Fans have already lost Ian Garry and Vicente Luque from the card, but fear not, this one is still full of absolute bangers to sign off another great year of MMA. Thank you for continuing to read our gambling guides and support the brand. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

UFC 296

Main Card (BT Sport)

Leon Edwards (c) vs. Colby Covington (Welterweight)

A bout we weren’t sure fans would ever see, yet here we are! Like most fight fans, we’ve gone back and forth on this one. It would be easy for us to say Covington takes this one by decision for pinning Edwards to the cage, but Edward’s defence is so good now, and he is so experienced – don’t forget Covington has had significant time away for the Octagon, that he probably finishes this one before the final bell. If Covington can get past the endless leg kicks to the body, and avoid ‘Rocky’s’ backhand, he can win on points for sure, but something tells us Edwards turns up the heat in the intriguing main event.

WINNER: Edwards



Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval (Flyweight)

If you didn’t know already these two fought in 2021 with Pantoja winning by submission. Since then, Royval has gained some serious experience, and doesn’t seem to be as wild as he used to be. It will take a while to get his hands on him, but Pantoja is the real deal and has also improved significantly. The Brazilian isn’t giving up the belt anytime soon.

WINNER: Pantoja



Shavkat Rakhmonov vs. Stephen Thompson (Welterweight)

Possibly one of the easiest picks on the card. ‘Wonder Boy’ is a great guy, but we simply can’t see any other outcome than both fighters feeling each other out before the bigger and stronger Rakhmov gets the takedown and sinks in whatever submission he wants.

WINNER: Rakhmonov

METHOD: Submission


Tony Ferguson vs. Paddy Pimblett (Lightweight)

Here we go again…Tony Ferguson has been thrown another lifeline by the UFC and will be looking to get his first win in three years. So how can he win? Well, he’s got internet star David Goggins in his camp (google him as we could spend all day on Goggins) which on paper means he should be able to go 100 rounds and not gas. Ferguson will have you believe he’s not even in his prime yet. Time will tell. We have never jumped on the Pimblett bandwagon, and we REALLY want to see Ferguson win (don’t forget to check out our wild card bet) but just can’t see it happening. He’s too old, too knackered, and too wired – but you never know.

WINNER: Pimblett

METHOD: Submission


Preliminary Card (BT Sport)

Josh Emmett vs. Bryce Mitchell (Featherweight)

Not having to deal with the media spotlight due the big names already on the card, Emmett will come in with laser vision, and if he can avoid a few take downs, which we think he can, Emmett can defy the odds and put ‘Thug Nasty’ away. Stranger things have happened – and this is the pick we are sticking with.

WINNER: Emmett



Irene Aldana vs. Karol Rosa (Women’s Bantamweight)

Both fighters are big for the division but Aldana to us, is the stronger and more durable. For a fight high up the card this won’t produce the greatest of action for sure.

WINNER: Aldana

METHOD: Decision


Cody Gabrandt vs. Brian Kelleher (Bantamweight)

‘No Love’s’ chin certainly isn’t what it was, but he is due a win, and against Kelleher, who is arguably coming to the end of his career, should rise to the occasion and put him away in either the second or third round.

WINNER: Gabrandt



Casey O’ Neill vs. Ariane Lipski Victor Henry (Women’s Flyweight)

After a surprise loss in March, following some momentum in her career, O’ Neill will be looking to get straight back to winning ways, and will grind out a decision against UFC veteran Lipski.


METHOD: Decision


Early Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)

Alonzo Menifield vs. Dustin Jacoby (Light Heavyweight)

Whilst there is no denying Menifield is an absolute specimen, we think Jacoby has not only been denied some results in his favour but is one of the most underestimated fighters in the LHW division. Odds should be decent for this one going the distance as well.

WINNER: Jacoby

METHOD: Decision


Tagir Ulanbekov vs. Cody Durden (Featherweight)

When two seasoned wrestlers get matched up, the wrestling can often go straight out the window. So don’t be surprised if these two come out swinging. It’ll turn into a grappling competition over the full duration.

WINNER: Ulanbekov

METHOD: Decision


Andre Fili vs. Lucas Almeida (Featherweight)

The former Team Alpha Male prospect has really struggled to put a run of wins together for what feels like forever, but we think ‘Touchy Fili’ still has a lot to offer. The odds are against him once again, but he should prevail in a potential candidate for FON.




Martin Buday vs. Shamil Gaziev (Heavyweight)

The only heavyweight bout on the card which should be pretty wild to be far. Expect some haymakers before the DWCS standout gets it to the ground and ends it before the end of the first.

WINNER: Gaziev

METHOD: Submission


 Randy Brown vs. Muslim Salikhov (Welterweight)

Neither have looked amazing in previous outings and due to his age, Salikhov will be the underdog. We say boring fight with a split that doesn’t go in the favour of Brown.

WINNER: Salikhov

METHOD: Decision


 UFC 296 WILDCARD BET: Tony Ferguson to def Paddy Pimblett via Submission

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