On Saturday, March 7th, the UFC will be live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC 248 also known as UFC 248: Adesanya vs Romero.
This show features two world title fights with Israel Adesanya defending his UFC middleweight title against Yoel Romero in the main event. The co-featured bout will see Zhang Weili defend the women’s strawweight title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
In total, there are 12 fights scheduled for this event which begins at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN+. The five fight main card will start at 10 PM ET on PPV.
UFC betting sites have released their odds for the full slate of UFC 248 fights. Let’s step inside the betting octagon and examine these current betting lines, identify possible betting value or upsets, and KO our picks.
The preliminary card features seven fights and is set to begin at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN+.
Guido Canetti (8-4) vs Danaa Batgerel (7-2)
Guido Canetti (+115)
Danaa Batgerel (-125)
Over (-127)/ Under (+112) 2.5 rounds
Canetti enters as the underdog and 10 years older than his opponent. This is also his first fight since November 2018 and I have a hard time seeing the 40 year old finding success in this matchup. He’s 2-3 all-time in the UFC with both wins coming via decision.
For his career, Canetti has suffered all four losses via submission. Six of his eight pro wins have come via stoppage, but those were all prior to joining the UFC.
Danaa Batgerel lost in his UFC debut last August via unanimous decision, but put on a strong performance in a fight of the night bonus. He’s 3-1 in his last four fights, which followed a 2.5 year hiatus from the sport.
Batgerel’s two losses have come via decision. However, five of his seven pro wins have come via stoppage with three by way of TKO/KO.
I’m really surprised by the odds being so close. In my opinion, Batgerel is the superior fighter in this matchup. Go with the Under 2.5 rounds for this fight as I believe Batgerel is going to get a stoppage quickly. He has the advantage in every aspect of this fight.
UFC Bets:Danaa Batgerel (-125), Under 2.5 rounds (+112)
Jamall Emmers (16-4) vs Giga Chikadze (8-2)
Jamall Emmers (-170)
Giga Chikadze (+160)
Over (-122)/ Under (+107) 2.5 rounds
Giga Chikadze is on a three fight winning streak that includes his UFC debut last September where he won via split decision. The kickboxing veteran does have 5 TKO/KO wins on his resume and is a threat to end the fight quickly if he catches Emmers making a mistake.
Jamall Emmers has won four straight fights and is making his UFC debut this weekend. He last competed in LFA six weeks ago and is making a quick turnaround for this contest. 10 of his 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO.
The Over 2.5 rounds is favored here due to Emmers having eight fights go the distance and that his grind it out style chews up the rounds. However, I believe this fight will go Under 2.5 rounds because Emmers is a superior grappler.
Chikadze has yet to become a well-rounded fighter as he’s taken down easily. With that said, Emmers’ wrestling ability will dictate this fight quickly. Emmers will navigate the stand up in order to take down Chikadze and finish off the fight before the 2nd round ends. Most likely via submission.
UFC Bets:Jamall Emmers (-170), Under 2.5 rounds (+107)
Emily Whitmire (4-3) vs Polyana Viana Mota (10-4)
Emily Whitmire (+105)
Polyana Viana Mota (-115)
Over (-167)/ Under (+152) 2.5 rounds
Emily Whitmire is the slight underdog in this contest which will headline the early portion of the prelims card. Nicknamed “Spitfire,” Whitmire is coming off a loss last June and an octagon record of 2-2. She will be giving up 3.5 inches in this contest.
However, I don’t see the reach advantage being much of an issue since Whitmire’s three losses have all come via submission. Three of her four wins have come via decision.
Polyana Viana has dropped three straight fights since winning her UFC debut 25 months ago. Despite having the skills to beat her last three foes, Viana fell short in each fight. Now, Viana gets another opponent that she matches up well with. But, can she win as expected?
All 10 of her pro wins have come via stoppage. However, when she goes the distance, she’s 0-3 whereas Whitmire is 3-0. Unfortunately for Whitmire, I don’t see this fight going the distance or even Over 2.5 rounds.
