All eyes are on Conor McGregor in his in-ring return at UFC 257 against Dustin Poirier. The lightweight bout is actually a rematch more than six years in the making. We have an in-depth preview of the fight, along with free betting predictions!
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UFC 234 Fight Card Betting Picks
The UFC 234 main card is slotted to begin at 10 pm EST on Saturday, February 9th, while prelims stream on ESPN+ two hours before. Five bouts make up UFC fight night, and here's odds on each, per Bovada. Without further ado, let's jump into our betting picks for each:
Robert Whittaker (-240) vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Steroids. Post-match brawls. Suspensions. All three topics have made more UFC news than anything that's actually taken place in the octagon as of late. Yet, for once, the biggest storyline heading into a UFC main event is what's actually at stake: the middleweight championship.
Whittaker (20-4) — who hasn't lost a fight in almost five years — defends the gold against a streaky Gastelum (15-3-1), who is 4-1 since moving up to the middleweight class. This is an evenly matched battle with the two fighters in the prime of their careers, and both preferring to stand-up box.
You can't overlook the crowd in this one, who will be wildly behind the Sydney native, Whittaker. That momentum will carry the champion to a successful title defense.
Pick: Whittaker (-240)
Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya (-650)
"Spider" Silva (34-8-1) is one of the greatest UFC technicians of all time, but at this point, he's just collecting a paycheck. He's won just one of his past six fights and has no business being in the ring with a rising star like Adesanya, who is 14 years his junior.
Dana White is just using Silva as bait to showcase his new star — a perfect 15-0 fighter with 13 knockout wins. Find a prop bet for the KO win in favor of Adesanya if you want to maximize profits.
Pick: Adesanya (-650)
Rani Yahya (-105) vs. Ricky Simon (-125)
Talk about a coin-toss flip. The bantamweight clash pits two scorching-hot fighters against one another. Simon (14-1) is the winner of seven in a row. The slight-favorite Yahya (26-9-1) has won seven of eight since returning to 135 pounds.
This feels like a coming-out party for Simon. This will be just his third fight in the UFC, but at 26 years of age — eight years younger than Yahya — the bantamweight class will run through him for years to come.
Pick: Simon (-125)
Nadia Kassem vs. Montana De La Rosa (-260)
Kassem (5-0) is the Australian local, but enters as the moderate underdog against De La Rosa (9-4). Neither one of these two has much UFC experience so it's tough to put a finger on any one of them.
We'll say this, though, De La Rosa has a nasty rear-naked choke and armbar. Seven of her wins have come from one of the two moves. With more experience under her belt, she's more likely to bait Kassem into a mistake, especially if Kassem tries to do too much to appease the home crowd.
Pick: De La Rosa (-260)
Jim Crute (-135) vs. Sam Alvey
This fight was created on short notice, meaning anything can and will happen. With that said, there's something that really appeals to us about Alvey. It'll be his first pay-per-view appearance, despite being on his 17th fight for the UFC. For a guy who averages as much as four fights per year, his love for the sport is unbridled. We'll take that passion in this crapshoot.
Pick: Sam Alvey (+105)
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