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UFC 301 Preview: Live Odds, Best Bets, and 2 Parlays for Saturday, May 4

Carmelo Roldan
Written by Carmelo Roldan
May 3, 2024
UFC 301 Live Odds, Best Bets, and 2 Parlays for Saturday, May 4

The UFC returns to PPV and Brazil this Saturday! It's a difficult card to bet on, as 5 of the 14 fights feature heavy favorites, so let's see which ones we should take and avoid for our UFC 301 best bets!

Parlay: Ismael Bonfim ML AND Dione Barbosa ML -136 (Bet365)

I rarely use bloated money lines for parlays, but this card has some tricky fights to call at pick 'em odds, and I couldn't be more confident in these two. Bonfim will take on 41-year-old Vinc Pichel.

Not only will Bonfim be the younger fighter by 13 years, but he'll also be the more active fighter, with Pichel's last fight being an April 2022 loss to Mark O. Madsen. To further make the case for the Brazilian, Pichel often fights with his hands down in his stance. That won't do him any favors against the crisp boxer Bonfim. I like the Brazilian by finish.

The other side of our parlay will feature the former Judo Olympian Dione Barbosa. She'll take on a former kickboxer, Ernesta Kareckaite. Kareckaite is long and has decent striking, but her takedown defense is something Barbosa will certainly take advantage of.

Barbosa can also strike if needed. She has fast hands and even throws flying knees when the opportunity arises. Look for her to land a shot or two before shooting on Kareckaite, leading to a dominant decision win.

Iasmin Lucindo by TKO or Submission +165 (DraftKings)

Lucindo is one of the heavy favorites on the card, and it's not hard to see why. She throws hard looping punches at her opponents and can also grapple at a high level. On top of that, she has a solid chin and great cardio when factoring her output.

She'll face UFC vet Karolina Kowalkiewicz, who's had a recent career resurgence. Before taking a small break from MMA, she had lost five fights in a row and seemed to be on her way out of the company. Since then, she's scored four wins in a row and will get a great opportunity to face the up-and-coming prospect.

Although Kowalkiewicz is on a winning streak, I can't find an advantage she will have in this fight. Since she lacks power, she'll have to outstrike Lucindo for three rounds. With Lucindo having a great chin, she should pressure Kowalkiewicz until a finish presents itself.

11 of Lucindo's 15 wins have come by stoppage. I like the heavy favorite to add another one to her record on Saturday.

Joanderson Brito vs. Jack Shore to Start Rd 3 -116 (FanDuel)

Shore will look to push the explosive Brito to the cage to slow him down. He's shown that he's good at mixing his strikes with his grappling and tends to take fighters to the late rounds doing so.

A Brito finish is our worry, but his last step-ups in competition saw him lose a decision and secure a submission win with 1 minute left to round 3. Meanwhile, 4 of Shore's 7 UFC fights went to the third, with the other 3 going deep into the second.

Most books have the o1.5 around -190. I like getting this number for the extra 2.5 minutes.

Parlay: Jonathan Martinez ML and Alexandre Pantoja ML +158 (DraftKings)

I'm going to combine our co-main and main event favorites for a great plus-number play to end the night. Martinez will take on the aging and inactive Jose Aldo in his home country of Brazil on Saturday.

Several years ago, I would take the legend Aldo to beat Martinez, but taking two years off at the age of 37 should show when facing the younger fighter on a 6 fight-win streak.
Martinez has powerful leg kicks and has improved his grappling during the winning streak. I think he slows a competitive Aldo down with both, leading to a decision win in Rio.

In our main event, newcomer Steve Erceg will challenge Alexandre Pantoja for his flyweight championship. Many were surprised to see Erceg here since he's only had three fights in the UFC. However, he has a legitimate wrestling background and the cardio and striking to be in this spot.

Early money came in on Erceg, but I won't overthink this one. Even though Erceg is well-rounded, he's yet to see anyone who will bring the amount of pressure Pantoja will put on him. I don't see Erceg having the power or volume to back the champ off. I expect the best flyweight in the world to dominate in grappling exchanges, leading to a decision or submission win.

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