UFC 228 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

After months of sporadic UFC events with several long breaks, we now begin the action-packed Autumn / Winter UFC schedule. Between now and the end of the year we have 14 UFC events. That’s 14 potential paydays and 14 opportunities to make money.

Over the last 5 years, we have performed really well over the Autumn / Winter period. Take a look at the results graph for our Elite Members and see for yourself:

As you can see we’ve banked a very solid profit almost every Autumn / Winter since we started tracking our results back in 2013. I am going to work really hard over the next few months to try and keep this trend going. Fingers crossed we can all earn some extra money in time for Christmas!

Before I jump into my betting tips for UFC 228, I want to talk a little bit about a fight I won’t be betting on…

Many of you have asked me questions about the fight between Darren Till and Tyron Woodley, so I thought I would share how I feel about the matchup here…

Wednesday night I completed my research on this fight and concluded that Darren Till was a decent bet at odds of around 1.90 | -111 | 9/10. These odds gave him an implied probability of 53%, which I felt was a decent return because I capped him at 60% to 65% depending on how good or bad his weight cut went.

As I came close to finishing my write-up for the bet, the main MMA media outlets started to publish their first set of fight week interviews to Youtube. I watched them all and unfortunately stumbled across a huge red flag while watching one of the interviews with Darren Till. Take a look and see for yourself:

In that interview, Darren Till suggested that he may be battling a few significant injuries going into this matchup against Tyron Woodley. He then tried to cover it up by saying that no fighter ever competes at 100%.

If we break this interview down and carefully dissect what Till is saying, I feel pretty confident that he is struggling with a big injury right now. Yes, it’s true that no fighter ever competes 100% healthy, but there’s a big difference between trying to fight through muscle injuries and trying to fight with broken hands and torn ACLs.

In that interview Till tries to make it sound like his injuries are no different to what any fighter has to deal with before they compete, but when he said the following statement, to me it sounded like his issues might be more serious:

I’m punching people hard every day, and my hands are hurting. Unless I trip on a wire now and break my leg, nothings keeping me out of this fight. If I go into that fight with an injury, I won’t speak about it, and if I lose that fight because of an injury I won’t speak about it either.

What he said there indicates to me that he is carrying an injury that could have a big impact on his performance. Why else would he say that if he loses the fight, he won’t speak about the loss being as a result of an injury? Why even bring this up if there isn’t an injury that could cause you to lose? For me, it was a strange thing for Darren Till to say and a huge red flag. Maybe it was the delusional ramblings of a fighter delirious while in the midst of a savage weight cut, or maybe there’s something more to what he was saying. Either way, with there now being the possibility that Till is going to fight with a bad injury, I have to pass.

It’s a shame because if both guys showed up and performed to their full potential, I personally feel like Till would probably win for several reasons; He has a big size advantage which will make it difficult for Woodley to cover distance and land on him. The size difference will also make it difficult for Woodley to hold him down. Till also fights with his hands low which will enable him to get underhooks in play early when Woodley shoots for takedowns. I also feel like Woodley has a predictable style of striking. He has an overhand right, and that’s about it. Till is a very high-level striker and should be ready for this. I feel Till’s speed, power and ability to cut off the Octagon and drown his opponent’s in pressure will be too much for Woodley to handle.

Problem is; If Till is still struggling with a knee injury or a broken hand, he probably won’t be able to do the things that I’ve just mentioned that would give him a chance of winning. If he has a broken left hand, he’ll be more reluctant to throw it, and it’ll also make it harder for him to control Woodley’s hands in the clinch and on the ground if he is battling to defend takedowns or work his way back to his feet. A broken left hand would also make it more difficult to post and get back to his feet if he does get taken down. A knee injury would significantly impact his ability to throw kicks and defend takedowns. To keep a fight standing against a guy like Woodley you need to be able to create a strong, wide base and plant your feet. This is basically impossible to do with a significant knee injury.

Till is a tough guy, but you can’t fight to your full potential with significant injuries. It’s not possible. I hope Till wins on Saturday night. But for me, it’s too much of a risk to bet him at the current odds. His weight cut does not appear to be going well, and now we have confirmation that he may be battling some significant injuries. Woodley also said today that he has seen Till’s coaches having to hold him up several times in the fighter Hotel this week:

Here you can see the most recent fight week interview with Till:

I am British, I want Darren Till to win the title badly, but sometimes the best bets are the ones that we don’t place. I strongly recommend that you pass on this fight. Win or lose I believe passing is the best decision.

