UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka Main & Co-Main Event UFC Betting Preview

29 Jun 24
UFC
News - UFC
UFC 303: Pereira vs. Prochazka Main & Co-Main Event UFC Betting Preview

We’re not getting the big return of Conor McGregor at UFC 303 like we thought, but we’re getting an even better fight in its stead. Alex Pereira will be putting his light heavyweight strap back on the line against Jiri Prochazka in the main event at UFC 303, which goes down at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

Highlights

  • Alex Pereira will look to make his second title defense
  • Prochazka’s unorthodox style leaves him too open to counters from Pereira
  • Brian Ortega’s weight-cutting issues in the leadup to the fight are a concern
bodog
$400 Welcome Bonus + 50 Free Spins
$400 Welcome Bonus + 50 Free Spins

UFC 303: Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka Betting Odds

The main event will be the second title defense of Alex Pereira’s reign as light heavyweight champ, facing off against the guy he beat to get the belt originally, No. 1 contender Jiri Prochazka. In the co-main event, a bout between No. 3 featherweight Brian Ortega and No. 14 featherweight Diego Lopes will be fought at lightweight. All odds provided by Sports Interaction.

(C) Alex Pereira vs. No. 1 Jiri Prochazka Light Heavyweight Bout Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Rounds

To Go Distance

Alex Pereira

-159

+100

-1,800

+650

O2.5 (+125)

Yes (+350)

Jiri Prochazka

+130

+175

+1,000

+900

U2.5 (-164)

No (-588)

The champ, Alex Pereira (10-2), comes into his second title defense at light heavyweight on quite a run, having won five of his last six fights, with each win coming against a different current, former, or future champ. Since his move to 205 pounds, Poatan has eked out a decision over Jan Blachowicz and sent Jamahal Hill to the shadow realm.

In between those very different performances was a TKO win over his opponent at UFC 303, Jiri Prochazka (30-4-1), who is also on a pretty darn good run. The loss to Pereira last year is the only blemish on his record since 2015, and most recently, he put together an impressive come-from-behind TKO win over Aleksandar Rakic.

Both of these men fought at UFC 300 and stepped in on short notice for this one, so they deserve a lot of credit. That being said, we don’t see this one going any differently than the first battle.

What makes Prochazka such a fun fighter to watch, and such a successful one as well, is the fact that he operates with one of the most unorthodox and unpredictable fighting styles in the world. You never know which limb is going to be coming at you and from what angle.

However, that style leaves him open defensively in the standup, and some recent opponents other than Pereira have caused him problems. Glover Teixeira had him very hurt on several occasions during their epic encounter, Pereira TKO’d him in the second round, and Rakic had reduced Prochazka to essentially one leg at the time when he ended up coming back for the finish.

Prochazka can get away with his iffy defense against nearly anyone on the planet because of how good his chin is. But Poatan isn’t anyone, and as we’ve seen, he has a different sort of power in his fists. This will be another entertaining affair, and I expect Prochazka to get his licks in, but ultimately, Poatan will find the button and put the challenger down inside the distance at +100 UFC betting odds.

No. 3 Brian Ortega vs. No. 14 Diego Lopes Lightweight Bout Odds

Fighter

Moneyline

Win by KO/TKO/DQ

Win by Submission

Win by Decision

Rounds

To Go Distance

Brian Ortega

+120

+600

+550

+400

O2.5 (+110)

Yes (+140)

Diego Lopes

-145

+175

+550

+300

U2.5 (-145)

No (-192)

In the co-main event, No. 3 featherweight, Brian Ortega (16-3, 1 NC), taking on No. 14, UFC newcomer Diego Lopes (24-6). Ortega has had quite a journey recently, suffering a brutal injury in a loss to Yair Rodriguez in 2022 before coming back two years later and putting on one of his better performances in recent years, beating the same fighter by submission in the third round.

Meanwhile, Lopes has been impressive since dropping his UFC debut to Movsar Evloev in a decision back in May 2023. Since then, he has earned three straight first-round finishes, including his most recent, a dominant TKO finish of Sodiq Yussuff at UFC 300 that took just under a minute and a half.

This Lopes guy seems like the real deal. The way he cracked Yussuff and dropped him from in so close proved that he has immense power for the weight class, and Ortega has struggled against top strikers with power in the past.

Not to mention, Ortega was having issues meeting weight, so the bout was changed to a lightweight fight a week prior to the event. That’s not exactly a positive sign. This will be Lopes’ toughest test by far, and though his 42 percent takedown defense is a bit of a worry, he’s never been submitted in his career.

We like him to get the victory, though we expect Ortega to make it close and force the judges to make a decision. However, we don’t love the -145 odds we’re getting on Lopes from sports betting sites. Instead, we’ll take the value and go with the bout to go over 2.5 rounds at much more palatable +110 odds.

bodog
$400 Welcome Bonus + 50 Free Spins
$400 Welcome Bonus + 50 Free Spins

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.