The UFC’s first event of 2022 leaves plenty to be desired. But that’s alright, we can still cash some tickets on props even if we don’t know who most of these fighters are. The UFC betting lines are offering some lucrative returns on plenty of props as we snag four that stand a better chance of hitting than their implied probability dictates.
- Date: Saturday, 4 p.m. ET
- Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, United States
- Watch on: ESPN+
UFC Fight Night Props
Chikadze Chips Away at Kattar
Well, at least the main event is a real banger as Giga Chikadze exchanges fire with Calvin Kattar for a potential crack at the 145-pound champion. Chikadze (14-2-0) should be able to utilize his powerful kicks to whittle away at Kattar (22-5-0), who is fighting for the first time following his historic beatdown against Max Holloway.
Kattar may not be the same fighter as one-sided ass-kickings like that tend to change a fighter for the worse. But even if he returns better than ever, he’s dealing with his kryptonite: kicks – and Chikadze will be dealing them like a merchant in a bazaar. Instead of laying the juice on Chikadze’s moneyline, bet on the prop for him to KO Kattar.
Pick: G Chikadze to Win by KO, TKO or DQ +130
Bush Makes Borschev Sweat
Our first underdog on this preview features Dakota Bush, whose name sets him up for a future role in a Western flick. Bush (8-3-0) stands a good chance at upsetting the hot starting Viacheslav Borschev. He’s not using guns or horses but this thing called “wrestling.”
Borschev (5-1-0) still, most likely, dusts Bush within two rounds. But his wrestling will be tested. Not all wrestlers are that great but Bush is decent enough to make Borschev look unspectacular. The American can neutralize the Russian for a good chunk of this fight en route to a decision. He’s not finishing Borschev so may as well bet online on the +340.
Pick: D Bush to Win by Decision or Tec. Decision +340
Bontorin Shocks Royval
Leave it to some flyweights to inject some much-needed spice to this card that resembles white bread without anything. Brandon Royval and Rogerio Bontorin are desperate for a win and will bring the heat. Between Royval (12-6-0) and Bontorin (17-3-0), the sportsbook expects a finish (-210) given their styles.
Royval has a better shot at finishing Bontorin via either means but he does have one big weakness: his back. The American takes “no risk no reward” to new levels and it has cost him. Bontorin is a Brazilian black belt in Jiu-Jitsu and will not need permission to sink in a choke when Royval inevitably gives him his neck.
Pick: R Bontorin By Submission +375
Benitez Makes Short Work of Brown
Gabriel Benitez could leave TJ Brown feeling like he’s had too many shots of tequila after he’s done with him. With all due respect to Brown (15-8-0), but his main job in the UFC is to make his opponents look good. He’s tough and is well-rounded enough to hang but not quite good enough to beat decent opponents like Benitez (22-9-0).
The Mexican is not exactly known for his KO power. He owns just two knockouts in 11 UFC fights but the last two guys he finished share something with Brown: they’re not UFC caliber. “Mowgli” should be a staple in UFC parlays but a ‘Round and Method of Victory’ prop on him at 8-1 could be the best UFC bet you make this evening.