UFC 286 Prelims & Early Prelims Predictions, Odds & Picks: Where’s the Value in the Early Fights?

Devon Platana

Written by: Devon Platana

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UFC 286 Prelims & Early Prelims Predictions, Odds & Picks: Where’s the Value in the Early Fights? cover


The UFC invades the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday, March 18 for UFC 286. There’s something for everyone on the jam-packed pay-per-view card, especially on the main card. Having said that, there are also early prelims and preliminary card bouts that you won’t want to miss.

Fortunately, Betting News has gathered the latest odds for all of UFC 286’s preliminary and early prelims fights, along with our prediction for each matchup.

UFC 286 Preliminary Card and Odds (Odds as of Friday, March 17)

The UFC 286 odds listed below are via BetOnline Sportsbook.

Featherweight: Jack Shore (-500) vs. Makwan Amirkhani (+360)

Jack Shore (16-1) looks to rebound after a submission loss to Ricky Simon handed him the first loss of his MMA career. Meanwhile, Makwan Amirkhani (17-8) has lost four times in his last five outings, most recently falling to Jonathan Pearce via TKO back in July.

I’ll agree with the odds on this one and back Shore as the victor. He has the striking advantage over Amirkhani and also has the edge when it comes to grappling, where he boasts an 80% takedown defense rating.

With Amirkhani being susceptible to knockout blows late, I’ll take Shore winning this by KO/TKO.

Best Bet: Jack Shore by KO/TKO (+230)

Lightweight: Chris Duncan (-110) vs. Omar Morales (-110)

This UFC 286 fight is a pick ‘em situation as both Chris Duncan (9-1) and Omar Morales (11-3) share -110 odds to emerge the victor. Keeping that in mind, I’m going with Duncan as the winner.

Morales might have more experience, but he’s also been finished in the second round in back-to-back outings. Sure, one of those losses came as a featherweight, but his latest saw him knocked out in his return to the lightweight division.

Meanwhile, Duncan has won two straight outings and just KO’d Charlie Campbell on Dana White’s Contender Series. Looking to make an impact in his UFC PPV debut, I’ll go with Duncan winning outright.

Best Bet: Chris Duncan Outright (-110)

Lightweight: Sam Patterson (-300) vs. Yanal Ashmoz (+235)

Sam Patterson (10-1-1) and Yanal Ashmoz look to make a name for themselves when they make their PPV debuts this weekend. Although both men are talented, I see Patterson walking out with the victory.

Patterson has fought well lately, finishing five of his last six opponents — including the last three in a row (two by submission, one by TKO). He’s also the more experienced of the two fighters and is used to dealing with tougher competition than what Ashmoz has faced.

Both men love to submit their opponents, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight ends with someone tapping. Although I don’t expect an upset, backing the fight to end via submission — regardless of the winner — still provides solid value.

Best Bet: How the Fight Will End — Submission (+170)

Flyweight: Muhammad Mokaev (-850) vs. Jafel Filho (+540)

Muhammad Mokaev (9-0, 1NC) is the biggest favorite on the entire UFC 286. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that oddsmakers don’t see Jafel Filho (14-2) having much of a chance. After all, after going 23-0 as an amateur, Mokaev remains undefeated as a professional MMA fighter.

Mokaev averages an astounding 8.88 takedowns per 15 minutes. While Filho has some solid grappling skills of his own, he’s just not on that level. Mokaev also has the youth advantage on his side as he’s seven years younger than his opponent.

I expect Filho to put up a fight for a brief moment, but Mokaev will do what he does best: catch his opponent when he least expects it before putting him down with a vicious submission.

Best Bet: Muhammad Mokaev by Submission (+125)

Looking for More UFC Picks?

We have predictions and picks for multiple fights on the UFC 286 main card, including the main event between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman.

But if you are interested in checking out UFC and MMA picks from other sources, there are a number of reputable sports handicapping services that we recommend.

Sports Betting Picks

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One of those sources is Doc’s Sports, which has a great offer going right now.

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UFC 286 Early Prelims Card

Featherweight: Lerone Murphy (-176) vs. Gabriel Santos (+142)

Lerone Murphy (11-0-1) and Gabriel Santos (10-0) are two fighters looking to avoid their first-ever losses at UFC 286. While Murphy has gone 3-0-1 since joining the UFC, Santos looks to stay perfect in his debut with the promotion.

