UFC 295 is coming up this Saturday, Nov. 11, and the main card is loaded, including a pair of title bouts at the top of the card. Indeed, this might just be one of the closest main cards in recent memory, making it all the more interesting from a betting perspective.
Each contest is worth looking at, from the first of the main card fights right up to the main event. Let’s break down each of the fights, check out the bet365 odds on each fighter, and see who will walk away on top when UFC 295 takes Madison Square Garden in New York by storm.
Alex Pereira to win fight vs. Jiri Prochazka
Diego Lopes (+100) vs. Pat Sabatini (-125)
The main card will open with a featherweight battle between Diego Lopes and Pat Sabatini. Lopes is an interesting story. He helped coach Alexa Grasso when she pulled a massive upset over Valentina Shevchenko back in March, and then helped her retain the title.
His own outings have been just as impressive. He lost a very tough fight to Movsar Evloev back in May, but that was on short notice, with limited time to prepare. He has since faced Gavin Tucker in August, ending the fight with a jumping triangle choke that moved into an armbar. It took him just 98 seconds to walk out with a decisive victory.
Meanwhile, Sabatini is 5-1 inside the Octagon and was dominant his last time out. He finished Lucas Almeida in June using an arm-triangle choke in order to finish things in the second round. He has shown to be a great grappler and a tough draw that is just outside the top 15 in the featherweight division.
This fight will make for an electric start to the night. Both fighters are looking to push to the top of the rankings in what has usually been a tough division. The methodical Sabatini will look to keep the more aggressive Lopes at a distance, but things could easily get out of hand for him if he isn’t on top of his game.
Pick: Lopes by submission (+350).
Matt Frevola (+187) vs. Benoit Saint-Denis (-225)
Over the last two years, Matt Frevola has been on an upward trajectory. He has a trio of first-round stoppage wins, earning him a place in the division’s top 15. He earned his biggest win to date by defeating Drew Dober in May back at UFC 288.
On the other side of the cage, Saint-Denis has gone 4-0 ever since he moved from welterweight to lightweight. At just 27 years old, he has stoppages over Thiago Moises and Ismael Bonfim this year. Closing out the year with another stoppage over Frevola would be huge.
This should be either first or second on the card and will be another fantastic way to start the night. Both fighters should come out gunning for an early stoppage. Saint-Denis has been difficult to stop since making the move to lightweight, and we’d be surprised to see him beaten on Saturday night. Look for these two to slug it out early, and for Saint-Denis to come out on top.
Pick: Saint Denis by KO/TKO (+160).
Jessica Andrade (+162) vs. Mackenzie Dern (-188)
Both Jessica Andrade and Mackenzie Dern are in the top 10 in the strawweight division, and this could end up being a crucial fight for both. For Andrade, this is her fifth appearance of the year. Unfortunately for the former champion, she is riding a three-fight losing streak, and she’ll be desperate to avoid making it four in a row.
Her year began with a dominant performance against Lauren Murphy, but things turned sour with losses to Erin Blanchfield, Yan Xiaonan, and Tatiana Suarez. She needs this one badly to re-establish herself as one of the premier names in the strawweight division.
Dern, meanwhile, is coming off a win by unanimous decision against Angela Hill back in May. That said, she is just 2-2 over her last four. Her tendency has been to lose to fighters ranked ahead of her, while beating fighters below her soundly. She risks plateauing in her career if she can’t prove she can beat big names, and will therefore be hoping to win decisively on Saturday night.
Dern is a master of submissions and could pounce on a vulnerable Andrade. If Andrade doesn’t come out with a fire under her, this one could be over before it even starts.
Pick: Dern by submission (+140).
Mackenzie Dern to win fight via submission vs. Jessica Andrade
Sergei Pavlovich (+100) vs. Tom Aspinall (-125) – Heavyweight Interim Title Bout
The UFC interim heavyweight title is on the line in the co-main event. Sergei Pavlovich has been a monster over the last five years with six wins, all of which from first-round finishes. He even managed four of those wins in the yearlong period spanning March 2022 to April 2023.
That said, Aspinall may be the best all-around talent in the heavyweight division. He is a great boxer, has sound wrestling technique, and can grapple with the best of them. Combined with great conditioning and outstanding footwork, he’s an impressive all-around threat to any fighter he comes across.
Aspinall will only be in his second fight since returning from a knee injury. His first appearance was a dominant first-round win over Marcin Tybura, in which he looked as good as ever, with no signs of lasting damage. These two were bound to meet no matter what happened, and their fight will be just as entertaining as the Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic fight that was delayed due to injury.
Pavlovich can end a fight in no time, as we have seen time and time again. But if the fight can go past the first round, the win probability may swing in favour of Aspinall. The Englishman is excellent at grappling and is likely well-suited to limit the damage that Pavlovich can do with his fists.
Pick: Aspinall by decision (+1200).
Jiri Prochazka (+100) vs. Alex Pereira (-125) – Light Heavyweight Title Bout
Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira are two of the toughest guys in the heavyweight division, and both are all business, no-nonsense fighters. Given that they are also two of the fighters that we can expect to dominate the heavyweight division into 2024 and beyond, this is a major fight, which will make for an exceptional grand finale for UFC 295.
Prochazka won the title last summer against Glover Teixeira in Singapore. He then lost the title because of a shoulder injury prior to their rematch. He’s now officially back from injury, and ready to take his fight-winning streak to 14 in one of the most long-awaited returns in UFC.
Pereira, meanwhile, has been a heavyweight title contender since his debut two years ago. He won the middleweight title a year ago, defeating Israel Adesanya at UFC 281. A loss in the rematch led to a transition into the light heavyweight division. He had a split decision win over former champion Jan Blachowicz, setting him up for this fight.
Both fighters have serious destructive power at their disposal and the capability to finish any fight at any time. The winner of this match will come out as the champion, with all the tools to lead the division forward for years to come. It will be a battle, but Pereira is the slight favourite, having been in the Octagon recently, whereas Prochazka has spent the last little while sitting on the sidelines.
Pick: Pereira by decision (+850).