2024 UFC First-Quarter Betting Preview

2024 UFC First-Quarter Betting Preview

While MMA doesn’t have an offseason like other professional sports do, the month-long period around Christmas when the UFC has gone dark the past couple of years is as close as we get to one. Regional MMA is still ongoing, as listeners of The MMA Gambling Podcast know, but we don’t get any UFC action until January 13th.

However, plenty of big fights have already been announced for the first few months of 2024, and UFC 300 is scheduled for April 13th, so big things are on the horizon. Here is your 2024 UFC first-quarter betting preview.

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2024 UFC First-Quarter Betting Preview

Magomed Ankalaev (-430) vs Johnny Walker (+360) – UFC Vegas 84 – Jan 13th

These two fought at UFC 294, but the fight was controversially stopped after just over three minutes when Magomed Ankalaev landed an illegal knee on Johnny Walker. Now, they get to battle in a five-round main event. I think there’s a big value on the dog here.

Sean Strickland (-135) vs Dricus du Plessis (+124) – UFC 297 – Jan 20th

These two already fought as well – in the stands at UFC 296. Now they take it to the cage for Sean Strickland’s newly won UFC Middleweight Championship. Once again, there is value in the underdog here, as while Dricus du Plessis probably isn’t very good (the jury is still out), he does hit very hard. And there’s a good chance that will be all it takes to become champ.

Mayra Bueno Silva (-160) vs Raquel Pennington (+142) – UFC 297 – Jan 20th

Blech – who cares? Well, it’s for the vacant UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship, so I guess we are forced to care. Mayra Bueno Silva got a No Contest in her last fight after failing a drug test (she originally won via submission), while Raquel Pennington hasn’t fought since last January and hasn’t finished anyone since December of 2021. Women’s bantamweight, sigh. Silva for the win, I guess.

Nassourdine Imavov (-150) vs Roman Dolidze (+125) – UFC Vegas 85 – Feb 3rd

Two top middleweights clash in the headliner of UFC Vegas 85, where a big performance from either guy could put them in position for a title shot later this year. Very tight fight at the books and a tough one to call for me at this point. Knee jerk, says Roman Dolidze.

Jack Hermansson (TBA) vs Joe Pyfer (TBA) – UFC Vegas 86 – Feb 10th

‘Be’ Joe Pyfer gets his first headlining slot at UFC Vegas 86 (an aside – why so many UFC Apex fight cards still, UFC?! Don’t you want to make any ticket sale money?!). Pyfer is my pick here – I’ll be really interested to see where the line for this fight opens up at (my podcast cohost Gumby says it’ll be Pyfer -225).

Alexander Volkanovski (-163) vs Ilia Topuria (+154) – UFC 298 – Feb 17th

UFC Featherweight Champ Alexander Volkanovski is getting his wish to stay busy granted and is back at it in February. I’m still picking Volk over everyone at featherweight, so I like this line, but the undefeated Ilia Topuria will be a very tough test.

Sean O’Malley (-198) vs Marlon Vera (+170) – UFC 299 – Mar 9th

‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley makes his first defense as the UFC Bantamweight Champion in March in Miami. And it’s against a familiar foe, Marlon Vera, who TKO’d O’Malley in August 2020, which still is the lone blemish on the new champ’s record. You’ve got to like the line on Vera considering he’s already knocked O’Malley out.

 

If you’d like even more information on the UFC, be sure to check out the MMA Gambling Podcast. The guys are dropping four episodes weekly to make you the smartest guy at the bar. 

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