UFC 288 Odds, Props and Best Fights to Bet On

UFC 288 Odds And Predictions

On Saturday, May 6, the UFC will be live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, for UFC 288. The featured bout of the night is a bantamweight title fight as Henry Cejudo makes his long-awaited return to challenge Aljamain Sterling for the championship.

In total, UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo is scheduled for 14 bouts with a prelims card start time of 6 p.m. ET. The best UFC betting sites already have odds and prop bets for this exciting UFC 288 lineup. Let’s take a closer look at this packed card and make our UFC 288 predictions.

UFC 288 Odds

All betting odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Aljamain Sterling-105
 Belal Muhammad+110
Jessica Andrade-185
Mitchell vs Evloev: Over 1.5 RoundsNo Odds Released
Kron Gracie+155
Drew Dober-210
Kennedy Nzechukwu-195
Khaos Williams-300
Virna Jandiroba+113
Braxton Smith+115
Ikram Aliskerov-225
Rafael Estevam-180
Claudio Ribeiro-190
Johnny Munoz Jr+149

Our top upset is Belal Muhammad over Gilbert Burns. There are plenty of zealous fans on both sides, but try to look at the fight tape and style of both men before you make your betting decision.

Muhammad’s jab and 1-2 are going to be trouble for Burns, who struggles against rangy athletes willing to play the distance game.

There is an interesting parlay to be had involving Aliskerov, the Mitchell vs Evloev Over bet, and the Belal Muhammad win. It’s high paying and we have moderate confidence in its success.

UFC 288 Predictions

We see the main card as having most of the top bets to make, but don’t sleep on Aliskerov over Hawes or Rafael Estevam being teed up for a big win over Zhumagulov in the prelims. If you’re not sure how to make sense of the betting advice, make sure to read through our UFC strategy page for fight picks and betting.

Aljamain Sterling (-105) vs Henry Cejudo (-115)

15 bets are already available for the UFC 288 main event. Sterling defends his title against the former double-champ Henry Cejudo.

Fight specials like ‘Fight to End in the First 60 Seconds of the First Round (+2000)’ are unlikely to pay out. This is going to be heavily competitive with Sterling looking to bully Cejudo with his size and length.

UFC Stats for Sterling vs Cejudo

Here are a few key stats in our determination of top UFC 288 bets for Cejudo vs Sterling:

FighterReachAverage Strikes Absorbed per MinuteUFC RecordTotal Control Time  in Last 5 FightsTakedown Defense

Because Cejudo gives up seven inches of reach and some striking defense, we see the striking exchanges leaning more toward Sterling than many fans anticipate. Sterling also has a three-inch height advantage and stays more active at bantamweight while at range.

Sterling fans should be concerned with his takedown defense. The seven takedowns given to Petr Yan in their 2021 fight should let you know how easily Cejudo could spend the first few rounds in top position. The question is, can he hold down the larger man for five rounds at 36 years old?

Prop Bets for UFC 288: Sterling vs Cejudo

While there are plenty of bets to make at sports betting sites, here are a few of our most confident props. Look to the Over prop bets as both men have lost only once via knockout, which both came off of getting hit with a knee while shooting for the takedown.

Over 2.5 Rounds-285
Sterling in Round 5+2500
Cejudo in Round 3+1800
Cejudo by TKO+200
Sterling by Decision+240

Let’s say Sterling has a bad weight cut and a performance like his 2021 Yan fight. Cejudo could win via finish, likely by round 3 or after. We see Sterling as having an advantage in the later rounds, and his decision win is our most likely method of victory prop bet.

Sterling should defend his title here. Cejudo has all the hype and all the skill, three years ago. Today, Cejudo is facing the biggest bantamweight he’s ever fought and the best 135-pound fighter he’s ever competed against.

Dillashaw and Cruz are very small and both closer to the end of their career than the prime Sterling Cejudo will be facing on Saturday.

