I’d be lying if I said I was super pumped for this UFC card. I LOVE the main event, but other than that it would be our typical UFC card. It makes sense when you look at the next three UFC PPVs including UFC 300.
Anyhoo here’s my best bet + preview for each fight on this mediocre UFC PPV card.
UFC 297 PPV
Match 5: Arnold Allen (+165) Vs Movsar Evloev (-200)
I lied. This fight is gonna be a good fight. Two UFC vets with a good track history stand across from each other to open the UFC 297. Arnold Allen is coming off his only loss since joining the UFC in 2016 after losing via decision to Max Holloway last year. Unfortunately for Allen across from him is 17-0 Movsar Evloev (6-0 in UFC). All his UFC wins (added in 2019) have come via decision… which is a hard task to get to when you’re facing Arnold Allen.
Preview: This might be bold but I love Arnold Allen via KO in this fight (+750). He proved himself by lasting 5 rounds with Max Holloway and this 3 round fight screams a bounce back against an opponent who hasn’t fought since 2022.
Best Bet: Arnold Allen +165 & Allen KO (+750)
Match 4: Marc-André Barriault (+155) Vs Chris Curtis (-186)
Maybe this card isn’t as bad as I originally thought. Chris Curtis joined the UFC in 2021 and instantly went on a 3 fight win streak. Since then he has a record of 1-2-1 and looks to bounce back against another polished veteran fighter in Marc-André Barriault. Marc-André Barriault joined the UFC in 2019 and did the opposite of Curtis by going on a three-fight losing streak. Since then he’s gone 5-2 and with a win on Saturday could catapult himself into contending territory.
Preview: Marc-Andrew Barriault’s fight game looks the best it has and I think he sneaks out the win against Curtis via decision (+400).
Best Bet: Marc-André Barriault +155
Match 3: Neil Magny (+275) Vs Mike Malott (-350)
There’s UFC veterans, and then there’s Neil Magny. He made his UFC debut in 2013 and has fought 31 times under the UFC brand. THIRTY ONE TIMES! He has a career record of 28-12 (21-10 UFC Record). He doesn’t say no to anyone and finds himself a big underdog against 10-1 Mike Malott (3-0 UFC). Malott joined the UFC in 2022 and has finished all his fights. It’s always risky betting against good UFC vets who know how to fight any opponent but I think Malott handles Neil Magny convincingly.
Preview: How will Mike Malott win this fight? His grappling is insane as he’s shown in his last two fights. Could he knock Neil Magny out as he’s done to 4 fights in his professional fighting career including his UFC debut (+300)? Will Neil Magny be more difficult and last the distance (+190)? So many questions with only one answer, Mike Malott will win this fight.
Best Bet: Mike Malott & Neil Magny Finish Round 2 (+120)…
Co-Main Event: Raquel Pennington (+135) Vs Mayra Bueno Silva (-165)
I’ve noticed a trend with this card, tons of UFC vets on at least one side of the ring. Raquel Pennington made her UFC debut at UFC 171 back in 2014. 10 years later she gets a chance to compete for the vacant woman bantamweight belt with the only thing standing in her way being Mayra Bueno Silva. Honestly have no idea who Bueno Silva is which is weird because she’s been in the UFC since 2018. She’s an absolute menace from Brazil, who will get you in a submission in a blink of an eye.
Preview: My first instinct was for Pennington to finally get the belt. But now I’m double-guessing myself because those Brazilian fighters are always carrying that woman championship belt around. Pennington finds herself on a 5 fight-winning streak and looks to get revenge for her 2018 title defeat against Amanda Nunes after getting knocked out late in the 5th round. Ultimately I’m picking Raquel Pennington but might just be watching this one from a fan’s perspective.
Best Bet: Fight Goes The Distance -115
Main Event: Dricus Du Plessis (+105) Vs Sean Strickland (-125)
WHAT A FIGHT! Two badass fighters who 100% are gonna go to absolute war against each other this weekend. The build-up is real between these two as we all saw at UFC 296 last month.
They also have got more than personal at press conferences leading up to this fight. Who knows what the press conference later today will bring? Dricus Du Plessis has already made fun of Sean’s childhood traumas on multiple occasions. Will he do it yet again today?
Dricus came out and said he would lay off those comments, but will he hold to his word if Strickland starts trash-talking again? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, once these two step into the ring it will be war. Both of these guys are willing to die in that ring.
Preview: I’m so invested in this fight that I can’t choose between who I want will win and who I think will win. I want Sean Strickland to win so badly, but I think Dricus is the better fighter and will more than likely come away with the victory. FUCK I actually can’t choose.
Best Bet: Fight To Complete Three Rounds +105
UFC 297 Betting Card (As Of 1/18)
- Arnold Allen +165 (1U) & Allen KO +750 (.4U)
- Marc-André Barriault +155 (1U)
- Malott & Magny Finish Round 2 +120 (1U)
- Pennington Vs Bueno Silva Goes Distance -115 (1U)
- Du Plessis Vs Strickland Complete Three Rounds +105 (1U)
More excited for this card than when I first started writing it, but as you can tell not as many bets as usual. The beginning of this card is the real make or break. All we need is an Arnold Allen KO and we lock up a profit card.
Best of luck and it’s never too early to look forward to the future UFC events coming up.
Some people call me MarTy and some people call me Ryan. Wildcard when it comes to my writing. #FadeMe if I ever tweet out “locks”.