The UFC heads to Jacksonville, Florida this week for UFC 273. There are two title fights with Alexander Volkanovski defending his featherwight title against Chan Sung Jung. In the co-main event we have bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling taking on interim champion Petr Yan in a highly anticipated rematch. We also have Khamzat Chimaev taking on Gilbert Burns in a welterweight fight with the winner possibly being in the conversation for a title shot. It’s a really solid card that I’ve personally been looking forward to for a while. Let’s take a look at some fighters to target.

Chalk

There are five fighters above 9k but the obvious top choice is Khamzat Chimaev ($9400). Now I’m not a big fan of hype trains, and usually I’m looking to fade them. Chimaev is not one of those guys. Chimaev is an outstanding grappler and wrestler, and his striking has progressed. Chimaev’s strength is from what many say is freakish. You are taking a risk here, because it’s hard to gauge what you’ve seen as opposed to what you’ve heard. Chimaev has been impressive in every outing but at some point he will face adversity and what we don’t know is how he’ll react. Burns is as you know a very talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and he has power that can end the fight in an instant, but he’s not that great of a wrestler. Chimaev will be in many of my lineups, not all of them, but most of them. I see Chimaev more than likely winning at the end of the 1st via ground and pound. I will have some Petr Yan ($9300) in my lineups as I think he will score well, but I will also have his opponent Aljamain Sterling in some as well. Alexander Volkanovski ($9500) may score well as his opponent isn’t as durable as he used to be, and I do believe getting the fight to the ground and working ground and pound over 5 rounds with advancing is his safest path to victory. I hate to be square, but I will some of each of the top 3 priced guys in lineups. I do however want to point something out. If you parlay all 3 of the heavy favorites, the odds are -175, so 100 pays out 57. Don’t do this, it’s not worth it, actually horrible odds to be honest. I also think that the Yan/Sterling odds are completely out of whack, and while I will have some Petr Yan in lineups, again, I will more than likely have more of Sterling because out of those 3 top fighters, I give Sterling the best chance to score the upset. 

As for the other guys above 9k, I don’t think I’m getting to either Ian Garry or Julio Arce. Garry did have the 1st round KO in his UFC debut, but honestly, I wasn’t too impressed. Arce is coming off a knockout loss himself, and I just think the likelihood of him paying off his salary is pretty scarce.

Mid-Tier 

Jairzinho Rozentruik $8600 – Rozentruik is 2-3 in his last 5 fights since his comeback win over Alistair Overeem. Those 3 losses are the top 3 heavyweights in the world, Ngannou, Blaydes and Gane. Marcin Tybura was on a 5 fight winning streak before getting pieced up against Alexander Volkov. Tybura is definitely the better wrestler here but I don’t think he’s the caliber of wrestler to get Rozentruik down. It should be noted that Gane only landed 2 out of 14 takedown attempts in their fight, and Rozenstruik’s takedown defense is actually not that bad. On the feet this is a total mismatch as Rozentruik is by far the more powerful and technical guy, and I think he’s put in some work over at American Top Team. I think there’s a very good chance we see a early finish from Rozentruik here.

Dogs

Mark Madsen $8600 – Madsen has a clear path to victory here, wrestle wrestle wrestle. Madsen’s cardio has been a concern at times, but should he manage it here and keep top control against a guy that can’t defend a takedown to save his like, he should score well en route to a decision victory.

Mickey Gall $7400 – The fact that Gall is an underdog is baffling to me, but his opponent is $8800? That’s insane! If you watch Mallott’s DWCS fight, Mallott’s opponent left his neck out to be taken, just a poor decision. Gall is by far the more experienced and seasoned guy here, and you have to take him at this price.

Other dogs to consider: Aljamain Sterling

Best of luck with your lineups and enjoy the fights!!!!