UFC 290 Predictions: Volkanovski vs Rodriguez pick & Moreno vs Pantoja best bet

One the two UFC 290 co-headliners will witness a changing of the guard

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8 months ago

UFC 290 is co-headlined by a deuce of championship clashes in Paradise, Nevada with Brandon Moreno defending his flyweight belt against Alexandre Pantoja in the pair’s third meeting before featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski takes on the dangerous Yair Rodriguez.

UK fight fans can tune in to the action at the T-Mobile Arena live from midnight on Saturday July 8 into Sunday July 9 on BT Sport 1. We went two from two on our last tipping trip into the Octagon and have two confident selections for the latest promotion.

UFC 290 betting tips

Volkanowski to win on points @ 11/10
Pantoja to beat Moreno @ 6/4

Bet on the latest MMA and UFC odds at Betzone

‘The Great’ will go the distance to grind down unpredictable ‘El Pantera’

Alexander Volkanowski slipped to just the second loss of his 27 fight MMA career last time out but lost little in defeat when falling to a wafer-thin decision verdict versus lightweight champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 284.

Back at feather, where he still holds the UFC title, the New South Wales native is just 2/9 to account for Yair Rodriguez, but bettors are advised against reading those odds as shorthand for a short night’s work.

Rodriguez has a thrillingly varied and all action style that’s seen seven of his last 10 fights either earn him performance of the night, or fight of the night recognition.

He’ll give Volkanovski enough different looks to avoid getting worked out early doors but on a form line through Max Holloway, ‘The Great’ should have his measure. The reigning champion bested Holloway by decision in 2020 and again in 2022, whereas Rodriguez lost to the same foe in 2021.

Prior to the Makhachev loss, Volkanowski had won 22 consecutive fights. The last six of those successes came at UFC championship level with five of the six coming by decision.

Best bet: Volkanowski to win on points @ 11/10

Moreno has no divine right to retribution in latest instalment of Pantoja rivalry

Brandon Moreno reclaimed his UFC flyweight strap from Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 283 and goes in search of further redress here against Alexandro ‘The Cannibal’ Pantoja.

Dual UFC champion Moreno is the bigger name and the more decorated fighter, which probably accounts for him being the 4/9 favourite to win this bout. However, the pair have clashed in the Octagon twice before, with Pantoja claiming the ‘W’ on both occasions.

‘The Cannibal’ submitted ‘The Assassin Baby’ via rear naked choke in ‘exhibition’ circumstances on The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions in 2016. Two years later he repeated the dose via decision on the Fight Night: Maia vs Usman undercard.

For all Moreno has undoubtedly improved his game in the interim, there remains value in backing the outsider with the track record of superiority in their personal tete-a-tete.

Best bet: Pantoja to beat Moreno @ 6/4