UFC 260 is here and it is big (literally). Some of the baddest men on the planet set foot in the Octagon on Saturday gaining attention across the sports world. Current champion Stipe Miocic opened as a +130 underdog but has climbed back as an even-money defender. Plenty of sharp money has gone on Stipe who has beaten Francis once back in 2018. Unfortunately, UFC 260 best bets will have to go on without Alexander Volkanovski – who would’ve been my best bet on the card
A COVID-19 positive test forced the featherweight title fight to be pushed back several weeks, leaving us with one championship fight on Saturday. Volkanovski is a bet I could not wait to make so we will save that bet for a later date.
This fight card is suddenly overwhelmingly stacked with favorites on the main card. As usual, I will not be betting on big moneyline favorites. Sharp UFC bettors typically take their opportunities by betting props on favorites or siding with an underdog. This is where you have the opportunity to make money on plus-money props rather than laying big money on -300 favorites.
Lastly, all of the advanced analytics that you see below are provided by UFCStats.
UFC 260 Main Card Best Bets
Jamie Mullarkey (+110) vs. Khama Worthy
When betting on the UFC, we need to understand what we know first. We know that Khama Worthy has defeated legitimate UFC talent. Worthy stopped Luis “Bob Ross” Pena in June and knocked out Devonte Smith in 2019. We cannot say the same about Mullarkey.
Jamie Mullarkey has had two fights in the UFC and he has not looked particularly good in any of them. Mullarkey is 0-2 in the Octagon and as the old saying goes, “You don’t go 0-3 in the UFC.” Mullarkey’s underlying statistics do not paint a healthy picture. He gets hit a lot. Jamie absorbs 4.6 significant strikes per minute and lands just 1.87.
Khama Worthy lands at a healthy rate and puts people to sleep with his boxing. While Mullarkey does land takedowns, I do not believe that he is able to submit Worthy in this fight. Mullarkey has been unable to keep opponents down and Worthy avoided the submission against Pena – a much better submission grappler. I do Mullarkey credit for not having a KO loss since 2016 since he has faced some formidable strikers in recent years.
Pick: Worthy via decision +500 FanDuel Sportsbook
Sean O’Malley (-325) vs. Thomas Almeida
Welcome back to the “Sugar Show”! Sean O’Malley one of the most electric fighters we have seen at 135 pounds returns to the octagon. O’Malley injured his ankle badly in a fight against Chito Vera in his last fight. The injury seemed to be flukey – O’Malley was dominating that fight early and was preparing to put him away.
This is as much of a tuneup fight as Dana White is going to give someone. Almeida has lost 4 of his last 5 and has not looked great doing it. He even lost recently to Jonathan Martinez – a particularly sour loss because Martinez was just KO’d by Davey Grant as a -300 favorite. Almeida is there to be hit as well, absorbing 4.69 significant strikes per minute. He has never landed a takedown in the UFC.
Overall, this is a perfect return matchup for O’Malley and can be built off of after a long layoff. There is not much value on his KO prop so I’d side towards picking a round. Second-round KO at +650 is a great spot to bring the Sugar Show back in full force. O’Malley also makes for a great parlay builder.
Pick: O’Malley via KO +130 via BetMGM Sportsbook
Tyron Woodley vs. Vicente Luque (-260)
Remember when people talked about Tyron Woodley like he was the welterweight GOAT? Well, those days have come and gone. Tyron Woodley has not won a round in years. This has been sad to see as a UFC fan while Tyron Woodley has been eaten alive by top contenders in his recent fights.
The going does not get easier from here either. Vicente Luque is a fierce competitor and has some of the heaviest hands in the sport. Back in 2012, Luque knocked out Thiago Santos who just fought for the light heavyweight title. Luque is your typical “stand and bang” fighter who just wants to trade your biggest shots. The issue is – I don’t think he has a partner willing to send shots back.
Luque absorbs 5.82 significant strikes per minute and lands 5.72 per minute. I would love to say that Woodley is going to win this fight but you can’t win if you don’t score. Woodley has been extremely hesitant to throw big strikes back at his opponents, standing flat-footed and moving slowly. The only Woodley bet I would consider is via submission at +2200 – his last win was by submission. The value is there but my belief in Woodley is not.
Woodley was not finished by Usman or Burns (although he should’ve been). I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he lasts 15 minutes but if you are really down on Woodley he is +230 to be knocked out by Luque.
Pick: Luque via decision +135 via DraftKings Sportsbook
Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou (-120)
The heavyweight title rematch that we have all been waiting for is finally here. I reviewed the fight tape of Francis Ngannou’s fight since his first fight with Stipe. Aside from the Derrick Lewis fight, all I had to watch was 170 seconds worth of fights. This has been a ridiculous last four fights for Francis. He has won each within the first round and they have been scarily easy.
To be clear, we have learned nothing about Ngannou as a fighter since his fight with Stipe. Furthermore, he has this weird tendency of charging his opponent – as if it’s a street fight. His coaches surely hate that he does that but we can’t argue the success. Unfortunately, this fight becomes very binary. Ngannou will either knock Stipe out or Stipe will win by decision again.
Stipe by decision at +520 seems like unbelievable value but I get legitimate hesitation because Stipe has gotten a lot older and has had three wars with Daniel Cormier (including a KO loss) since the Ngannou fight. PointsBet Sportsbook has Ngannou inside 60 seconds at +1300 which I absolutely sprinkled on. We know for sure that he is going for that quick KO and he has achieved the inside 60 seconds knockout in three of his last four fights.
I’ll take Stipe because Ngannou has quite literally shown us nothing since their 2018 fight. I can’t possibly just say he’s a different fighter now because he’s older. He has shown us nothing to support that claim. We will know who won this fight after the first round so live-bet Stipe all over if he survives the early barrage.
Most sportsbooks have Stipe by decision around +400 (20% implied) so take +520 (16.3% implied) while you can – that price won’t last.
Pick: Stipe Miocic by decision +520 PointsBet Sportsbook