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UFC Early Odds & Predictions: The Biggest Fights of 2024 (So Far!)

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Published January 3, 2024
8 min read
  • The middleweight title will be the first UFC championship on the line in 2024

  • UFC 300 set to take place this April; no title fights have been announced

  • McGregor vs. Chandler to fight this summer at 185-pounds?

UFC Early Predictions 2024

UFC 297: Strickland vs. du Plessis (Jan. 20) - MW title

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings sportsbook.

FighterOdds
(C) Sean Strickland-130
BET HERE
Dricus du Plessis+110
BET HERE

UFC 297 will be the second UFC event of the 2024 calendar year and the first pay-per-view event, meaning that the middleweight title will be the first championship on the line in 2024.

What will be his first title defense since winning the title in a five-round decision from Israel Adesanya, Sean Strickland will face off against number-one contender Dricus du Plessis - who is coming off a dominant win over former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

The current champ is the early favorite but these two have already come to blows at press conferences and, most recently, in the crowd at UFC 296, and it appears that Dricus du Plessis has gotten the better of Strickland in the mind games department (if you’re one to feel like mental warfare, place a part in physical contests).

With his second-round TKO over Robert Whittaker still fresh in our minds, we’re taking the challenger, Dricus du Plessis, to come out on top in this main event.

Our pick: Dricus du Plessis (+110) at DraftKings

Honorable mentions for UFC 297:

  • Raquel Pennington (+136) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (-162)

UFC 298: Volkanovs.ki vs. Topuria (Feb. 17) - FW Title

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings sportsbook.

FighterOdds
(C) Alexander Volkanovs.ki-155
BET HERE
Ilia Topuria+130
BET HERE

Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovs.ki has only lost twice during his tenure with the UFC and both losses have come at a heavier weight against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

After his first loss to Islam at UFC 284, Volkanovs.ki rebounded with a masterclass, third-round TKO win over interim FW champ Yair Rodriguez. He then moved back up to 155 pounds on extremely short notice to challenge Islam once again but was, once again, defeated.

Will Volkanovs.ki be able to make the same kind of rebound as he did in the past? Although the challenger, Ilia Topuria, is undefeated as a professional, he has yet to test himself against a true top-five featherweight. He’s a confident man, and we love to see that, but we think Volkanovs.ki will have a massive chip on his shoulder this February and will come out guns blazing and get the finish over Topuria, retaining his title as featherweight king.

Our pick: Alexander Volkanovs.ki (-155) at DraftKings

Honorable mentions for UFC 298:

  • Robert Whittaker (-218) vs. Paulo Costa (+180)

  • Merab Dvalishvili (-166) vs. Henry Cejudo (+140)

UFC 299: O’Malley vs. Vera (Mar. 9) - BW Title

The odds for this match are provided by the Betway sportsbook.

FighterOdds
(C) Sean O’Malley-198
BET HERE
Marlon Vera+164
BET HERE

A rematch from the fight that ended up being Sean O’Malley’s first (and only loss), O’Malley will make his first bantamweight title defense this March against Marlon Vera.

Since his loss to Vera back in 2020, O’Malley has gone 5-0 with one no-contest and earned a second-round TKO win over Aljamain Sterling to secure the BW championship.

Vera is 6-2 after defeating O’Malley and is, arguably, receiving this title shot a little early as more of a “fan service”. Simply put - people want to see this fight despite Vera being just 1-1 in his last two fights.

As fun as the fight may be, it’s safe to say that O’Malley silenced his remaining doubters when he defeated Sterling for the belt at UFC 292. Vera will be up against a VERY different version of O’Malley this March.

Our pick: Sean O’Malley (-198) at Betway

UFC 299: Holland vs. Page (Mar. 9) - Michael Page’s debut

The odds for this match are provided by the Caesars Sportsbook.

FighterOdds
Kevin Holland-166
BET HERE
Michael Page+140
BET HERE

Another key bout on the upcoming UFC 299 card is the welterweight bout between fan-favorite Kevin Holland and newly-signed Michael “Venom” Page.

The 36-year-old Page is a tall and lanky, striking-based welterweight just as Kevin Holland is. He was one of the most popular fighters on the Bellator roster prior to Bellator being sold to the PFL despite never having won a title for the organization. 

Although it may seem that with the sale of Bellator that Page may have been inactive for some time prior, he did fight once in 2023 - earning a first-round TKO win over Goiti Yamauchi last March.

Kevin Holland is always fun to watch, win or lose, and to the surprise of some (maybe) we believe Michael Page will come into the UFC and make an immediate splash (and we’d really love to see him take on Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson next!)

Our pick: Michael Page (+164) at Caesars Sportsbook

Honorable mentions for UFC 299:

  • Gilbert Burns (-142) vs. Jack Della Maddalena (+120)

  • Curtis Blaydes -105) vs. Jailton Almeida (-115)

  • Petr Yan (-148) vs. Song Yadong (+124)

UFC 300: Aljamain Sterling vs. Calvin Kattar (April 13) - Sterling’s featherweight debut

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings sportsbook.

FighterOdds
Aljamain Sterling-115
BET HERE
Calvin Kattar-115
BET HERE

One of the few officially announced fights for UFC 300 so far, former bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will move up to 145-pounds to take on Calvin Kattar in what will be his featherweight debut.

Sterling, always known as a large bantamweight, has made his plans to move up in weight no secret over the past couple of years. 

He jumps right into the lion’s den of the featherweight division, agreeing to take on Calvin Kattar. Although Kattar is just 1-3 in his last four fights, he has a ton of experience against some of the UFC’s best such as Josh Emmett, Max Holloway and Dan Ige and he was the first man to ever defeat Giga Chikadze in a UFC octagon.

Based on grit, toughness and his experience in the weight class, we feel that Calvin Kattar will be able to squeeze out a decision win over the former bantamweight.

Our pick: Calvin Kattar (-115) at DraftKings

Honorable mentions for UFC 299:

  • Bo Nickal (-1450) vs. Cody Brundage (+750)

International Fight Week: McGregor vs. Chandler - June/July

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings sportsbook.

FighterOdds
Conor McGregor-120
BET HERE
Michael Chandler+100
BET HERE

Announced by McGregor himself on new year’s eve, the former featherweight and lightweight champion will be taking on Michael Chandler at a yet-to-be-determined event during 2024’s International Fight Week.

Oh, and the two lightweights will be fighting at 185-pounds - for reasons.

Now, this is Conor McGregor, so we can’t help but take this announcement with a huge grain of salt. Fighting Chandler makes sense as they coached against one another in the latest season of the Ultimate Fight TV series, but McGregor has never seemed that interested in his opponent.

If this bout were announced for UFC 300, we’d have an easier time digesting this as April isn’t too far away. But waiting until International Fight Week (usually held in July) gives McGregor far too much time to get bored or pull out or find a more interesting opponent (a trilogy bout with Nate Diaz comes to mind).

Although coming off of a nasty leg injury, should McGregor meet Chandler in the cage, we believe he could easily dispatch of the former Bellator champion as Chandler has shown in the past that he is easily coaxed into striking wars - a style in which few are better than McGregor.

Our pick: Conor McGregor (-120) at DraftKings

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AUTHOR

Ryan Bristlon

424 Articles

Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.



Email: [email protected]

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