Opening the year with a Fight Night card, UFC pay-per-view action returns on Jan. 20 from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.
A lot of attention is on the bad blood in the headliner but as usual, there is a ton of value to take advantage of on the rest of the Canadian showcase event.
Odds are according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
For the first pay-per-view of the year, we will be focusing on the following matchups:
- Jasmine Jasudavicius (-380) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+300)
- Gillian Robertson (-300) vs. Polyana Viana (+240)
- Brad Katona (-205) vs. Garrett Armfield (+170)
- Chris Curtis (-185) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (+154)
View my full list of picks here.
UFC 297 best bets
Parlay: Jasmine Jasudavicius ML, Gillian Robertson ML (-145)
I took this parlay at near even money but the -145 odds it currently sits at still is attractive enough for a play.
Both Canadians Jasudavicius and Robertson were near the divisional rankings before losing their last fights to tough opponents and are now facing considerable steps back in competition. Both are in prime positions to get a win in front of the home crowd and get back on track.
In. the UFC, Cachoeira is just 1-5 against opponents who have landed a takedown against her. Her takedown defense is serviceable at 66%, but once she is put down she scarcely returns to her feet. Cachoeira was just dominated by Miranda Maverick on short notice, who just before that got dominated herself by Jasudavicius. Cachoeira is a one-trick pony with her knockout power and Jasudavicius has never been knocked out in her career.
Robertson faces stiffer competition against Polyana Viana, but Viana's name value largely overstates her actual accomplishments. Viana is just 4-5 in the UFC with none of her wins coming against fighters currently on the roster. Viana does have power and is aggressive off of her back, but with just a 43% takedown defense record, Robertson should not have much trouble finding a submission.
Brad Katona by decision (+110)
Following up his impressive victory over Cody Gibson in the TUF 31 finale, Katona is getting a similar matchup against Garrett Armfield in his native country. Katona trains out of Dublin, Ireland as a member of SBG Ireland but was born and raised in Winnipeg.
Armfield is a pressure fighter with an exciting style but Katona is exceptional at neutralizing such an attack as he did with Gibson. More often than not, Katona has a strength, size and cardio advantage over his opponents and all three will likely be on his side against Armfield.
In five career UFC fights, Katona has gone to a decision each time. In 15 professional fights, Katona has gone the distance 11 times. In his 13 victories, nine have been by decision, resulting in a 69% hit rate. Katona is a high-IQ fighter with crisp fundamentals but almost no finishing ability.
In Armfield's career, he has only seen the scorecards twice, but this is a fight where Katona tends to control the pace. Armfield has lost once before by decision to Ronnie Lawrence due to control time, and that is exactly what Katona will do on Saturday.
Chris Curtis -3.5 (-110)
Marc-Andre Barriault is on a two-fight win streak and Chris Curtis has not won since 2022 but this matchup still favors the American. Curtis has struggled with the elite talent at middleweight but many are quick to forget his early UFC success.
Curtis is one of the best defensive fighters in UFC history with a 92% takedown defense and 54% striking defense. Those numbers do not reflect Curtis' ability to roll and parry as a defensive striker, which he executes at the level of a professional boxer.
In his three blunders in the UFC, Curtis was either overwhelmed by size, cardio or volume. Barriault will not do either of those three. Barriault is on an impressive win streak but the last striker he faced on par with Curtis resulted in a 16-second knockout at the hands of Chidi Njokuani.
With this point spread, Curtis will either have to win a 30-27 decision or find a finish, the two most likely outcomes of this fight. Barriault will have moments but does not possess either the elite wrestling or sniping ability to break Curtis' guard. Of Curtis' four UFC wins, three have been by knockout with the other being a decisive 30-27 over Rodolfo Vieira.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change