Please let me know in the Forum Thread or Chat Room how you feel about this fight.

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Darren Till vs Tyron Woodley No bet Till to win
Jessica Andrade vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz No bet Andrade to win
Carla Esparza vs Tatiana Suarez No bet Suarez to win
Brandon Davis vs Zabit Magomedsharipov 3 units on this fight to last longer than 1.5 rounds at odds of 1.74 | -135 | 37/50 Magomedsharipov to win
Aljamain Sterling vs Cody Stamann No bet Stamann to win
Charles Byrd vs Darren Stewart 1 unit on this fight to last longer than 1.5 rounds at odds of 2.20 | +120 | 6/5 Byrd to win
Abdul Razak Alhassan vs Niko Price No bet Alhassan to win
Jimmie Rivera vs John Dodson No bet Dodson to win
Craig White vs Diego Sanchez No bet Sanchez to win
Alex White vs Jim Miller No bet Miller to win
Irene Aldana vs Lucie Pudilova No bet Aldana to win
Jarred Brooks vs Roberto Sanchez 1 unit on Roberto Sanchez to win this fight at odds of 4.35 | +335 | 67/20 Sanchez to win
Frank Camacho vs Geoffrey Neal No bet Neal to win

Charles Byrd vs Darren Stewart Betting Tip and Prediction

There was some confusion surrounding where the over was supposed to be set on the fight between Charles Byrd and Darren Stewart. Yesterday all the International Betting Websites had the over set at over 1.5 rounds, while all the European Betting Websites had it set at over 2.5 rounds. This is a huge difference, but I am glad to see that today the majority of major betting websites now have the over set at over 1.5 rounds:

As the week progresses, I expect more European Betting Websites to correct their mistake and set the over at 1.5 rounds. If your usual betting site has not yet listed this over, I urge you to lock in this bet ASAP on a different website that is offering it, because I expect the odds to decline significantly as we get closer to the time of the fight. This is a great value bet, and we need to jump on it straight away.

We’ve done exceptionally well on these kinds of bets so far this year going 9-1 for a total profit of 17.66 units. On that note, I want to let you know that I am super close to finishing the rebuild of our brand new results page. Over the next few weeks, the new results page will go live, and you’ll be able to check stats like this for yourself as well as measure our profit and loss from month to month.

If you scroll through the MMA records of both Charles Byrd and Darren Stewart you can see why the bookies have set the over on this fight at 1.5 rounds. They both have a ton of early finishes. Check Charles Byrd’s record to see for yourself:

Here is Darren Stewart’s record:

Any fight can end in a split second. This fight may go to the distance, or it may finish inside 20 seconds, but time and time again we see the bookies casually set odds on bets like this without giving it too much thought.

On paper, it looks like it is more likely that this fight will end early, but fights aren’t fought on paper, they are fought in the Octagon. Stylistically I believe that there’s a good chance this matchup goes the distance, making the over 1.5 rounds at underdog odds a great value bet.

If you look at the fighting styles of both guys you’ll see that they’re both primarily strikers who like to incorporate grappling into their style. They’re similar in many ways. They both hit hard, and they are both very tough with decent chins. They often use clinch work or wrestling in between huge bursts of explosive striking to both take a break and slow the fight down from turning into a wild slugfest.

Charles Byrd is a little more polished in all areas than Darren Stewart, but from a technical perspective, there isn’t that big of a difference between the two. Byrd is a little more refined on the ground, while I’d give the edge in striking to Stewart.

Byrd and Stewart are two inexperienced fighters who are going to be making big improvements from fight to fight. We saw this from Stewart in his last matchup against Eric Spicely where he did a good job of pacing himself and fought much more tactically than usual. In his past fights, he would come out the gate at 1000 miles an hour trying to take his opponents head off and inevitably gas out midway through the second round. His intelligent performance against Spicely shows an evolution in his style that will lead to much more of his fights going the distance in the future.

Charles Byrd is a guy that likes to use his athleticism to back people up to the cage where he can grind on them. This style isn’t usually a style that results in many early finishes, but Byrd has consistently faced a level of opponent that has not been able to cope with his physical gifts. This has resulted in him claiming more early finishes than he is likely to get against UFC level opponents. Byrd’s numerous early stoppages say more about the guys that he was fighting than his ability to finish fights.