The Bet
Aljamain Sterling

Belal Muhammad (+110) vs Gilbert Burns (-130)

Burns beat down Jorge Masvidal on April 8th with ease and takes a big step up in ability against Muhammad. We were certain of Muhammad’s loss to Sean Brady, a fight he won in October by TKO, putting him on an eight-fight winning streak since Geoff Neal in 2019.

Belal has nearly every stat to his advantage, including takedown frequency, strikes landed, height and reach.

MMA Betting Stats for Belal Muhammad vs Gilbert Burns 

FighterAgeAverage Strikes Absorbed per MinuteUFC RecordFinishes in the UFCTakedown Defense
Muhammad343.6813-3, 1 NC392%
Burns 363.1315-5847%

Burns has most of his finishes in his early career when he was mostly a high-level grappler and power puncher with three finishes by armbar in his first five bouts. This is Burns’ third fight of the year and there is an argument to make that it’s just a bit too much activity.

Muhammad’s striking is looking superior, landing 243 significant strikes in his last four bouts. Compared to Burns 195, he’s about 20% more active overall. If Muhammad can avoid the takedown, this will look similar to the Brady fight with Burns forced to close the distance against the younger, lankier man.

The Bet
Belal Muhammad

Jessica Andrade (-185) vs Xiaonan Yan (+155)

Losing the fight to Erin Blanchfield just one month ago, Andrade is back to face Xiaonan Yan after beating Mackenzie Dern in 2022. Now 7-2 in the UFC, Yan is ready to climb the roster yet again.

Despite her 70% takedown defense, she’s given up control time and position to wrestlers in the majority of her UFC appearances, and it could hurt her against Andrade.

Expect Andrade to find the takedown for an easy win on control time with Yan struggling to get her game moving. We see a 29-28 decision for Andrade in a close fight that could end in submission if Yan slips up. Andrade by submission is a UFC prop with odds that could be out as early as Wednesday.

The Bet
Jessica Andrade

Bryce Mitchell (+215) vs Movsar Evloev (-275)

At 16-0, Evloev is the toughest opponent of Mitchell’s career. Now 15-2, Mitchell was simply outclassed by Ilia Topuria, giving up an arm triangle off the sweep to the super-strong BJJ practitioner.

Evloev is a different beast, one that will look to dominate the grappling for a slow and grinding win, but Nik Lentz and Mike Grundy showed us all the holes in his fight game.

Mitchell has a chance in this bout, primarily by making it the grittiest grappling and striking match he’s ever put on. Most likely, we see a back-and-forth wrestling battle with striking exchanges from two fighters with no UFC knockouts. This should result in a long and exciting fight.

The Bet
Over 1.5 Rounds

Charles Jourdain (-185) vs Kron Gracie (+155)

With Kron now 1-1 in the UFC, losing to a fading Cub Swanson in 2019, the last hope of Gracie BJJ fans goes up against a 4-5 fighter in Jourdain. Yes, Jourdain has punching power, but he also gives up 50% of takedown attempts, as many as 4 and 5 in three of his appearances.

Kron struggles to get the takedown, but if he can do it, his submission skill is second to none. I think we’re headed toward an upset, but you may be better off taking a smaller bet on the Kron Gracie by Submission prop when it’s released at Bovada.

The Bet
Kron Gracie

Drew Dober (-210) vs Matt Frevola (+168)

Dober’s three-fight TKO streak makes him a rising force in the UFC. Now finishing six of his last eight bouts, he faces the dangerous Frevola.

Frevola lost to McKinney in 2021, shortly before Dober upset McKinney. This fight alone makes it feel like Dober should see the win. Frevola’s mixture of takedowns into his striking set ups could be key against Dober, who’s 55% takedown defense has caused him trouble in fights with Beneil Dariush and current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

Frevola was knocked out by McKinney and by Reyes, so if this turns into a contest of chins, Dober is the best bet. We’re expecting some early Frevola takedown work that could win him the opening rounds, but the Dober finish feels inevitable on this one.

