Betting Guide for UFC 275

Dominant flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko returns this weekend as a massive favorite to defend her belt. Should we find a way to back her?

Two belts are on the line this weekend in East Asia, and both fights have the same dynamic. Will the crafty, aging veterans retain them, or do the young, athletic challengers capture their first bit of octagon glory?

UFC 275: Teixeira vs. Prochazka will take place Saturday from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Which MMA bets stand out on FanDuel Sportsbook?

Brendan Allen and Manel Kape to Both Win (-124; 1.5 Units)

A pair of first-round wins last week took things out of the judges' hands and pushed the two-legger to 10-5 in 2022. Let's keep it rolling across the globe.

The most confident win pick I've got this weekend is Brendan Allen (-330). Allen's lone two UFC losses are to Chris Curtis and Sean Strickland. The formula of those two fighters -- a combined 7-0 since the start of 2020 -- is a tremendous striking package with elite takedown defense. Jakob Malkoun has neither.

Malkoun's 45% striking defense is what led to a first-round knockout loss in his debut. He's been able to use his wrestling to notch back-to-back wins since, but Allen (1.7 submission attempts per 15 minutes) is one of middleweight's most fearsome ground fighters on top of his striking edge here.

Allen's 50% takedown defense isn't an issue, either. He reversed position on Kyle Daukaus all three times he was taken down in that bout -- a skill many fighters don't have.

The other leg is more challenging, but it's hard to fade the momentum of Manel Kape (-250) at present. After trepidacious offense led to a pair of close decision losses, Kape has knocked out Ode Osbourne and Zhalgas Zhumagulov in succession.

Landing 4.69 significant strikes per minute on 53% accuracy, "Starboy" is finally now showing again the high-paced volume and power that brought him here from Japan's RIZIN tour.

Kape draws Rogerio Bontorin on Saturday, and Bontorin can't quite put his athleticism together to a discernable strength. He'll likely try to wrestle Kape (2.90 takedowns per 15 minutes overall), but Kape's 80% takedown defense has been the one shining attribute present in all four of his UFC bouts thus far.

Both of these fighters are +110 or shorter to win inside the full distance, so we may be able to leave the judges out of it -- thankfully -- once more.

Ramona Pascual to Win (+142; 1.0 Unit)

I'm pretty shocked to get this price on Ramona Pascual (+142) when looking at her opponent.

Joselyne Edwards is an athletic women's bantamweight prospect, but she's had a massive issue in her past two bouts -- she can't stay on her feet.

She's spent over 22 of her last 30 minutes inside the octagon in her opponents' control. Both were non-competitive decision losses to Karol Rosa and Jessica-Rose Clark. Those losses have aged even worse with both Rosa and Clark losing grappling-heavy bouts since that performance.

Edwards hasn't shown an ability in UFC behind her 47% takedown defense to even keep fights competitive -- much less think about winning them -- because of her wrestling.

Given Pascual landed 3 of her 10 takedown attempts in her debut, she should be able to exploit this weakness, too. She also controlled the twitchy Josi Nunes for 3:41 of that bout.

Pascual was knocked down twice by the power puncher, but Nunes has three career knockdowns to Edwards' zero. Given there's less power and danger in this one than in Pascual's debut, it figures to be another uneventful smothering of Edwards unless things have drastically changed in eight months.

Dart Throw of the Week: Taila Santos to Win (+450; 0.5 Units)

UFC's women's divisions have a greater number of upsets than any single men's division. Laying a massive price -- even with a dominant champion -- is outright foolish.

That's not to say Valentina Shevchenko isn't a worthy favorite this week. She is. She's dispensed five straight top contenders defending this 125-pound belt with pristine peripherals. However, that exact description applied to Amanda Nunes before she was upset by Julianna Pena as a -1250 favorite last December.

Shevchenko is 34 years old with an ACL tear that has been rehabbed in the last handful of years. We've seen the best of her at this point.

Now, that said, this division is incredibly weak, so the right challenger has to emerge. I think Taila Santos (+450) is her best opponent ever. The peripheral numbers between these two are jaw-droppingly close:

Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute (SSLPM)3.213.71
Striking Accuracy52%50%
Striking Defense64%63%
Striking Success Rate1.341.48
Takedowns Per 15 Minutes2.622.44
Takedown Accuracy64%86%
Submission Attempts Per 15 Minutes0.31.1
Ranked Wins in Last 5 Fights52

Keep in mind that a majority of Shevchenko's sample came in her athletic prime that she's exiting. Taila Santos is just 28 years old, and she's been fighting in UFC since she was 25 without much experience.

A $100 bet on Shevchenko would net just a $16 profit, but the same $100 on Taila Santos pays out $550 total. Santos may not have the experience to hold this belt yet, but there is no doubt she's the more valuable side in a fight that should be way closer than expected.