UFC 291 Main Card Fights Betting Preview

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
28 Jul 23
Betting Magazine
UFC 291 Main Card Fights Betting Preview

UFC 291 will be held at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 29th and could very well go down as the best UFC card of the year considering the firepower on hand. There is no moneyline favorite on most UFC betting sites and betting apps for the co-main event between Alex Pereira and Jan Blachowicz, which just goes to show you how well the matchmakers did with the main card here.

Highlights

  • Alex Pereira and Jan Blachowicz are being billed as a toss up by oddsmakers
  • Stephen Thompson is a -175 favorite for his bout against Michel Pereira
  • Tony Ferguson comes in as a big +280 underdog after losing his last five fights

UFC 291 Main Event Betting Odds - July 29th

The co-main event features No. 3 light heavyweight contender Jan Blachowicz against former middleweight champion Alex Pereira. There will also be welterweight bouts between No. 7 Stephen Thompson and No. 15 Michel Pereira and between No. 12 Michael Chiesa and Kevin Holland. UFC legend Tony Ferguson will also take on journeyman Bobby Green in a lightweight scrap. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event: Alex Pereira vs. Jan Blachowicz Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Alex Pereira

-110

+115

+2,100

+355

O2.5 (+140)

Jan Blachowicz

-115

+290

+400

+305

U2.5 (-180)

Two former champs are going at it in this one, and it’s being billed as a very rare literal pick ‘em, with both men offering minus odds on the moneyline. Blachowicz has bounced back nicely from his shocking loss to Glover Teixeira a couple years ago, with solid performances against Magomed Ankalaev and Aleksandar Rakic.

Alex Pereira is a different beast, however. His nickname is Poatan, which translates to stone hands, and he has done more than enough to earn that nickname. Pereira is making his light heavyweight debut, and it’s just as well, as 205 seems like a much more sensical weight for the bulky Brazilian. While his power won’t be quite as evident up here, Poatan already had more than enough to spare, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

Blachowicz is the more well-rounded fighter, but we just can’t see the Polish Hammer ever really challenging Poatan on the feet here. Unless Blachowicz steals some time on the mat in top position, Pereira’s +115 odds to win by knockout seem to be the obvious play for this bout.

Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Stephen Thompson

-175

+250

+1,800

+100

O2.5 (-195)

Michel Pereira

+135

+495

+800

+200

U2.5 (+155)

One of the best strikers in the UFC today and perhaps ever, No. 7 welterweight contender Stephen Thompson continues his Sisyphian quest for a UFC belt. The man they call Wonderboy has the most varied and unpredictable striking game in the sport, using a wide base to bounce in and out of the pocket and pinpoint his shots.

Wonderboy is 40 now, however, and his opponent is coming in on a five-fight winning streak. In a combined 65 fights, Thompson and Pereira have been finished just thrice. Nine of Wonderboy’s last 11 fights have gone to the cards and ditto for five of Pereira’s seven UFC fights. The odds for the fight to go the distance are at -188, and if they stay below -200, that bet is an absolute no-brainer.

Tony Ferguson vs. Bobby Green Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Tony Ferguson

+280

+800

+900

+405

O2.5 (-165)

Bobby Green

-400

+125

+1,000

-115

U2.5 (+125)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Tony Ferguson was once one of the very best fighters on the UFC roster, but after five straight losses, the last two of which have come by finish, El Cucy now finds himself a massive underdog to an unranked fighter in Bobby Green who hasn’t won in his last three fights.

Actually, Green has won just six of his last 17 fights and yet he comes in as an enormous -400 favorite here. At this point, it’s tough to predict what kind of Ferguson we’re going to get, but with his track record, Green is not someone you want to be putting money on, especially with those odds. The only worthwhile play here is on Ferguson’s +280 moneyline in the hopes that El Cucuy can rediscover his legendary form before he hangs up the gloves.

Michael Chiesa vs. Kevin Holland Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Total Rounds

Michael Chiesa

+120

+1,300

+350

+240

O2.5 (+145)

Kevin Holland

-150

+145

+355

+390

U2.5 (-185)

This is a classic grappler versus striker bout. Holland’s takedown defense was comically bad for a few fights, but he has improved that part of his game a lot in recent bouts. Chiesa is a submission machine though, having won by submission in 11 of his 18 fights. It’s either going to be Holland by knockout at +145 or Chiesa by submission at +350, and you can bet both and basically ensure yourself a profit as long as the fight doesn’t go the distance, which it has in just 29 percent of their combined 58 fights.

Alex is a recent graduate of Ryerson's Sport Media program in 2019 and has been contributing to BettingTop10 since 2020. He has worked in the field of sports and sports betting for several years, including writing for theScore and daily fantasy sports website FantasyPros as one of their lead NBA news writers. A dedicated sports fan and experienced sports bettor, Alex has the knowledge to provide you with the best betting advice and the sneakiest props no matter what the sport may be.