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UFC 294 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 10 mins

UFC 294 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Makhachev vs. Volkanovski 2

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The Octagon heads back to Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE this Saturday for UFC 294. The main event is an incredible rematch between UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, who is moving up in weight on short notice to take the fight. 

On top of the main event, there are 12 other bouts on the undercard. We’ll break down the headliner plus two other bouts in our UFC picks.

Favorite Underdog
Islam Makhachev | -250 Alexander Volkanovski | +205

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

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UFC 294 Main Event Best Bet

Islam Makhachev (-250) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (+205)

In the main event of UFC 294, Islam Makhachev defends the UFC lightweight title in a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski. Although Volkanovski is a +205 UFC betting underdog, I am going with him to earn the upset win and defy the odds despite taking the fight on short notice up in weight.

Makhachev is 31 and he has an incredible UFC record at 13-1, with notable wins over Charles Oliveira, Arman Tsarukyan, and Volkanovski, whom he defeated by decision back at UFC 284 in February. He is one of the most dominant wrestlers we have ever seen in the UFC and he is also a very capable striker as well. In short, he is one of the very best MMA fighters in the world. 

However, he is human, and we’ve seen him get knocked out and dropped before. While his skills are world-class, there is still always the chance that he ends up getting clipped and KO’d. He always has that wrestling to bail him out, but it won’t be as effective against Volkanvoski.

Volkanovski is arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now. At age 35, he is in the prime of his career and he has an incredible UFC record at 13-1, with notable wins over Max Holloway (three times), Yair Rodriguez, and Jose Aldo. He is a very well-rounded fighter who has incredible wrestling skills on the ground to go along with very capable striking on the feet. 

He has also shown amazing durability in the UFC so far, having only been dropped once and never being finished. He is taking this fight on short notice, but if anyone can come in and beat Makhachev with only 10 days’ notice, it’s someone who is as well-rounded as Volkanovski.

Makhachev is an incredible fighter, but we already saw back at UFC 284 earlier this year that Volkanovski matches up with him well everywhere. In that first fight, Volkanovski dropped Makhachev in the fifth round, and if he had more time, he may have been able to finish the fight. With five more rounds to work with, I see him finally getting the job done. As incredible as Makhachev is, I’m taking Volkanovski to pull off the upset at +205, and I’ll take him by TKO.

UFC 294 Best Bet: Alexander Volkanovski wins at +205 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 294 Best Prop Bet: Alexander Volkanovski wins by TKO at DraftKings Sportsbook

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Other UFC 294 Best Bets

Ikram Aliskerov (-520) vs. Warlley Alves (+390)

Also on the main card, Ikram Aliskerov takes on Warlley Alves at middleweight. Aliskerov is a -520 favorite, and I expect him to easily win this fight and do so with a vicious knockout.

Aliskerov is 30 and he’s 1-0 so far in the UFC with a brutal knockout win over Phil Hawes. He previously competed in Europe and Asia, where he won all of his fights save for one loss to current UFC star Khamzat Chimaev. Aliskerov is a devastating finisher who has defeated most of his opponents by way of stoppage. He has big-time power on the feet and he also has slick submissions on the ground, making him a very dangerous fighter anywhere the fight goes.

Alves is 32 and he has an 8-6 record in the UFC since making his debut back in 2014. Six of those wins have come by finish, showing how dangerous he is, and he even has a stoppage win over current UFC welterweight star Colby Covington. However, he has struggled in recent years, losing three of his last four fights. It’s also worth noting he has lost three of his last six bouts by stoppage. Alves has had a decent UFC career, but it feels like he’s on the downside.

Aliskerov is super dangerous anywhere the fight goes and I see him beating Alves in all facets of the game in this fight. Especially with Alves taking this fight on short notice and moving up in weight to do so, you have to lean towards Aliskerov to get the victory. I’m going with Aliskerov to get the win as a big -520 betting apps favorite, and I like him to get a knockout victory here for a prop bet.

UFC 294 Best Bet: Ikram Aliskerov wins at -520 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 294 Best Prop Bet: Ikram Aliskerov wins by TKO at DraftKings Sportsbook

Muhammad Mokaev (-485) vs. Tim Elliott (+370)

In the preliminary card featured bout, Muhammad Mokaev takes on Tim Elliott at flyweight. Mokaev is a -485 favorite, and I expect him to roll in this fight, earning a win via stoppage.

Mokaev is just 23 years old and he has an undefeated record of 10-0, 1 NC in the sport so far, including a perfect 4-0 record in the UFC. He is a fantastic wrestler who has 22 total takedowns in his four UFC fights, with three of those wins coming by way of stoppage. Anytime he is able to take his opponents down to the mat, he can control them and dominate them for the win.

Elliott is, of course, a great wrestler, too, and he has been in the UFC for the better part of a decade, having made his Octagon debut back in 2012. In the years since then, the 36-year-old Elliott holds an 8-10 record in the UFC. He’s been good at winning decisions, with seven of his victories coming on the cards. However, he has also lost by submission four times in the UFC.

Mokaev is one of the best prospects at 125 lbs and while Elliott is a solid veteran, I don’t like this stylistic matchup for him against a submission grappler like Mokaev who can finish fights on the ground. Elliott has been tapped out five times in his MMA career and I think that happens again here. Go with Mokaev to win this fight at -485 and take him to win by submission for a prop bet.

UFC 294 Best Bet: Muhammad Mokaev wins at -485 at DraftKings Sportsbook

UFC 294 Best Prop Bet: Muhammad Mokaev wins by submission at DraftKings Sportsbook

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About the Author

Adam Martin for Bookies.com
Adam Martin
A writer based out of Toronto, Adam Martin has covered professional sports, with an emphasis on sports gambling, for more than a decade, writing for such outlets as The Toronto Star and Sportsnet. He is an expert in UFC, while also covering NHL betting and the Stanley Cup.