UFC 302 Predictions and Betting Odds

ufc 302 predictions
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This Saturday, the Octagon returns to New Jersey for UFC 302. In what looks like a return to form after a couple of weeks off and shallow card depth since UFC 300, the bout sheet provides some star power.

Related: Complete UFC 302 fight card, odds, start time, and TV info

For the first time in his reign as champion Islam Makhachev will defend his crown against a lightweight, with former interim titlist Dustin Poirier playing the challenger. Also, the middleweight division will get some clarity as Sean Strickland faces longtime contender Paulo Costa in his first appearance since losing the belt.

Here are some bold UFC 302 predictions.

Islam Makhachev (25-1) vs. Dustin Poirier (30-8)

For all of the praise bestowed upon Islam Makhachev as UFC lightweight champion, his main event against Dustin Poirier will be the first time fighting someone in his own division since being crowned. For Poirier it’ll likely be the last chance he’ll have to add undisputed champion to his resume. 

Also Read: Max Holloway Next Fight: 3 Opponent Options For ‘Blessed’ Including The Machachev vs. Poirier Winner:

This feels like an uphill battle for Poirier. Even with the power in his hands and underrated grappling abilities, his game is reliant on exposing himself to damage. If this were the pre-championship version of Makhachev that hadn’t developed into a potent striker, “The Diamond” could rely on what has consistently put ahead of most of his peers. 

However, this rapidly improving version of the champ and the diminished state the challenger is likely in doesn’t paint as optimistic of a picture.

Prediction: Makhachev by Submission, Round 4

Sean Strickland (28-6) vs. Paulo Costa (14-3)

In what pairs two of the more outlandish personalities on the roster, Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa will serve as the five-round co-main event. Those extra two rounds will likely be crucial to the outcome. 

Also Read: Queensberry vs. Matchroom: Deontay Wilder vs. Zhilei Zhang Predictions and Betting Odds

In three rounds, Costa’s aggression and power would probably be the story. He has attempted to blitz through far more accomplished and technical strikers with varying degrees of success. That has come at the cost of his cardio with Costa losing steam down the stretch. 

That’s a terrible place to be against an unrelenting fighter like Strickland. If he can endure the initial onslaught, expect him to turn up the pace leaving Costa at the mercy of the former champion in the latter rounds.

Prediction: Strickland by TKO, Round 4

Kevin Holland (25-11) vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk (19-7)

ufc 302 predictions
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Kevin Holland’s break-even record at welterweight has led him to go back up to middleweight to face Michal Oleksiejczuk. Oleksiejczuk has also been rather inconsistent, alternating wins and losses in his last four. 

Also Read: 10 UFC Fighters Who Changed Weight Classes And Became Legends, Including Dustin Poirier And Jorge Masvidal

While Holland bills himself as a kung fu practitioner and is no stranger to throwing hands, even when it isn’t in his best interest, it’s impossible to overlook just how talented of a submission fighter he is. Oleksiejczuk was forced to tap in five out of his seven career losses. Expect more of the same here.

Prediction: Holland by Submission, Round 2

Jailton Almeida (20-3) vs. Alexandr Romanov (17-2)

ufc 302 predictions
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Jailton Almeida is hoping to get back on track following his first career defeat. Meanwhile Alexandr Romanov is looking for a step up into the top 10 with a win over number 7 ranked “Malhadinho.”

Also Read: Deontay Wilder’s 10 Greatest Knockouts, Including His Two Crushing KO’s Against Luis Ortiz

Moments before a series of hammer fists from Curtis Blaydes put him out, Almeida was dominating the bigger wrestler with takedowns and positioning. This seems like a plan that could work on Romanov. While Almeida’s one-dimensional approach will probably lead to trouble in the future, it’s unlikely that “King Kong” will be the one to do it.

Prediction: Almedia by Decision

Randy Brown (18-5) vs. Elizeu Zaleski (24-7-1)

ufc 302 predictions
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Several months removed from a memorable KO of Muslim Salikov, Randy Brown seeks a third consecutive win while Elizeu Zaleski is looking for a definitive win following his draw with Rinat Fakhretdinov. 

Also Read: The 10 Best UFC Fights of All Time, Including Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz At UFC 202

This fight has serious action potential. Both men have a lengthy track record of wild moments and have seen both sides of crazy finishes. With that being said, their fairly even skill sets or trumped by Brown’s physicality. With such a significant height and reach advantage, Zaleski might have a tough time trying to get the job done. 

Prediction: Brown by Decision

Complete UFC 302 predictions and odds

Main Card

  • Islam Makhachev (-575) vs. Dustin Poirier (+425): Makhachev by Submission, Round 4
  • Sean Strickland (-238) vs. Paulo Costa (+195): Strickland by TKO, Round 4
  • Kevin Holland (-278) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (+225): Holland by Submission, Round 2
  • Alex Morono (-250) vs. Niko Price (+205): Morono by +KO, Round 2
  • Randy Brown (-175) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (+145): Brown by Decision

Preliminary Card

  • Roman Kopylov (+100) vs. César Almeida (-120): Kopylov by Decision
  • Grant Dawson (-455) vs. Joe Solecki (+350): Dawson by Decision
  • Phil Rowe (+136) vs. Jake Matthews (-162): Rowe by Decision
  • Jailton Almeida (-270) vs. Alexandr Romanov (+220): Almeida by Decision
  • Mickey Gall (+260) vs. Bassil Hafez (-325): Hafez by Decision
  • Joselyne Edwards (+154) vs. Ailin Perez (-185): Perez by Decision
  • Mitch Rapaso (+205) vs. André Lima (-250): Lima by Decision

Also Read: 10 Best MMA fighters of all time, including Fedor Emelianenko and UFC GOAT Jon Jones

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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