The UFC’s fall schedule is packed with some sick fights – and there might be a few more on the way. The date to really keep your eye on is UFC 244 in November, which can be summed up in three words: Madison. Square. Garden. Any time there’s a card at the legendary New York venue, the UFC makes it a tentpole event.
Where there’s a major event, there are Conor McGregor rumors. Right now, we’ve heard rumblings about a rematch with Jose Aldo or a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz. Obviously, we’ll keep you posted if and when MMA’s biggest superstar signs the dotted line – nobody draws nearly as much action in the online sportsbook as the brash Irishman.
With our default mention of McGregor out of the way, let’s focus on the fights that we know we’re getting. These are all fights that you can bet on right now with the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu, and you don’t need us to remind you that making early bets is always a good idea – lines can move dramatically during fight week once most of the action starts.
Not to brag or anything, but we’ve made a good number of early underdog picks that end up as favorites on fight night. You’d be doing yourself a huge disservice if you’re only betting the week of a scrap. In most cases you’ll be picking a winner – prop bets usually don’t release till fight week – but when there’s a huge fight make sure to check the online sportsbook as odds usually release earlier.
Without further ado, let’s break down the early betting strategies you should consider for this season’s biggest matchups. All prices courtesy of the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu.
UFC 242, September 7
Dustin Poirier +280 vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov -375
Strategy: Bet on Khabib to win at -375 now
The Russian’s price will only get more expensive from here on out. A -375 opening line isn’t cheap, but you should be confident to use it as a parlay booster. It’s been a while since Khabib has fought, but once the UFC marketing machine starts rolling closer to the fight, it should drive the Russian’s betting line to even more expensive territory. This is, after all, a guy that’s never lost in 27 pro fights while destroying guys like McGregor, Edson Barboza and Rafael dos Anjos.
You should also keep a close eye on the props when they release. In this case, the victory bets should be very interesting. If there’s a plus price on Khabib to win by decision, it’s something we’d seriously consider. The Russian steamrolls guys, but is not the most consistent finisher – just one stoppage in his past three wins. While Poirier is susceptible to flash knockouts, Khabib isn’t a one-hitter quitter by nature. The interim champ is also as tough and skilled as they come.
UFC on ESPN+ 16, September 14
Donald Cerrone +210 vs. Justin Gaethje -250
Strategy: Bet on Cerrone to win at +210 now
Justin Gaethje is a once-in-a-generation type fighter. Not because he’s the best – although he’s elite – but because true brawl-or-nothing guys like him don’t exist anymore. Win or lose, his fights are always bangers that ratchet the violence level to 100 real quick. He’s basically a walking Fight of the Night award, and he’s fighting Cowboy – who happens to own the most bonuses in UFC history.
Cowboy as a big underdog is understandable – he’s folded on more than a few occasions against aggressive pressure fighters. But Gaethje has one of the most unsustainable fighting styles out there, and if it gets into deep waters where both dudes are doing zombie impersonations it’s anyone’s fight. Cerrone certainly has the tools to carve up The Highlight, and it’s a chance we’d take at +210.
UFC 243, October 5
Israel Adesanya +105 vs. Robert Whittaker -135
Action: Bet on Adesanya to win at +105 now
This is one of those cases where we wouldn’t be surprised if Adesanya ends up as a slight favorite. Though his fight with Gastelum wasn’t easy, he wins the eye test and it’s a good style matchup for him. There are a lot of bettors who will be tempted by his shredded 6’4” frame next to the 5’10” Whittaker.
Plus, Whittaker is returning from a literal life-threatening injury. Though it wasn’t something like an ACL tear that might affect his physical abilities, his collapsed bowel did keep him out of action for over a year. Now, he’s got to shake off ring rust while fighting the guy many hailed as the next Andeson Silva. Lean on The Last Stylebender at any underdog price.
Check out the latest UFC betting odds.