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UFC Best Bets
UFC Best Bets

The UFC returns down under to Perth for an event capped by a pair of fascinating championship matchups. Read on for our UFC best bets for Saturday’s UFC 284 based on the odds from our best sportsbooks.

Not four months after claiming the UFC’s lightweight crown with a submission of Charles Oliveira, Islam Makhachev will defend it against reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski in the event’s headliner. Makhachev heads to his challenger’s home country with 11 straight wins and five consecutive finishes to his name, while Volkanovski moves up from 145 pounds with a pristine 12-0 UFC record, 22 straight Ws, and four successful featherweight title defenses.

Moments prior to this champ-versus-champ clash, Josh Emmett and Yair Rodriguez will square off for an interim featherweight title that will earn the winner a date with Volkanovski. Emmett most recently extended his win streak to five with a hard-earned decision over Calvin Kattar last summer, while the highly touted Rodriguez was last seen scoring an injury TKO over Brian Ortega this past July.

In another compelling main-card matchup, Jack Della Maddalena looks to move up the welterweight ladder in his hometown against a streaking Randy Brown.

With all that said, here are our best bets for UFC 284 (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our UFC best bets.  

UFC 284 schedule and odds

(odds via Caesars)

Main Card (10 p.m. ET):

  • Islam Makhachev (-400) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (+310)
  • Yair Rodriguez (-190) vs. Josh Emmett (+160)
  • Jack Della Maddalena (-330) vs. Randy Brown (+260)
  • Justin Tafa (-125) vs. Parker Porter (+105)
  • Jimmy Crute (-190) vs. Alonzo Menifield (+160)

Prelims (8 p.m. ET):

  • Tyson Pedro (-230) vs. Modestas Bukauskas (+190)
  • Josh Culibao (-110) vs. Melsik Baghdasaryan (-110)
  • Shannon Ross (+260) vs. Kleydson Rodrigues (-330)
  • Jamie Mullarkey (-280) vs. Francisco Prado (+230)

Early Prelims (6 p.m. ET):

  • Jack Jenkins (-360) vs. Don Shainis (+280)
  • Loma Lookboonmee (-310) vs. Elise Reed (+250)
  • Shane Young (-150) vs. Blake Bilder (+125)
  • Zubaira Tukhugov (-625) vs. Elves Brenner (+450)

UFC 284 best bets

  • Fight line: Rodriguez ML vs. Emmett (-190 via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Menifield ML vs. Crute (+160 via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Winning method: Tukhugov by decision vs. Brenner (+125 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Prop bet: Pedro vs. Bukauskas Under 1.5 rounds (+114 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Parlay: Lookboonmee by decision (-135) + Menifield (+160) + Rodriguez (-190) = +591 (via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐

UFC top picks for UFC 284

Fight Line: Rodriguez ML vs. Emmett (-190 via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐

Both these featherweight strikers average about 150 significant strike attempts per matchup, but Rodriguez lands 45% of his to Emmett’s 38%, which is why I’m siding with the former.

Granted, Emmett can go five rounds and packs show-stopping power in his mitts - hence this pick’s three-star rating - but Rodriguez knows how to mix up his targets to the dome (56%) and legs (27%), and I’m counting on him to stay busy with the jab and low kicks from the opening bell. As long as he can rein himself in and keep the errant spinning attacks to a minimum, I expect Rodriguez to outland a game and dangerous Emmett - likely over five rounds - and claim the interim featherweight strap.

Upset: Menifield ML vs. Crute (+160 via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐

Jimmy Crute has been outgunned by superior strikers in two straight defeats, and I say Alonzo Menifield makes it three in a row come fight night.

When given time and space to work, Crute can strike his way into takedowns and get the action to the mat, but Menifield boasts an 86% takedown defense and likes putting his foes on the back foot. Given Menifield’s 56% significant strike accuracy, near-four significant strikes landed per minute, and 10 knockouts in 13 pro wins, I like his chances of taking the center, walking Crute down, and scoring an upset in enemy territory.

If you’re counting on Crute falling to strikes for the third straight time, an 11th career KO/TKO for Menifield might interest you at +230 with FanDuel.

Winning Method: Tukhugov by decision vs. Brenner (+125 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

Zubaira Tukhugov has gone the distance in six of his eight UFC showings, while Elvis Brenner’s three pro losses have all come on points. The Russian product averages nearly 2.5 takedowns per 15 minutes, while Brenner boasts an active guard and has tapped many a man with the armbar.

He may be a wrestler at his core, but Tukhogov has flaunted a crisp jab in his recent showings. With Brenner hoping the action hits the mat, I expect Tukhugov to keep his lead hand busy on the feet, put in some time on the ground with some smothering top control, and maybe even shake a few submission attempts en route to a 13th career win on points.

Prop Bet: Pedro vs. Bukauskas Under 1.5 rounds (+114 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

All but two of Tyson Pedro’s 12 pro bouts have ended before the second stanza, while 12 of Modestas Bukauskas’ 18 career fights have lasted 1.5 rounds or less. Furthermore, Pedro has earned all nine of his victories within the distance, with Bukauskas owning 11 finishes of his own in 13 pro wins and four losses by stoppage in five career defeats.

All this is to say, whether Pedro comes heavy with pressure before finishing with a nasty blitz or Bukauskas hits pay dirt from the outside, these two light heavyweights are in for a short and violent night of work.

Parlay: Lookboonmee by decision (-135) + Menifield (+160) + Rodriguez (-190) = +591 (via Caesars Sportsbook) ⭐⭐⭐

UFC best bets made 02/11/2023 at 12:04 a.m. ET.

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