Betting Guide for UFC 273

Lopsided title fights headline UFC's latest stop in Jacksonville, but are there marquee spots on the stacked prelim card to target?

UFC 273: Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie takes place Saturday from the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, FL. Where are the sharpest places to wager on the card using UFC odds?

Alexander Volkanovski and Anthony Hernandez to Both Win (-154; 2.0 Units)

It was a razor-thin victory for Neil Magny in Columbus that kept the two-legger alive. This week's edition is strong.

The largest favorite on the card is featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (-850), and it's a bit surprising to see him sitting there. Many love "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, but Jung is solely in this spot because Volkanovski has cleared out two better contenders, Max Holloway and Brian Ortega, convincingly.

The reality is that Ortega cleared Korean Zombie by 65 strikes (and added 2 knockdowns) when they met in October 2020. Holloway had a +180 striking differential against Ortega. Volkanovski soundly beat both. The champion and his +3.08 striking success rate are just on another level than any other featherweight at the moment -- and perhaps any fighter in the world.

The other piece to this two-legger could have been a few different mid-sized favorites, but Anthony Hernandez (-210) isn't getting enough respect. Hernandez has soundly beaten multi-time UFC winners Jordan Wright, Brendan Allen, and Rodolfo Vieira.

His peripherals are stellar in the process of doing so. "Fluffy" has averaged 3.76 takedowns per 15 minutes on a world-class 66% efficiency in the UFC thus far, and he's closed the show with a finish in all three UFC-affiliated wins. Josh Fremd is a well-regarded prospect, but he's scored exactly zero wins over opponents with a UFC appearance. The competition gap here is a canyon.

There likely won't be a ton of drama with the champion, but his addition shrinks the price of a position where Hernandez has solid advantages, as well.

Tecia Torres to Win (+104; 1.25 Units)

I couldn't believe "The Tiny Tornado" is an underdog to Mackenzie Dern.

Tecia Torres (+104) has completely revolutionized her training regiment, and it's paid off in earnest. She's averaged 9.80 significant strikes landed per minute in her last two dominant wins, and it's not like she was mediocre before this run.

She climbed into strawweight's top-10 rankings with a 6-1 start before a five-fight losing streak -- all against top-five contenders -- sent her searching for answers.

Importantly, Torres defended six of the eight takedowns she's faced in this same span. With just a 58% takedown defense overall, that was her issue against former top contenders. She looks physically stronger, and it appears she is.

Dern is going to struggle in this fight if the takedowns aren't easy to come by. She has just a 10% takedown accuracy overall -- the worst mark in UFC history for a fighter with at least 8 fights and 20 attempts. Her -1.09 striking success rate won't do her much good striking, either.

Historically, the path to defeating Torres has been taking her down and maintaining control. She's avoided a submission in 14 straight appearances, and after Dern failed to close the show against Marina Rodriguez, Mack's jiu-jitsu doesn't appear to be as lethal as advertised against better competition.

That makes it hard to believe she's got a path to victory, yet she sits as the slight favorite.

Dart Throw of the Week: Gilbert Burns by Decision or Submission (+500; 0.25 Units)

The amount of "fear of missing out" that I have with Khamzat Chimaev this weekend could paralyze an elephant, but from a process perspective, Gilbert Burns (+390) is well worth a roll of the dice this weekend.

Chimaev has been stellar. There's no doubting that after he's scored four straight finishes to open his UFC career with gaudy metrics like a +8.60 striking success rate and 4.65 takedowns per 15 minutes.

But the level of competition for "Borz" has been so poor that he's yet to even face a takedown attempt. They can't even survive that long. Chimaev's toughest test grappling, multi-time UFC winner Gerald Meerschaert, made a striking mistake and was knocked out in 17 seconds. We have virtually no data on how Chimaev's run will translate at the top of this division.

We will on Saturday. His hype train has taken a stop at the number-two welterweight contender in the world. Gilbert Burns has twice as many wins over fighters ranked inside the top-10 of a UFC division at some point (8) as Chimaev does total UFC appearances (4).

Burns doesn't have the gaudy metrics Chimaev does. No one would in 17 UFC-affiliated appearances. But, against elite competition, Burns has returned a decent +0.22 striking success rate and 2.16 takedowns per 15 minutes landed.

"Durinho" is also a multi-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion. Chimaev will not be beaten in UFC if he storms Burns' back and submits him like his other foes. It's never happened to Gilbert in 24 pro fights and hundreds of grappling battles.

There's been one guy who basically never faced a second of adversity in his entire UFC career -- Khabib Nurmagomedov. This bet is an affirmation that, long-term, it's highly unlikely Khamzat Chimaev will be the second, and this is his first true championship-level test.