Viana is on her last chance with the UFC. If she drops her 4th fight in a row then I would expect the UFC to cut her. Fortunately for her, she gets a winnable fight this weekend as long as she can execute her fight plan.
That plan will be to exploit Whitmire’s poor takedown defense and inferior grappling skills. I believe Viana will finally take advantage of an opportunity where she has the clear ground advantage and win via submission in the 1st or 2nd round.
UFC Bets:Polyana Viana Mota (-115), Under 2.5 rounds (+152)
Gerald Meerschaert (29-12) vs Deron Winn (6-1)
Gerald Meerschaert (+125)
Deron Winn (-135)
Over (-132)/ Under (+117) 2.5 rounds
Gerald Meerschaert, nicknamed “GM3,” enters Saturday’s contest having lost three of his last four fights. He last competed in October and lost to Eryk Anders via split decision. That loss dropped his UFC record to 5-4 overall.
28 of his 30 pro wins have come via stoppage with 22 by way of submission. He’s also lost eight fights via submission as well.
Deron Winn had his hype train derailed last October when he lost via split decision to Darren Stewart. The Daniel Cormier protégé has strong grappling skills, but lacks an overall fight game. Additionally, he’s giving up at least seven inches in height and reach.
The fact that GM3 is the underdog makes this wager even more appealing. He will have the reach advantage to outstrike Winn and pushes a good pace as well. Additionally, GM3 is a submission artist that can really do damage on the mat despite Winn’s grappling ability.
This fight has the makings of a three round battle and I expect GM3 to come away with a decision win if he can’t find a submission inside the distance. Take the Over in this fight as well.
UFC Bets:Gerald Meerschaert (+125), Over 2.5 rounds (-132)
Rodolfo Vieira (6-0) vs Saparbek Safarov (10-2)
Rodolfo Vieira (-570)
Saparbek Safarov (+480)
Over (+132)/ Under (-147) 1.5 rounds
Safarov will step inside the octagon for the 4th time in his career and is the biggest underdog on the entire card. He’s 1-2 with the UFC and won his last fight 12 months ago. Eight of his nine pro wins have come via stoppage with six by way of TKO/KO.
The Russian fighter was out of action for most of last year due to an injury. Additionally, he will be making his UFC debut at middleweight for this matchup.
Vieira is a submission guru with the nickname of “The Black Belt Hunter.” He’s racked up five submission wins in his 6 pro fights including his UFC debut last August against Oskar Piechota who also was a black belt in jiu-jitsu.
This matchup clearly favors Vieira as he will easily navigate the striking from Safarov and take the Russian to the mat. From there, it’s just a matter of time before he locks in a submission hold for the win.
The Over/Under is tricky for this one. I have a hard time seeing Safarov making it half way through the 2nd round and flirting with the 3rd round. So, the smart play would be on the Under 1.5 rounds as Vieira should end this fight with a 1st round submission.
UFC Bets:Rodolfo Vieira (-570), Under 1.5 rounds (-147)
Mark Overgaard Madsen (10-0) vs Austin Hubbard (11-3)
Mark Overgaard Madsen (-215)
Austin Hubbard (+195)
Over (-230)/ Under (+200) 2.5 rounds
Austin Hubbard is 1-1 inside the octagon after splitting his two fights last year. Hubbard had won three straight contests and the LFA lightweight title, which earned him a shot in the UFC 10 months ago. Unfortunately, he lost to Davi Ramos in his debut.
Hubbard bounced back last September and won via unanimous decision. Five of his 11 pro wins and seven of his 14 pro fights have gone to decision.
Madsen is a highly decorated wrestler with an Olympic silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. He made his UFC debut last September and won via TKO in 72 seconds. Six of his nine pro fights have come via stoppage.
Hubbard might have enough striking skills to keep Madsen at a distance, but odds are that the Olympic wrestler will eventually get the takedowns and control the fight with his top game. He can push a high pace for as long as needed. On Saturday, it will be needed for the full 15 minutes.
Hubbard will survive any ground and pound, but he will lose the rounds due to Madsen’s wrestling skills. Additionally, Hubbard showed an inability to defend takedowns against Ramos last year. Madsen should improve to 10-0 in his MMA career and 2-0 in the UFC.
