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UFC 290 main card betting preview & top MMA picks – Saturday, July 8

UFC 290 Main Card Bouts Latest Odds & Fight Info

Main Event odds Volkanovski -384.62 at Bovada | Rodriguez +290 at Bovada
When Saturday, July 8 – main card from 7pm PDT
Where T-Mobile Arena – Las Vegas, United States
Watch Live ESPN+ (US), BT Sport (UK), ESPN (AU), UFC Fight Pass

The UFC 290 main card from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has been reshuffled due to late injuries but still packs a solid punch.

The timeless Robert Whittaker will square off against surging Dricus Du Plessis for a likely contender-deciding bout, while budding superstar Bo Nickal will look to run through late replacement Valentine Woodburn who steps up on short notice.

Read on for full tips and analysis.

Alexander Volkanovski v Yair Rodriguez fight preview

Alexander Volkanovski

#C Alexander Volkanovski


Yair Rodriguez

#IC Yair Rodriguez

25-2-0 MMA records 15-3-0
34 Age 30
5’6″ Height 5’11”
145lbs Weight 145lbs
71.5″ Reach 71″
AUS Nationality Mexico
Windang, AUS Fighting out of Chicago, USA

The undisputed featherweight title be will decided at UFC 290 when Alexander Volkanovski collides with Yair Rodriguez at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas this Saturday.

READ: The full betting preview and picks on Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez

Brandon Moreno v Alexandre Pantoja fight preview

Brandon Moreno

#C Brandon Moreno


Alexandre Pantoja

#2 Alexandre Pantoja

21-6-2 MMA records 25-5-0
29 Age 33
5’7″ Height 5’5″
125lbs Weight 125lbs
70″ Reach 68″
Mexico Nationality Brazil
Tijuana, MEXICO Fighting out of Arraial do Cabo, BRAZIL

Reigning flyweight champion Brandon Moreno will be out for revenge when he meets Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290 in Las Vegas this weekend.

READ: The full betting preview and picks on Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja

Robert Whittaker v Dricus Du Plessis fight preview

Robert Whittaker

#2 Robert Whittaker


Alexandre Pantoja

#5 Alexandre Pantoja

24-6-0 MMA records 25-5-0
32 Age 29
6’0″ Height 6’1″
185lbs Weight 185lbs
73.5″ Reach 76″
New Zealand Nationality South Africa
Menai, Australia Fighting out of Hatfield, South Africa

Robert Whittaker (25-6-0) has assembled one of the most impressive UFC records of all time. The Australian is 13-2 since 2014 with both losses occurring while standing opposite his arch nemesis Israel Adesanya. During this extraordinary run, Whittaker has developed a style that sees him avoid danger while scoring enough points to win either via a carefully constructed decision victory or land the knockout if an opening arises. In any other era, he would have been the dominant middleweight champion. Whittaker will need to employ his full defensive arsenal against a dangerous opponent here.

Dricus Du Plessis (19-2-0) made his UFC debut in 2020 and has looked unstoppable across his five appearances with the premier MMA promotion. The South African has a wild savagery and loves to turn his contests into chaotic brawls. He has fought through adversity to emerge victorious on multiple occasions, and most recently stopped Derek Brunson via second round corner stoppage TKO. Whether he has the guile to deal with an opponent like Whittaker remains to be seen, but Du Plessis is not going to die wondering. He has 10 submission wins on his record and that appears his most likely path to victory.

Robert Whittaker by points


Jalin Turner v Dan Hooker fight preview

Jalin Turner

#11 Jalin Turner


Dan Hooker

#12 Dan Hooker

13-6-0 MMA records 22-12-0
28 Age 33
6’3″ Height 6’0″
185lbs Weight 155lbs
75.5″ Reach 75.5″
United States Nationality New Zealand
San Bernardino, United States Fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand

Jalin Turner (14-6-0) is a hard-hitting lightweight with nine knockouts and four submission wins on his record. He dropped his most recent bout versus Mateusz Gamrot via split decision, but prior to that reeled off five straight stoppage wins to break into the division’s top 15 rankings. The 28-year-old will enjoy a height and reach advantage here and looks to have Hooker covered in all major departments. We expect him to push forward, apply pressure, and search for finishing opportunities either on the feet or the mat. This might be a short fight.

Dan Hooker (22-12-0) has struggled since 2020 with two wins and four losses to show for his efforts. The fearless Kiwi has faced some of the toughest contenders on the UFC roster during this stretch including Dustin Poirier, Michael Chandler, Islam Makhachev, and Arnold Allen. Hooker won his last bout via body kick TKO over Claudio Puelles, but years of heavy wars may be catching up with the 33-year-old who has expressed a desire to move into a coaching role soon.

Jalin Turner by KO/TKO


READ: The full betting preview and picks for UFC 290 Prelims

Bo Nickal v Valentin Woodburn fight preview

Bo Nickal

Bo Nickal


Val Woodburn

Valentin Woodburn

4-0-0 MMA records 7-0-0
27 Age 29
6’1″ Height 5’8″
185lbs Weight 185lbs
76″ Reach N/A
United States Nationality United States
State College, United States Fighting out of Apopka, United States

Bo Nickal (4-0-0) is an emerging UFC star who appears certain to fight on its biggest stage. The All-American is a wrestling sensation who won state, national, and world titles across a storied career. Nickal might be among the best grapplers to ever enter a UFC cage. While big potential fights lie ahead against the likes of Khamzat Chimaev, Nickal has been brought along slowly by matchmakers who are wisely lifting him through the grades one step at a time. He was slated to fight Tresean Gore, but a late injury forced a change of opponent, and Nickal is at unbackable odds to continue his ascendancy.

Valentine Woodburn (7-0-0) has been handed the opportunity of a lifetime here on a huge UFC card. Plucked from the obscurity of the regional circuit due to Gore’s injury, the Floridian will get to showcase his skills to a massive live and TV audience. Woodburn looks like a fighter and is unbeaten but is expected to receive a crash course in world-class grappling here. He has five knockout wins to his credit, albeit against vastly inferior opposition, but must be afforded at least a puncher’s chance. Combat sport can deliver the occasional memorable upset victory, and this would rank among the most unexpected if Woodburn could produce the miracle.

Bo Nickal by submission


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