Keeping that in mind, I’m siding with the underdog on this one. Both combatants are solid strikers, but Santos has the grappling advantage on his side if things head to the ground. He’ll also be looking to make a huge impact in his UFC debut, giving him extra motivation.

Still, I don’t love this fight. Rather than committing the winner, I see this one going the distance in what should be a relatively even battle.

Best Bet: Fight to Go the Distance — Yes (-138)

Middleweight: Christian Leroy Duncan (-215) vs. Dusko Todorovic (+172)

Christian Leroy Duncan (7-0) aims to remain perfect as he takes on Dusko Todorovic (12-3) in the former’s home country of England. Although Todorovic has experience on his side, I’m siding with the hometown hero at UFC 286.

In his last five fights, Todorovic has been knocked out twice in the first round, also losing once by unanimous decision. While he’s won twice in that span, those victories came against Jordan Wright and Maki Pitolo — two fighters whose careers are trending in the wrong direction.

With two straight TKO victories to his name, watch for Leroy Duncan to knock Todorovic out.

Best Bet: Christian Leroy Duncan by KO/TKO (+110)

Flyweight: Malcolm Gordon (+300) vs. Jake Hadley (-400)

Malcolm Gordon (14-6) has an uphill battle ahead of him in London. On top of being submitted twice and knocked out once in his last five fights, he now has to take on the dominant Jake Hadley (9-1), who’s fighting in his home country.

A submission expert, Hadley has submitted five opponents in the first 10 fights of his MMA career. He only needed two rounds to submit Carlos Candelario at UFC Vegas 64 and likely won’t need long to win this weekend. It also helps that Gordon has tapped out to a triangle choke before — one of Hadley’s go-to moves.

Best Bet: Jake Hadley by Submission (+195)

Women’s Flyweight: Joanne Wood (-178) vs. Luana Carolina (+144)

After a promising 9-0 start to her MMA career, Joanne Wood (15-8) has lost eight of her last 14 bouts — including the last three in a row. She looks to turn things around against Luana Carolina (8-3), who’s coming off a KO loss against Molly McCann just under a year ago.

Truthfully, this is another fight that I’d avoid if possible. Neither fighter has looked great lately and it could truly go either way. If I have to choose, I’ll back Wood outright since keeping her job likely depends on a victory.

Best Bet: Joanne Wood (-178)

Lightweight: Jai Herbert (+154) vs. Ludovit Klein (-192)

After an 0-2 start to his UFC run, Jai Herbert (12-4) has now won two of his last three fights. Meanwhile, Ludovit Klein has gone the distance twice since his return to the lightweight division, winning twice by going the distance.

Herbert has the clear-cut height and reach advantages, but Klein isn’t afraid of getting close to his opponents. With Herbert having been finished three times since joining the UFC and Klein owning 16 finishes to his name, I like the latter’s odds of winning this one by KO/TKO.

Best Bet: Ludovit Klein by KO/TKO (+170)

Women’s Flyweight: Juliana Miller (-430) vs. Veronica Hardy (+320)

Veronica Hardy (6-4-1) enters UFC 286 in free-fall mode, losing five times in her last six outings. Meanwhile, Juliana Miller (3-1) is off to a promising start to her pro MMA career. She finished her opponents in each of her three victories and looks to keep that trend going against Hardy, who’s been finished twice since her UFC arrival.

It’s a no-brainer to side with Miller. Not only is she the better fighter, but she’s also fought more recently than Hardy, who hasn’t stepped into the octagon since March 2020.

Though I don’t expect Hardy to come close to winning, she’s tough and knows how to hang in there. Considering that Miller’s last two fights have gone the distance, I’m taking the over on the round total as the best bet.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 Rounds (-108)

UFC 286 Event Details

When is UFC 286?

UFC 286 will take place on Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Where is UFC 286?

UFC 286 will take place at the O2 Arena in London, England.

What time does UFC 286 start?

  • UFC 286 Early Prelims Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • UFC 286 Prelims Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Start Time of UFC 286’s Main Card: 5 p.m. ET

How can I watch UFC 286?

The early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass, while the prelims will be available on both ESPN2 and ESPN+, and the main card will be available via pay-per-view (which can be ordered through the ESPN+ app).

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Devon Platana
Devon Platana

Devon is a Master of Journalism graduate who joined the sports betting world in 2020. His favorite leagues to cover are the NHL, NBA and NFL, and has a soft spot for fantasy football specifically. Outside of sports, he enjoys the finer things in life like pasta, live music and getting even more tattoos.

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