Upcoming UFC Fights To Keep Your Eye On
The UFC is in its renaissance right now. After the Endeavor deal, it’s clear that the UFC is worth A LOT of money, being valued at around 12 BILLION (yes that’s a B) dollars. That’s almost TRIPLE the amount that it had sold for just a few years ago–so yes, the UFC is booming.
They’re looking to keep the good times rolling in 2023 by putting on BANGER cards every weekend. Here are some of the best upcoming fights (some official, some rumored) that you should keep circled on your calendar.
Accompanying them will be odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Charles Oliveira vs Beniel Dariush UFC 288 (Confirmed)
Charles Oliveira is back, and boy, he isn’t necessarily easing into things. He’s got a tough matchup against Beniel Dariush coming up in May, slotted in as the Co-Main event of the next pay-per-view.
Oliveira most notably lost to Makhachev in his last fight, losing his lightweight belt in the process. Dariush, though, has been a contender for the belt for what feels like years, but just can’t get to the top of the mountain.
A win over Oliveira would certainly do it, and DraftKings thinks it’ll happen He’s currently listed as a -125 favorite, and Oliveira a +105 underdog.
Amanda Nunes vs Juliana Pena 3 at UFC 289 (Confirmed)
The Lioness is back and is ready to prove that her win over Pena was as real as it gets. Juliana Pena famously upset Amanda Nunes at UFC 269, handing Nunes her first loss since 2014. Nunes came back in the rematch though, beating Pena via decision at UFC 277.
That fight went all the way to a decision, but Nunes was in complete control. She even scored a 10-8 on two judges' scorecards.
DraftKings has her as a HEAVY favorite, sitting currently at -700. Pena is a +510 underdog.
Bo Nickal vs Tresean Gore at UFC 290 (Confirmed)
Bo Nickal is back, ladies and gentlemen, and he’s taking a HUGE step up in competition.
Viewers of The Ultimate Fighter Season 29 will remember Tresean Gore as the heavy-handed striker he is. He most notably finished Gilbert Urbina via a scary KO, but was unable to compete in the TUF finale due to an injury. He hasn’t seen much UFC success since, going 1-2, but he did win his last fight via submission.
Nickal, who is touted as one of the best wrestlers in the world, will have to figure out a game plan for the multi-faceted Gore. Nickal came out a little sloppy in his UFC debut, missing a kick and stumbling to the ground a bit. Being sloppy against a fighter like Gore could lead to a meal of Nyquil and canvas a lot faster than you think.
DraftKings is confident in the young Nickal, showing him as a -900 favorite. Gore is currently sitting as a +625 dog.
Khamzat Chimaev vs Paulo Costa at UFC 294 (Rumored)
UFC gods, I don’t talk to you often (that’s a lie, I talk to you every weekend when I’m sweating out my bets) but please, listen to me: let this fight happen.
Khamzat Chimaev vs Paulo Costa would be quite possibly my favorite fight of all time. Khamzat is maybe one of the craziest fighters in the entire organization, and Costa is one of the biggest trolls the sporting world has ever seen–so what’s not to love about this one?
Stylistically the two competitors matchup too. Costa has the edge in striking, and Khamzat obviously has the edge in wrestling–but Paulo Costa does have hidden BJJ skills that he’s always touting that we’ve yet to see.
As of right now, Khamzat is the HEAVY favorite, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Khamzat is sitting as a -350 favorite, and Costa is a +290 underdog.
There are a few things to fear about this fight, though, as both Costa and Khamzat have a history of not making weight. Sure, it’ll be at Middleweight, so Khamzat should have no issues making 185. Costa, though, has missed weight a few times and has even fought a few bouts at light heavyweight, so we’re not in the clear yet.
Also, the main source for this is Chael Sonnen so…it may all be a farce to begin with.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though.