I love this bet because I see a large portion of this fight being contested in the clinch against the cage. I strongly believe that these guys are going to run the clock down battling for position against the cage, which makes it much more likely that this fight will cruise past the 7.5-minute mark.

When you have two powerful, athletic guys like Byrd and Stewart, they often have a bunch of early finishes on their record before they arrive in the UFC because their athleticism enables them to blow past less athletic opponents on the regional circuit. When they finally reach the UFC their physical gifts aren’t special anymore, and you start to see them involved in much more competitive fights. I believe that’s what we’ll see from these two at UFC 228. On the regional circuit we saw both these guys blow through weaker opposition, but now that they’re facing tougher opponents we’ll see more tactical performances that should see more of their fights go the distance.

You’ll also notice that on the rare occasions that these guys faced a step up in competition they both went the distance. Charles Byrd went the distance with UFC alumni Bojan Velickovic a couple of years ago, and Darren Stewart went the distance with Francimar Barroso in one of his recent fights. This is a further indication that it’s more likely that these guys will fight to more decisions when they face a step up in competition.

The bookies have set the over on this fight at 1.5 rounds, which means this fight only needs to last longer than 7.5 minutes for us to win this bet. At the current odds, I believe this is excellent value because both these guys have very good chins and they love to work in the clinch. They are also both sloppy in grappling exchanges and frequently give up position.

Anything can happen in MMA, but based on all the information available to us I feel like betting the over at underdog odds is worth a gamble.

Let me know in the Chat Room if you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss this bet in more detail.

Reasons for betting on the over 1.5 rounds

  • The vast majority of Byrd and Stewart’s early finishes have come against a low level of opponent.
  • Darren Stewart came out and fought much more tactically in his last fight against Eric Spicely. He now appears to have learned the importance of pacing himself.
  • Both Byrd and Stewart have fought to a decision on the rare occasions that they have stepped up and fought a higher level of opponent.
  • Byrd and Stewart are both very tough. They have good chins. They don’t quit.
  • Both Byrd and Stewart like to grind on their opponents in the clinch. This should help run the clock down.
  • Byrd and Stewart both like to incorporate grappling into their fights but they’re quite sloppy and not that dangerous. They frequently give up position.
  • As both fighters move up the ranks they will have more to lose. This should mean that they take less risks and start to fight smarter.

Risk Factors with betting on the over 1.5 rounds

  • Darren Stewart has started very hard and fast in the past. He has pushed the action making it unlikely that the fight would go the distance. He appears to be learning and changing, so hopefully we won’t see this kind of performance from him against Byrd.
  • Darren Stewart is wild and wreckless at times.
  • Darren Stewart hits very hard.
  • Both guys are low level on the ground.

My Betting Tip

Over 1.5 rounds

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.20
Moneyline = +120
Fractional = 6/5

45%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that this fight has a 45% chance of lasting longer than 1.5 rounds based on their current odds.

60%

Our Probability

We believe that this fight has a 60% chance of lasting longer than 1.5 rounds based on our extensive research and analysis.

Brandon Davis vs Zabit Magomedsharipov Betting Tip and Prediction

Our bet on Charles Byrd vs Darren Stewart to last longer than 1.5 rounds is mostly based on the assumption that both guys will be less dangerous now that they are facing a tougher level of opponent. Our second bet on this card is similar, but we’re locking it in for entirely different reasons.

There’s a lot of hype surrounding Zabit Magomedsharipov right now, and it’s all justified. He’s a monster. He is one of the few guys in the UFC that is legitimately great at everything. He has one of the best MMA coaches in the world, and at 27 years old it’s probably just a matter of time before he becomes UFC Champion.

Brandon Davis has an enormous mountain to climb if he wants to have any success in this fight, but like many Combat Sambo fighters, Zabit prefers point scoring and control over ruthlessly pursuing a finish. He allows finishes to come naturally, which is the main reason why he hasn’t yet picked up any first-round finishes in the UFC.

Brandon Davis, like any fighter trained by the legend Alan Belcher, is naturally going to be very tough. Belcher doesn’t just train any fighter; he only works with old-school, gritty Warriors that are willing to go out on their shield. Brandon Davis perfectly fits that description. He has many weaknesses from a technical perspective, but his toughness makes him a real challenge for anyone in the UFC’s Featherweight division.

