UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira Main and Co-Main Event Preview

Alex Murray
By:
Alex Murray
10 Nov 23
Betting Magazine
News - UFC
UFC 295: Prochazka vs. Pereira Main and Co-Main Event Preview

The UFC is coming to the Mecca, Madison Square Garden, for the first time in over a year this weekend. The main card for UFC 295 is jam-packed with action, with a serious Fight of the Year candidate going down as two top five light heavyweight contenders in Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira battle for the vacant title. The fight is being billed pretty close to a toss up, but Pereira comes in as the very slight favorite on the moneyline odds for most UFC betting sites and betting apps.

Highlights

  • Alex Pereira is the ever-so-slight favorite for the main event with -125 odds
  • The odds for the light heavyweight championship to go over 2.5 rounds sit at +125 odds
  • Sergei Pavlovich is offering intriguing +100 odds to win by KO/TKO

UFC 295: Jiri Prochazka vs. Alex Pereira Main Card Betting Odds - November 11th, 2023

Before we can get to the light heavyweight championship fireworks in the main event, we’ve got a juicy matchup to get through first. In the co-main event, No. 2 heavyweight contender Sergei Pavlovich will throw down with No. 4 Tom Aspinall with the interim belt on the line. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

No. 1 Jiri Prochazka vs. No. 3 Alex Pereira Light Heavyweight Championship Main Event Fight Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Jiri Prochazka+105+175+800+700O2.5 (+125)
Alex Pereira-125+100+2,000+850U2.5 (-164)

Prochazka (23-8-1) hasn’t fought in nearly a year and a half when he won the light heavyweight belt in an instant classic with Glover Teixeira. He was supposed to rematch Teixeira a few months later, but was unable after sustaining a significant shoulder injury. He subsequently was forced to vacate the title, which is the only reason he isn’t coming into this one with the strap.

On the other side, Pereira (8-2) was last in the cage in late July when he won a tight split decision over former champ Jan Blachowicz. It had been Poatan’s first foray into the light heavyweight division after starting his UFC career dominating the middleweight division. After taking and then surrendering the belt back to Israel Adesanya, it was decided that Pereira would move up, as his massive frame is naturally more well-suited to a heavier weight class.

Despite that, Pereira struggled a bit against Blachowicz. He wasn’t nearly as dominant as he had been at middleweight, with his size and strength serving as a much smaller factor against a bear like the Polish Hammer. While Prochazka isn’t quite as burly as Blachowicz, he’s a much more dangerous striker. The question is really going to be whether Prochazka breaks tradition and tries to use his superior grappling and wrestling to take Pereira out of his comfort zone.

Pereira is an excellent kick boxer, and his takedown defense is pretty good, so if he can keep it standing, he will have the slight advantage over the reckless Prochazka. The Brazilian is a much more deliberate and patient striker, while the Czech fighter has been known to get wild and take a shot in order to give one. That strategy will be detrimental against Pereira, who probably has the heaviest hands Prochazka has ever gone against.

Another thing working against Prochazka is that shoulder problem he’s coming back from. While we don’t usually focus too much on injuries, as they are common as cauliflower ear in MMA, Dana White’s comments about it being one of the worst the UFC doctors have ever seen was definitely worrying. With -125 favorite odds, Pereira is the way to go here.

In terms of the length of the fight, while most, including the bookmakers, think that this one will be over quickly, there is a lot of value in the over 2.5 rounds prop here. Top flight battles like this usually go over, because both fighters have so much respect for one another. These two fighters have one combined defeat inside the distance since 2015 as well, so we’re taking the over at +125 odds.

No. 2 Sergei Pavlovich vs. No. 4 Tom Aspinall Interim Heavyweight Championship Co-Main Event Fight Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionTotal Rounds
Sergei Pavlovich-105+100+2,000+1,600O1.5 (+165)
Tom Aspinall-115+175+350+1,400U1.5 (-227)

This wasn’t the heavyweight battle we were expecting, but an interim championship fight between the two fighters with the shortest average fight time in the UFC is not a bad consolation prize. This is rightly being judged a pick ‘em by oddsmakers, with Tom Aspinall (13-3) the very small favorite here over Russian Sergei Pavlovich (18-1).

However, we think Pavlovich has the clear advantage. He was training as the replacement for Jones vs. Miocic, so he’s had a full camp whereas Aspinall has had just 17 days. Pavlovich will have been working on his grappling and wrestling since he was preparing for Jones or Miocic, both of whom are great in that area, which means he’s also ready for Aspinall’s elite wrestling too.

Pavlovich’s takedown defense is very good, so if he can keep the fight standing, his enormous power and gargantuan 84-inch reach (six inch advantage) will win the day against Aspinall, who has been known to leave his chin out in the past. Take the Russian to win via knockout at +100 odds here.

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.