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Best Bets For UFC 285

MMA article at Knup Sports

The UFC will host its third major event of 2023 on March 4 at T-Mobile Arena. Daniel Benjamin gives his best or UFC 285, headlined by Jon Jomes vs. Cyril Gane.

The Ultimate Fighting Championships’ third major event of 2023 could be its most explosive of the year thus far. UFC 285 occurs Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Two title fights headline the 14-fight card. The main draw is a heavyweight tilt for the vacant title between former 2-time UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who returns to the octagon for the first time in three years, and former interim champion Ciryl Gane. The belt is available as former champion Francis Ngannouwas stripped of the title on January 14 and released from the promotion due to a contract dispute.

The co-main event for UFC 285 is a women’s Flyweight Championship bout between belt holder Valentina Shevchenko and sixth-ranked Alexa Grasso. The action starts at 5:30 p.m. (ET) with the early preliminaries on ESPN, while the main card is at 10 p.m. on PPV. The following odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Valentino Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso, Flyweight Title Fight

Shevchenko (23-3, 12-2 UFC) has dominated the 125-pound class since December 2018, winning seven straight fights – all championship bouts. Grasso (15-3, 7-2), who has won four consecutive contests, gets her first shot at a championship.

Go with Shevchenko to win the fight, which should be very entertaining. The 34-year-old Kyrgyzstan is the better grappler and better defensive fighter. Sixteen of Shevchenko’s 26 fights have ended before the final bell, while just six of Grasso’s 18 bouts have gone the distance.

Shevchenko is a considerable favorite (-750). So, I will only use her to win in a parlay bet. However, there are a few bets for UFC 285 that do have some value.

Prediction: Valentino Shevchenko (-750)
Best Bet: Fight to Go Over 3.5 Rounds (-105)
Other Bets: Shevchenko to win via TKO/KO/DQ or Decision (-225)
Fight to Go Distance (+130)

Mana Martinez vs. Cameron Saaiman, Bantamweight

I expect this fight to be very competitive and could see either coming out with a victory. Martinez and Saaiman are hungry youngsters looking to make a name for themselves in the promotion.

While I lean towards Saaiman (7-0, 1-0) to remain undefeated, there is little value with his money line odds of -265. Plus, Martinez (10-3, 2-1) is a formidable foe.

The best bet here is a round bet, as Saaiman and Marinez are capable finishers. The 22-year-old Saaiman has gone the distance just once in seven outings. Nine of the 26-year-old Martinez’s fights have ended before the final bell.

As evidenced by the two fighters’ past performances, there is a strong possibility that the bout will end before the 15-minute limit. So, my best bet is that the fight will start Round 3. Each of Martinez’s three UFC matches has gone to the judges, and Saaiman’s last three fights have begun Round 3.

Prediction: Cameron Saaiman to win
Best Bet: Fight to begin Round 3 (-135)

Other Bets for UFC 285

Dricus Du Plessis (-225) to defeat Derek Brunson
Marc Andre Barriault (-150) to defeat Julian Marquez; fight not to go the distance (-200)
SGP (+185): Marc Andre Barriault to win and Fight to go Under 2.5 Rounds
Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Gary Neaak Fight To Not Go Distance (-225)
6-legged Win Parlay (+263): Valentino Shevchenko (-750), Shavkat Rakhmonov (-490), Farid Basharat (-450), Tabatha Ricci (-305), Dricus Du Plessis (-225), and Ian Garry (-730).

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