UFC Tips: 16/1 punt tops our tipster’s UFC 273 best bets

Our specialist UFC tipster Sean Taylor picks out some value from this weekend's card.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

UFC 273 goes down in Jacksonville, Florida this week and it’s a fantastic card. Despite this, it is a difficult one to assess from a betting perspective with some very wide lines on the main card. With that in mind, I’ve gotten a bit creative with some of my selections here.

Let’s get to it!

UFC 273
TV: BT Sport 1 – Main Card from 3am Sunday April 10

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*All fight start times are estimations

Alexander Volkanovski v Chan Sung Jung – Alexander Volkanovski Round 4 & Round 5

4:35am, Sunday April 10

The line on Volkanovski is very wide here, somewhat understandably so. When his career is finished, he will be mentioned with the greats of this division Aldo, Holloway and McGregor. Without doubt one of the most technically proficient fighters on the roster, I can imagine he is a nightmare to attempt to build a game plan for.

He has spoken about this recently, but Volkanovski’s style involves giving his opponent so many decisions to make that it causes an overload. There is only so much information the brain can compute at any given time and once this overload occurs, fighters freeze, and this creates openings. Throughout his UFC career, Volkanovski has landed strikes at a higher rate than his opponents have absorbed on average. Korean Zombie didn’t get his nickname for his outstanding defence, he’s very hittable and you can expect his durability to be tested to the max this weekend.

When I think about how this fight plays out in my head, I see Volkanovski giving so many looks from different ranges and angles that he scrambles Zombie’s brain, and we see something of a sustained beatdown. If you were to make the case for The Korean Zombie, he is likely to want to use his leg kicks to attack the limbs of Volkanovski. When you have a fighter who uses his movement as well as Alexander ‘The Great’ does, you want to take this tool away from him. I’m not sure how effective looking for takedowns would be where he to try this.

Volkanovski can be taken down but he hasn’t been controlled for more than a minute since his UFC debut in 2016 and 20% of his significant strikes have come from the ground. It all paints a fairly bleak picture for Chan Sung Jung. Volkanovski isn’t the most concussive puncher but I expect him to land at will on an opponent who has taken his fair share of damage over the years. Given that, I really like some small stakes bets on Volkanovski to win in Round 4 & Round 5 at big prices.

Aljamain Sterling v Petr Yan – A point to be deducted

4:10am, Sunday April 10

This is a fascinating fight to bet on given we’ve already seen how this fight is likely to play out. For me, Petr Yan is the best bantamweight in the world and would be the champion had he not thrown the illegal knee in their last fight (more on that knee later). The prices for this fight have been adjusted accordingly based on what we saw last time and it’s hard to disagree. Sterling had a good start to the fight in rounds one and two, however it did feel like this may have been on Yan’s terms rather than Sterling dictating the fight.

After starting at a high pace, began to slow down as Yan really came into the fight. I would expect Sterling to manage his output better this time so that he is better equipped to go into the deeper rounds. Yan is so calm and efficient with his output, focusing on quality over quantity. I expect Yan to win in a similar fashion to what we were seeing unfold last March. My bet for this fight comes from Yan’s propensity to be extremely indisciplined. He is a fighter who often skirts the rules. In the first fight with Sterling, he threw a knee earlier on in the fight which was milliseconds away from being illegal and also ending the fight with a disqualification.

He threw an axe-kick with Sterling on the ground which is only a knee bend away from being an illegal strike. Just before the knee which eventually got him disqualified, he put his towards Sterling’s in a motion which on another day could be classified as headbutt. In 2016, his only other professional loss came because of a point deduction for repeated headbutts.

He is liable to do something absurd which can cost him a fight. As I said earlier, I think the prices are about right on this fight which means we have to get creative, and I think you could do worse than back a point to be deducted in this fight. The referee will be on high alert to anything Yan may try, such as a headbutt, shorts grab or a fence grab. Given Yan’s history, I think we’re getting more than fairly compensated in the price here.

A word on some of the other fights on the card:

Gilbert Burns v Khamzat Chimaev

3:40am, Sunday April 10

This is arguably the most anticipated fight on the card but with such a wide betting line, it’s a nightmare to break down from a betting perspective. There’s an aura of inevitability and invincibility currently surrounding Chimaev and these are some of the intangibles I think are currently factored into his price.

The odds will divide opinion as Burns is much more of a known quantity and people will argue he offers some value in this spot. I couldn’t put anyone off backing him but I’m not sure he wins here. I think we’ll see a noticeable size difference between the two when they step inside the octagon. I’m looking forward to seeing if Chimaev is as good as I think he might be but it’s a fight I’m happy to sit back and enjoy with no bet.

Ian Garry v Darian Weeks

2:40am, Sunday April 10

I’ve mentioned Ian Garry in this space previously as one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Ireland in a long time and he’s in action again this weekend. We saw in his debut that improvements are required but one can only imagine that the more time he spends at Sanford MMA, the better he will become.

Enjoy the fights!

UFC 273 Betting Tips

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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What do you think?