UFC 242 Preview & Betting Tips

September 5th 2019, 3:30pm, By: Gugabe Picks

The highly anticipated UFC 242 event will take place this weekend from the United Arab Emirates and will be headlined by the return to the octagon for Khabib Nurmagomedov! See our full preview and tips for the key fights on the card below.

UFC 242 Preview and Betting Tips

Dustin Poirier V Khabib Nurmagomedov

This fight will be a test of Khabib’s status as a celebrity/draw, and should hopefully lead into the Ferguson/Khabib bout that has been teased for years. Unfortunately, I feel that Poirier has the skills to make this price way too wide for due confidence in a Khabib victory.  Khabib’s recent competition has led to a level of confidence in his pressure-wrestling ability that is, in my opinion, fairly unfounded. Johnson, Barboza & McGregor have always been vulnerable when pushed backwards, and are very liable to be beaten when placed on their backs. Poirier will be the most capable grappler that Khabib has faced since Rafael Dos Anjos, along with being a huge hitter for the division.  There’s also a great question of what exactly ‘Plan B’ looks like for Khabib. He’s a dominating wrestler, but his striking has largely relied on the threat of the takedown and his ability to fling himself headfirst at everybody he’s faced. Parts of the Barboza fight were essentially Khabib jogging headlong into a wilting Barboza. It’s very plausible that if Poirier can erode Khabib’s confidence in blind aggression, the striking looks incredibly one-sided. This is especially an issue with Khabib coming out of AKA, which is a camp that has struggled to produce effective defensive strikes.  Prediction: Poirier KO3

Edson Barboza V Paul Felder

Unlike me to recommend a pure prop play, but I feel that the Go The Distance & Barboza by decision lines are fairly mispriced here. It’s a rematch of a bout that was uneventful, with Felder possessing sufficient defensive acumen not to get teed off upon, but insufficient pressuring ability to push through into Barboza’s area of discomfort.  My feel is that Barboza will be able to efficiently maintain distance, win through his superior distance-striking skill set and cruise to a wide decision. His recent difficulties have been against a sort of pressuring fighter that Felder’s never really been, and I see no reason for this bout not to be a repeat of the first case.  Prediction: Barboza Decision


Fight to go distance

BET NOW AT Sportsbet

Value: Barboza to win via decision $4.50

Barboza by decision @ 4.5 on Beteasy

Nordine Taleb V Muslim Salikhov

It’s frankly puzzling that lines are so close here. Taleb is aging, but Salikhov has never looked particularly convincing in the UFC. He struggled mightily against regional journeyman Ricky Rainey, and seemed to have absolutely nothing off his back in his match with Alex Garcia. It’s possible that this bout will be kickboxing if Taleb is unwise enough to confine it to that range, but Taleb’s kickboxing is also more-functional (if less spectacular) than Salikhov’s lean towards Sanda spinning kicks.

My expectation is that Taleb should cruise this if he’s looking even somewhat on-form. There’s a risk that he decides to make it a kickboxing match, but even in that realm the practicality of his style should make him more than his current $1.80 price to win. If he chooses to grapple, it’s possible he looks closer to a $1.30 than his current mark. Prediction: Taleb Decision



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