UFC 254 – Khabib vs Gaethje Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

We didn’t have any prefight bets on last weekend’s card, but the profit train keeps on choo chooing as we banked a solid profit in Live Betting and also hit multiple props and parlays from the experimental Lab bets. We now turn our attention to UFC 254, where I am hoping to dig up some decent prefight bets and continue our strong run of profits in Live Betting.

A big event like UFC 254 should increase liquidity, which means that more people can live bet with us than usual. As a result, I am running a promotion this weekend so that more of you can join our Live Betting Group for a lower price than usual. You can now buy a Live Betting Pass for UFC 254 for just $33.

I also want to let you guys know that most of the Elite and Prime Live Betting Memberships have now sold. As a result, the Live Betting group is almost full. From next week, they are likely to be out of stock, and we will revert back to a waiting list system.

 

Fight Betting Tip Who I think will win Who I think is the better bet
Justin Gaethje vs Khabib Nurmagomedov No bet Nurmagomedov Gaethje
Jared Cannonier vs Robert Whittaker No bet Cannonier Cannonier
Alexander Volkov vs Walt Harris No bet Volkov Harris
Jacob Malkoun vs Phil Hawes No bet Hawes Malkoun
Lauren Murphy vs Liliya Shakirova No bet Murphy Shakirova
Ion Cutelaba vs Magomed Ankalaev No bet Ankalaev Cutelaba
Stefan Struve vs Tai Tuivasa No bet Struve Struve
Alex Oliveira vs Shavkat Rakhmonov No bet Oliveira Oliveira
Da Un Jung vs Sam Alvey No bet Jung Alvey
Liana Jojua vs Miranda Maverick No bet Maverick Maverick
Casey Kenney vs Nathaniel Wood No bet Kenney Kenney
Alexander Yakovlev vs Joel Alvarez No bet Yakovlev Yakovlev
BETTING TIPS
LIVESTREAM ARCHIVE

Ion Cutelaba vs Magomed Ankalaev

There is no doubt that Magomed Ankalaev should be the favorite here because he’s better than Cutelaba everywhere. The problem is that his odds currently reflect his advantages as they carry an implied probability of around 70%. I can’t trust a guy like Ankalaev in this odds range because we’ve seen him get dinged hard by Dalcha and Abreu and he tapped faster than I’ve ever seen anyone tap to a triangle choke against Paul Craig. Ankalaev seems super flakey and I hate betting flakey guys in this odds range. Cutelaba is second best from a technical point of view everywhere, but he’s tough and aggressive. There’s a good chance he hurts Ankalaev with something big in round 1 and based on past performances I don’t trust Ankalaev to fight through it.

Betting advice:

Ankalaev is the better bet in this fight, but there’s little to no value in his current odds. You’re taking a big risk if you bet a guy like this as a heavy favorite.

Alex Oliveira vs Shavkat Rakhmonov

This is a very good stylistic matchup for Oliveira because he’s a strong offensive wrestler, difficult to take down and he should have a big advantage over Rakhmonov if the fight stays standing. Unfortunately Oliveira is plagued by bad fight IQ and he’s bizarrely super weak off his back which makes it risky to bet on him against almost any able bodied professional MMA fighter. Rakhmonov’s not a particularly skilled grappler but if he gets takedowns he’ll likely be able to rack up tons of top control because Oliveira completely accepts being on the bottom.

Betting advice:

I have not yet ruled out a bet on Oliveira as his odds continue to improve as the Wikicappers pour their money into Rakhmonov. Because Oliveira has bad fight IQ and he’s weak off his back, I need some really good odds though. If Oliveira hits 2.00 | +100 or better I will pull the trigger. There’s no way I’d bet Rakhmonov here, he’s just not very good.

Alexander Yakovlev vs Joel Alvarez

Joel Alvarez has an advantage over Alexander Yakovlev in most areas, but his takedown defense is terrible and he’s super weak off his back. Yakovlev is a decent wrestler with a base in Combat Sambo, but he’ll be losing this fight in all areas when he’s not in top position. He’s also 36 years old now so will likely be declining from fight to fight.

