meaning he has to stay in the pocket for significantly longer to land the number of strikes he does.

One thing Kattar has going for him is his toughness. I don’t expect Aljo to knock him out, but I think Aljo will win on the feet, by making Kattar whiff, and countering him well. With Aljo’s strong grappling ability, I expect this one to be a dominant win from start to finish. I’m riding with Aljo on the moneyline and recommend laddering it with the spread to boost the odds just a bit.

Best UFC KattarSterling Bet & Pick: Sterling ML -185 at DraftKings

Prelim: UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Jiri Prochazka-Aleksandar Rakic Pick

ProchazkaRakic UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Prochazka: -110| Rakic: -110
Prochazka +3.5: -165 | Rakic -3.5: +120
Over 2.5: +124 | Under 2.5: -160

ProchazkaRakic Preview & Pick

The final fight on the prelims pairs former Light Heavyweight champ Jiri Prochazka (29-4-1) against Aleksandar Rakic (14-3). It’s perplexing that Rakic comes into this fight as a favorite, as he hasn’t yet beaten an elite fighter on Prochazka’s level.

After his devastating KO loss to Alex Pereira, some of the hype around Prochazka has died down, but it shouldn’t be enough to leave him as anything less than a -150 favorite. It’s a bit wild that Prochazka only has four fights in the UFC, all of which came against ranked fighters, two of which were title fights. His rise is nothing if not meteoric. On top of his impressive resume, his fight style is aesthetically pleasing. He employs a unique striking style in which he presses forward at a pace many Light Heavyweights cannot match.

Prochazka lands 5.31 significant strikes per minute at a 55% success rate. The rate at which he throws and lands strikes is made more impressive by his strike dispersion. Prochazka lands 82% of strikes to the head, with only 3% going to the legs. By comparison, Michael Chandler and Max Holloway, two fighters with reputations as aggressive boxers, only land 71% and 67%, respectively, to their opponents’ heads. Prochazka’s aggression enables him to land stunning KOs, as seen in his fight with Dominic Reyes.

One thing that is concerning about Prochazka’s striking is his defense. He absorbs nearly as much damage as he doles out, eating 5.17 significant strikes per minute. Further, he only defends strikes at a 40% rate, which is low for such a high-caliber fighter. This comes, in large part, from his low guard. Nonetheless, the poor strike defense is a tradeoff generally worth making. It allows him to draw opponents in, which sets up devastating counters — and because Prochazka attacks the head far more than his opponent, the quality of shots he lands contributes to knockouts and damage far more than the shots he absorbs.

Against an elite striker like Alex Pereira, Prochazka’s style was too dangerous, but Rakic is not on that level. He only throws 4.01 significant strikes per minute, with 25% going to the legs. Further, he only knocked out two of his eight opponents in the UFC, with most of his other fights going to decision.

Rakic’s biggest issue coming into this fight is that he hasn’t yet beaten a fighter on the same level as Prochazka. Rakic’s best win came against seventh-ranked Thiago Santos, who was on a two-fight skid and is 1-5 in his last six fights. He was looking good in his fight against Jan Blachowicz before a freak injury took him out, but there are still open questions as to whether he was going to finish it.

Rakic will need to be more aggressive than he normally is. When he pressures his opponents, he can do some damage, but he is often too passive. This will be a death sentence against Prochazka, who will do everything to pressure Rakic. His biggest advantage may be in getting the fight to the ground, as Prochazka only defends the takedown at a 68% rate, but Rakic only gets 0.82 takedowns per 15 minutes. There’s an open question about whether he can submit Prochazka or do real damage if he gets him to the ground.

Prochazka’s resume is undeniable. Rakic’s has too many holes to ride with him as a favorite. If he can get over the top and win against a top-level contender, it will be a feather in his cap, but I don’t see it happening.

