UFC tips: Our 3 big-value punts for UFC 260 this weekend in Las Vegas

Our tipster Simon Head names his top picks for UFC 260

Sean O'Malley Vicente Luque Stipe Miocic UFC 260

Comments

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

The biggest prize in MMA is up for grabs at the UFC Apex this weekend as reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic puts his belt on the line against hard-hitting Cameroonian challenger Francis Ngannou in the main event.

It’s also a crucial night in the respective careers of former welterweight champ Tyron Woodley and promising contender Vicente Luque, while another rising star, bantamweight Sean O’Malley, returns looking to bounce back from a shock defeat last time out when he takes on Brazilian striker Thomas Almeida.

We’ve scoured the markets for the best value picks for all three fights at UFC 260, and you can check them out right here.

New to Paddy Power?

04.15 Sun: Sean O’Malley v Thomas Almeida – O’Malley to win by KO/TKO

Despite his recent loss to Marlon Vera – where he sustained an injury mid-fight – “Suga” Sean O’Malley still considers himself undefeated, and he’s ready to bounce back with a big win on Saturday night against a fellow striker who loves to throw hands.

Brazil’s Thomas Almeida was once considered a future champion at 135lbs, but he’s shown himself to be more vulnerable than expected as he has suffered four defeats from his last five, and three losses in a row from his last three outings.

O’Malley has just the skillset to take advantage of Almeida’s defensive holes, and possesses the timing and punch power to pick up a big knockout to bounce back into the win column.

Sean O'Malley Marlon Vera UFC 252 August 15, 2020

Breaking: McGregor confirms next lucrative defeat will be to Pacquiao

04.30 Sun: Tyron Woodley v Vicente Luque – Luque to win by points

After years of being a dangerous mid-level prospect, Vicente Luque has the chance to bridge the gap to the division’s top contenders when he takes on former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the co-main event.

Woodley lost his UFC title to Kamaru Usman back in 2019 and hasn’t won a fight since. He lost a unanimous decision to Brazilian contender Gilbert Burns last May, then suffered a late TKO finish at the hands of former interim champ Colby Covington last September. Granted, his three straight losses have all come against elite opposition, but watching those performances tells the bigger story of a fighter who seems to have lost his edge at the highest level.

Now Luque has the opportunity to prove that he’s also elite level as he prepares to face Woodley on Saturday night. He’s lost just once – a unanimous decision to two-time title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson – in four years, and is coming off back-to-back stoppage wins. Luque has never looked better, is now ready to make the jump and his powerful, accurate striking should see him pick up a win on the scorecards after three rounds. Woodley’s pride and toughness should see him get to the final horn, but his relative lack of output, matched against Luque’s much more active striking game, should see the Brazilian win a clear decision on the cards.

05.30 Sun: Stipe Miocic v Francis Ngannou – Miocic to win by points

Just as we saw heading into their first matchup at UFC 220, everybody’s talking about the terrifying knockout threat of Francis Ngannou. He is, quite simply, the scariest knockout artist to ever set foot in the UFC octagon. However, is he the best heavyweight in the world? Stipe Miocic says no.

The reigning UFC heavyweight champion already holds a dominant shutout decision win over Ngannou from their first meeting, and has gotten even better since that fight to defeat fellow all-time great Daniel Cormier twice over their title fight trilogy. Miocic’s punch power, while significant, isn’t on Ngannou’s level, but he’s the technically superior fighter in virtually every other area. His boxing is better, his wrestling is better, his cardio is better and his fight IQ is better.

It means that, while Ngannou has a significant puncher’s chance of success, Miocic has the smarts, the experience and the skills to negate “The Predator” once again and leave as champion. Odds of a Miocic decision win look very attractive indeed, and are wide enough to accommodate a little hedging if you wanted to put a small wager on a fast Ngannou KO win. Because that’s probably how things are going to play out. It’s either Ngannou early or Stipe late, and the smart money is likely to be on the champ to retain his title.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

UFC 260 bet summary – Sunday, March 28

04.15 Sunday: Sean O’Malley v Thomas Almeida – O’Malley to win by KO/TKO
04.30 Sunday: Tyron Woodley v Vicente Luque – Luque to win by points
05.30 Sunday: Stipe Miocic v Francis Ngannou – Miocic to win by points

Read More:

The latest UFC odds are on PaddyPower.com now

THE PADDY POWER GUIDE TO RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

What do you think?