UFC Bets:Madsen (-215), Over 2.5 rounds (-230)
Jose Quinonez (8-3) vs Sean O’Malley (10-0)
Jose Quinonez (+305)
Sean O’Malley (-335)
Over (-103)/ Under (-112) 2.5 rounds
Jose Quinonez is a large underdog for this fight despite having a solid 5-2 record in the octagon. He’s won five of his last six fights, which includes a victory last September over Huachin via unanimous decision. Six of his 11 pro fights have gone the distance and he’s 5-1 in those contests.
O’Malley is making his return to the octagon after two years away from the sport due to multiple drug testing violations. He was a fast rising prospect that quickly racked up a 10-0 record and brought a lot of excitement when inside the octagon.
Nicknamed “Sugar,” O’Malley has the striking advantage, knockout power, range and takedown defense to be a nightmare for Quinonez. Six of his 10 pro wins have come via TKO/KO.
The Over/Under of 2.5 rounds has odds that are about as close to even as possible. I’m leaning toward the Under. I think O’Malley is going to come out of the gates like a hungry animal looking to chew up his opponent. Seven of his 10 pro fights have ended before the 3rd round and I think this will be number eight.
UFC Bets:Sean O’Malley (-335), Under (-112) 2.5 rounds
UFC 248 Main Card
The main card of the event features five fights and is set to begin at 10 PM ET on PPV.
Alex Oliveira (21-8-1) vs Max Griffin (15-7)
Alex Oliveira (-140)
Max Griffin (+130)
Over (-142)/ Under (+130) 2.5 rounds
These two welterweights are desperate for a win and will go to war for however long this fight lasts.
Max Griffin is the underdog and has dropped three of his last four fights. He lost his last bout against Morono in October via unanimous decision. That lowered his overall UFC record to 3-5. Nine of his 15 pro fights have come via stoppage with seven by way of TKO/KO.
“We are going to bring it, but I’m going to finish him, I’m going to make him quit. He’s tough, he will get dropped and get back up. But, I’ll make him quit, and I’m taking his soul. My takedown success rate is high. I’m going to strike, wrestle, ground and pound. Just a high pace and I’m going to finish him, I don’t have a choice.”
Oliveira is the favorite, but enters this contest on a three fight losing streak. Despite a long and successful career with the UFC that dates back over five years, Oliveira has lost three straight fights and a fourth consecutive defeat could spell the end of his UFC tenure. 16 of his 19 pro wins have come via stoppage with 12 by way of TKO/KO.
This clash, which will open up the PPV portion of the event, could earn fight of the night honors as these two men will brawl until one drops or the time runs out. That type of action will certainly provide entertainment for fans and a shot at a bonus.
It’s a tough fight to predict, but you have to go with Oliveira in this one. He has the edge on the mat, which gives him more paths to victory than Griffin. This fight should also go the distance or at least Over 2.5 rounds.
UFC Bets:Alex Oliveira (-140), Over 2.5 rounds (-142)
Neil Magny (21-7) vs Li Jingliang (17-5)
Neil Magny (+157)
Li Jingliang (-167)
Over (-132)/ Under (+117) 2.5 rounds
Magny steps inside the octagon for the first time since November 2018 when he suffered a brutal knockout to Ponzinibbio. Magny has been with the UFC since 2013 and has fought some of the best to come through his weight class. But, one has to wonder how he will respond after being away for so long.
"I feel like I not only have to defend my spot in the UFC, but I also have an opportunity to go out there and show the world what I’m made of.” @NeilMagny's 16-months away from the Octagon changed him. Find out how ⤵️:https://t.co/JdhmUA9SxY
11 of his 21 wins and 12 of his 28 pro fights have gone the distance. He’s 11-1 when going to the scorecards.
Li Jingliang is entering the prime of his career and is 9-3 inside the octagon as he rides a three fight win streak into this weekend’s contest. He’s gone 7-1 in his last eight fights with solid wins over reputable opponents.
