UFC 299 Preliminary Card Best Bets: Expect Wins Inside the Distance for Two Heavy Favorites


The UFC travels to The Sunshine State this weekend, and we’re covering all your betting needs for a Miami fight card stacked with top-ranked talent from top to bottom.

Let’s waste no more time and dive right into the most noteworthy betting picks for the UFC 299 preliminary card bouts.

Picks Summary

  • Almabaev & Under 2.5 Rounds (+100)
  • Despaigne & Under 1.5 Rounds (-175)

*All odds from Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)

CJ Vergara vs. Asu Almabaev

UFC 299 Flyweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, March 09, 2024 – 06:35 PM ET at Kaseya Center

CJ Vergara

With a record of 12 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw, C.J. Vergara concluded his series of five consecutive knockouts by causing an upset over Bruno Korea, a veteran of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, during the Contender Series in 2021. He began his UFC career with a record of 1-2, failing to meet the weight requirement in both losses. However, he’s most recently achieved victories over Daniel Lacerda and Vinicius Salvador to place him on a 2-fight win streak heading into Miami.

  • Vergara Pro Record: 12-4-1
  • Vergara KO/TKO Wins: 7
  • Vergara Submission Wins: 0

Asu Almabaev

Asu Almabaev, with a record of 18 wins and 2 losses, entered his first UFC bout on a winning run of six years behind 13 fights. His opponent was Ode Osbourne, who had previously competed in the Contender Series. “Zulfikar” quickly defeated Osbourne in less than two rounds by applying a rear-naked choke, earning his first post-fight bonus in the process.

  • Almabaev Pro Record: 18-2-0
  • Almabaev KO/TKO Wins: 3
  • Almabaev Submission Wins: 9

Vergara vs. Almabaev: Fight Tape Analysis

It would seem the UFC is presenting Almabaev with a simpler challenge in his second promotional bout than in his debut. Osbourne, who is serviceable in the grappling realm, is a significantly better wrestler than Vergara, and the Kazakhstani native is renowned for his offensive takedowns, top control, and BJJ skills.

It’s quite clear that the -500 moneyline pricing on Almabaev stems from the grappling upside in this contest. Vergara’s past bouts with strong wrestlers, including the fighter Almabaev defeated in his debut, have all resulted in defeat, and more worryingly, 50% of his career defeats came by submission.

UFC 299 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

The UFC pricing with OddsTrader’s top sportsbooks isn’t approachable for Almabaev backers, but do we really expect him to survive all three rounds when opposed to his opponent’s slick ground game and finishing ability?

If we add under 2½ rounds to our Almabaev moneyline, it’s boosted to a whopping +100. I expect a submission finish to come naturally for the favorite, especially when matched with a fighter in Vergara whose most recent loss was via armbar—nobody loses to armbars in 2024, come on!

UFC Pick: Almabaev & Under 2.5 Rounds (+100) [1u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

Robelis Despaigne vs. Josh Parisian

UFC 299 Heavyweight Preliminary Bout

Saturday, March 9, 2024 – 07:00 PM ET at Kaseya Center

Robelis Despaigne

Robelis Despaigne (4-0) competed for Cuba in the 2012 Summer Olympics and won bronze in the super heavyweight taekwondo division. Since switching to MMA in 2022, he has gone 5 minutes 13 seconds in the cage after annihilating the opposition.

  • Despaigne Pro Record: 4-0-0
  • Despaigne KO/TKO Wins: 4
  • Despaigne Submission Wins: 0

Josh Parisian

After knocking out Chad Johnson for a sixth consecutive win, Parisian earned a placement on the UFC roster. However, over the following three and a half years, he has a 2-4 record, with his two defeats coming in 2023 against Jamal Pogues and Martin Buday.

  • Parisian Pro Record: 15-7-0
  • Parisian KO/TKO Wins: 11
  • Parisian Submission Wins: 2

Despaigne vs. Parisian: Fight Tape Analysis

I thought it would be a cold day in hell before I said that Josh Parisian would be somebody’s toughest test to date, but here we are. With that said, the UFC hasn’t signed Despaigne to see him lose in his debut; he’s incredibly marketable, possesses a wingspan that puts some NBA players to shame, and has recently won three bouts by KO/TKO for a combined cage time of 19 seconds.

Genuinely, I don’t care how green Despaigne is; at six-foot-seven with 87” in reach, what will Parisian do to him? Outskill him?… If so, please tell me how and where!

Despaigne’s Olympic background should allow him to keep this fight standing, and his power will only take one clean strike for the underdog to be snoozing.

UFC 299 Preliminary Card Odds & Prediction

The UFC odds have placed a ridiculous price tag on Despaigne, so we’re forced to adjust and find UFC 299 betting value elsewhere.

Based on strength, size, and athleticism alone, it’s Despaigne’s fight to lose. Significantly smaller opponents have knocked out Parisian during his pro career, and I believe we’re looking at a complete set-up for the newcomer who’ll prove to all the ladies why size matters (joke).

Will Despaigne finish the fight within 13 seconds like he has done in three straight bouts? Probably not, but one and a half rounds is more than enough time, so we’ll combine the ML and the under 1½ for much greater value.

UFC Pick: Despaigne & Under 1.5 Rounds (-175) [1.75u returns 1u profit] at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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