UFC 282 this weekend will be the promotion’s final PPV event of the year with Jan Blachowicz vs Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant UFC Light Heavyweight Championship scheduled as the main event.
This card has seen a high number of changes in the past couple of weeks, with the biggest news being Jiri Prochazka deciding to vacate his title and drop out of the original main event fight against Glover Texeira due to a shoulder injury he suffered during training.
Yesterday, it was announced that two more fights had fallen off the card, with Robbie Lawler withdrawing from his fight against Santiago Ponzinibbio due to injury and Antonio Trocoli having issues getting a visa for his fight against Ovince St Preux.
Ponzinibbio will remain on the card, however, as the UFC announced Alex Morono is stepping in a very short notice opponent. The new fight will apparently occur at a catchweight of 180 pounds. It remains to be seen if St Preux will get a new opponent or not.
Luckily, neither of our first two bets that are already placed for this weekend were affected with these recent changes and are still in good shape moving forward.
Coming off a rough betting weekend at UFC Orlando where we lost roughly 4.5 units overall, I decided to place two bets that I’m very confident will land to help recover some of those losses.
Both are two-leg moneyline parlays consisting of three fighters who I trust to get the job done this weekend in their respective fights: Paddy Pimblett, Magomed Ankalaev, and Raul Rosas Jr.
All three of these fighters have been put in excellent position by the UFC matchmakers to pick up wins this weekend, and I would be shocked to see any of these picks fumble the opportunities that have been put in front of them.
When Prochazka was forced to vacate the championship and the UFC had to scramble to put together a new main event, they were insistent upon Ankalaev being part of the new matchup.
He is 18-1 in his career and riding a nine-fight winning streak heading into this fight and someone I have had pegged as a future champion in the division for quite some time.
Blachowicz is a former champion and always has a puncher’s chance in a fight, but I think Ankalaev is potentially the best fighter in the division, and he will show that this weekend.
Pimblett will be facing Jared Gordon in the co-main event of the card, and while Gordon is a very solid fighter, it’s very clear which side the promotion hopes wins this matchup.
Paddy the Baddy is one of the hottest commodities the UFC currently has on their roster right now and could potentially see his popularity soar even higher with a win this weekend in such a huge spot.
Gordon is a tough fighter with plenty of UFC experience, but Paddy will certainly be the more dangerous fighter here in my opinion and will have a good chance to put away an opponent who has been stopped in all five of his professional losses.
Rosas Jr will be making his promotional debut against Jay Perrin, who is 0-2 in the UFC thus far and has consistently lost throughout his career once he gets above the regional level (0-5 combined between UFC, DWCS, and Bellator).
I normally wouldn’t be so confident in a fighter making their promotional debut, much less one who just turned 18 years old.
But Rosas Jr has already shown he can handle fighting solid opponents on a big stage, and unlike Perrin, he’s actually won.
Perrin is not a pushover and I expect this fight to probably go the distance as he’s only been finished one time as a pro, but I’m very comfortable picking Rosas Jr to earn the victory in this matchup.
The betting lines on all three of these fighters are likely to continue to grow heading into this weekend, especially Pimblett’s due to his rocketing popularity amongst the fanbase.
That is why I attached Paddy to both of these early plays, and I would suggest anyone else that is also planning to bet his moneyline this weekend to go ahead and get those placed.
Sportsbooks are starting to open their prop markets for UFC 282 this weekend, so I will be adding to our betting card throughout the week as those lines continue to drop.
Check back tomorrow for the OddSmokerMMA UFC 282 Picks & Predictions post and throughout the week also as we continue adding to our betting card for this weekend.
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