“This is a big chance that I will just not let go. I think fighting Magny is really cool as he is very good so that reflects on my ability and how far I have come with the UFC. They have given me a chance to start fighting the best of the best, and that’s where I want to be.”
Magny will have a three inch height and an eight inch reach advantage over Jingliang. However, I expect The Leech to close the distance and really test Magny’s resolve. With the long layoff and a brutal loss the last time he stepped inside the cage, I wonder just where Magny’s mind is at.
If Jingliang isn’t able to stand and strike with Magny then I expect the Chinese fighter to take this fight to the mat and use his grappling advantage to secure the win. Either way, I believe Jingliang will win this fight and crack the Top 15 for the welterweight division.
Combined, these two men have 21 fights go the distance, so I am taking the Over 2.5 rounds for this bout.
UFC Bets:Li Jingliang (-167), Over 2.5 rounds (-132)
Beneil Dariush (17-4-1) vs Drakkar Klose (11-1-1)
Beneil Dariush (-162)
Drakkar Klose (+152)
Over (-157)/ Under (+142) 2.5 rounds
Here’s another exciting fight that’s somewhat overlooked. It’s a lightweight battle between two fighters looking to crack the Top 15 and gain some serious traction within a packed division.
Drakkar Klose rides a three fight win streak into this contest and has a 5-1 overall record in the UFC. He last fought in August and won via unanimous decision. All five of his UFC wins have come via decision as have seven of his 11 career wins.
Klose’s lone loss came in December 2017 via unanimous decision to David Teymur. He will have a two inch height and reach advantage for this contest.
Beneil Dariush is making his 17th UFC appearance and has gone 11-4-1 during his time with the company. He’s also on a three fight win streak having last lost two years ago to Alexander Hernandez. Dariush has a solid resume, but needs to get some reputable wins in order to move his way into the Top 10.
As for his opponent on Saturday, Dariush is confident that he will win, but was also candid enough to praise his foe:
“I think he’s an intelligent fighter. I think we don’t recognize that because everybody thinks he’s aggressive. People think his best attribute is being aggressive. You have to notice that he goes to a lot of decision wins. To be able to win decisions, you have to be intelligent. You have to know when to push, when to back up, when you’re behind, when you’re ahead, and how to control the tempo of the fight.”
11 of Dariush’s 17 pro wins have come via stoppage with eight by way of submission. He won his last two fights via submission and has a great chance at making it a 3rd straight.
Dariush has the ability to stand and scrap with Klose, but he has a sizable advantage with the grappling department. It’s an advantage that I expect Dariush to exploit and eventually get the victory with.
Although Dariush aims to finish this fight inside the distance, there’s a great chance that it goes the full three rounds since that’s Klose’s calling card. With that said, take the Over 2.5 rounds. As for the winner, I have to go with Dariush as I believe his ground game will be the difference.
UFC Bets:Beneil Dariush (-162), Over 2.5 rounds (-157)
Weili Zhang (20-1) vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk (15-3)
Weili Zhang (-185)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (+170)
Over (-127)/ Under (+112) 4.5 rounds
The co-main event of the night is a women’s strawweight title fight as Weili Zhang puts her belt on the line against the former champ Joanna Jendrzejczyk.
Jendrzejczyk is a former strawweight champ and has worked her way back into title contention after losing three of her last five fights. In all fairness, two of those losses were against Rose Namajunas and one was against Valentina Shevchecnko.
Jendrzejczyk last fought in October and got the decision victory over Michelle Waterson. That marked the 11th decision win of her career. 13 of her 19 pro fights have gone the distance. Eight of her last nine fights have gone to the judges.
Jendrzejczyk is motivated for this fight and is treating it as the biggest contest of her career. Additionally, she’s even more inspired to win on Saturday due to her disdain for Zhang:
“I see that she is overconfident, she is overcoming and she is getting cocky and arrogant – and she doesn’t want to look in my eyes. I will do my best to make her quit and beg me to stop. But I know she is very dangerous. Everything and anything can happen. Knockout, submission – but I’m ready to take this war. I’m ready to go through the war.”
