UFC 260 took its fair share of hits before the card finally settled — we were supposed to have two title fights on this card instead of just one — but there’s still plenty of exciting action to look forward to, including the Heavyweight championship rematch between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
So where should you be looking to place your bets? Our crew is looking at three fights in particular and sees a few bets in those matchups that offer value.
You can find their analysis and picks on those matches below.
Sean Zerillo: Modestas Bukauskas vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Betting Analyst, The Action Network
I wrote in more detail about this fight and the rest of the card in my UFC 260 Projections piece, but I’ll sum up my thoughts here as well.
I don’t think Bukauskas has the skill edge anywhere in this matchup, but he has physical advantages in height (+3 inches), reach (+4 inches), and most importantly cardio, against an opponent who generally fades in the middle of the second round.
There’s value on the Oleksiejczuk side at -165 or better, and value on the fight to end inside the distance (projected 71%) at -194 or better.
But I’m not certain that Bukauskas finishes a tiring Michal — and I don’t think there’s much sense in playing Michal’s moneyline when a finish is his most likely win condition and it offers a far more significant edge.
I prefer Oleksiejczuk’s knockout prop (projected +109) or inside the distance prop (projected -115) relative to listed odds of +175 and +150. You can play those down to +133 and +105, respectively. This fight has potential for a live bet on Bukauskas after Round 1 (+200 or better).
The Pick: Oleksiejczuk Wins Inside the Distance (+150)
Billy Ward: Jamie Mullarkey vs. Khama Worthy
Contributor at The Action Network
Jamie Mullarkey vs. Khama Worthy kicks off the main card of UFC 260 on Saturday. Worthy (2-1 UFC) is coming off his first loss in the big show, a quick TKO at the capable hands of Ottman Azaitar, while Mullarkey is 0-2 in the UFC, and perhaps fighting for his promotional life.
Based on his UFC career so far, Mullarkey will be trying to get this fight to the ground, and control this fight from the top with ground-and-pound while looking for submissions. He attempts a well-below average 30 or so strikes per round, but relentlessly attacks with takedowns, averaging 4.0 per round (For context, in my dataset of 2146 UFC fighters, his rate is 21st all time.)
Worthy is a more well rounded fighter — known for his impressive knockout power, but also a capable grappler himself. While he won’t be trying to bring the fight to the ground (zero takedown attempts in his UFC career) he has acquitted himself well when his opponent takes the fight there. To a degree this has been due to the striking-friendly matchups he’s been given, but Luis Pena is a very capable grappler, and Pena was only able to takedown worthy three times in seven attempts.
The main issue at play here is what happens when this fight eventually does gets to the mat. Worthy, while being taken down three times, has landed two reversals and a submission win in the UFC.
He also has two other non-UFC submission victories, and the only time he’s been submitted was his professional debut way back in 2012. I don’t see Mullarkey changing that, nor do I see him being able to finish Worthy with strikes on the ground.
While I normally lean grappler in striker-vs-grappler matchups, I’m not entirely sure Mullarkey is even the superior grappler here, and he definitely has a deficit on the feet.
I’m seeing Worthy’s monelyline as low as -130 (PointsBet), but to be honest, anything shy of -200 or so feels like a value to me here. Had Worthy not been KO’d by Azaitar in his last bout, I think that’s about where the line would be this time. I’ll take the small favorite here on the moneyline.
The Pick: Worthy (-130)
Erich Richter: Vicente Luque vs. Tyron Woodley
Contributor at The Action Network
Tyron Woodley is a former UFC champion who successful defended his title not once, but four times. Now he is a weathered fighter who seems to be a shell of his former self.
His past three fights have been mostly non-competitive –Woodley has been outlanded 302-96 combined against Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns and Colby Covington. Woodley has looked extremely hesitant recently and his quick twitch feints are nowhere to be found.
Luque lands 5.72 significant strikes per minute, per UFC Stats. His weakness is his striking defense where absorbs 5.82 strikes per minute. Unfortunately, Woodley isn’t a guarantee to take advantage of this weakness due to his lack of offensive output in recent bouts.
When he was a champion, he was a counter puncher with extreme athleticism and takedown threats. He has not shown any of these skills in years as a defensive fighter rather than an attacking one.
Plenty of bettors will surely be betting Luque via KO +295 and rightfully so — Luque has serious power. However, Burns and Usman didn’t managed to knock out Woodley in main event matchups and this is just a three-round fight.
Woodley has run from his past opponents, so I would expect more of the same. He will not want to trade with Luque’s high offensive output and power combinations.
Luque’s decision prop is +165 (37.74% implied) at PointsBet. This is the best value I could find across the industry and I would bet this down to +135 (42.55% implied).
The Pick: Vicente Luque via decision (+165)