UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier Main Card UFC Betting Preview

01 Jun 24
UFC
News - UFC
UFC 302: Makhachev vs. Poirier Main Card UFC Betting Preview

UFC 302 is truly an ode to the promotion’s history, with all 10 main card fighters having been on the UFC roster since at least 2018. We don’t have a ton of ranked fighters here, but what we do have are a trio of scraps to open the main card that promise to be as entertaining as any matchups on the rest of the slate, with Kevin Holland highlighting the lineup.

Highlights

  • Every fighter on the main card has been with the UFC for at least 6 years (2018)
  • Kevin Holland should win emphatically to get himself back on track
  • Alex Morono will get revenge for his 2017 defeat to Niko Price

UFC 302: Islam Makhachev vs. Dustin Poirier Main Card Betting Odds

In the opener, UFC veterans Randy Brown (18-5) and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (24-7-1) will battle at welterweight, followed by another welterweight matchup between Alex Morono (24-9, 1 NC) and Niko Price (15-7, 2 NC). In the third fight of the main card, UFC fan favorite Kevin Holland (25-11, 1 NC) will look to get back on track in what should be a banger against Michael Oleksiejczuk (19-7, 1 NC). All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

Kevin Holland vs. Michael Oleksiejczuk Middleweight Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionRoundsTo Go Distance
Kevin Holland-303+225+250+275O1.5 (-149)Yes (+280)
Michael Oleksiejczuk+240+500+2,800+800U1.5 (+110)No (-256)

It’s really now or never for Kevin Holland. He started as a shooting star in the UFC, but when he’s taken on the household names, he comes up short time and again. Good thing Michael Oleksiejczuk is not a household name. The big Pole probably has the power advantage here despite Holland’s own knockout potential, but we’re dubious that “Hussar” will be able to make use of those concrete fists of his.

Holland is a striker first, so this could end up being a straight kick-boxing battle, but we think Holland is growing smarter in his old age, and he will recognize that his much-improved ground and grappling game can be put to good use against a guy like Oleksiejczuk, who is a complete zero in wrestling exchanges, having dropped five of his seven career losses via submission.

In fact, despite having lost four of his last six, Holland should feel great here because he recently submitted a submission guru in Michael Chiesa, so a guy like this shouldn’t be an issue. We like Holland to stay on the outside and poke and prod his opponent thanks to his three-inch and seven-inch reach advantages before shooting in for the takedown, after which Oleksiejczuk will be utterly helpless. Holland by submission at +250 UFC betting odds seems like the only play here.

Alex Morono vs. Niko Price Welterweight Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionRoundsTo Go Distance
Alex Morono-250+200+450+200O2.5 (+110)Yes (+140)
Niko Price+200+350+2,000+700U2.5 (-145)No (-192)

This will be a rematch of a 2017 matchup that saw Nike Price starch Alex Morono in the second round. Since then, however, Price’s star has taken a free-fall. He flew too close to the sun in his perfect 10-0 start before his wax wings melted and he crashed back to earth, as he’s gone 1-4 with one no contest since 2020.

Morono, meanwhile, has arguably gotten better and more well-rounded as the years have gone by. He’s 6-2 since 2021, including solid wins against the likes of Donald Cerrone and Matthew Semeslberger before the latter fell off. The wild and reckless style that made Price a star as a youngster has turned against him in recent fights, as he’s been stopped in five of his last six losses.

Morono has only knocked out one opponent since 2019, so a win by decision at +200 would make sense, but we like the Houston native to continue the trend of making Price pay for his poor defensive boxing here, which Ontario sportsbooks also have at +200 odds.

Randy Brown vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos Welterweight Bout Odds

FighterMoneylineWin by KO/TKO/DQWin by SubmissionWin by DecisionRoundsTo Go Distance
Randy Brown-185+300+800+150O2.5 (-149)Yes (-125)
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos+150+450+1,100+350U2.5 (+115)No (-110)

While both fighters have been known for their knockout power when they were on the come up, the only knockout by either of these guys since 2019 was Brown’s flashy finish of Muslim Salikhov in his most recent bout.

Dos Santos has also never had to deal with the five-inch reach disadvantage he’ll see in this one, which should allow Brown to establish his jab and work off of that. There might be recency bias here because of that impressive display against Salikhov, but we think with good reason, as the younger man by four years has won six of his last seven while the Brazilian has gone just 3-2-1 in his last six, including a split decision loss to Salikhov.

You could take Randy Brown’s -185 moneyline odds here, but if you want a little more value, his +150 odds to win via decision seem smart considering there has only been one knockout by one of these guys in their last 16 combined 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.