This hasn’t been an easy camp for Zhang as she had to leave China in a rush due to the coronavirus. She went to Thailand and then Abu Dhabi before ending up in Las Vegas closer to the fight. The time zone changes and travel made it harder to prepare for a big title defense.
Nevertheless, Zhang feels that she’s ready for her bout against Jendrzejczyk. She’s also motivated to put a little extra sauce on this win after Jendrzejczyk made negative comments about Zhang’s country and the coronavirus:
“She called me out after her last fight and during the coronavirus outbreak. I already knew that she made that post. She’s doing such a bad thing to my country and to my people, which is really disrespectful. But like I said, probably the cultural diversity from the Chinese cultural perspective, I can just let it go. I forgive it.”
This will be Zhang’s 5th fight in the UFC as she captured the title via 1st round TKO in her last contest against Jessica Andrade in her home country. It was a big moment for Zhang and China. Now, she will try to successfully make her first title defense.
Zhang is giving up two inches in height and reach. Another mark for her opponent is that Zhang has never gone past three rounds in a fight while Jendrzejczyk has accomplished this seven times now including three of the last four fights.
Although some critics are concerned about Zhang’s gas tank, I am not. I believe she is an elite athlete who will rise to the occasion. I’m taking Zhang to win via unanimous decision and that’s only if she can’t find the stoppage inside the distance. This is going to be a great fight.
UFC Bets:Weili Zhang (-185), Over 4.5 rounds (-127)
Israel Adesanya (18-0) vs Yoel Romero (13-4)
Israel Adesanya (-265)
Yoel Romero (+245)
Over (-127)/ Under (+112) 3.5 rounds
Romero is a sizable underdog in this main event title fight. In fact, it’s one that he wasn’t even supposed to be in, but an injury to Paulo Costa opened the door for Romero to get the shot. In fact, Costa had defeated Romero last August to earn the title shot, but was derailed by an injury following that contest.
In addition to being happy that he got the title shot, Romero is also happy to have made weight as he missed the weight cut in his previous two world title fights.
At 42 years old, Romero is still considered one of the toughest men in the division. He’s an Olympic wrestler with a silver medal from the 2000 Olympics. However, he’s also shown a solid striking arsenal and a high level of durability. Romero is 9-3 inside the UFC and has 11 TKO/KO wins in his career.
Israel Adesanya remains undefeated for his career and is 7-0 in the UFC. He has taken the promotion by storm since joining two years ago and won the middleweight title in convincing fashion last October via 2nd round KO over Robert Whittaker.
Adesanya is an excellent striker and often called this generation’s Anderson Silva. He has a unique style of fighting that has made him a tough out for anyone. Additionally, as he continues to win, his personality has become more outspoken. For this fight, he wants to dominate Romero:
“I’ve been on record saying I want to finish [Romero] but I also don’t mind going five rounds and dominating him from start to finish. Kind of like I did to Brad Tavares. I do that to Yoel Romero, show him that you had no chance in this fight. I dominated you from bell to bell.”
14 of his 18 pro wins have come via TKO/KO. However, Romero has only been stopped once in his career and that was nine years ago. Adesanya has a six inch reach advantage in this fight which means Romero’s best chance at winning is via his wrestling skills.
I expect this fight to be intense for all five rounds. I see Romero being able to take this the distance, but ultimately losing via the scorecards as Adesanya defends enough takedowns and lands enough punches to get the unanimous decision.
UFC Bets:Israel Adesanya (-265), Over 3.5 rounds (-127)
Final Thoughts on UFC 248
UFC 248 is a pretty stacked card. For starters, there are some good preliminary fights that will be very entertaining like the return of O’Malley, Mark Madsen, and Rodolfo Vieira. I also like the Meerschaert vs Winn fight as well.
The PPV portion of the event has five main card fights that should all be entertaining. Griffin vs Oliveira will be a brawl, Li vs Magny will be fun, and Dariush vs Klose will be exciting as well. Both world title fights should also deliver on the hype.
As for the betting action, there’s plenty of value found with outright winners and Over/Under wagers. I believe we will also see a few betting upsets that should provide solid payouts as well.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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