Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

By Dan Kilbridge | | 4 mins

UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev Vs Moises Odds & Betting Preview

UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev Vs Moises Odds & Betting Preview
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The MMA world has had a few days to collectively take in Dustin Poirier’s TKO victory over Conor McGregor, and the no-holds-barred post-fight interviews that followed at UFC 264. Now, the UFC betting train moves on for another action-packed card Saturday night with UFC Vegas 31, featuring Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises in the main event.

Islam Makhachev vs. Thiago Moises Odds & Betting Analysis

Favorite Underdog
Islam MakhachevThiago Moises
-675 +475

Odds via DraftKings and current as of publication. Check out our DraftKings sportsbook review

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Makhachev is a massive favorite in his first ever main event for a reason. The 29-year-old out of Dagestan in Russia is riding a seven-fight win streak, during which he’s shown elite wrestling and increasingly impressive stand-up skills. He also has one of the greatest champions in MMA history as a mentor in Khabib Nurmagomedov, who retired last year in part to focus on developing younger fighters.

Makhachev definitely looks like a future lightweight title contender at 19-1, and represents a matchup nightmare for many fighters currently above him in the rankings. He’s coming off one of his best victories to date, a third-round arm triangle submission finish of Drew Dober during UFC 259 in early March. That was Makhachev’s eighth career submission victory to go with eight decision wins and three KOs.

Saturday should provide valuable experience in the first of what could be many five-round main events. Max Holloway was originally slated to fight Yair Rodriguez before it was postponed, letting Makhachev and Moises step into the spotlight.

Moises, 26, comes in with a three-fight win streak, having submitted Michael Johnson before a pair of unanimous decision wins over Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez. He earned a UFC contract via Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018 and has gone 4-2 since. While he’s a huge underdog at most top sportsbooks and sports betting apps, both losses came against elite fighters in top-five lightweight Beneil Dariush and 23-1 Damir Ismagulov.

UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev Vs Moises Odds & Betting Preview 1

Moises (15-4) is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist with six submissions, six decision wins and three KOs. He should match up with Makhachev better than a traditional striker, but Moises is still up against one of the scariest grapplers in the UFC.

A five-round decision win for Moises looks very unlikely, but he has powerful hands and strong BJJ skills to hunt for an early finish. That’s much easier said than done against a guy of Makhachev’s caliber, but he has plenty of confidence and won’t back down from the challenge.


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UFC Vegas 31: Makhachev vs. Moises Best Bet

Moises has been vulnerable against elite lightweights, but he has never been finished in his professional career, with all four losses coming via unanimous decision. Considering the UFC competition he has faced, that’s no small accomplishment.

Makhachev will surely look at this fight as a potential title bout trial run, perhaps hoping to get his feet wet in the championship rounds. We expect him to control the action on the mat and keep the upper hand over Moises for most of the fight. But Moises is tough as nails and demonstrably difficult to put away.

We like the value on betting sites on Islam Makhachev via decision. He's priced at -120 odds with FanDuel sportsbook.

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UFC Vegas 31 Date, Time & TV Info

When Is UFC Vegas 31?

UFC Vegas 31 is Saturday, July 17 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What Time Is UFC Vegas 31?

Prelims start at 7 p.m. ET, and the Main Card begins at 10 p.m. ET.

Where Can I Watch UFC Vegas 31?

UFC Vegas 31 will be shown on ESPN/ESPN+.

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.