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UFC 282 main card preview & best bets – December 10, 2022

UFC betting tips

Supporting the UFC 282 main event from Las Vegas, we have a solid card featuring an exciting crop of rising MMA talent. Read on to see which upcomers we think will emerge with the spoils in front of a huge T-Mobile Arena audience.

Paddy Pimblett vs Jared Gordon

The Paddy Pimblett (19-3-0) hype machine is running at full throttle. Not since The Beatles conquered America has a Liverpudlian export caused such a stir on that side of the Atlantic. But can the kid fight? Nobody really knows at this stage. He is yet to face a stern test inside the octagon but looks to be very accomplished on the mat and holds a black belt in BJJ. Pimblett has scored three straight Performance of the Night bonuses, and UFC management have him pegged as the ‘next big thing’.

The Brit has shown to be a little reckless on the feet in the past and will be looking to get this fight to ground from the outset. He will then attempt to take Gordon’s back and work away with annoying punches that open submission opportunities. It is testament to Pimblett’s star power that this bout, featuring unranked fighters, is the co-main event. This is unheard of in UFC history.

Jared Gordon (19-5-0) will be looking to derail the Pimblett hype train and make a name for himself in front of a partisan crowd. Gordon has jumped around the weight classes of late, which is never a good sign, and will face a height and reach disadvantage here at lightweight. He remarkably shared the octagon with Charles Oliveira back in 2019, losing via first round knockout, but has gone 4-1 since.

Gordon was choked out by Grant Dawson two fights back, which is a bad sign against a submission specialist like Pimblett. His best path to victory will be to avoid the takedowns and outwork his opponent for a decision victory. His work-rate will need to be noticeably higher to prevail over the fan favourite who will be cheered at every opportunity. We are hedging our bets slightly in this fight by backing both athletes via their most likely route to victory.

Paddy Pimblett via submission


Jared Gordon via decision


Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Alex Morono

Between 2015 and 2018 Santiago Ponzinibbio (29-6-0) looked like a world beater. He was undefeated across seven straight bouts including wins over Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny and appeared destined for greatness. Since that winning streak, the Argentinian has slumped to 1-3 and desperately needs to regain his octagon aura of invincibility. Of his recent losses, only one was via knockout, so the failings are more likely to be strategic in nature. His latest defeat was a razor thin split decision to Michel Pereira that might have gone the other way with a little more focus on the closing moments of each round.

Alex Morono (22-7-0) is on a four-fight winning run that includes victories over Mickey Gall and Donald Cerrone. Morono is not a powerful finisher and has only notched six knockouts during his professional career. Unlike his opponent, he does understand the need to appear busy enough to ensure the judges are swayed in the desired direction. If this is a close fight, and the scores are being tallied, expect Morono to smile confidently while Ponzinibbio is a nervous wreck.

Alex Morono to win


Alex Morono via decision


Darren Till vs Dricus Du Plessis

There was a period during which Darren Till (18-4-1) was considered the ‘next big thing’ by UFC head honchos, but that promise has failed to materialise. Till is 1-4 from his last five outings, albeit against high calibre opposition. Most recently he was choked out by Dereck Brunson, beaten on points by Robert Whittaker, knocked out by Jorge Masvidal, and fortunate to get the nod in a close fight against Kelvin Gastelum. It all began to unravel for Till was elevated prematurely to fight for the welterweight belt in 2018 and was dominated by Tyron Woodley. We will see if engaging a number of new trainers and gym partners, including phenom Khamzat Chimaev, has helped Till get his career back on track.

Dricus Du Plessis (17-2-0) is a South African kickboxer on a five-fight winning run. He has dropped a single fight in his last 14 professional appearances and looks ready to make a contender’s run at the title. He will enjoy a slight height and reach advantage over Till, but his biggest edge might be in confidence. Du Plessis is not a fan of the MMA scoring system, having finished 16 of his 17 wins before the final bell. These finishes have come via knockout and submission, suggesting a very rounded and dangerous skill set.

Dricus Du Plessis to win


Dricus Du Plessis via KO/TKO


Ilia Topuria vs Bryce Mitchell

Ilia Topuria (12-0-0) is an unbeaten fighter training out of Alicante, Spain. He was signed to the UFC in 2020 and has looked impressive across four appearances in the premier promotion. In the cons column, Topuria has chopped and changed weight classes after some problems on the scales, and has yet to be tested by quality opposition. He also faces a three-inch height disadvantage in this match-up. That said, unbeaten 12-0 fighters are a rare commodity, and much is expected of this guy.

Bryce Mitchell (15-1-0) is a wrestling and grappling beast fighting out of Searcy, Arkansas. He could not have been more impressive at his latest trip to the octagon, manhandling Edson Barboza with ease, and we are pleasantly surprised at his odds offered for this bout. Mitchell’s only loss occurred on The Ultimate Fighter back in 2018, and he has looked unstoppable ever since. He also boasts a win over Andre Fili, and represents a huge class rise for Topuria. We are very bullish on his chances here.

Bryce Mitchell to win


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