UFC: A pair of title fights headline UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
UFC News


  • Two-sport warrior Alex Pereira is looking to become just the ninth UFC fighter to win titles in two different weight classes when he goes for the light heavyweight title against Jiri Prochazka.
  • The Interim Heavyweight title is at stake when Sergei Pavlovich takes on Tom Aspinall in the co-Main Event.
  • UFC is back in New York city for its annual fall event. The main card has five fights with eight on the early card.

No Jon Jones, no problem. The UFC show must go on.

Two weeks ago the planned Main Event for UFC 295 had to be scrapped when superstar Jon Jones suffered a torn pectoral muscle while training that needed surgery. No matter, Dana White quickly shuffled the card and found multiple intriguing match-ups for UFC and MMA fans.
Top Michigan sportsbooks aren’t afraid to get in the Octagon and mix things up. They’ll have full markets on each of the 13 fights scheduled for Saturday night in New York City. BetRivers has almost 50 bets on one co-main event, while Caesars Sportsbook has all the standard bets for each fight.

The early prelims start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPNews and ESPN+.

Turn On The Lights

The light heavyweight fight title between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira takes center stage. Prochazka is making his first UFC appearance in a year and yard after suffering a serious shoulder injury. Before going to the sidelines, Prochazka had won 13 straight fights over an eight-year span. He’s all offense and no defense.

Pereira is no stranger to MSG, having headlined UFC 291 and won there. The legendary kickboxing champ is searching for another title for his collection.

Waiting and Watching

With the Jones/Stipe Miocic fight canceled, we now have a fight for the interim heavyweight title between monster Russian Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall.

Pavlovich is 6-1 in his UFC career, and all six of his wins have come by first round finishes. If he knocks out Aspinall, he will tie UFC legend Chuck Liddell’s record of seven straight fights won via knockout.

Aspinall was a rising UFC star until he hurt his knee late in 2022. He’s also 6-1 in his UFC career and won nine of his last 10 fights. He agreed to this fight on two weeks notice.

The undercard is highlighted by a women’s strawweight encounter between former champ Jessica Andrade and Mackenzie Dern. Andrade has lost her last three fights, while it’s obvious Dern is being groomed for big things in the Octagon.

What Do the Oddsmakers Say?

BetRivers has Pavlovich as a -103 favorite to beat Aspinall, and the odds at +255 for him to win it in the first round. BetRivers also has Prochazka as the slight favorite to beat Pereira and expects the fight not to go very long. It’s +330 to go the distance.

Caesars also has Pavlovich as the favorite at -105 and has markets on the winner of each round and the exact finish. Caesars is also big on Dern (-250) to win her fight.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.