Welterweights Clash in Co-Main Event at UFC 288
The UFC fight card on Saturday is epic and that’s because fans get to see Gilbert Burns vs Belal Muhammad on the undercard.
The welterweight co-main event is expected to be one of the more exciting fights on the card, and the sportsbook is finding it tough to predict a winner.
Burns is the current -130 favorite, but bettors should overlook Muhammad at their peril.
Burns on the Back-Up
It’s good to see Burns back in the Octagon after having fought in April against Jorge Masvidal.
We don’t often see fighters of his level backing up after just 28 days, so credit goes to the 36-year-old for putting his body on the line.
He went three rounds in the decision win over Masvidal, who subsequently announced his retirement at UFC 287.
UFC 288 betting markets give Burns the advantage, but it’s hard to know what that fight took out of him. Muhammad isn’t a fighter you want to underrate, so Burns might be biting off more than he can chew.
However, Masvidal knows firsthand the power Burns has.
“I think it’s going to be a good fight for (Burns) – tough,” Masvidal said. “I think Belal has, in the cardio department, more advantages in the grappling, I think. Gilbert has different weapons with a little bit better power than Belal. So I think it’s going to be a very interesting, good fight. I could see either one of them winning, actually. I think Belal is a little cleaner with the boxing.”
Burns’ only recent loss came to juggernaut Khamzat Chimaev, so he should fancy his chances of winning. We expect sport betting markets to take action for Burns, who could start at around -150.
If he wins the first round on Saturday, live betting odds could firm to around -400, so there is value in his current odds.
Gilbert Burns is becoming a UFC champion this year, im sick of people pretending he wont be.🇧🇷🏆 pic.twitter.com/uFt6ZxRw9U
— machado 🇮🇪 (@TheFutureMMA) April 26, 2023
Muhammad Riding Eight-Fight Streak
UFC 288 odds have Muhammad at even money because he’s riding an eight-fight winning streak, which is tough to ignore.
The 34-year-old has yet to fight in 2023, but he looked good last year when scoring a decision win over Vicente Luque before knocking out Sean Brady in the second round at UFC 280.
The underrated American also has wins over Wonderboy Stephen Thompson, Demian Maia, and Dhiego Lima in the last two years.
He was considered good enough to fight subsequent champion Leon Edwards in 2021, which resulted in a no-contest. He appeared to be losing that contest, but that should have given him confidence.
It was hard not to be impressed with his knockout of Brady, who had a 15-1 record prior to the fight.
A title shot is on the line for the winner, according to UFC president Dana White.
“What I love about this fight is that they both wanted it to be five rounds,” White said. “Two of the best guys in the division, and both think they deserve a title shot after this.”
Muhammad doesn’t need any more motivation to win, but getting a rematch with Edwards is hard to resist.
Burns vs Muhammad Head-to-Head
This will be the first meeting between Burns vs Muhammad.
Burns vs Muhammad Fight Information
- Fight: Burns (22-5) vs Muhammad (22-3)
- Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
- Day/Time: Saturday, May 6, 10 p.m. ET
- Burns vs Muhammad Live stream: UFC Fight Pass
Burns vs Muhammad Betting Lines
Burns vs Muhammad Picks and Prediction
We can’t turn down even-money odds with online gambling markets for Muhammad, who is the fresher fighter.
He is fighting at a high level, and although Burns is top class, he might feel the pinch of going the distance against Masvidal.
The Gilbert Burns are listed at -130 in our Vegas UFC lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Gilbert Burns, you have a chance to win $77. The Belal Muhammad are +100, offering a chance to win $100 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Gilbert Burnsa a 56.52% chance to win, with Belal Muhammad at50.00%.