UFC tips: 13/1 shot tops our UFC 284 betting preview for Australia card

Our tipster Sean Taylor is pumped for the action Down Under.

Alexander Volkanovski, February 2023


UFC Betting Tips

3am – Jimmy Crute v Alonzo Menifield – Under 1.5 Rounds
4am – Jack Della Maddalena v Randy Brown – Brown to Win via Submission
5am – Islam Makhachev v Alexander Volkanovski – Volkanovski to Win

*Times listed are all estimated GMT start time

UFC 284, Sunday, 12th February
TV: BT Sport 1

Jimmy Crute v Alonzo Menifield – Under 1.5 Rounds

It’s becoming an ever more common occurrence but the main card opener at UFC 284 down in sunny Perth, Western Australia is between two Contender Series alumni. Both fighters fought on the show in 2018 and their particular cards produced fighters such as Chase Hooper, Sodiq Yussuf, Chris Curtis and Kevin Holland. Decent company to be in.

Anyway, that’s enough nerding out from me. This fight looks like it has all the makings of a first-round firefight. Six of Menifield’s 10 UFC fights have ended in the first round (under 1.5 has paid out in seven of those 10) while it’s seven from eight for Crute. 

The price is a little on the short side but I think it could arguably be shorter and so this looks a fine bet for your accumulators or even a single if you’re that way inclined. I’m not particularly high on Menifield’s skills and Crute has been fighting at a much higher level. The Aussie is currently riding a two-fight losing streak, but those losses came against Anthony Smith and the newly-crowned light heavyweight champion, Jamahal Hill. 

That gulf in opposition is reflected in the win market with Crute heavily favoured. I think that’s fair, though, and wouldn’t be surprised to see Menifield go off bigger his price at time of writing of 13/8.

Jack Della Maddalena v Randy Brown: Brown to Win via Submission

It’s a well-trodden path in this column; backing against hyped prospects at big prices. Fighting in his hometown, Maddalena is currently on a 13-fight win streak. Three of those have come in the UFC with the best being his recent one-round demolition of Danny Roberts in November of last year. 

I don’t really have any gripes with Maddalena and the hype he’s receiving. He’s an impressive volume striker from both stances, the basis of which is a stiff jab. He’s given up just two takedowns from seven attempts in his UFC career (including his Contender Series bout). The thing that stood out to me while taping him for this piece was the submission attempt he gave up against Ramazan Emeev in his second UFC fight. Emeev was supposed to be the wrestling test for the Aussie, but a vicious liver punch put paid to that and we never got to answer that question about Maddalena. 

Randy Brown is a live submission threat in this fight with three of his 10 UFC victories coming via submission. In the scramble where Emeev locked up a choke, Maddalena essentially rolled into it which would raise a question mark for me. Brown doesn’t necessarily need takedowns to go looking for submissions, he will attempt them from the clinch or look to catch something opportunistically.

Rudeboy is on a four-fight win streak against solid UFC level opposition and his losses in the UFC have come against some of the elite of the welterweight division in Belal Muhammad, Niko Price and Vicente Luque. He is huge for the weight and while Maddalena’s volume will likely see him win minutes on the feet, Brown has enough power of his own to make the Aussie think twice about closing distance. I like this fight and at the prices, I’m happy to have a go at the underdog springing an upset.


Islam Makhachev v Alexander Volkanovski: Volkanovski to Win

What a fight. The Pound for Pound number one in the sport, Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski stepping up a weight class to take on the heir to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Dagenstani throne. Whatever the outcome in Perth in the early hours of Sunday morning, Volkanovski deserves a huge amount of credit. There are so many different facets to this matchup that make it a fascinating fight to break down.

Firstly, Makhachev is a southpaw and that’s a stance that has taken Volkanovski some extra time to adapt to in previous fights. That’s not to say he hasn’t adapted; his in-fight adjustments are arguably the best in the UFC, it’s just that he’s likely to be under pressure to make those adjustments even quicker in this fight. 

Secondly, and not to overly simplify his game, Makhachev wants to physically get his hands on his opponents and work body locks and strikes such as knees and elbows. It’s been talked about plenty how Volkanovski was previously 200 pounds plus in his rugby playing days, however that wasn’t today or yesterday. Makhachev will have the size advantage when they step into the octagon and that will be accentuated in any clinch exchanges.

The ideal range for Volkanovski in this fight is probably boxing range but hanging around there too long will leave him open to takedowns and clinches. One of ‘The Great’s’ great strengths is his offbeat striking rhythm. He does such a good job of making his opponents dance his dance. I’ve no doubt Makhachev will take Volk down, the bigger question coming into this fight is how long he can keep him there.

The Aussie has brilliant scrambling abilities, and he may be better served using his energy on getting back to his feet rather than fighting the takedown.

If he can limit Makhachev’s control time early on and his movement and striking is on point, then I think he can outperform his price here. Ultimately, I think the fight is priced pretty fairly. It’s interesting to note that the likes of Beneil Darisuh, Bobby Green, Dan Hooker and Drew Dober all opened at shorter prices than Volkanovski did against Makhachev. Whilst that is not an exact science in finding value, Volkanovski would likely be a favourite in most of those fights so at decent underdog odds, I’m happy to play him here.

UFC 284 Tips

Jimmy Crute v Alonzo MenifieldUnder 1.5 Rounds
Jack Della Maddalena v Randy BrownBrown to Win via Submission
Islam Makhachev v Alexander VolkanovskiVolkanovski to Win

*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?