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UFC 281 main card preview & best bets – November 12, 2022

UFC betting

Preceding the title bouts headlining the UFC 281 card at Madison Square Garden, we have some compelling fights featuring MMA legends.

Dustin Poirier vs Michael Chandler

Dustin Poirier (28-7-0) is an MMA veteran most famous for defeating UFC golden boy Conor McGregor on two occasions. He is currently the number two ranked lightweight and Poirier’s record since 2017 is one of the most impressive of any active fighter. He has beaten some of the sport’s biggest names in Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway. His only losses during this long run were to the GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. Poirier is as tough as nails, fights through adversity better than almost any man alive, and is proficient across all MMA disciplines. The negative here is that he has not entered the octagon for almost a year, so keep an eye out for some early ring rust.

Michael Chandler (23-7-0) has looked impressive since being signed from Bellator in 2021 despite recording a 2-2 UFC record. The losses were to Charles Oliveira, whom Chandler dropped and almost finished in the first round, and Justin Gaethje, in a wild contest when both fighters went mad and adopted a ‘kill or be killed’ approach. Chandler’s UFC wins were a set of knock outs over Tony Ferguson and Dan Hooker. Chandler might set himself up for another future title shot if he can win impressively here.

We are tipping the upset here and hoping Chandler can fight smart.

Michael Chandler to win


Frankie Edgar vs Chris Gutierrez

Frankie Edgar (23-10-1) has been fighting in the UFC since 2007 and has been in some heroic wars. This appears to be Edgar’s last trip to the octagon after receiving some heavy KO damage during his last two outings at the hands of Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen. Edgar will undoubtedly be welcomed into the Hall of Fame at some point having taken on all comers at multiple weight classes for 15 years. His accolades are too long to list but include a lengthy reign as the lightweight champion. We can only hope he gets out of this fight unscathed and enjoys a long and well-deserved retirement.

Chris Gutierrez (18-3-2) comes into this contest on a red hot seven fight streak that includes six wins and a draw. Although Gutierrez has never faced an opponent of Edgar’s calibre, he has been working his way through the grades and appears to the likely victor over the retiring 41-year-old. Gutierrez combines a solid stand-up game with BJJ skills and at 31 years of age appears to be entering his prime.

Chris Gutierrez to win


Dan Hooker vs Claudio Puelles

Dan Hooker (21-12-0) is a training partner of Israel Adesanya and will be hoping to get the City Kickboxing team off to a winning start. Hooker might be fighting for his meal ticket though, having been stopped at his last two outings. Arnold Allen made very short work of the Kiwi in March 2022, and Hooker appeared to quit under a round one barrage. He has chopped and changed weight classes recently, always a bad sign, and we sense that Hooker might be nearing the end of his MMA journey.

Claudio Puelles (13-2-0) enters this contest on a five-fight winning run and might be the man to continue Hooker’s slide. Puelles is a submission specialist with seven of his victories coming via that method. If he can catch Hooker with a clean early strike, we can expect the Peruvian to immediately sink a deep submission attempt and look for the tap out. Betting markets appear to be selling Puelles short, and we are very keen on his chances at nice odds.

Claudio Puelles is the strong tip at +120. Given his strong ground game, he looks great value to win via submission at +275.

Claudio Puelles to win


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