MMA Betting Odds & Expert Main Card Analysis for UFC 223

Posted by Eric Williams on Saturday,April 7, 2018 7:49, EDT in

While Conor McGregor’s eyebrow-raising antics have altered the upcoming UFC 223 card – and caused the polarizing former champ to get arrested – there are still some great chances for MMA betting enthusiasts everywhere to cash in with some potentially winning wagers. Better yet, thanks to some expert UFC betting analysis and a pair of accompanying free picks on the top two bouts on the UFC 223 card, you could cash in big a couple of times at the very least this weekend.

MMA Betting Odds & Expert Main Card Analysis for UFC 223

McGregor’s Situation

Before I get to those picks, however, let’s touch on McGregor and his stunning display of foolishness, which, is undoubtedly going to cost the Irishman.

On Thursday, the 29-year-old McGregor unexpectedly showed up at a UFC 223 media event Thursday at Barclays Center and was caught on camera throwing a hand dolly through the window of a bus that was carrying UFC fighters. New York police have charged McGregor with three counts of misdemeanor assault and one count of felony criminal mischief after he turned himself in following the incident according to the New York City Police Department.

The UFC lost three fights for its Saturday pay-per-view event due to the incident involving McGregor, the UFC said in a statement late Thursday.

Lightweight Michael Chiesa (14-3) has been scratched from his matchup against Anthony Pettis because of facial lacerations. Flyweight Ray Borg (11-3) has also been removed from his matchup against Brandon Moreno after suffering what the UFC described as multiple corneal abrasions. Both injuries were allegedly caused by McGregor’s actions.

UFC 223 Main Card

  • When: Saturday, April 7
  • Where: Brooklyn, New York
  • Venue: Barclays Center
  • TV: UFC Network
  • Live Streaming: UFC Fight Pass

Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (Women’s Strawweight Championship Bout)

  • MMA Betting Odds: Namajunas -105 / Jedrzejczyk -125

Namajunas has won two straight bouts and four of her last five and pulled off the upset of the year y beating the previously unbeaten Jedrzejczyk with a massive first-round TKO (punches) at UFC 217 in November. Now, the tables are turned with Namajunas looking to defend her title and the former champ looking for revenge.

“There’s still fear, but it’s — the bogeyman is dead,” Namajunas said. “I know I have to face a very formidable opponent, who will probably be even stronger and faster, but there’s not an intimidation factor coming from her.

For her part, Jedrzejczyk says she’ll be a lot better in this rematch after undergoing what she claimed was a massive 14-hour weight cut prior to her last bout against Namajunas.

“I know how terrible that night was,” Jedrzejczyk said. “Of course, I don’t want to take anything from Rose. She was punching precisely that night and she is the champion, but I think back to all the fights I’ve had before, almost 100 fights, and no one has knocked me down. I know there was something wrong.

Prediction

For me, I find it interesting – and a bit prophetic – that Joanna Jedrzejczyk is the favorite despite not being the reigning champ and suffering a stunning loss to Namajunas the last time they met. Having said that, I’m fully expecting Jedrzejczyk to rebound in a big way against Namajunas.

These two never got in a clinch the last time they met and I don’t see that happening this time around. As a matter of fact, I’m fully expecting Joanna Jedrzejczyk to get Rose Namajunas in a clinch and get her on the ground where she will find a way to either submit Namajunas or drain her of energy before finishing off the current champ with her own series of strikes.

MMA Betting Pick: I’m going with Joanna Jedrzejczyk via third-round submission.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway (Lightweight Championship Bout)

  • MMA Betting Odds: Nurmagomedov -510 / Holloway +370

Despite being the reigning featherweight champion and riding an impressive 12-fight winning streak into his lightweight, Max Holloway is not the favorite to beat the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov when the pair square off in their UFC 223 headline bout on Saturday.

Holloway’s last three wins have been a third-round kick and punches) win over the talented Anthony Pettis at UFC 206 in December of 2016, a third-round TKO (punches) win over former champ Jose Aldo at UFC 212 last June and then, another third-round TKO (punches) win over Aldo in their rematch at UFC 218 in December.

Max Holloway should be your MMA Betting Pick for UFC 223.

Khabib Nurmagomedov recorded a unanimous decision win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219 in December that came just over a year after his previous fight, a third-round submission (kimura) win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205 in November of 2016.

Prediction

It’s a bit stunning to me that Khabib Nurmagomedov is such a huge favorite in this fight, seeing as how Max Holloway is extremely gifted in his own right. I know he’s moving up 10 pounds in weight class for this matchup while Nurmagomedov is a natural lightweight, but I don’t believe that Nurmagomedov has faced a fighter of Holloway’s caliber and I believe that in and of itself could lend way to his first career loss.

If Nurmagomedov can get this fight to the ground, he’ll likely win, but if this fight turns into a stand-up bout, for the most part, I believe that Max Holloway can get the win because of his superior striking skills – and I’m going with the latter to take place.

MMA Betting Pick: Max Holloway Via Unanimous Decision

Rest of the Card

  • Renato Moicano vs. Calvin Kattar
  • Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder
  • Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig
  • Joe Lauzon vs. Chris Gruetzemacher
  • Bec Rawlings vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith
  • Evan Dunham vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
  • Devin Clark vs. Mike Rodriguez

Cancel Fights

  • Ray Borg vs. Brandon Moreno
  • Alex Caceres vs. Artem Lobov
  • Michael Chiesa vs. Anthony Pettis
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Mairbek Taisumov vs. Evan Dunham
  • Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Kyle Bochniak
  • Bobby Green vs. Beneil Dariush