Best UFC Prochazka-Rakic Bet & Pick: Prochazka ML -110 at DraftKings

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Bo Nickal-Cody Brundage Pick

Nickal-Brundage UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Middleweight
Nickal: -2000 | Brundage: +750
Nickal -3.5: -1400 | Brundage +3.5: +650
Over 1.5: +260 | Under 1.5: -360

NickalBrundage Preview & Pick

When it was announced that Bo Nickal (5-0) would take on Cody Brundage (10-5) at UFC 300, most people seemed interested to see one of the UFC’s biggest prospects enter the ring again. That interest turned to outrage when the fight was put on the main card.

Even with Nickal’s star on the rise, there are six former champions relegated to the prelims and early prelims in service of a fight that squares up two unranked fighters.

The choice doesn’t make much sense, as Nickal’s star power will immediately crater with a loss and won’t rise much even with a quick knockout. With all the controversy around this fight’s placement on the main card, everyone agrees that this will be a completely lopsided fight. There’s so little data on Nickal that it can be tough to forecast a bet to place. Nonetheless, I like the over 1.5 at such lopsided odds, even with Nickal’s history of quick finishes.

Cody Brundage is somehow a step up in Nickal’s competition. It’s not the leap in competition most people would see. However, even when removing Brundage’s DQ victory that was heading towards a dominant loss, his near .500 record far exceeds anything Nickal has faced to this point.

Including fights on the Contender Series, Nickal’s opponents are a combined 3-13 in their UFC careers, with only Jamie Pickett managing to snatch a victory, going 3-9 in his fights. Pickett is the only fighter to this point who didn’t fold instantly, lasting two minutes and 54 seconds against Nickal. Brundage appears to be the better fighter than Pickett, and even in his five UFC losses, he was finished in the first round only twice. Overall, 40% of his losses passed the halfway point of the second round. The implied probability the fight goes past 1.5 rounds sits at 33%, with the heavy implication that Brundage gets finished in the first.

Nickal’s main arsenal is his elite wrestling. There is, perhaps, no current UFC fighter with a better collegiate career than Nickal. Three golds and a silver in national championships is nothing to scoff at, but there’s always a question as to whether this type of success will translate functionally in the Octagon.

On paper, it looks like it has. Nickal has three submission victories in the Octagon, and his knockout came from feinting the takedown to open up a clean overhand. However, he only secured one takedown on four attempts against Pickett, who has little collegiate wrestling experience.

Brundage, on the other hand, had a respectable college wrestling career, making him the most experienced wrestler Nickal has faced. This will help him in defending the takedown, but it will also pay dividends with striking. Lesser wrestlers have to lower their guard against Nickal to sprawl even on the slightest of feints. Brundage shouldn’t have a similar problem.

This bet is largely based on data outside of these fighters. Only 23% of Middleweight fights ended in the first round in 2022. While the over extends to the second round, many people enter this fight expecting a first-round finish from Nickal. I expect Brundage to give Nickal a bit more trouble, both when wrestling and standing, before folding in the latter half of the fight.

Best UFC Nickal-Brundage Bet & Pick: Over 1.5 +260 at DraftKings

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Charles Oliveira-Arman Tsarukyan Pick

OliveiraTsarukyan UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Lightweight
Oliveira: +175 | Tsarukyan: -240
Oliveira +3.5: +120 | Tsarukyan -3.5: -165
Over 1.5: -130 | Under 1.5: +100

OliveiraTsarukyan Preview & Pick

In yet another banger fight, Charles Oliveira (34-9) takes on the ever-dangerous Arman Tsarukyan (21-3). With his devastating knockout of Beneil Dariush in his last fight, Tsarukyan cemented his name firmly in the contender discussion.

He looks to be the real deal, but he doesn’t have the track record to warrant his status as such a substantial favorite over Oliveira. I’m riding with Oliveira as the underdog to take some wind out of Tsarukyan’s sails.

In 2017, something changed in Oliveira’s approach. After wavering between wins and losses early in his career, he became a machine, rattling off 11 wins, and 12 of 13, en route to an interim, then a unified title. His only loss came to the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC, Islam Makhachev. Despite the loss, he bounced right back with a first-round KO of Beneil Dariush.

