This weekend marks one of the biggest MMA events in recent memory, as UFC 285 goes down from Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. UFC 285 features two title fights at the top of the card, including a headliner that pits Jon Jones against Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title. With other interesting bouts up and down this event, this one could prove to be one of the biggest shows of 2023 thus far. Here are our staff’s best free picks from the entire 14-fight PPV card…
Cody Garbrandt vs. Trevin Jones
Going 1-5 in your last six and somehow still ending up the favorite is some serious star power. Jones is 1-3 in the UFC after an overturned loss to Timur Valiev. Garbrandt has been inactive since 2021 and hasn’t held a title since 2017. Now 7-5 in the UFC, it’s tough to see how he was at one time an unstoppable force in the bantamweight division. At 31, Cody will get to put his footwork back on display against Jones, who can’t strike at Cody’s level and has an 11% takedown accuracy. Our UFC 285 prediction is the Garbrandt money line as a high-paying value bet, with no other bet on this fight a confident pick. The best odds for this fight are currently found at Bovada Sportsbook.
Prediction: Cody Garbrandt (-175)
Jalin Turner vs. Mateusz Gamrot
Gamrot lost his most recent showing against Beneil Dariush and reach was a factor. Turner poses some specific challenges, specifically a seven-inch reach advantage and lanky limbs that find submissions off the takedown attempt. Turner has a history of giving up control time, specifically in his loss to Frevola in 2019, and he was starched by Vicente Luque at welterweight, causing him to drop to 155 pounds. We agree with the UFC 285 betting odds, the under 2.5 rounds is a better bet at -155, but we’re picking Turner as the upset of the night. It’s a big return for a fighter on a winning streak with the exact tools to beat Gamrot. Bet this one at MyBookie.
Prediction: Jalin Turner (+181)
Julian Marquez vs. Marc-Andre Barriault
Marquez took a beating last June that we fear may affect future performances for the submission specialist. Still, Barriault is coming off a submission loss after 133 seconds last April. His 3-5 UFC run is going to be tough to turn around, especially without quality takedowns or first-round knockout power. Our UFC 285 prediction is the Underdog, ‘The Cuban Missile Crisis.’ We expect a submission win given Barriault’s lack of takedown defense, especially when matched up against a tenacious wrestler. The best odds for this fight are currently held at BetOnline.
Prediction: Julian Marquez (+126)