UFC 231 Betting Tips, Picks & Analysis: Back the Favorites
- Bet Max Holloway to beat Brian Ortega at -125 with Karamba.
- Bet Valentina Shevchenko to beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk at -360 with 888Sport.
- Parlay Shevchenko(-360) & Claudia Gadelha (-315) at -148 with 888Sport.
On Saturday night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the UFC offers up one of its better cards for the penultimate Pay-Per-View of 2018. UFC 231 is headlined by two marquee title fights and has a bevy of exciting undercard action.
In the co-main event, the former UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk attempts to make history by becoming the first woman to win UFC titles in two divisions when she challenges her longtime rival, Valentina Shevchenko, for the vacant flyweight title.
Then, in the main event, Max Holloway puts his featherweight belt on the line against enigmatic contender Brian Ortega, in a fight that is the perfect distillation of this moment in MMA. They are two of the best fights in MMA today, so if you want to get in on MMA betting action, here is a breakdown of the best bets on the board.
Holloway-Ortega UFC 231 Betting Tips
Max Holloway is one of the best fighters on the UFC roster. He combines a devastating striking arsenal with a granite chin, bulletproof takedown defense, and an endless gas tank to overwhelm opponents like rising tide.
Just look at his two fights with Jose Aldo, inarguably the greatest defensive fighter ever. In their two bouts last year, Aldo had more tricks and skills than Holloway, but was done in by Holloway’s irrepressibility.
Max Holloway’s offense is like novocaine -- give it enough time and eventually it will put fighters out. But that is what makes this fight so interesting.
In Ortega, Holloway faces an opportunistic finisher who will lose the little battles but win the war in one incredible burst of dynamism. There’s a serious argument that Ortega has lost every round he’s fought in the UFC aside from his finishes and that is what makes him such a unique threat.
Holloway builds like a snowball rolling downhill, which gives Ortega more opportunities to do something spectacular before the avalanche buries him.
How to Bet Holloway-Ortega UFC 231
This should be a straightforward fight. Holloway will keep the fight standing and Ortega won’t have much of a choice in the matter given Holloway’s incredible take-down defense.
Ortega is content to let fights come to him and Holloway will do just that, meaning that the only realistic outcomes are Holloway gets going and piles offense on until Ortega falls or the bell sounds, or Ortega catches Holloway with something decisive.
Given that Jose Aldo - possibly the best fighter ever and an offensive powerhouse in his own right - was unable to seriously hurt Holloway, it seems unlikely that Ortega will be able to.
The X-factor here is the troubling health concerns surrounding Holloway but until we see those manifest inside the cage, I don’t put too much stock in them. The good news is those issues have dropped Holloway from a -175 favorite when they were first scheduled to fight, down to -125 at Karamba right now.
Holloway should take this, either by late stoppage or wide decision, and he is worth money at the original price so the extra 50 points is icing on an already extremely tasty cake. Bet Holloway at Karamba.
UFC 231 Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk Betting Tips
At this risk of sounding hyperbolic, this is the greatest fight in women’s MMA history. Shevchenko is the best female fighter on the planet and the rightful women’s bantamweight champion (though she was denied that title by judging).
Instead she will be fighting for the vacant flyweight championship -- a title that was presumed to be hers from the moment she dropped to 125 pounds. In her way is nothing less than the greatest female fighter of all time, Joanna Jedrzejczyk. If Holloway-Ortega is a fight for the moment, this is a fight for history.
Unfortunately for Jedrzejczyk, it’s also a fight with lots of history. Jedrzejczyk and Shevchenko have fought three times before, back when both were competing in Muay Thai, with Shevchenko winning each time.
While Jedrzejczyk was an elite kickboxer, Shevchenko was truly world-class, only losing once in her career. And though MMA and kick-fighting are different sports, both women essentially just ported their skills over and built their games around them.
Shevchenko vs. Jedrzejczyk UFC 231 Best Bet
In Shevchenko, Jedrzejczyk faces a stylistic nightmare of a matchup who also happens to have defeated her thrice before. While that kind of a bulletin board material might make for great motivation, it also indicates a general inability to overcome the gap between them standing, so unless Joanna Champion comes out shooting double legs, it’s doubtful she will get to reclaim that moniker on Saturday night.
Even if she does, Shevchenko’s ground game is nearly as lethal as her stand-up, having tapped out top-game specialist Julianna Pena from her guard. Add in that Jedrzejczyk appears to be declining physically and this has all the makings of a one-sided affair.
Shevchenko isn’t exactly one to put her foot down on the pedal so if Jedrzejczyk’s chin can hold up to pressure, she probably makes it to the cards, but a stoppage is also in play if Jedrzejczyk throws caution to the wind or if her chin is well and truly cracked.
Either way, Shevchenko at -360 on 888Sport is a good line, and if you’d like to bring that price down even more, parlay her with Claudia Gadelha (-315) and going to beat the brakes off of Nina Ansaroff at -148.
Recommended Betting Sites
100% Welcome Bonus up to £50 Promo Code: TONY5018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply In order to activate this bonus on the personal TonyBet account, please, enter the bonus code TONY50 when a deposit is made and wager your deposit 10 times on betting markets with odds of at least 1.65 within 30 days. This offer is available to new players who made the first deposit. All players must be 18+ years old and of a required legal age to gamble. Odd/even, no action (bets made on both sides of the same bet), cancelled bets, replicated bets and bets that have had their odds equated to 1 are not included into the bonus wagering.
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Bet £10 Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. New UK customers only. Min bet £10 to receive £10 Free Bet (placed and settled 35 days from registration). Min odds of 3/5. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settlement and placed within 35 days. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Get up to £100 in Free Bets + up to 100% in Boosts18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, New customers only. Deposit + bet £20-£100. Must Deposit £50 and opt in for marketing preferences for Boosts. Boosts credited 24 hours after deposit. Full T&Cs apply. Begambleware.org
Open Account Offer - Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365
Bet £10, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: €10, max €10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement.System bets no eligible. Click to see full T&Cs
EXCLUSIVE: Bet £15, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply
Bet £10, Get £10 + 50 Extra Spins18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New customer offer; Place first £10 bet on sports with 3 legs at odds of 1.3 or greater per leg; Free Bet and Extra Spins credited after the qualifying bet has settled; Free Multiple Bet must contain 3 legs at odds of 1.3 or greater per leg; Free Bet and Extra Spin stakes not returned; No wagering requirements on winnings; £200 max win; T&C’s apply; 18+
Bet £20, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+ New Customers Only. Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is £20. Customers who deposit using Neteller, Paysafe, Skrill or Skril 1-Tap will not be eligible for any free bet offer.BeGambleaware.org
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Qualifying bet must be min odds of 1/2 and cannot be placed in-play or cashed out. E.g. Place a £10bet at minimum odds of 1/2. When that bet has been settled, you will be given a free £5 fixed odds bet to use that day. New customers only. See full Ts&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.