Tsarukyan is certainly a worthy opponent and has a strong chance of winning this fight. However, the books seem to herald his ascendance a tad too quickly. To have him as a slight underdog or even with Oliveira would be fair, in my view, but to be a -240 favorite is too strong. Let’s not forget that Tsarukyan dropped a five-round decision to Mateusz Gamrot just four fights ago.

Losing to a fighter like Gamrot can happen, but Oliveira is even a level above him. Tsarukyan bounced back with three solid wins, including an impressive performance against Beneil Dariush. The only times Tsarukyan faced a test, he lost, once to Makhachev and once to Gamrot.

Tsarukyan relies on aggressive grappling and devastating power to take his opponents out. On the feet, he has a relatively slow pace for a lightweight, landing just 3.85 significant strikes per minute. This helps him avoid damage, at least to this point, as he only absorbs 1.91 significant strikes per minute, but I expect to see those numbers go up as he faces a fighter of Oliveira’s caliber.

Where Tsarukyan shines is with his grappling, as he secures 3.40 takedowns per 15. Nonetheless, Oliveira’s jiu-jitsu may be too dangerous for Tsarukyan to gain a substantial advantage with his grappling, as Oliveira secured 16 submission victories in the Octagon.

Oliveira also has dynamite in his hands, leading to four knockouts in his past 13 fights. While his pace is also relatively slow, only landing 3.54 significant strikes per minute, he is also incredibly dangerous. Neither Tsarukyan nor Oliveira will be able to let their guard down for a second or they could be laid out on the mat instantly.

I have a lot of respect for both fighters and could see either of them winning by pretty much any method. In a pick’em, I may lean towards Tsarukyan given his knockout power, but it’s hard to pick against Oliveira’s experience. Luckily, the odds being so slanted against Oliveira makes my decision here easy.

Best UFC Oliveira-Tsarukyan Bet & Pick: Oliveira ML +175 at DraftKings

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Justin Gaethje-Max Holloway Pick

GaethjeHolloway UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Lightweight
Gaethje: -165 | Holloway: +130
Gaethje -5.5: -105 | Holloway +5.5: -125
Over 4.5: -115 | Under 4.5: -115

GaethjeHolloway Preview & Pick

If more than 10 seconds of the BMF title fight between Justin Gaethje (25-4) and Max Holloway (25-7) is spent on the ground, I will be a bit disappointed. Everyone expects this one to be an absolute war, and it not only could be the fight of the night on such a stacked card, but it could also be a fight of the year contender when all is said and done.

Both fighters will look to put on a show, but I expect Holloway to use his speed and superior boxing to get the job done in a five-round slugfest. Holloway and Gaethje are game for a brutal fight. In their combined 40 UFC fights, they have only combined for two knockout losses, both suffered by Gaethje. If Holloway can avoid getting knocked out in yet another fight, his superior boxing should be the perfect counter to Gaethe’s aggression.

Holloway’s pace is well-documented. He lands 7.17 significant strikes per minute, 91% of which are trained toward the head and the body. He keeps a constant forward pressure which melts opponents that can’t keep up, which has pretty much been everyone other than Alexander Volkanovski of late.

Beyond his pace, Holloway has an impressive knack for avoiding damage despite staying in constant range. He only absorbs 4.79 significant strikes per minute, defending at a 59% rate. His unrivaled cardio, combined with his great instincts on the feet create lopsided striking numbers, such as his performance against Calvin Kattar, who only landed 133 significant strikes to Holloway’s 445.

Gaethje is usually game for a fast-paced fight, too. He lands a ballistic 7.35 significant strikes per minute, though his strike dispersion differs greatly from Holloway’s. Gaethje’s greatest weapon of late has been his nasty calf kicks, which constitute 28% of all his strikes. Holloway will need to find an answer for this as they can threaten to limit his mobility and cause a great deal of pain. Some fighters say calf kicks hurt more than a shot to the head, even if they can’t shut your lights out.

