It’s not the UFC unless there’s a last-minute change to the main event. This time, it’s Bobby “King” Green pulling double duty, filling in for Beneil Dariush against Islam Makhachev. What’s not to love with a good underdog, but Green is a huge one on the UFC betting lines against the unstoppable Russian.
- Date: Saturday, Feb. 26th, 6 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, NV
- TV: ESPN+
Islam Makhachev vs Bobby Green
- Weight Class: Catchweight (160 lbs)
- Rounds: Five
- Moneyline: Green +500, Makhachev -700
- Totals: Over 2½ (-115o), Under 2½ (-115u)
Green is pulling a Dan Hooker, fighting Islam Makhachev after having fought on UFC 271 just 10 days ago. Makhachev’s (21-1-0) original opponent, Beneil Dariush, was forced out with a leg injury. Green (29-12-1) is stepping in as a catchweight at the steepest online sports betting odds he’s faced.
His First Main Event
Be careful what you wish for. Just as UFC commentator Jon Anik advocated for Green to headline his first UFC event, news of Dariush’s injury broke out and Green’s now a headliner. After nine years and 18 fights in the company, this will be his first time as a marquee.
At +500, it’s is the largest Green will be as an underdog. While he went 4-0 in his first fights as a ‘dog, he’s gone just 1-6 in the last seven times he was as one. Oddsmakers have seemingly figured out the scrappy Green. He’s a well-rounded fighter, mainly a striker with strong takedown defense.
Green has a 72% takedown defense, and if he does get taken down, he has shown the ability to shrug it off. If he can keep the fight standing, he could surprise Makhachev as he’s shown more improvements to his already prolific striking game.
Makhachev Must Dominate and Finish Green
The last time a striker stepped in on late notice against Makhachev, he lasted just over two minutes. This Hooker’s fate in UFC 267, a card dominated by Makhachev and his Russian compatriots. Months later, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s heir apparent must do it again.
Makhachev is a powerful wrestler who has had no issue taking down and beating up his opponents. He is landing takedowns at a 66% accuracy. Most impressively, Makhachev has been able to bully his opponents, which is why he only absorbs 0.79 significant strikes per minute.
Facing last-minute switch Green should pose no serious problems for Makhachev after getting ready for Dariush, a grappler-turned-striker. He won’t underestimate Green and look to roll as he usually does for bets online.
Makhachev should win this one and judging by the betting odds, he should do it fast. It’s likely that he gets Green to the mat within the first three minutes. Once there, he should submit Green as he did Hooker. This is the best UFC bet for this fight, going under the 1½ total at plus-money, then find a prop for Makhachev to win by a finish for more value.
Pick: Under 1½ Rounds (+120)
However, if we are going by a straight bet, Green has the edge in value here. He could just go out there and starch Makhachev on the feet. After all, Makhachev’s only loss in the UFC came this way. The fight will start standing, where Green can counter Makhachev. Beyond that, he will be fending off takedowns until he gets tired.