There are plenty of options to watch and bet on this ideal sports weekend. You’ve got returns from NHL, NBA, MLB plus the Masters, just to name a few. One of the main attractions is Saturday’s UFC 273, which features a return to the most popular young fighter mixed martial arts seen year after year.
The event is co-titled by the men’s featherweight and bantamweight title fights with Alexander Volkanovsky “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung plus Aljamin Sterling and Petro Ian ready for a title rematch.
In the main event of the undisputed fixtures, however, Welterweight Phenom Khamjat Chimayev is seen returning to the octagon against former title rival Gilbert Burns.
Chimayev can jump into the ranks like a buzz and realistically through his competition to get a title shot after his 11th pro bout if he manages a decisive win against the No. 2 contestant in the division.
The undefeated 27-year-old has made a total of 254 strikes in his four UFC bouts and has not suffered any consequential strikes or meaningful offenses. His four wins earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
“Khamjat Chimayev is one of the worst friends I’ve ever met,” UFC President Dana White said in a Jim Rome podcast last December, about a month after Chimayev knocked Lee Jingliang unconscious in UFC 267. No one cares what the deadline is or that stuff. No one wants to fight this guy. Everyone wants to come out on social media and say this or that, but when it really comes down to it no one tries to fight Khamjat Chimayev. I don’t blame them. “
Burns officially accepted the challenge. Can spoil the veteran team?
UFC 273, held at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
Take a closer look at the three featured matchups at UFC 273 and some parallel and prop bet options here.
Alexander Volkanovsky vs. Chan Sang Jung
Volkanovski -700 | Jung +500 | Draw +8000
Vulkanovsky concludes -125 | Rust by decision +1000
Volkanovski by stoppage +175 | Rust by stoppage +700
Volkanovsky was initially prepared for a trilogy fight with Max Hallway, but the organization had to pivot after Holloway’s injury. Fans’ favorite Chan Sung Jung was named, so the South Korean star is getting his first title shot after a fight with Jose Aldo in 2013.
Volkanowski is set to defend a thrilling title against Brian Ortega in September. The Australians are 10-0 in the UFC but have not been so supportive in a fight. Volkanoski has opened as a -330 favorite and the line has since ballooned to -700 for the champion.
Jung is a bigger knockout threat than Volkanowski’s recent rival and he also has the ability to submit fight-ends. Although when you look back at how Champ was able to escape the guillotine, the triangle against Ortega in D’Ars, whose deposits are more dangerous than Jung’s, makes one wonder if a single shot is the only legitimate chance for a Korean zombie.
Rust fights on relatively flat legs and moves forward. Volkanowski runs very well and fast. I see Volkanovsky pulling his opponent’s hind legs close to the cage to separate the rust. Rust will kick a lot of feet. A kick off of these kicks or an uppercut at the right time are two ways that rust can land a fight-changing punch.
Pick (and preferred prop bet): Volkanovsky (conclusion-125)
Alzheimer’s Sterling vs. Petr Ian
Ian-450 | Sterling +350 | Draw +8000
Ian concludes +120 | Sterling +700 by decision
Ian Stoppage +140 | Sterling stoppage by +750
It was a rematch of a UFC 259 Championship fight that ended when Ian was disqualified for landing an illegal strike that resulted in a UFC title change of hands for the first time due to a decree. 13 months ago, Sterling did not fight back. Ian, meanwhile, has won a unanimous decision over Corey Sandagen with an interim belt and a rematch with Sterling.
Ian opened the first bout as a decent-145 favorite, yet the rematch with Ian opened at -350.
An overcorrection in this market? This can be very good when you think that Ian will fight without his usual corner after his visa is denied. This can have a significant effect as long as it lasts.
Ian rose to the -550 favorite for the fight but the line shifted slightly to Sterling during the fight week. Ian was ahead on the scorecard and on his way to winning their first fight before his illegal knee, but it was a much more competitive fight than an indication of this adversity.
Sterling had a decent amount of success against Ian, especially in the first two rounds, landing on some big knees and being a more aggressive fighter early on.
Once Sterling began to slow down due to a combination of fatigue and damage, Ian began to move away. Ian is patient with maintaining a high strike rate (landing a significant strike of 5.98 per minute) and is one of the best fighters on the UFC list.
Sterling has not lost since losing to Marlon Morris more than four years ago. The Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt has come three times in its current winning streak for underdog batsmen. Sterling has never been such a big underdog in his career.
Pick (and preferred prop bet): Sterling (+700 by decision). It’s not about the relative value of the Sterling side as much as I think Ian will lose the fight.
