MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 280

MMA Best Bets: Cole's Picks, Odds, and Predictions for UFC 280

This article is part of our UFC Picks series.

A stacked UFC 280 card goes down on Saturday, October 22 from Abu Dhabi, with two titles on the line. In the main event, the vacant lightweight title is up for grabs, as Charles Oliveira takes on Islam Makhachev. In the co-main event, Aljamain Sterling defends his bantamweight title against TJ Dillashaw.

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: Welterweight

Sean Brady (15-0) vs. Belal Muhammad (21-3)

Headlining the prelims is a great welterweight scrap between Sean Brady and Belal Muhammad, and I'm taking Brady as the slight favorite to remain undefeated.

Brady and Muhammad are very similar, as both are great wrestlers with underrated striking. Neither seems to get the respect they deserve as top contenders, which makes it a great fight. In their UFC careers, Brady is averaging 3.22 takedowns per 15 minutes and getting them at a 60 percent clip, while Muhammad averages 2.29 takedown per minute but only lands 35 percent of them.

Although both have solid takedown defense, Brady has proven how good he is in the clinch and can push Muhammad up against the cage and have success there. On the feet, Muhammad is more active with his strikes, but his striking defense is not as good as Brady, as the Philly native is hard to hit.

As the odds suggest, this is a very close fight, but I believe in Brady -- who has such a well-rounded game -- can get the decision win.

UFC 280 Best Bet: Sean Brady (-145)

Weight Class: Bantamweight

TJ Dillashaw (17-4) vs. Aljamain Sterling (21-3)

In the co-main event, I'm backing TJ Dillashaw as an underdog to reclaim his bantamweight title. 

Sterling was able to beat Petr Yan in the rematch by using his wrestling and controlling Yan, although some still thought the Russian did enough on the feet. Yet, against Dillashaw, I can't see that going well for Sterling, as Dillashaw is a great wrestler and has a takedown defense of 86 percent, compared to Sterling's takedown success rate of 21 percent.

On the feet, Dillashaw is more active, as he lands 5.26 significant strikes per minute compared to Sterling's 4.56. Although both have unique striking, Dillashaw's footwork and style can cause some problems for Sterling, especially if he can't get it to the ground. Even against Cory Sandhagen -- in a fight Dillashaw had a torn knee ligament for the final four rounds -- Dillashaw was still able to oustrike Sandhagen in two of those four rounds.

Dillashaw will be able to control where this fight takes place, and to me, this is a pick'em fight. Effectively, I'll take Dillashaw to become the bantamweight champ again and Bruce Buffer to announce 'And New.'

UFC 280 Best Bet: TJ Dillashaw (+150)

Weight Class: Lightweight

Mateusz Gamrot (21-1) vs. Beneil Dariush (21-4-1)

Also on the pay-per-view portion of the card is a great lightweight matchup between Mateusz Gamrot and Beneil Dariush, and I'm backing Gamrot to get his hand raised.

Gamrot enters the fight coming off a win over Arman Tsarukyan and has won four straight, including victories over Diego Ferreira, Jeremy Stephens and Scott Holtzman. Even more impressively, he has finished all three of them. Dariush, meanwhile, hasn't fought since May of 2021 when he beat Tony Ferguson, as he broke his ankle and has been rehabbing that, which is a concern.

In this one, I like Gamrot to either get the KO win or get a decision win, which is the prop I'm playing. We have seen Dariush get knocked out and caught early, and Gamrot has proven he has the power to do that. However, if he can't get the KO, his high-level scrambling ability will be able to get him back to the feet, where he will piece up Dariush. He'll win a decision in that case, as it seems highly unlikely he'll be able to submit Dariush.

UFC 280 Best Bet: Mateusz Gamrot by KO/TKO/Decision (-130 on FanDuel)

Weight Classes: Women's Bantamweight & Middleweight

Karol Rosa (15-4) vs. Lina Lansberg (10-6)
Caio Borralho (12-1) vs. Makhmud Muradov (25-7)

For my UFC 280 parlay, I'm taking Karol Rosa and Caio Borralho to get their hands raised on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.

Rosa gets a favorable matchup in Lansberg, who's on a two-fight losing skid and is 40 years old. In her last two losses against Pannie Kianzad and Sara McMann, she did not look good at all. Although Rosa lost to McMann last time out, this is a get-right fight for her. Rosa lands an absurd 6.65 significant strikes per minute while Lansberg lands just 2.74 and absorbs 3.89, while Rosa is also the one who can mix in the wrestling. The Brazilian is better everywhere and should out-volume Lansberg and mix in takedowns to win a decision.

The other leg is backing Caio Borralho to beat Makhmud Muradov, as I love this spot for him. Muradov is coming off a submission loss to Gerald Meerschaert in a fight he gassed out badly and sort of got exposed by grapplers. Borralho, meanwhile, has a solid gas tank and can strike along with mixing in the wrestling. The Brazilian is averaging 2.63 takedowns per 15 minutes while being accurate 80 percent of the time. The grappling will be the difference, which will lead to a Borralho win.

UFC 280 Best Bet: Karol Rosa & Caio Borralho parlay (+100)


UFC 280 Best Bets:

Here is a recap of my best UFC picks for this weekend's UFC 280 event:

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

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