Brandon Davis is primarily a striker. He has an extensive background in Muay Thai and works for Belcher as the striking coach for his gym. He has an excellent chin, and he rides punches very well. He’s like Darren Till in many ways. He’s so comfortable striking that he sees everything coming. Zabit has devastating striking, but Davis has the pedigree to survive and cause Zabit some problems. I don’t see Zabit being able to finish this fight with strikes and Davis doesn’t really possess KO power either.

Brandon Davis’ weakness is his grappling, but his submission defense is pretty good. His takedown defense is average, but he does a really good job of popping right back up to his feet when he gets taken down. It’s only when Davis starts to get tired in the second half of a fight that his takedown defense starts to get weaker and he then also becomes easier to hold down. I am hoping that our bet on the over 1.5 rounds will have cashed before he becomes too tired to keep popping back up to his feet.

Zabit, like many Combat Sambo guys, prefers to go for position over submission on the ground, so there’s not too much of Davis being finished if he gets taken down early on in the fight. Zabit has strong ground and pound, but Davis is far too tough to turtle up and quit. The only real risk of Davis being submitted on the ground is by rear naked choke because this is pretty much the only submission that Zabit works for. I am not too worried about Davis being caught in a rear naked choke because he trains with Jason Knight who is the fastest back taker I have ever seen in MMA. He also has Alan Belcher as a coach who is a super high-level grappler. You will often see Brandon Davis give his back up when defending takedowns or scrambling back to his feet and I believe this is because he’s extremely confident in his RNC choke defense after training with Jason Knight for so long. Zabit is a monster on the ground, but nobody can take your back and sink a rear naked choke in faster than Jason Knight.

I like the over 1.5 rounds bet on this fight for stylistic reasons and the stats also back it up. All 3 of Zabit’s fights in the UFC have lasted longer than 1.5 rounds, and Brandon Davis’ last 4 fights have all gone the distance. I recommend you lock this bet in as soon as possible because I expect the odds to decline significantly between now and the start of the fight.

Reasons for betting on the over 1.5 rounds

  • All 3 of Zabit’s fights in the UFC have lasted longer than 1.5 rounds.
  • Brandon Davis’ last 4 fights have all gone the distance.
  • Like many Combat Sambo guys, Zabit prefers to go for position over submission.
  • Brandon Davis is extremely tough. He has an amazing chin and won’t quit.
  • The only submission that Zabit really goes for is the rear naked choke and Brandon Davis has solid rear naked choke defense.
  • Brandon Davis does a good job of popping back up to his feet in the early stages of a fight.
  • Brandon Davis trains with Alan Belcher and Jason Knight who are two extremely high level grapplers.
  • Brandon Davis is a very experienced striker. He’s very relaxed in the Octagon. This enables him to see unorthodox shots coming and move with the strikes.

Risk Factors with betting on the over 1.5 rounds

  • Zabit Magomedsharipov is a monster. He’s extremely high level in all areas and possesses the skills to end a fight in an instant.
  • Brandon Davis is taking this fight on short notice.
  • Brandon Davis tends to slow down in the second half of his fights.
  • Zabit is very unorthodox, you never know what he is going to do.

My Betting Tip

Over 1.5 rounds

Recommended Stake

3 Units

[3% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 1.74
Moneyline = -135
Fractional = 37/50

57%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that this fight has a 57% chance of lasting longer than 1.5 rounds based on their current odds.

70%

Our Probability

We believe that this fight has a 70% chance of lasting longer than 1.5 rounds based on our extensive research and analysis.

Jarred Brooks vs Roberto Sanchez Betting Tip and Prediction

I recommend betting on Roberto Sanchez to beat Jarred Brooks at UFC 228. You can probably tell by the odds that this is a speculative bet with a high risk and high reward dynamic. You may want to pass on this bet if you don’t like losing…

This is a very tough fight for Roberto Sanchez, but there are factors at play which give him a legit chance of winning. The first and most apparent being that Jarred Brooks is stepping up and taking the fight on just 5 days notice. Brooks has been known to slow down in the second half of his fights, so there’s a good chance he’ll gas out on Saturday night too. There’s an even greater chance that he’ll slow down significantly since he hasn’t had a full training camp.

