UFC Vegas 49 Betting Breakdown


Welcome to my betting breakdown for UFC Vegas 49: Makhachev vs. Green

After a fight night highlighted by a Jamahal Hill knockout in the main event last weekend, the UFC continues its run of eight straight weeks with a live event this Saturday night. This week, the biggest promotion in MMA returns to the Apex facility in Las Vegas for an 11-fight slate. In the main event, lightweights will take center stage as Bobby Green will step up to the plate on 10 days’ notice replacing the injured Beneil Dariush as he takes on Islam Makhachev. Many have pegged Makhachev as a future champion at lightweight and he rides a nine-fight win streak into his second UFC main event. This will be Green’s first UFC main event and he fought just two weeks ago against Nasrat Haqparast as UFC 272. Unfortunately, this is not a great weekend of fights outside of the main event and I’ve struggled to find value in the betting markets. Since I’m not one to just force action for the sake of having action, I currently have just one bet for this card. While I may add another play or two this evening, we’ll just stick with my best bet for this article. 


I’ll be writing this column weekly, with extended breakdowns for up to three of my best bets. I will be in the FTNBets Discord for about two hours before the early preliminaries this weekend to answer any questions that readers might have. We’d love to continue building the community through Discord. 

If you’re interested in DFS and betting takes for every fight on this card, you can check out The Undisputed MMA Show with Jon Kelly and me.

Islam Makhachev vs. Bobby Green Odds

Makhachev -900,Green +600, DraftKings Sportsbook

Makhachev has been relatively flawless through his first 11 UFC fights as he’s gone 10-1 with plenty of dominant victories and his sole loss coming off a one-punch knockout by Adriano Martins in 2015. Makhachev has long been considered “the next Khabib” fighting out of Dagestan and training at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose. Makhachev is of course primarily a grappler but has improved his striking out of the southpaw stance and does fantastic work inside the clinch to secure clinch takedowns in addition to his traditional single leg and double leg attacks. Honestly, it’s tough to find any flaws in Makhachev’s game and I consider him to be the best lightweight on the planet and a favorite over everybody in the division. 

Green is taking this fight on just 10 days’ notice after outclassing Nasrat Haqparast two weeks ago at UFC 272. Green is primarily a boxer who uses a unique style of striking that features a low guard which makes it tougher for his opponents to see punches coming, and easier for Green to react to takedown attempts. Green is primarily a volume striker, despite knocking out Al Iaquinta two fights ago, seven of his ten UFC wins have come via decision. Green is also an underrated wrestler both offensively and defensively. While I don’t expect Green to initiate any wrestling here whatsoever, I feel as though some may be surprised at his ability to scramble during grappling exchanges. While Green’s takedown defense is fine at 72%, he is susceptible to conceding takedowns, but is an underrated scrambler and has not been controlled on the mat much at all throughout his entire career. 


There’s no doubt this is an uphill battle for Green. Makhachev is a nightmare matchup for most of the lightweight division, not to mention the fact that Green is taking this fight shortly after going a full 15 minutes and without a full training camp. Green certainly possesses some tools to make this fight difficult for Makhachev: He has great cardio, is more likely to land strikes in volume than any of Makhachev’s previous opponents and has tremendous scrambling ability while on the bottom. As much as I’d like to think Green is live to win this matchup (and he would be the only side I’m interested in betting at the current odds) my biggest worry here is his lack of finishing ability. Makhachev has been so dominant in terms of winning minutes and rounds over the course of his UFC career that I truly believe in order for people in the division to beat him they’ll have to find some sort of knockout or submission to do so. So while I’m picking the big favorite to get the job done, I’m not sure it’ll be as easy as the betting markets are indicating. Because of that, my favorite spot in this matchup is over 1.5 rounds. Bobby Green has been an over-machine throughout his entire UFC tenure and although Makhachev is coming off a first-round finish over Dan Hooker, his previous four wins each went over the 7:30 mark. Additionally, Makhachev knows that he will need to pace himself to win this fight as Green has the cardio to go a full 25 minutes even on short notice. I expect Makhachev to have early success, but Green’s scrambling ability to keep him alive at least until the later rounds of this fight, if not all the way until the final bell. 

Bet: Islam Makhachev/Bobby Green Over 1.5 Rounds -165 1.5x until -165, 1x until -185. 

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