UFC Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 289

UFC Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 289

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

The UFC returns to Canada for the first time since 2019, as the promotion heads to Vancouver, British Columbia on June 10. The main event sees Amanda Nunes defend her bantamweight title against Irene Aldana.

Below, I'll share my favorite play, an underdog, a prop, and a two-fighter parlay. All odds are via the DraftKings Sportsbook and are accurate as of the post date of this article. 

Weight Class: Middleweight

Marc-Andre Barriault (15-6) vs. Eryk Anders (15-7)

Opening up the main card is a middleweight scrap between Canadian Marc-Andre Barriault against Eryk Anders. I don't expect this fight to be the most entertaining, as I expect both to try and push one another against the fence and grind this scrap out. In the end, I like Barriault as a relatively short favorite.

Both Barriault and Anders have a negative striking defense and are there to be hit, but the difference is the Canadian is more active on the feet. Both can wrestle, but don't do it well, so I expect it to play out on the feet. Ultimately, I think Barriault is the better striker and is more durable than Anders, which is why I like him here at -135.

UFC 289 Best Bet: Marc-Andre Barriault (-135)

Weight Class: Bantamweight

Aiemann Zahabi (9-2) vs. Aori Qileng (24-9)

Aiemann Zahabi vs. Aoriqileng is a pick'em with a slight lean towards Aoriqileng at time of posting, but at (-105), Zahabi is the underdog I like the most at UFC 289.

Both Zahabi and Aoriqileng have been inconsistent, to say the least, as both have lost fights they should have won. Aoriqileng is very active on the feet, as he lands 6.07 significant strikes per minute (but absorbs 7.18), while Zahabi lands just 3.01 and absorbs 3.38.

The striking defense of Aoriqileng is a big concern for me, as he is too easy to hit and tends to fade a bit as fights go on. Zahabi will be forced to pick up the volume, and I believe he can also mix in the odd takedown to edge out a decision win here.

UFC 289 Best Bet: Aiemann Zahabi (-105)

Weight Class: Welterweight

Mike Malott (9-1-1) vs. Adam Fugitt (9-3)

Mike Malott is arguably the best Canadian fighter and prospect in the UFC, and the promotion gave him a bit of a set-up fight here against Adam Fugitt.

Malott is a perfect 2-0 in the UFC with a first-round submission win over Yohan Lainesse and a first-round knockout over Mickey Gall. He is super well-rounded and a finisher, while Fugitt is there to be hit, as we saw him get knocked out against Michael Morales. He also absorbs 5.9 significant strikes per minute, which is a big concern against someone who hits as hard as Malott.

Fugitt has been finished in two of his three losses, and both of those came by KO. Although taking Malott by KO is the likely outcome, there is a chance the Canadian hurts Fugitt and then submits him, so I'll just take him to win ITD.

 UFC 289 Best Bet: Mike Malott inside the distance (-135)

Weight Class: Women's flyweight & Featherweight

Miranda Maverick (11-4) vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius (8-2)
Blake Bilder (8-0-1) vs. Kyle Nelson (13-5-1)

For my parlay, I'm taking Miranda Maverick to beat Jasmine Jasudavicius and Blake Bilder to get his hand raised against Kyle Nelson on Saturday night at UFC 289.

Maverick called out Jasudavicius, and I was surprised the UFC made the matchup in Canada, as this is a terrible matchup for the Canadian in Jasudavicius. Maverick is a great wrestler and should be a lot stronger than Jasudavicius. I expect her to get timely takedowns, just as Natalia SIlva did, the momentum generated by those to get the win.

For my other leg, I'm taking Blake Bilder to remain undefeated against Canadian fighter Kyle Nelson. I am surprised Nelson is getting another fight, as he's 0-2-1 in his last three and 1-4-1 in the UFC. "The Monster" gasses out badly as fights go on and is there to be hit throughout, while Bilder has some solid striking and throws a ton of volume. 

On the mat, Bilder is great at grappling. If the fight goes there, I think he can likely lock in a submission, but I expect this to be a one-sided decision win for Bilder.

UFC 289 Best Bet: Miranda Maverick & Blake Bilder parlay (-112)


UFC 289 Best Bets

Here is a recap of this weekend's UFC 289 best bets:

For up-to-date information on the latest odds and props from multiple sportsbooks, check out the UFC odds page on RotoWire.

If you're in Ohio where legal betting just launched, check out Ohio sports betting promos. Sports betting is also officially live in the state of Massachusetts. To get the most bang for your buck when selecting a sportsbook as a new customer, check out these Massachusetts Sports Betting Promos.

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Cole Shelton
Cole Shelton is a full-time sports writer focusing on MMA.
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