In my view, the canary in the coal mine for this fight is something I’m always skeptical of: Gaethje absorbs more significant strikes than he lands. This can pay dividends as it can lead to a knockout if his opponent can’t stand up to the pressure. However, where the fight goes to a decision, particularly over five rounds, the striking numbers could lead to a decision loss. This could be even more of a problem against a fighter like Holloway, who is known for pulling out lopsided decision victories. The even bigger issue lies in the fact that it could also lead to a knockout, which make up half of Gaethje’s UFC losses.

One question coming into this fight is how well Holloway will adjust to going up a weight class. While this is a concern, or at least a factor, for many other fjghters, Holloway has fought at Lightweight a few times in the past. The biggest issues fighters tend to have when they go up in weight relate to the damage sustained from heavier shots and grappling against heavier opponents. Holloway hasn’t yet been finished as a Lightweight, nor do I expect this fight to find its way to the ground too often.

As an underdog, I like Holloway’s speed, endurance and superior boxing to carry the day. It’s always possible that Gaethje is the first man to crack him since entering the UFC — or that he will slow him down through leg kicks, but I’m not going to put my money on that with Gaethje as a favorite.

Best UFC Gaethje-Holloway Bet & Pick: Holloway ML +130 at DraftKings

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Zhang Weili-Yan Xiaonan Pick

WeiliXiaonan UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Women’s Strawweight
Weili: -540 | Xiaonan: +340
Weili -5.5: -250 | Xiaonan +5.5: +180
Over 3.5: -130 | Under 3.5: +100

WeiliXiaonan Preview & Pick

The Co-Main event sees the first-ever UFC title fight between two fighters from China, as Zhang Weili (24-3) looks to defend her belt against Yan Xiaonan (18-3). The market seems to rate this fight efficiently, and the -540 odds for Zhang are a bit too much for me to ride with.

I would suggest that bettors simply enjoy this fight, but for those who feel the need to bet on it, the under 3.5 rounds would be the best play with Zhang expected to dominate.

Yan is making her first title appearance at UFC 300. Though she fought in a main event once before against Mackenzie Dern, she hasn’t been subjected to this level of pressure before. It doesn’t help that this is Zhang’s seventh title fight. These conditions can cause some fighters to melt and others to rise to the occasion by cementing themselves at the top of the game. The odds clearly indicate Yan is expected to fall into the former category, not the latter.

This assessment is a fair one, as Zhang seems to have the edge in both striking and grappling. Zhang lands 5.94 significant strikes per minute at 51% accuracy while only absorbing 3.44 significant strikes per minute, defending 53% of the time. She also attains 2.29 takedowns per 15 minutes. Yan is close but falls short in almost all these categories, landing 5.55 significant strikes per minute at a 44% success rate. She has comparable strike defense, absorbing 3.56 significant strikes per minute defending strongly at a 61% rate.

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The issue Yan will have in this one, beyond the experience gap, comes from Zhang’s grappling ability. If Yan can win exchanges on the feet, Zhang can look to take the fight to the ground or tie her up in the clinch to get an edge. There isn’t any indication Yan can do the same.

Further, Zhang has knockout power and dangerous submission grappling, as she finished five of her ten UFC opponents. Yan, on the other hand, only got her first submission victory in her last bout. The multi-faceted approach Zhang can employ should help carry the day.

The moneyline is simply too skewed to bet on comfortably. Betting $100 on Zhang to win would only net a profit of around $18, which is far too small for such a risk. Even though I like Zhang in this one, the unpredictable nature of the UFC makes this a risk not worth taking. Even the -5.5 spread is skewed heavily in Zhang’s favor at -225. The only bet I would consider touching is the under 3.5, and even this relies heavily on Zhang winning the fight.

