After a string of mediocre (on paper) fight cards, the UFC returns with a completely stacked lineup of fights this weekend from Abu Dhabi. Plus, it’s the best kind of pay-per-view – a free one! This card streams Saturday morning and afternoon (Eastern) on ESPN+. Now let’s go make some money with my UFC 267 predictions.
UFC 267 Predictions
All odds courtesy of PointsBet
Jan Blachowicz (-300) vs Glover Teixeira
This will be 42-year-old (as of today!) Glover Teixeira’s second crack at UFC gold, but I don’t think it’ll be any more successful than his first attempt. Teixeira is just going to get hit way too much in this fight, and while UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz isn’t exactly a knockout artist, there’s a good chance he finishes the old dog on Saturday.
Petr Yan (-250) vs Cory Sandhagen
I’ve got to go chalk in the other (sorta) title fight on Saturday. Petr Yan was dominating his last fight, his first as UFC Bantamweight Champion, before he hit Aljamain Sterling with an illegal knee, getting himself disqualified and losing his title. With Sterling on the shelf, this fight against Cory Sandhagen is for the interim version of the title. Yan should have no trouble taking care of Sandhagen, as he’s just too good in all aspects of the sport.
Islam Makhachev (-700) vs Dan Hooker
Real simple breakdown here – Islam Makhachev very well may be the best wrestler in the sport, while Dan Hooker struggles with wrestlers. Plus, the fact that Hooker is taking this fight on short notice only a little more than a month since his last fight doesn’t help matters. Whether you bet big enough money to make a -700 line work for you is your call.
Alexander Volkov (-325) vs Marcin Tybura
Marcin Tybura has won five straight fights to propel himself up to his current level in the UFC heavyweight pantheon. The run stops here. Alexander Volkov is too good of a striker and too big for Tybura to get past. A (T)KO prop on ‘Drago’ could well be worth your investment.
Khamzat Chimaev (-550) vs Li Jingliang
The superstar of the summer of 2020, after winning three fights in a month, is finally back after a very bad bout with COVID-19. Assuming Khamzat Chimaev has no lingering effects from the virus (or the time out of the cage), he should have no trouble beating – and probably finishing – Li Jingliang.
Magomed Ankalaev (-325) vs Volkan Oezdemir
My MMA Gambling Podcast cohost was vehemently against my pick here, but I think Magomed Ankalaev has no trouble getting past Volkan Oezdemir. Even if he can’t successfully implement his impressive grappling, I think his striking will get the job done.
Amanda Ribas (-160) vs Virna Jandiroba
Amanda Ribas is no slouch on the ground, which will be the key here since Virna Jandiroba is a killer on the mat. Ribas should be able to fend off the grappling attacks and light Jandiroba up on the feet. Then give a giggly, bubbly post-fight interview.
Zubaira Tukhugov (-175) vs Ricardo Ramos
Zubaira Tukhugov has had a rough go of it as of late, going 1-2-1 over his last four, but he changes that on Saturday. He’ll be able to thwart Ricardo Ramos’s wrestling and will win the striking portion of the fight.
Albert Duraev (-325) vs Roman Kopylov
Fresh off Dana White’s Contender Series, Albert Duraev gets his first real taste of UFC action this weekend. And I’m going with the grappler to get the job done in Abu Dhabi with his grappling.
Benoit Saint-Denis (+180) vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
I’m taking another newcomer in this one, but for a sweet plus money payout. Benoit Saint-Denis has faced plenty of strong competition over his short career, and, like Duraev, is going to grapple his way to a W.
Michal Oleksiejczuk (+125) vs Shamil Gamzatov
Buckle up – I’m going on an underdog run. Next pick is Michal Oleksiejczuk to outwork Shamil Gamzatov in the striking department and win us some more plus money.
Makwan Amirkhani (+240) vs Lerone Murphy
Now for my piece de resistance – Makwan Amirkhani for 2.4 times our money. ‘Mr. Finland’ excels in the wrestling department, somewhere the undefeated Lerone Murphy struggles. A clear path to victory makes this worth a stab for a big payday.
Andre Petroski (-240) vs Hu Yaozong
This past season’s second draft pick on The Ultimate Fighter takes his second UFC fight on short notice. However, his opponent Hu Yaozong is a measly 3-2 as a pro and has been out of the cage for almost three years. Petroski rolls.
Damir Ismagulov (-280) vs Magomed Mustafaev
Damir Ismagulov has won 15 straight fights, including his first four in the UFC. He’ll be the bigger, younger man in the cage on Saturday as well as the better striker.
Tagir Ulanbekov (-350) vs Allan Nascimento
Flyweights kick of the action on Saturday, and I’m taking heavy favorite Tagir Ulanbekov. He’s the better striker and the better grappler. Simple as that.
Overall Record: 548-426
Return on Investment: -(6.1)%
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