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UFC Vegas 66 Gambling Preview: Can Jared Cannonier follow in Alex Pereira’s steps and brutally KO Sean Strickland?

Jared Cannonier
Jared Cannonier
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

We all knew it was coming, but here it is nonetheless: the final gambling weekend of the year. The UFC brings 2022 to a close with a Fight Night card back at the APEX, headlined by a middleweight clash between Jared Cannonier and Sean Strickland and featuring 13 other quality fights. It’s a pretty good way to wrap things up, so let’s jump right into the final bets of 2022.

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.


UFC 271: Bobby Green v Nasrat Haqparast Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Straight Bets

Bobby Green, +130

I feel like I’ve said this a lot lately, but I do not understand why this line is here. Don’t get me wrong, I like Drew Dober, but Green is as skilled and crafty a veteran as it gets, and this fight lines up very well for him. Green is a superior striker to Dober, with far better defense and a higher work rate, plus Green is also a willing grappler. Historically, the way Bobby Green loses is by getting outworked or out-wrestled by superior athletes (or getting robbed), and Dober seems very unlikely to do that.

Said Nurmagomedov, +100

When was the last time someone named Nurmagomedov was plus money?

Said may not be related to Khabib Nurmagomedov, but the Dagestani is still a tremendously talented fighter, and I think he has some clear advantages against Saidyokub Kakhramonov. For one, Nurmagomedov is much more well-rounded and definitely the better striker, and two, Nurmagomedov is a solid defender of takedowns. Raoni Barcelos was able to score some takedowns in their fight, but he was unable to control Nurmagomedov for prolonged stretches, and I think it will be the same with Kakhramonov. I like a value play here.


UFC Fight Night: Tsarukyan v Gamrot Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Jared Cannonier by KO/TKO/DQ, +275

This fight is close to a pick’em, and I get why. Cannonier is certainly the more dangerous striker, but Strickland is fairly durable, and he puts on a pace that Cannonier is not going to be able to keep up with if he can’t find the finish. Fortunately for Cannonier, finding the finish is where he thrives. 12 of Cannonier’s 15 career wins come by stoppage, and given that Strickland got brutally knocked out in July, Cannonier has a decent shot to do so as well.

Arman Tsarukyan by Decision, +130

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m incredibly high on Tsarukyan. At only 26 years old, I would be very surprised if he never fought for a lightweight title, but he has his hands full with Damir Ismagulov. Ismagulov has exceptional takedown defense and a wicked jab, both of which figure to pose issues for Tsarukyan. That being said, I still favor the grappling, athleticism, and pace of Tsarukyan to simply outwork Ismagulov over 15 minutes.

Cody Brundage/Michal Oleksiejczuk UNDER 1.5 Rounds, -135

Simply put, these two men are not paid by the hour. They’re all about the business, and when they get down, business is a-booming. In his four UFC (and Contender Series) fights, Brundage has an average fight time of 6:14, while Oleksiejczuk takes his time a little more at 7:07. Both of those numbers, as you can see, fall below the 7:30 threshold that the 1.5 represents, which is why we are on this play. I expect Oleksiejczuk to come out and throw the kitchen sink at Brundage until one of them falls down.


UFC 275: Fialho v Matthews Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Parlay of the Week

Jake Matthews -280

I believe we are on the cusp of the Jake Matthews breakout.

Matthews joined the UFC eight years ago and has been hit or miss during his run. However, last time out, he looked sensational against Andre Fialho, and it’s important to remember that he is still only 28 years old. And in Matthew Semelsberger, Matthews gets an opponent who is game and athletic, but lacks good defense. Matthews should be able to light Semelsberger up on the feet, and even score takedowns if needed.

Sergey Morozov, -300

The simplest breakdown of this fight is that Morozov is good, and Journey Newsom is not. In the past six years, Morozov has only lost two two elite fighters, and then a fluke submission (to a very good fighter) in a bout he was dominating. Newsom has no ability to stop Morozov from scoring takedowns at will and from there, this is the Morozov show.

Parlay these two bets together for -125 odds.


MMA: JUL 02 UFC 276 Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

If there’s one thing I’ve said repeatedly it’s that there’s nothing I enjoy more than a Gimmick Parlay, and No Bets Barred listener Mitch brought to my attention that we have a truly spectacular Gimmick Parlay opportunity this weekend.

Xtreme Couture has six fighters competing on Saturday and so, to close out the year, we’re teaming them all up for one big payout. Is this going to hit? Certainly not. Is it a terrible idea? Absolutely. But is it fun? Undeniably. Plus, if it hits we get to shout from the rafters that we crushed the (Nick)Sick Parlay. What more can you want from a Long Shot?

Parlay Sean Strickland (-115), Amir Albazi (-410), Julian Erosa (-170), Cheyanne Vlismas (-190), Said Nurmagomedov (+100), and Manel Kape (-250) for +1478 odds.


Wrap Up

With this being the final UFC event of 2022, that means our first year of doing this column is in the books, and I’ve got to be honest, it went great! With a standard one unit bet on every suggest play, we finished up 55.55 units, and we hit three Long Shots! That’s good by any measure. Looking back over it all, parlays were by far our biggest weak point, which makes sense since parlays are a mug’s game (doesn’t mean I’m going to stop, we’re in it for a good time).

Here’s hoping we finish the year on a high note, and that 2023 is just as profitable! Good luck, and gamble responsibly!


All information in this article is provided to readers of MMA Fighting for entertainment, news, and amusement purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader to learn and abide by online gambling laws in their region before placing any online sports betting wagers.

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