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UFC Vegas 84 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Ankalaev vs. Walker 2

Adam Martin for Bookies.com

Adam Martin  | 11 mins

UFC Vegas 84 Odds, Picks, Predictions & UFC Best Bets For Ankalaev vs. Walker 2

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Mixed martial arts is back! For the first event of 2024, UFC Vegas 84 goes down this Saturday night at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card features 12 fights in total, including a light heavyweight main event rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. We’ll break down that main event plus two other fights in this edition of the Bookies.com Best Bets, where I give you my favorite UFC picks for every UFC card right here at Bookies.com.

Favorite Underdog
Magomed Ankalaev | -455 Johnny Walker | +350

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

UFC Vegas 84 Main Event Best Bet

Magomed Ankalaev (-455) vs. Johnny Walker (+350)

The main event of UFC Vegas 84 is a five-round light heavyweight rematch between Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. Ankalaev is a -455 betting favorite, and I like him to get the win.

Ankalaev is 31 and the Russian has a 9-1-1, 1 NC record in the UFC with five of those wins coming by knockout. He is a big, strong, powerful striker who can knock out the best of them at 205 lbs, and he also has a very solid grappling game as well. 

In many ways, he could be a UFC champion right now, but some bad luck has resulted in him going to a draw and a No Contest in his last two fights. 

Still, Ankalaev is very much still in his prime and he continues to move up the light heavyweight ladder. With a big win over Walker, Ankalaev could earn another title shot.

Walker is 31 and the Brazilian has been in the UFC since 2018 after winning a contract following a win on Dana White’s Contender Series. Walker is 7-4, 1 NC overall in the UFC with six of his wins coming by stoppage. He is a huge light heavyweight who possesses brutal knockout power and he has also been improving on the ground, too. 

That being said, he doesn’t have the best chin as he’s been knocked out twice in the UFC, and his cardio isn’t amazing either. He is extremely dangerous in the first round, but after that, his pace tends to slow down quite a bit. Against Ankalev, Walker will likely need to win in the first round as Ankalaev has superior cardio.

Ankalaev was dominating the first fight between these two back at UFC 294 before he pulled a bonehead move and landed an illegal knee, ending the fight early on via No Contest. I don’t expect that to happen this time around. 

Look for Ankalaev to dominate this fight from the get-go once again, only this time getting the finish via TKO. The odds are high at -455, but I fully expect Ankalaev to win this fight as a -455 betting favorite, and take him via TKO for a prop bet.

UFC Vegas 84 Best Bet: Magomed Ankalaev wins at -455 with DraftKings Sportsbook .

UFC Vegas 84 Best Prop Bet: Magomed Ankalaev wins by TKO with DraftKings Sportsbook .

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Other UFC Vegas 84 Best Bets

Joshua Van (-218) vs. Felipe Bunes (+180)

On the prelims is a flyweight bout between Joshua Van and Felipe Bunes, who is making his UFC debut. Van is a -218 favorite, and I fully expect him to improve to 3-0 in the UFC.

Van is only 22 and he joined the UFC in 2022, winning both of his fights over Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Kevin Borjas. A pro since 2021, Van has won nine of his 10 pro bouts so far, with seven of those wins coming by way of stoppage. 

He is a talented striker who can kickbox with the best of them in his weight class, he has good cardio, and he is also skilled on the ground. In many ways, he appears to be the future of the UFC flyweight division. 

There is no reason to think that Van can’t continue his ascension up the ladder, and a win over Bunes would help. It is worth noting that Van is taking this fight on short notice for the injured Denys Bondar.

Bunes is 34 and he is making his UFC debut here after a 13-year career as a pro MMA fighter. He most recently fought for LFA, where he won the promotion’s vacant flyweight title. In addition to his time in LFA, he also fought for ACA in Russia. 

A well-traveled veteran, Bunes deserves this chance to fight in the UFC. That being said, he is not being given any favors here by being matched up against one of the very best flyweight prospects in the sport in the form of Van.

Van has been extremely impressive so far in his UFC career, and I fully expect him to win his third bout inside the Octagon this weekend. Look for Van to outpoint Bunes and take home a decision in this fight. Take Van to win at -218 and take him to win by decision for a prop bet.

UFC Vegas 84 Best Bet: Joshua Van wins at -218 with DraftKings Sportsbook .

UFC Vegas 84 Best Prop Bet: Joshua Van wins by decision with DraftKings Sportsbook .

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Tom Nolan (-298) vs. Nikolas Motta (+240)

Kicking off the card is a lightweight bout between UFC newcomer Tom Nolan and Nikolas Motta. Nolan is a -298 favorite and I expect him to win his UFC debut in a devastating fashion.

Nolan is only 23 years of age and he represents a fine addition to the UFC lightweight roster. He began fighting pro in 2020 and has since racked up a perfect 6-0 record with four wins coming by way of finish. 

In his fight on Dana White’s Contender Series, he impressed with a brutal first-round knockout to land a UFC contract. He looks to be an excellent prospect at 155 lbs and he should have a great career in the Octagon if he can keep improving at a steady pace.

Motta is 30 and the Brazilian has struggled so far in the Octagon since joining the UFC in 2020 following a win on Dana White’s Contender Series. His UFC career began with three canceled fights, and then when he finally made his promotional debut in 2022, he suffered a brutal knockout loss to Jim Miller. 

Motta bounced back with a knockout win over Cameron VanCamp, but after losing to Manuel Torres and a No Contest with Trey Ogden, he will likely be cut with another loss. In many ways, Motta appears to be very fortunate to even get a fifth UFC fight.

Nolan was extremely impressive on Dana White’s Contender Series and the matchmakers are now giving him one of the weakest lightweights on the roster for his debut fight. Everything is pointing to the result being a win for the Aussie, and he will likely get the job done by knockout. 

Go with Nolan for the win as a -298 betting favorite, and take Nolan to win by TKO for a prop.

UFC Vegas 84 Best Bet: Tom Nolan wins at -298 with DraftKings Sportsbook .

UFC Vegas 84 Best Prop Bet: Tom Nolans wins by TKO with 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.