Gilbert Burns vs. Khamjat Chimaiv
Chimayev -500 | Burn +380 | Draw +8000
In conclusion Chimayev +400 | Burnt by decision +700
Chimayev stoppage +137 | Stoppage ignites by +750
In the modern age of MMA, MMA is not as likely as Chimayev’s … probably considering the constant evolution of skill in sports.
Burns’ only loss in the 170-pound division was to current champion and current pound-for-pound king Kamaru Usman. Burns was able to swing Usman with a power punch in the beginning but it was not enough to push the champion away. He was eventually defeated and finished by Usman in the third round.
If you don’t capitalize on hurting Chimayev too soon, I can see another rag doll courtesy of “Borge”.
Burns has proven knockout power and top-level submission ability – the ability to snatch a hand from under him could come in handy against Chimayev.
Chimaev’s durability has not yet been tested in the UFC or his entire career, so it remains variable. None of Chimayev’s Pro MMA bouts lasted more than 6:15. In freelance wrestling the multiple Swedish national champion should be able to determine where the fight will take place.
Pick (and preferred prop bet): Chimayev (by stoppage-225)
I read the promotion a long time ago and predicted that by the end of the year he would be the champion and the No. 1 pound-for-pound. I’m planting firmly on the hype train. Perhaps he wants to prove a point and try to submit the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion more than once, but I imagine a knockout or a fierce ground-and-pound stoppage. Don’t worry about how much chalk it is. My best bet tonight.
Turn and prop bet
Mike Malt within distance (+125): Malott won a quick deposit in Dana White’s rival series to secure his UFC contract. That highlight finish is fresh in the public mind and I feel it has affected the betting line here, so I don’t like this price on malt because of its relative inexperience at this level. Still, I’m riding with the Canadians to beat Mickey Gall this weekend. I don’t expect Welterweight to be too reserved wherever there will be fights. It can be quite entertaining if the legs are not slightly sloping. There is a lot of potential for fun land exchange and submission efforts.
Malt is completely different physically than early in his MMA career, when he competed as a lunky featherweight (145 lb). Now at 170 pounds, Malt should be a strong fighter with a wrestling advantage. If the name Mallet seems familiar to hockey fans, it’s because the fighter’s brother, Jeff, currently plays for the Winnipeg Jets.
Distance within Ian Gary (+105): This same prop, though at a bad price, was cashed in as one of my best games at UFC 268 when the young Irishman made his UFC debut. I’m diving into that same well. He is battling +300 underdog Darian Weeks, who crossed the line with Brian Barberina in his UFC debut last December. The line opened with Gary at -180 and much closer to weeks +150, but has moved significantly since then.
Barberna is a respected veteran and Weeks was able to land him four times and land more than 100 notable strikes. Weeks shouldn’t be overlooked here, but I hope short, long Gary can make the best use of his reach when looking for crisp distance counter shots.
My main concern with Gary is his chin if he becomes overly energetic. No, he never finished and has a perfect pro record, but he wants to win the statement and is sometimes forced to keep his head high and chin open outside the exchange. Once the threat of a takedown is over, I hope Gary heats up. Gary stopped at Round Two + 450 and jumped at me.
Double Decision Perle (+104): The first card has two women’s fights – Aspen Lad vs. Raquel Pennington and Pierre Rodriguez vs. K. Hansen – and I hope both go in 15 minutes. Bet separately, Lad-Pennington distance is -275 and Rodriguez-Hansen is -200.
If you can chalk up (+110): Combining the four biggest Maniline favorites of UFC 273, Volkanovsky (-700), Chimayev (-500), Ian (-450) and Gary (-400), you can get a plus-money return if the oddsmakers project the results correctly.
Warning: The two long-term strategies for losing bets on MMAs are to combine frequent Moneyline favorites bets and / or combine heavy Moneyline favorites in the hope of cashing bets if possible. This chucky parley is risky, though on paper it may not seem like it, since both Sterling and Wicks are living dogs in my estimation.
What’s worth it, I’m on board with Odsmakers in the sense that I feel most confident about winning Chimayev (-500) and Volkanovsky (-700). With these two, a straight Maneline Parle-270 ends up as a bet.
The main card
– Alexander Volkanovsky vs. Chan Sung Jung
– Alzheimer’s Sterling vs. Peter Ian
– Gilbert Burns vs. Khamjat Chimayev
– Mackenzie Dern vs. Tessia Torres
– Wink Peachel vs. Mark Madsen
– Ian Gary vs. Darian Weeks
– Zyrginho Rosenstrouk vs. Marcin Tibura
– Aspen Lad vs. Raquel Pennington
– Mickey Gall vs. Mike Malt
– Alexei Olenic vs. Jared Vandera
– Anthony Hernandez vs. Josh Framed
– Pierre Rodriguez vs. Hansen
– Julio Ars vs. Daniel Santos
(All betting possibilities listed above via Bet365 until Friday evening)