The Bet
Drew Dober

Devin Clark (+160) vs Kennedy Nzechukwu (-195)

Nzechukwu is evolving. His takedown work against Karl Roberson and his clinch work against Ion Cutelaba had us on our heels.

Now facing Devin Clark, we expect another finish, especially considering Clark’s history of inconsistent performances and a chin that has seen far too much punishment against fighters like Aleksandar Rakic and Azamat Murzakanov.

The Bet
Kennedy Nzechukwu

Khaos Williams (-300) vs Ronaldo Bedoya (+240)

Williams’ 4-2 UFC run has been an interesting one. The Randy Brown loss was controversial and he lost to Pereira on control time alone. UFC newcomer Bedoya is 14-1 with fights out of FFC and other Latin American fight orgs.

Frankly, this is going to be a rude awakening for a young prospect. Khaos Williams is a striker that operates well outside of Bedoya’s normal technical level. Pabio Dhorta (10-1) was Bedoya’s last fight, over a year ago. This is a huge jump for a fighter that may even feel a bit of ring rust getting back to the cage.

The Bet
Khaos Williams

Marina Rodriguez (-130) vs Virna Jandiroba (+113)

In spite of finishing power and a win over Angela Hill, Jandiroba takes the underdog position of Rodriguez, who was knocked out just five months ago by Amanda Lemos. Rodriguez struggles with athletes, and her win over Amanda Ribas seems to carry her a little bit.

This is the second power puncher in a row she faces and we worry that it’s too much to hope the knockout loss was a fluke.

The Bet
Virna Jandiroba

Braxton Smith (+150) vs Parker Porter (-180)

Smith is an incoming pro with a 5-1 record facing the 3-3 Porter. Porter has been finished three times by various UFC fighters, with competitive showings against Josh Parisian and Alan Baudot.

Smith lost to Chase Sherman back in 2014, but his next five wins were all first round TKOs from May 2022 to April 2023. This man is a force and Porter has looked unprepared in recent bouts. His durability may have fallen from tough UFC bouts as well.

The Bet
Braxton Smith

Ikram Aliskerov (-225) vs Phillip Hawes (+185)

Aliskerov is a 13-1 submission-focused Dagestani seeking out the old guard in Hawes. We see a very one-sided match up and one of the only sure UFC parlay picks.

The Bet
Ikram Aliskerov

Rafael Estevam (-180) vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+154)

Zhumagulov has seen competitive fights, but is now 1-5 in the UFC. He can’t seem to find the extra finishing power he needs at the UFC level and, at 34 years old, the younger finishers like Estevam have a chance to rise up and steal his spot.

The Bet
Rafael Estevam

Claudio Ribiero (-190) vs Joseph Holmes (+160)

Holmes has struggled in the UFC since his DWCS win over Shonte Barnes. The 1-1 (UFC only) Claudio Ribeiro is in the same boat. Both men are still finding their place in the UFC and it’s tough to tell who will win this striker vs grappler match up. We give a slight edge to Ribeiro.

The Bet
Claudio Ribeiro

Daniel Santos (-179) vs Johnny Munoz Jr. (+149)

Both fighters are well rounded strikers and grapplers, with UFC losses and wins against various levels of fighter. Munoz spends a little more time on the submission and it’s paid off in the past.

Santos is aggressive, which has earned him the favorite position, but we think he’ll walk into a technical onslaught against Munoz.

The Bet
Johnny Munoz Jr.

UFC 288 Odds Favor the Upset

We don’t call too many cards with five upset money lines bets, but UFC 288 has some interesting match-ups. With some fighters seeming ripe for the finish, and other favorites simply not showing the same kickboxing skill set, don’t be afraid to wager value bet amounts on these upset picks.

Jacob Clark profile picture
Jacob Clark

Role: Sports/Casino Writer

Content covered on TSG: Blog and News

Jacob Clark had a 15-year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, one of TikTok’s most important BJJ influencers, Jacob is bringing his fight sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. When not writing insightful fight sports content, Jacob can be found teaching jiu-jitsu seminars all over Indiana and surrounding states.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.