UFC 242 goes down this Saturday in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and features the return of superstar lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. On a night featuring many of Russia’s finest, here are some UFC 242 betting tips to ensure you make some money this weekend.
UFC 242 Betting Tips
1. Khabib Nurmagomedov (-450) vs Dustin Poirier (+360)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (27-0) is one of the most dominant forces in UFC history. In his last octagon appearance, Nurmagomedov may have lost the first round of his UFC career against Conor Mcgregor but still mauled the Irishman in the biggest event in the history of the promotion. Nurmagomedov’s grappling is unparalleled in the division and if he is able to take Dustin Poirier (25-5) down to the mat, it is nearly impossible to imagine the American having any success.
However, Poirier may genuinely have the tools to beat the outstanding Dagestani. In all of his last three fights, Poirier has been victorious in absolute wars. It is obvious that Poirier has incredible heart, but it is his boxing that poses a real threat to Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov has one of the best chins in MMA and it is one of his most underappreciated attributes. This means that landing a one-hitter-quitter is incredibly unlikely for Poirier. Instead, Poirier must attempt to break Nurmagomedov in a manner similar to the way he dominated Max Holloway in the first round of their title bout. Controlled boxing to wear down his opponent will likely make Nurmagomedov more rash in his takedowns and potentially allow ‘The Diamond’ to win this fight.
Nurmagomedov is a huge favourite for this bout, and rightfully so. He has looked simply unstoppable every single time he has ever graced the Octagon. But as such a large underdog, Poirier is a very solid pick this weekend. After losing via Knockout to Michael Johnson,most fans and critics wrote Poirier off as an elite level fighter. He has proven everyone wrong since then, and I back him to do it again in Abu Dhabi.
Tip – Dustin Poirier to win
2. Nordine Taleb (-120) vs Muslim Salikhov (+100)
Nordine Taleb (15-6) comes in as a slim favourite over Muslim Salikhov (14-2) this weekend.
Muslim Salikhov is an incredibly entertaining kickboxer. Boasting several spinning kick finishes, Salikhov certainly has the ability to finish any opponent in exciting fashion. However, there are holes in his game that Taleb will likely exploit to find a path to victory this weekend.
Taleb will have a 4.5-inch reach advantage against Salikhov. Salikhov struggled with a reach disadvantage against Ricky Rainey in his last Octagon appearance, and Taleb is a far more adept striker than the North Carolina native. Taleb has tidy boxing and could stifle Salikhov’s extravagant attacks if he utilises this. Salikhov also has a clear weakness to his game in the form of grappling. If Taleb mixes in his wrestling he could cause issues for Salikhov, and this varied gameplan would likely be a swing factor for Taleb to win this bout.
Taleb trains with Alex Garcia at Tristar Gym in Canada. Garcia submitted Salikhov on the Dagestani’s UFC debut and could remove some of the unknowns that Taleb would otherwise face coming into this bout. All things considered, Taleb should be able to beat the ‘King of Kung Fu’ despite the latter’s exciting array of striking.
Tip – Nordine Taleb to win
3. Zubaira Tukhugov (-465) vs. Lerone Murphy (+370)
Lerone ‘The Miracle’ Murphy (5-0) certainly lives up to his nickname. After being shot twice in the face in a suspected gang-related incident, Murphy’s story is truly inspiring.
On the contrary, Zubaira Tukhugov (18-4) is widely known for all the wrong reasons. Apart from punching Conor Mcgregor from behind in the infamous UFC 229 brawl and bragging about his cowardly attack on social media, Tukhugov has also made headlines for failing a drug test leading to a two-year USADA suspension.
As a result of his controversies, Tukhugov has not fought in over three years. Despite Murphy being a seemingly kind matchup for Tukhugov, there are many reasons as to why Murphy may perform another miracle on his UFC debut. Tukhugov lost his last bout back in 2016 and prior to that scraped past Phillipe Nover via split decision. These results do not correspond to that of an elite fighter. Murphy is a legit prospect from England and boasts 3 knockout victories in the first round.
Coming in on less than a month’s notice, Murphy certainly has his work cut out for him in Abu Dhabi. However, considering that he is such a large underdog, there is certainly merit in backing the Brit to cause an upset.
Tip – Lerone Murphy to win
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