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Pair of Russians Highlight UFC 302 Parlay

There are two types of MMA fighters you do not bet against: Russians (specifically, Dagestanis) and fighters named DeSean. Islam Makhachev, the undisputed lightweight champion, is a hefty favorite as he defends against Dustin Poirier. He anchors this three-leg parlay, which also features a compatriot and the man known as “DeSean” Strickland. The best UFC odds have all three going for +320 as they wreck it in Newark, New Jersey this Saturday.

Here’s a look at some UFC 301 odds to consider!

Pair of Russians Highlight UFC 302 Parlay
Russia's Islam Makhachev - Giuseppe CACACE / AFP

Best UFC 302 Bets to Parlay

Kopylov Outlasts Almeida

Pit two kickboxers against each other and you have a barnburner. That’s why the UFC lines are tight for this one as these men will stand and trade until someone can’t. Cesar Almeida is a kickboxing champion and has all the accolades. The UFC is hoping he’s another Alex Pereira and is fast-tracking him to contention by giving him Roman Kopylov. This is a high-risk high-reward bout and one in which we favor the slight underdog.

Kopylov tends to start slow as a fighter. But once he gets going, he becomes difficult to stop. Best of all, he’s got an iron chin and will likely only be finished via submission. We don’t see Almeida suddenly turning into a grappler. He will try to KO Kopylov quickly, which is why the total is juiced to go under 2½ rounds (-125).

But the best UFC bet here is for Kopylov to win after withstanding his early offense. If you look at the Russian’s losses, they have come against all-around fighters. Every other striker he’s faced, he’s defeated – even finished. He’ll give Almeida a rude awakening and turn the tables on him deep into the fight. Parlay Kopylov.

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UFC Pick: Roman Kopylov (-105)


Strickland Puts it on Costa

Our thoughts and prayers are with Paulo Costa as he faces off against “DeSean” Strickland. The former title challenger is out of his element here. Getting -245 on Strickland is a bargain as he will “outbang” the Brazilian. Strickland remains an ultra-durable and high-output fighter. And this is a five-round fight.


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Costa has been inactive. He’s fought just twice in the last 31 months and he’s won just once since 2019. The fighter he beat, Luke Rockhold, is not even with the UFC anymore. While he did almost finish Robert Whittaker with a head kick, he went on to lose that fight decisively.

Even if Costa kicks Strickland in the head, DeSean is too thick-headed to feel it. Since getting starched by Pereira, Strickland has also tightened up his boxing. He’s active and still driven to win back his title. We see Strickland wearing down Costa by the time the championship rounds come to play. A late finish is likely, so we bet online on Strickland.


UFC Pick: Sean Strickland (-240)


Makhachev Retires Poirier Quickly

What kind of MMA fan is not a fan of Dustin Poirier? The “Diamond” has authored countless classic brawls. He’s a UFC Hall of Famer, but he faces long UFC betting odds for a reason. He is not at Makhachev’s level. Poirier has a prayer of a chance at beating Makhachev and it’s not by guillotine choke. In fact, Makhachev will turn it on him and finish him quickly.

Makhachev is far too skilled to fall for Poirier’s tricks. Makhachev’s teammate and friend, Khabib Nurmagomedov, finished Poirier in 2019. And Poirier has not evolved much since. On top of that, Poirier’s hip injury has limited what he can do in the octagon. And he’s got one foot out the door by saying he’s going to retire, win or lose.

“He’s old, he’s talking about retirement, but I don’t want him (to) retire after this fight if I beat him,” Makhachev told NBC Sports. “This guy is dangerous. He can beat everybody. He’s number, like, top five in the world, you know? That’s why I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to talk about retiring, because he’s still a very dangerous guy.”

Makhachev may speak humbly. But once the octagon doors close, he will make quick work of Poirier. Hence, instead of betting online on Makhachev at -650, bet on the under for a better deal.


UFC Pick: Under 2½ (-180)



The odds in this chart are posted on the time of publication of the article. They are subject to change without previous notice.


Questions of the Day

What is the best fight to parlay for UFC 302?

It is often best to parlay a line that is not too short but also with good value. As such, the under 2½ for the bout between Islam Makhachev and Dustin Poirier is a solid line to parlay.

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