UFC Vegas 88 Gambling Preview: Will Tai Tuivasa earn himself a shoey against Marcin Tybura?

UFC 299 is in the books, but the UFC machine keeps right on rolling. There are four weeks of fights leading up to the highly anticipated UFC 300, and that starts this Saturday with UFC Vegas 88, headlined by a heavyweight matchup between Tai Tuivasa and Marcin Tybura.

No need to stand on ceremony here, this is not a great fight card, but that’s the price we pay for UFC 299 and UFC 300. Plus, there are still plenty of opportunities to get some action down, so let’s get to it.

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.

226 Tai Tuivasa vs Andrei Arlovski

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Straight Bets

Tai Tuivasa -112

This is a great bounce back spot for “Bam Bam.” Yes, he’s lost three in a row, but as the man said on The MMA Hour this week, it’s not like he’s losing to bums. Sergei Pavlovich, Ciryl Gane, and Alexander Volkov are all among the very top heavyweights in the world, and while Tybura has had a respectable career, he’s not of the same ilk. Tybura is not nearly the potent offensive threat that Tuivasa’s most recent foes have been, and he’s also not nearly as durable. I like “Bam Bam” to get back on track in a big way.

Ange Loosa +150

Bryan Battle and Ange Loosa both enter the co-main event on a good run of form lately, so this should be a competitive fight. The difference is that Loosa is a better athlete and has a style to frustrate Battle. Battle is the bigger man and better grappler, but Loosa is a solid wrestler with fast hands and improving striking. This is a coin-flip affair, so there’s value in Loosa at an underdog price.

Danny Silva +154

Silva is making his UFC debut against Josh Culibao, and I’m excited to see it. Coming off Contender Series, I had Silva as a prospect to watch based on his speed and boxing prowess, and those should show out against Culibao. Culibao is 0-13 in takedown attempts in his UFC career, so he’s likely going to be standing up with Silva, who I think has much better hands than he does.

UFC Fight Night: Vieira v Kianzad

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Parlay of the Week

Pannie Kianzad/Macy Chiasson Over 2.5 Rounds, -375

Sixteen of Kianzaid’s 23 career fights have gone to decision, including her past nine in a row. Five of Chiasson’s 11 career fights have gone to the cards, including four of her past six (and the loss to Irene Aldana was well on the way until the extremely rare upkick to the body knockout).

Josiane Nunes/Chelsea Chandler Over 2.5 Rounds, -125

Nunes has been a knockout machine for most of her career, but she’s had two decisions in her past two fights and is really starting to struggle with being undersized. Chandler, meanwhile, goes to the judges’ scorecards in half of her bouts, and has never been finished.

In 2023, there were 23 women’s fights in the UFC above 125 pounds. Eighteen of them went to decision. While there is some risk here, I still expect both women’s bantamweight fights to go long on Saturday.

Parlay these two bets together for +128 odds.

UFC Fight Night: Muradov v Barberena

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

At this point, it’s well-established that if there’s a gimmick bet available, I’m going to take it. Well, this week the only two “Bam Bams” in the UFC are fighting on the same card, and they’re both fighting dudes who have a habit of getting knocked out. What other choice do I have?

I’m parlaying Tai Tuivasa by KO at +110 with Bryan Barberena by KO at +500, and comes Saturday I’m eating a handful of Flintstone vitamins, donning my leopard print loincloth, and rocking out to Camila Cabello to put out the good vibes.

Parlay these two props together for +1160 odds.

Wrap Up

We had roughly 27 bets last week and yet somehow we ended up having a pretty great week! A lot of underdogs hit, which always helps, so let’s try and go back-to-back.

Until next week, enjoy the fights, good luck, and gamble responsibly!

All information in this article is provided to readers of MMA Fighting for entertainment, news, and amusement purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader to learn and abide by online gambling laws in their region before placing any online sports betting wagers.

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