Betting advice:

This is a good stylistic matchup for Yakovlev because Alvarez goes down very easily. I just don’t feel good about this bet because most of Yakovlev’s takedown entries come above hip height off body locks and we haven’t seen Alvarez’s takedown defense tested in that area. Alvarez also has crafty submissions off his back and Yakovlev doesn’t instill much confidence in me with his submission defense. Yakovlev should win this fight, but it’s not a bet I am interested in. I want to bet on more solid fighters than this.

Jacob Malkoun vs Phil Hawes

There’s not enough recent footage on both these guys to form a strong opinion, but Hawes looks very good everywhere so I can understand why he’s a decent favorite. He moves well, has bulletproof takedown defense, strong offensive wrestling and big power in his hands. We don’t know too much about Malkoun but his gas tank is decent and he has nice leg kicks.

Betting advice:

There’s not enough recent footage available on these fighters to form a strong opinion. This one is an easy pass.

Casey Kenney vs Nathaniel Wood

Casey Kenney and Nathaniel Wood are two talented young fighters and skill for skill I think this is the best fight on the card. It’s likely to be super competitive and very exciting. This one has got fight of the night written all over it.

Casey Kenney is my most reluctant pass this week because from a technical point of view he’ll have an advantage over Wood everywhere. Kenney is the better striker, he’s better defensively and he’s definitely a better grappler. Wood’s biggest weakness is that he’s wreckless and has bad striking defense, which could get him into trouble against Kenney who is making huge improvements from fight to fight with his striking.

Betting advice:

Kenney deserves to be the favorite here, but unfortunately his advantages are mostly already baked into his odds. He’s a big favorite and there’s just a little too much risk here for me to bet him. I’m worried that Kenney is one of these guys that’s good at being the hammer, but not so good at being the nail because he looks much flatter and much sloppier when he’s not allowed to dictate the pace of the fight. Wood will stay in his face, prevent him from dictating the pace and while Wood will likely take big damage while doing this, he’ll also potentially wear Kenney down and turn this into a competitive war that could go either way.

Lauren Murphy vs Liliya Shakirova

From a technical point of view Shakirova probably has the advantage over Murphy in most areas, but so often we see physicality have a massive influence on the outcome of Women’s MMA fights and Murphy is much more physically imposing than Shakirova. What Murphy lacks in technical ability she should more than make up for in work rate, aggression and physicality.

Betting advice:

Shakirova is undersized for the division, doesn’t carry much power in her strikes and isn’t that strong on the ground. Murphy probably out works her standing and uses her physicality to get the better of Shakirova in the clinch and on the ground. Murphy should win this but her advantages are already baked into the odds. It’s a pass for me. Murphy’s not the type of fighter you can bet on as a big favorite because she struggles to put her stamp on rounds.

Stefan Struve vs Tai Tuivasa

This one was of those fights where I went into the research session heavily leaning one way and planning to bet on one of the fighters and then completely changed my mind after watching some recent fights from both guys.

Betting advice:

Tai Tuivasa was one of the first names that jumped out at me as a potential bet on this weeks card, but there’s no way I’d bet him after watching his recent performances. I now lean towards Struve and would consider betting him if his odds improved. Problem is, he’s recently retired which is a big red flag and also tends to get rocked quite easily. JB said it best in the livestream… Struve just doesn’t seem to have the dog in him anymore. I like to bet guys who are consistent, will fight for my money and have the dog in them. I want to feel confident that they will do everything they can to fight through adversity if they get put in a bad position.

Stefan Struve vs Tai Tuivasa

This one was of those fights where I went into the research session heavily leaning one way and planning to bet on one of the fighters and then completely changed my mind after watching some recent fights from both guys.

Betting advice:

Tai Tuivasa was one of the first names that jumped out at me as a potential bet on this weeks card, but there’s no way I’d bet him after watching his recent performances. I now lean towards Struve and would consider betting him if his odds improved. Problem is, he’s recently retired which is a big red flag and also tends to get rocked quite easily. JB said it best in the livestream… Struve just doesn’t seem to have the dog in him anymore. I like to bet guys who are consistent, will fight for my money and have the dog in them. I want to feel confident that they will do everything they can to fight through adversity if they get put in a bad position.

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.