If you like controlled violence, you’ve come to the right place.
UFC 290 begins on Saturday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with prelims beginning at 6 p.m. ET. on ESPN and ABC.
The massive UFC fight card features 13 bouts barring last-minute cancellations, with stars scattered throughout.
Unfortunately, two fighters had already been canceled this week, including Josiah Harrell, after a life-saving MRI scan on Jack Della Maddalena’s brain.
Many battles are highly expected to end in a draw, with some +400 battles having distance barriers.
I expect most of these battles to be longer than anticipated.
You’ll see some of that strategy below as we discuss the best bets for tonight’s UFC 290 fight card.
Alexander Volkanovsky Vs. yair rodriguez
A potential fight-of-the-year candidate enters the main event as defending champion Alexander Volkanovsky takes on the insanely talented Yair Rodríguez.
Rodriguez is rapidly improving as a fighter, showing impressive, creative striking and threatening solid submissions.
But he is undoubtedly in a tough position against the unassailable Australian fighter.
Volkanovsky dominates fighters with his low-leg kicks that reduce his opponent’s mobility, while managing distance at a conspicuous rate and grappling when necessary.
Most grappling exchanges should be won by Volkanovsky, but when both stand and trade strikes, Rodriguez will prove himself to be game, remaining fearless throughout.
Cardio makes the difference in this fight, as grappling becomes an important aspect of the game as the pace slows down.
As Brian Ortega found out, Rodriguez will have a hard time getting a submission win here.
If you’re looking for juicy plus-money bets, see if Volkanovsky wins this late, probably in the third, fourth and fifth rounds.
- Volkanovsky Wins in Round 3 (+1100), Wins in Round 4 (+1500), and Wins in Round 5 (+2000), all available on FanDuel.
Volkanovsky’s win rate over 2.5 rounds is -139 at Pointsbet, and is a good bet for more risk-averse bookmakers.
Brandon Moreno vs Alexandre Pantoja
Another title fight heads into our co-main event for this spectacular fight card as we get a rematch between Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja.
Moreno has made rapid improvements since that fight in 2018 and is the undisputed champ for good reason.
But Pantoja has won over Moreno, so there is little uncertainty.
As they fought in the past, Moreno surprised Pantoja with strong grappling exchanges and his ability to slip and get back on his feet.
On the feet, Moreno lands shots to the body, and these skills have grown since their fight several years ago.
However, Moreno is not the same athlete as Pantoza, and that could spell trouble for the Mexican-born champion.
Judging by their recent fights, both fighters have found themselves in danger of submission as well as putting their opponents in danger of submission.
Moreno turned his back to Devasion Figueredo several times and Brandon Royval threatened Pantoza with leg lock attacks before Pantoza was submitted with relative ease.
This fight, which ended in submission either way, is +305 on WynnBet, which is a long haul compared to the fight not going the distance (-112, FanDuel).
Both are good bets to aim for this evening, as we have a very lively underdog spot where we can crown a new champion.
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21+. New customers only. NJ only. Terms and Conditions Apply
Dricks Du Plessis Vs. robert whitaker
Robert Whitaker comes into tonight’s fight as a big favorite against the talented but cardio-lacking Drichs du Plessis.
Du Plessis is going to look typical in the first round of this fight, and if it was a five-round fight, Whittaker would be priced appropriately.
But in a three-round fight, Whitaker’s arrival at -400 seems wide enough, and the value side is probably du Plessis.
But betting on him could be a disappointment as he will play with demolitions in the second and third rounds.
For this, I am resorting to timing, as we have done in the past, and all the constraints can be found on FanDuel and Caesar.
- Battle starts at Round 2 -250 (1u)
- over 1.5 rounds -145 (.5u)
- Round 3 starts +110 (.3u)
- distance goes up to +172 (.25u)
Dan Hooker Vs. jalin turner
Jalin Turner is 6’3 inches and fights at 155 pounds – it seems almost impossible.
Sure, he lost weight for the competition, but that shouldn’t really worry us as a bettor.
Turner is going to make huge gains in his grappling, and his striking is improving as well.
His -275 price is a great parlay builder as Dan Hooker continues to fall.
Hooker’s fight with Dustin Poirier is a legend and is highly recommended to watch if you are a fan of fighting.
He is not at stake for tonight and will not be against any elite level athlete or rising prospect looking to make a jump in the rankings.
- Volkanovsky to win over 2.5 rounds -139 (PointsBet)
- Does not distance Pantoja/Moreno-112 (Fanduel). Fight ends on submission +305 (WynnBet)
- Whittaker/du Plessis time props (Caesar) as listed
- Turner ML-275 For Parle (Betmgm)