UFC 254 predictions, picks, best bets and four-fight parlay

Dec 21, 2019; Busan, SOUTH KOREA; Da Un Jung (red gloves) defeats Mike Rodriguez (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Sajik Arena.
Photo of Matthew Lowrimore

Matthew Lowrimore

UFC· 1 year ago

Show Bio

Matthew has been with Pickswise for over a year now, covering a wide variety of sports. His main passion is college football and that is the sport he has covered the most. Matthew uses a variety of methods to handicap games, including stats, trends, injuries, and situational factors. His goal is to consistently give out winners and will do everything he can to make his readers money.

This week the Main Event at UFC 254 will feature a Lightweight title fight. There are some huge favorites among this event, so looking for a parlay could be the best way to find the most value.

Here is our favorite four-fight parlay that pays at odds of +528. Be sure to check out the rest of our UFC 254 predictions for the full 12-fight card.

Khabib Nurmagomedov Money Line (-340)

Khabib Nurmagomedov comes into this fight with a perfect record of 28-0. He is 10-0 in the UFC and last won in September of 2019. His striking might not be as prolific as Gaethje’s, but he still is averaging 4.11 strikes per minute. He also only absorbs 1.65 strikes per minute, so his striking defense continues to be world class. Obviously, Nurmagomedov is going to be looking for a takedown in this fight. He is averaging 5.35 takedowns per every 15 minutes and in turn has 10 submission victories in his career.

Justin Gaethje is a pure striker, averaging 7.74 strikes per minute and landing them at 59% accuracy. Though he absorbs 8.37 strikes per minute, so he needs to be careful with how aggressive he wants to be. Gaethje is not going to look for the takedown, but he must defend them perfectly in this fight. His takedown accuracy is 80%, but if he goes to the ground just once, that could be the end.

I do not see any way I can back Gaethje in this spot. His striking may be great, but Nurmagomedov’s balanced fighting style is on another level. Nurmagomedov could easily finish this fight inside the distance, or he could be content with pounding Gaethje for five rounds and reclaiming his belt.

Alexander Volkov Money Line (-178)

Both guys are looking to bounce back from recent losses where they were dominated. Alexander Volkov lost to Curtis Blaydes back in June and Walt Harris lost to Alistair Overeem back in May. Volkov looks to be a better striker than Harris, averaging 4.31 strikes per minute. His accuracy is better, sitting at 58% and he is absorbing less strikes, just 2.53 per minute. Volkov does not tend to grapple very much, but he does land takedowns with an accuracy of 70%.

Harris is exclusively a striker, but only lands 2.97 strikes per minute. What is worse is that he has a striking accuracy of 39%. He has a decent striking defense, absorbing 3.18 strikes per minute. Harris has very little grappling ability, but he does defend takedowns 73% of the time.

Volkov is clearly the more balanced fighter here and I do not see him losing this fight. Harris did not look good against Overeem, so I am going to back Volkov to win.

Da Un Jung Money Line (-350)

Da Un Jung coming off a rather easy win against Mike Rodriguez, a fight he won by TKO back in December of 2019. Jung looks to be an elite striker, averaging 6.59 strikes per minute. This also means that he is absorbing an average of 7.05 strikes per minute. The good news is that he has never been knocked out and should be able to handle himself here as well.

The biggest concern for Sam Alvey is the fact that he has lost four fights in a row, having not won since 2018. His striking is average, seeing that he lands 3.11 strikes per minute an absorbs 3.22 strikes. Alvey will likely not attempt any takedown, but even if he does, he only lands them 16% of the time.

This is a fight that Jung is going to dominate. Alvey is getting up there in age and looks like he has taken a step back. Because of that, I will back Jung to win this fight easily.

Nathaniel Wood Money Line (+142)

Casey Kenney is coming off a win against Heili Alateng by unanimous decision. This was just a few weeks ago, so hopefully he will be ready. Kenney has the ability to stand up and fight, averaging 4.25 strikes per minute at an accuracy of 42%. He has never been knocked out in his career and is absorbing 3.27 strikes. We know he has the ability to fight on the ground as well, winning by submission now five times in his career.

Nathaniel Wood’s last fight came against John Castaneda back in July of this year, a win by unanimous decision. Wood is an excellent striker, averaging 5.52 strikes per minute. He is absorbing 3.30 strikes, so his striking defense is very similar to that of his opponent. Wood is also a very well-balanced fighter, averaging 1.65 takedowns per every 15 minutes. He is landing his takedowns at 60% accuracy and defending them at 83%.

Wood is a prolific finisher, winning nine fights by TKO/KO and five fights by submission. Because Wood is a more balanced fighter and has better grappling, I am going to take the dog here.

Get more great picks and previews for UFC 254:

At Pickswise we provide free expert MMA picks and MMA Predictions for all of the top UFC Cards. Our UFC Predictions and Picks include a pick and analysis for all of the prelims and main card fights.

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$50

Get $50 Free - No Deposit Required!

Register for a FanDuel Sportsbook account

Receive $50 in site credits to use on Sportsbook

No Deposit Required!

Winnings paid as CASH. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$100

Win $100 if any team scores a point in any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $1+ any NFL, NBA, CFB, or CBB game Money Line

If your team wins, you will be issued a $100 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,001

Get a $1,001 Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Win or lose, you'll receive a free bet matching your initial stake - up to $1,001!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$400

Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.