UFC 273 Best Bets: Predictions for Alexander Volkanovski vs. Korean Zombie, Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling

Apr 8, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Petr Yan screams during official weigh ins for UFC 273 at VyStar
Apr 8, 2022; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Petr Yan screams during official weigh ins for UFC 273 at VyStar / David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 273 is here!

The UFC descends on Jacksonville, Floirda for their April pay-per-view featuring two championship fights. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will be making his third title defense against the Korean Zombie in the main event. Prior to that, Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling will fight for the second time to unify the Bantamweight championship.

As well, rising star Khazmat Chimaev will face former Welterweight title challenger Gilbert Burns on the main card in addition to 9 other fights on the card.

Let's breakdown a few of my favorite bets, with a play on both title bouts.

Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook

Column Record: 16-11 (+7.11 Units)

Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski (-735) vs. Korean Zombie (+495)

I think we see a ton of fireworks in this fight. Volkanovski is rightfully a big favorite, but we saw him both dish it and take it in his prior title defense against Brian Ortega.

'The Great' was rocked early, but recovered nicely. Korean Zombie has more finishing upside than Ortega in this fight, he's an elite striker and more than capable if this fight hits the mat, so I see his path to victory mainly through a finish.

On the other side, Zombie is 35 and has been in some wars over his career. Volkanovski has 11 knockouts to his name and should've won inside the distance against Ortega after dishing out a beating. I believe the Aussie's finishing ability is being underrated in this fight against a willing dance partner who will look for violence.

That leads me to bet the fight doesn't go the distance at +125. The challenger knows that he can't win on the cards against a relentless fighter like Volkanovski and will force action. Both men have a ton of power and I believe we see this fight stopped one way or another.

PICK: Fight Doesn't Go the Distance +125

Bantamweight Championship: Petr Yan (-485) vs. Aljamain Sterling (+360)

Oh how the tables have turned. These two fought last year for the belt with Yan closing as a slight favorite. After a dominant fight, running away with the belt, Yan infamously kneed a downed Sterling and got disqualified.

Now they meet for the second time with Yan an overwhelming favorite. I agree with the line move but of course can't lay the price, so I'll instead take Yan inside the distance.

I'm not sold on Sterling's form heading into this fight. He has not been in the octagon since the Yan bout and is coming off of neck surgery. At the same time, Yan outclassed Corey Sandhagen over five rounds to win the interim Bantamweight strap.

Sterling's win equity is in his ability to get this fight to the ground and find a submission. Yan's defensive grappling has developed nicely and was showcased against Sterling. 'Funk Master' went 1-for-17 on takedown attempts in their first meeting.

If he struggles to land takedowns again, Yan will outclass Sterling on the feet, and I think he wants to leave little doubt this time and find a finish. I'll play Yan inside the distance at number over +120.

PICK: Yan Inside the Distance better than +120

Kay Hansen (+110) vs. Piera Rodriguez (-130)

Hansen joined Jab, Cross, Hook on Wednesday to talk about her upcoming fight, and I believe she's in a good spot to get back on track at her more comfortable weight class at strawweight.

Hansen is facing undefeated debutant Piera Rodriguez, but I believe that the experience of the 22 year old is going to pay dividends. She has 3 fights to her name in the UFC and that should show as the two meet in the octagon.

Hansen is the busier striker, but also has the grappling upside as Rodriguez has not faced someone with this talent along the cage and on the ground. She has four submissions to her name and I believe that the 7-5 record against better competition is factored too much in this line.

I think Hansen ends up looking like the considerable favorite in this one with her ability to get this to the ground and dictate the terms of the fights.

PICK: Hansen +110, play to +105

Mickey Gall (+160) vs. Mike Malott (-195)

Nobody is going to want to bet Mickey Gall given his recent form, but I can't justify Malott to be this type of favorite against a fighter with 4 UFC fights under his belt.

Gall has traded wins and losses with better competition while Malott has fought two MMA fights since 2017! I just can't get to this price and I'll grab the unpopular Gall who has six submissions in seven wins and at least has fought at the UFC level for more than a round. Malott won his past two UFC bouts in the first round each time.

UFC 273 Best Bets

  • Vinc Pichel: -120
  • Mackenzie Dern by Submission: +175

Track all of Reed's UFC bets HERE