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UFC 285 main card preview & best bets – Saturday, March 4

UFC betting tips

The main card for UFC 285: Jones vs Gane from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas features three of the most exciting, active MMA fighters on the planet. Shavkat Rakhmonov is an undefeated beast who has won all his 16 fights before the final bell, Mateusz Gamrot is a potential title contender at lightweight, and Bo Nickal earns a main event spot at his very first UFC appearance based purely on limitless potential. Fight fans cannot afford to miss this event.

Geoff Neal (15-4-0) v Shavkat Rakhmonov (16-0-0)

Geoff Neal (+380) scored the biggest win of his MMA career and a performance bonus when he knocked out Vincent Luque at his most recent contest. He will need to step up again against a very tough opponent here. Neal throws heavy hands and high kicks and an early knockout while his opponent is still warming up might be his best chance at victory. He has only been knocked out once in his professional career, back in 2017, but will need to bring his best defence against an opponent who exerts relentless pressure inside the octagon.

Shavkat Rakhmonov (-555.56) has the most impressive record of any current active MMA fighter. His 16 wins have all come inside the distance with eight knockouts and eight submissions. The Kazakh has only seen a third round once, and more than half of his fights were concluded within the first five minutes. He stands 6’1’’ with a 77-inch reach and represents a nightmare match-up for any opponent. A win here should set him up for a title shot within the near future. If you want a glimpse at the future of MMA, be sure to watch Rakhmonov in action.

Shvkhat Rakhmonov by submission


Mateusz Gamrot (21-2-0) v Jalin Turner (13-5-0)

Mateusz Gamrot (-222.22) brings an impressive MMA formline into this contest and has been earmarked as a possible future champion at lightweight. Prior to a close loss in his last fight to Beneil Dariush, the Polish native was on a four fight win streak. He entered the UFC in 2020 with an unbeaten record and both his losses since have been close points defeats. Gamrot is adept on both the feet and the mat, with seven professional knockouts and five submission wins to his name. He was originally booked to fight Dan Hooker, but injury struck the Kiwi and a new opponent was required. He earns respect for accepting this challenge against a dangerous combatant.

Jalin Turner (+180) steps in on short notice and might prove a worthy replacement in this match-up. The Californian was won his last four fights and enjoys a four-inch height advantage over Gamrot. This is combined with a huge six-inch reach advantage meaning Turner should be able to leverage a solid range superiority. He boasts knockout power with nine wins via KO, and a solid ground game with fours via submission. Turner looms as a dangerman to the title aspirations of Gamrot, and this should be a great fight.

Fight will go the distance


Bo Nickal (3-0-0) v Jamie Pickett (13-8-0)

Bo Nickal (-2500) is one of the most hyped fighters on the UFC roster despite never having fought at the elite level. He appeared twice on the Dana White Contender Series for a pair of impressive submission victories. Of his three recorded professional MMA fights, Nickal’s longest bout lasted one minute and two seconds. His NCAA wrestling stats stand at a remarkable 120-3 and this skill is expected to prove Nickal unstoppable. Comparison are being made with Khamzat Chimaev, who has carved his way through the UFC ranks like a sharp knife.

Jamie Pickett (+1000 with betting sites) has drawn the short straw in the match-up but has the chance to make a name for himself if he can derail the Nickal hype train. With 21 professional appearances he has a huge experience advantage and should be more comfortable in front of a large crowd. Pickett has just two wins from his last six UFC appearances, both coming via decision. He has a brown belt in BJJ but will still be keen to keep the fight upright and avoid the superior wrestling on Nickal.

No Nickal by submission


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