UFC tips: 7/2 shot tops our UFC 285 betting preview for Las Vegas

Our tipster Sean Taylor is salivating for the action in Sin City on Saturday night

Jon Jones UFC, March 2023

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UFC Betting Tips

Saturday night/Sunday morning

3:00am – Derek Brunson v Dricus Du Plessis – Derek Brunson to Win
4:30am – Jalin Turner v Mateusz Gamrot – Will the fight go the distance? Yes
6:00am – Jon Jones v Ciryl Gane – Jon Jones to win by KO/TKO

*Times listed are all estimated GMT start time

UFC 285, Sunday, 5th March
TV: BT Sport 1

Derek Brunson v Dricus Du Plessis – Derek Brunson to Win

Derek Brunson feels like something of a perennial underdog, and I’ve been guilty of picking against him many times in the past. Dricus Du Plessis has had some hype behind him of late, but this feels like a step up in class for him and Brunson is without doubt the best wrestler he’ll have faced.

If Darren Till, a notably poor wrestler, can land a takedown on Du Plessis then I’ve no doubt that Brunson can take him down at will. Both fighters average just over three takedowns per 15 minutes, but Brunson has done so over a longer period and better strength of schedule. 

Du Plessis may well end up justifying the hype, but Brunson has a highly impressive takedown defence of 89% which will be a challenge for the South African. Ultimately, I’m not sure how Du Plessis justifies a price of 4/11 aside from an early KO or sub. That’s an outcome I’d place firmly in the unlikely category. 

Brunson has become a gatekeeper for the middleweight division, but he shouldn’t be underestimated here. Styles make fights and I think this step up may be a little too early for Du Plessis.

Jalin Turner v Mateusz Gamrot – Will the fight go the distance? Yes 

This looks like a pretty chunky price to me. Admittedly, there a few things worth factoring in; Jalin Turner was originally scheduled to face Dan Hooker in this bout before an injury ruled him out, so this is a totally different style of opponent. Tuner was a favourite in that fight and he’s now a pretty hefty underdog here.

Cardio is often a concern in fights taken on short notice. This wouldn’t be a concern I’d have about Mateusz Gamrot in this case. He’s a high-level grappler and that’s not a base you build without having a good cardio base. This being a three round fight also make it much less of a worry.

Turner has only gone to the scorecards twice in career, both losses, but he also hasn’t fought a grappler at Gamrot’s level. I struggle to see ‘Gamer’ being finished here, he’s very durable but he can get out classed on the feet and Turner is the more active of the two. So far in his UFC career, Gamrot absorbs more strikes per minute than he lands. At 2/5, he’s very short and stats like that make him hard to play at those prices.

Given Gamrot’s chin, cardio and elite grappling and Turner’s ability on the feet I think the fight to go the distance at a big price is a nice play.

Ciryl Gane, UFC, March 2023

Jon Jones v Ciryl Gane – Jon Jones to win by KO/TKO 

The theme of Jon Jones’ return to the UFC octagon is questions. Jones hasn’t fought in three years and his previous two performances were hardly inspiring. A move to heavyweight has long been mooted given his advantage at the light heavyweight limit. 

How will he fare having bulked up so much? How will he manage given his reach advantage will be much reduced? What has his training been like? Has he actually trained for this fight? Three years off is a long time, how will this have affected him? There are always plenty of questions about the man who is arguably the greatest of all time.

With that being said, we’ve seen enough from Bones over the years to know that he doesn’t always need to be at his peak to beat some of the UFC’s elite. I saw enough holes in Ciryl Gane’s performance against Francis N’Gannou to be concerned about his chances here. Being out grappled by a one-legged N’Gannou is a bad look plus some of his decision making in that fight was awful. 

Perhaps the only realm where Gane has an advantage is his boxing. Jon Jones is just better at mixing the martials and I expect him to expose the deficiencies in Gane’s wrestling. Bones wasn’t a one punch knockout merchant at light heavyweight, he wore his opponents down and often found a ground-and-pound finish. He may well have one-punch power at heavyweight, but I think a ground-and-pound TKO is a real possibility here and at the price I think it’s well worth a play.

UFC 285 Tips

Derek Brunson v Dricus Du PlessisDerek Brunson to Win 
Jalin Turner v Mateusz GamrotWill the fight go the distance? Yes 
Jon Jones v Ciryl GaneJon Jones to win by KO/TKO

*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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