The second factor going in Sanchez’s favor is that he lives and trains in Texas, so he’ll have home advantage on his side. Historically home advantage has been huge in Texas. Texan judges are notoriously bad and notoriously biased towards home fighters. If Sanchez can make this fight remotely competitive, he has a good chance of winning a robbery.

From a stylistic point of view, both guys can cause each other problems. Brooks is lightyears ahead of Sanchez when it comes to striking, and there’s a real risk to our bet that Brooks could use his wrestling in reverse to keep the fight standing and blow Sanchez out of the water. I am hoping that instead, Brooks will go to where he feels most comfortable and choose to engage in grappling exchanges. If this happens, I believe Sanchez has a legit chance of winning.

Roberto Sanchez trains at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu, and like most guys coming out of that gym, he’s a very high-level grappler. He has strong wrestling, excellent transitions and he’s super offensive on the ground. Brooks is a strong grappler too, but he’s more of a traditional wrestler who likes to control his opponents from top position. Sanchez is much more dangerous, and he’ll make Brooks work extremely hard to maintain position. We haven’t seen Brooks forced to defend submissions yet so it will be interesting to see how he reacts if Sanchez puts him in some dangerous situations. Based on what I’ve seen so far I believe Sanchez has the technical ability to cause Brooks some big problems and submit him on the ground. Problem is; Brooks is a strong wrestler and Sanchez might not be able to get the fight to the ground.

In an interview published on Bloody Elbow earlier this year, John McCarthy said that regardless of whether the Athletic Commission sanctioning an MMA event has adopted the new unified rules of MMA, all judges should now be using the new scoring criteria. If the judges at UFC 228 actually take this on board and use the new criteria, it heavily favors Sanchez’s style. This is because Sanchez is constantly attacking on the ground with submissions. Brooks just tries to shut his opponents down and control them from top position while Sanchez is constantly pursuing a finish. With hometown advantage on his side, Sanchez’s offense on the ground could be the deciding factor if this fight goes the distance.

Brooks and Sanchez are primarily grapplers, so I am hoping that we get some prolonged grappling exchanges in this fight. If that happens, Sanchez has a great chance of winning because he’s a very technical grappler who is very offensive. The risk with this bet comes from whether or not Brooks is going to allow himself to be sucked into grappling or not. If Brooks decides to try and keep the fight standing he should win easily because Sanchez cannot compete with him standing.

At the current odds of around 4.35 | +335 | 67/20, I believe there are more than enough reasons to take a gamble on Roberto Sanchez. Just remember that there’s a chance he might get dominated if he can’t get the fight to the ground. Either way, I believe the risk is worth the reward.

Reasons for betting on Roberto Sanchez

  • Jarred Brooks is taking this fight on just 5 days notice.
  • Roberto Sanchez lives and trains in Texas, so he has home advantage on his side.
  • Texas judges are notoriously bad and notoriously biased towards Texan fighters. This favors Sanchez if this fight goes the distance.
  • Jarred Brooks tends to slow down in the second half of his fights. There’s more chance now that he’ll slow down against Sanchez because he is taking the fight on just 5 days notice.
  • Roberto Sanchez will have a size advantage over Jarred Brooks.
  • Robert Sanchez is a very high level grappler. He’s also very slick in transitions. He does a good job of taking his opponents back and maintaining control.
  • We haven’t seen Jarred Brooks’ submission defense tested.
  • Jarred Brooks is a traditional wrestler who likes to control his opponents from top position. Sanchez is super offensive and technical on the ground. Sanchez’s style on the ground favors the new judging criteria in MMA.

Risk Factors with betting on Roberto Sanchez

  • Jarred Brooks has a huge advantage when it comes to striking. Roberto Sanchez has no way to win if Brooks uses his wrestling in reverse to keep the fight standing.
  • Jarred Brooks appears to be making big improvements from fight to fight.
  • Jarred Brooks is a strong wrestler.
  • Roberto Sanchez has really bad striking defense.

My Betting Tip

Roberto Sanchez to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 4.35
Moneyline = +335
Fractional = 67/20

23%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Roberto Sanchez has a 23% chance of beating Jarred Brooks based on their current odds.

35%

Our Probability

We believe that Roberto Sanchez has a 35% chance of beating Jarred Brooks based on our extensive research and analysis.

Allsopp
I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

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