With UFC 273 taking place next Saturday, many fans are salivating over the idea of seeing three main event-worthy fights all on one card. Champions Alexander Volkanovski and Aljamain Sterling look to defend their titles against familiar opponents, while number two ranked welterweight Gilbert Burns takes on the largest hype train in all of MMA.
UFC 273 Betting Picks
Despite these heavily anticipated matchups, the sports betting community will not be as thrilled with the main card. Each of the last fights on the main card deals with a heavy favorite, making betting on those fights increasingly difficult.
Is there an underdog bettors can place a bet confidently in? In this article, I will break down each of the aforementioned matchups, explain why one is a heavy favorite over the other, and whether or not an upset is truly possible.
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (+550) vs Alexander Volkanovski (-725)
The heaviest favorite of the event comes in the final fight, where Chan Sung Jung, or “The Korean Zombie” attempts to earn the featherweight title by taking down Alexander Volkanovski.
At 23-1 Volkanovski is lapping the division, already defeating Max Holloway twice and most recently was victorious against Brian Ortega in UFC 266. He is the second ranked pound for pound fighter in the UFC, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
On the other end, The Korean Zombie ranks as the 4th best contender amongst featherweights, truly only getting this fight because Volkanovski already won against everybody ranked higher. Sung Jung is also on a losing streak when facing top five ranked fighters, most recently losing to both Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez.
Volkanovski’s -725 odds are not only fair, but generous. I expect him to dominate this fight like has before against even tougher competition.
Gilbert Burns (+400) vs Khamzat Chimaev (-530)
He might be the eleventh ranked fighter right now, but Khamzat Chimaev is on a straight path to the welterweight belt, and Vegas oddsmakers know it too. Chimaev is one of the most ruthless killers to enter the octagon, as he has finished every opponent he faced so far, only giving up two strikes in the process.
However, Gilbert Burns is a real test. The Brazilian grappling artist had his moments in a title fight against Kamaru Usman, and wiped away every other fighter except the current champion. Many bettors will see this line as disrespectful to the second ranked welterweight contender in the world, but I disagree.
Chimaev is superior in reach, grappling, and striking compared to Burns. I do not think there is a chance an upset occurs here.
Aljamain Sterling (+350) vs Petr Yan (-450)
A rematch from a previous title fight, interim champ Petr Yan looks to accomplish what he was well on his way of doing back in UFC 259 before being disqualified for an illegal knee.
It is rare to see a champion with this low of odds to retain their belt, but Sterling’s title as champion does come from a technicality. Yan proved to be the superior fighter in the last bout, and it was clear to everyone watching that he was the fight’s winner.
However, if I had to choose any of the underdogs to win on this card it would be “the Funk Mater” Aljamain Sterling. While his +350 odds is understandable, Sterling is a champion for a reason, and has won most of his previous fights in convincing fashion prior to Yan through his use of grappling and underrated striking.
Yan did not look invincible in his last fight against Cory Sandhagen, which was won by decision. Sterling is capable of winning against anybody in the bantamweight division, and that includes the mighty Petr Yan.
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