Put simply, Yan’s fights go to decision. Only two of her 10 fights ended before the final bell, one of which was a win and the other a loss. For the under to hit, it almost has to come from a Zhang knockout or submission. This is certainly possible, as half of Zhang’s fights finished in the first or second round, but to have an edge on the +120 line for the under 3.5, a bettor has to rely on Zhang winning as a near certainty. The implied probability Zhang wins sits at 85%. For bettors that are willing to rely on this. The under may be a worthwhile play. However, sitting this one out seems to be the best play.

Best UFC Weili-Xiaonan Bet & Pick: Under 3.5 +100 at DraftKings

UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill | Alex Pereira-Jamahal Hill

PereiraHill UFC 300 Odds

Odds via DraftKings
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Pereira: -130 | Hill: +105
Pereira -5.5: -105 | Hill +5.5: -125
Over 1.5: -190 | Under 1.5: +145

PereiraHill Preview & Pick

Capping off the night, Alex Pereira (9-2) seeks to defend his Light Heavyweight belt against Jamahal Hill (12-1). Some fans hoped for a more star-studded fight to cap off such a card, but the fight should be a war on the feet that will cement both as premiere fighters in the UFC.

The books give a slight edge to Pereira, which doesn’t give him enough credit for his devastating power and fight IQ. I am riding with Pereira to defend his title, as Hill doesn’t have enough in his bag to justify near-even odds.

Pereira has one of the most interesting stories in the UFC. He had a strong background in kickboxing, where he first ran into Israel Adesanya, knocking him out years before starting in MMA. According to Pereira, a large part of his decision to start in MMA and enter the UFC was based on an interview Adesanya gave that implied Pereira was just a nobody that couldn’t cut it in MMA. Izzy has never been more wrong.

In just his third UFC fight, Pereira duffed out former champ Sean Strickland. He then knocked Izzy out to get the Middleweight strap in his fourth fight. While Adesanya got revenge in their next fight, Pereira didn’t lose a step, jumping up to Light Heavyweight to take down Jan Blachowicz before winning the belt against Jiri Prochazka.

This context is important because Pereira hasn’t fought anyone outside of the top contenders in his division since Bruno Silva, and he hasn’t just survived — he’s thrived. He lands 5 significant strikes per minute, which is a solid pace for a Light Heavyweight. This is made more impressive by both his efficiency and his shot dispersion.

He lands a startling 62% of his significant strikes, accuracy made especially more impressive given that he has fought Adesanya twice and Sean Strickland once in three of his last six fights, both of whom are among the best defensive strikers in the UFC. Further, his shot dispersion between the head, body and legs is near even, with 42% going to the head, 33% to the body, and 25% to the legs.

The evenness with which he lands his strikes is dangerous, as there’s only so much a fighter can do to defend all three areas at once. There will essentially always be openings for Pereira to exploit. Hill made particular note that he planned to check Pereira’s leg kicks, which are known for being both incredibly quick and damaging. Whether Hill can check them well is yet to be seen, but he will inevitably leave himself open to damage elsewhere if he devotes all his attention to the leg kicks.

This isn’t to say Hill has no chance in this one. He lands a blistering 7.31 significant strikes per minute and only absorbs 3.35 significant strikes per minute. His elite boxing is a hard puzzle to solve, but Pereira is one of the few people in the UFC who could be up to the task. He takes relatively little damage, only absorbing 3.65 significant strikes per minute at a 50% defense rate.

One factor that will play a role in each fighter’s approach is that Hill is a southpaw, meaning the fight over front-hand dominance will be paramount. However, this will also expose Hill’s lead leg calf to Pereira’s lead leg, meaning the leg kick will come quicker and less telegraphed than in an alternate stance. This happened each time Adesanya switched to southpaw in their two fights.

I expect this to be a great fight, but Pereira’s experience fighting against elite strikers in kickboxing and the UFC outmatches anything Hill has dealt with. Since Hill likely won’t engage in any long grappling exchanges, I think this experience will carry the day.

Best UFC Pereira-Hill Bet & Pick: Pereira ML -130 at DraftKings

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