During his call-out of Jorge Masvidal, Nate Diaz said he believed they were the only real gangsters left in mixed martial arts. Masvidal agreed, and the backdrop of mutual respect will allow them to decide who is the baddest man around in the main event of UFC 244 on Saturday night. The 12-bout UFC stop from Madison Square Garden in New York City features the main UFC 244 fight card starting at 10 p.m. ET. Diaz and Masvidal are squaring off in the octagon for the “BMF” title less than three months after Diaz broke a three-year hiatus from the sport with a dominant victory over Anthony Pettis. His popularity is perhaps only matched by that of Masvidal, who saw his stock soar following a record five-second stoppage of Ben Askren in July. Masvidal is a -165 favorite (risk $165 to win $100), while Diaz is the +145 underdog in the latest Masvidal vs. Diaz odds. In the co-main event, Kelvin Gastelum faces Darren Till in a light heavyweight bout. The former is a -210 favorite in the current Gastelum vs. Till odds. Before making your UFC 244 picks, make sure you listen to what SportsLine MMA expert Kyle Marley has to say.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and is in contention to win this year’s contest. He also appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and DFS shows. Over the past year, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up nearly $19,000.
At UFC 243, Marley predicated that Israel Adesanya (-115) would defeat Robert Whittaker (-105) in their middleweight unification bout even though Vegas viewed the fight as virtually even. He predicted that Adesanya’s range and quickness would be too much for the former champion, and that’s exactly what happened as the top-ranked challenger landed a lightning-quick flurry to score a second-round knockout. Those who have followed Marley consistently are way up.
Now, with UFC 244 fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every single fight. He’s sharing those selections only over at SportsLine.
Marley knows Diaz (20-11) rose to fame following his upset of Conor McGregor in March 2016, but stepped away from the octagon for three years following a close decision loss in the rematch in August of that year. He returned this August with an impressive decision victory over Anthony Pettis that quickly restored his cult-hero status among UFC fans. Afterward, he called out Masvidal, who has long had a loyal following among hardcore fans but only recently achieved widespread popularity.
Masvidal (34-11) was long considered an exciting and durable fighter, but also something of a journeyman who was on the short end of several close decision losses. He took more than 15 months off before returning in March with a stunning knockout of former title challenger Till. Masvidal built on that win and saw his newfound fame explode when he knocked out the trash-talking Ben Askren with a flying knee five seconds into their anticipated July bout.
We’ll reveal one of Marley’s UFC 244 predictions here: He is backing Shane Burgos (-250) to get the best of Makwan Amirkhani (+210) in a featherweight clash on the preliminary card. Burgos (12-1) has won two straight and comes off a split-decision win against veteran Cub Swanson in May. Amirkhani (15-3) also has notched two consecutive wins and submitted Chris Fishgold in June.
“I like Burgos to stuff a lot of the takedown attempts or be able to get back to his feet. This fight won’t be close on the feet,” Marley told SportsLine. Burgos will enjoy a one-inch height advantage and a whopping 3.5-inch reach edge over Amirkhani.
Marley also has strong picks for Masvidal vs. Diaz, Gastelum vs. Till and every other bout on the UFC 244 card. You can see each one only at SportsLine.